Can anyone give advice on this route?

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 09:14
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Hi,
We are plannning a trip up to Lawn Hill leaving the Gold Coast on the 21st May. The route we have been looking at is Bunya Mountain, Mitchell, Carnarvon NP, Sapphire reserve (but would like to inc Emerald) Barcaldine, Longreach, Muttaburra, Winton, Boulia, Mt Isa, then onto Lawn Hill. It would be great if any of you could give advice or share your experience with this route. If anyone has a suggested alternate route please feel free to post that. We will have a 2wd caravan with us.

Kind Regards
Andrea
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Reply By: Member - jjt98 (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 09:23

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 09:23
Hi Andrea,

The route you've suggested sounds good. The only thing I can say is that the dirt road from Gregory Downs into Lawn Hill was badly corrugated when we went in but slow driving should see you right. Lawn Hill is a fantastic place. Carnarvon NP is also supposed to be nice (friends live near there & visit alot).
Happy travels
Cheers
Jason
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Follow Up By: Andrea11 - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:33

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:33
Thanks Jason, I appreciate the info.....
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 15:29

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 15:29
And on that part of the road, you will likely come across a lot of road trains that won't slow down. We did about 20,000 KM on a trip in 2006, almost half on dirt. The road out of Lawn Hill towards Gregory Downs was the last dirt road we touched in the trip (returning to Gold Coast). We fully stopped for a road train (about the 1,000th for the trip) but still got a busted windscreen. Can't help bad luck I suppose.

Norm C
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Reply By: Member - Cruiser (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:29

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:29
Andrea11,

We did a similar trip last winter with a full size dual axle semi off road van.

We went from Brisbane to Rocky them Emerald, Barcaldine, Longreach, Winton, Boulia, Mt Isa, Cloncurry, Burke & Wills RH, Gregory River, Lawn Hill, Normanton, Atherton, Cairns, and down Qld coast.

We had no problems anywhere. The road from Gregory River into Adels Grove was fine when we went in. The first 45K to the mine turn off was great and we were able to sit on about 70 kph and the last 43k to Adels we were down to about 50 kph.

The biggest problem on this stretch was dust, so make sure the van is sealed up tight.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Cruiser
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Follow Up By: Andrea11 - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:33

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:33
Hi Cruiser,

Thanks for the info, any tips on keeping dust out of my 16ft jayco pop top?

Andrea
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Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:50

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 10:50
Not really as I don't own a pop top, but the precautions I took was to seal up the vent at the bottom of the side door and a sliding window that I have near that door.

I still got dust in the van but mostly through the wheel arches. When I got to Normanton, we pulled EVERYTHING out of the van at floor level plus the next shelf level up and cleaned it all out. Took about 4 hours to do and another 2 hours to hand wash the van on the outside.

Don't know what you could do about sealing the pop top section of your van.

Despite the dust problem, it was all worth the effort. Lawn Hill is a magical place.

Cheers

Cruiser
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Follow Up By: Wizard1 - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 11:17

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 11:17
The only way to avoid dust is to stay on the black stuff.

The vans have that man vents and holes you could never cover them all up. Just look at the one behnd your microwave or the gapping holes under our aircon (if you have Heron 2.2) not to mention the fridge vents (which you can't cover up)

The Poptop has a vent on the roof that is supposed to help keep the dust out using some sort of vacuum effect. Not sure if it has ever made a difference being open.

Trust me, I've travelled the Oodnadatta Track and Savannah Way through Roper Bar with a Jayco Poptop and you will never completely stop dust egress, no matter how many vents, etc you try ad cover up. We tried covering the door vents, etc and I do believe it made it worse as there was no airflow to force dust out if it did get in.

Just be prepared to clean all your internal surfaces, cupboards and crevices at the end of the trip.
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Reply By: macy - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 11:15

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 11:15
G'day Andrea
We went Mt Isa, to Lawn Hill via Riversliegh. T/off Barkly Hwy about 115km west of Mt Isa fairly good track by Qld standards... Re dust for Jako Gaffa tape door roof and vents...when leaving black top (turn fridge off if gas)

Cheers Mac
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Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 16:45

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 16:45
Andrea - Lawn Hill is great. Expect to hire a canoe and paddle through the gorge, so include some means of keeping cameras etc dry. Paddling up the gorge is a must. Limited camping is available at the Park, but plenty (and most would say better) camping is available at Adel Grove, which is about 10 km away. Worth collecting a bit of firewood before you get there.

HTH

John
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Follow Up By: Findanomad - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 17:12

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 17:12
Hi John and Val
Is the gorge suitable for an inflatible zodiac or are there too many rocky outcrops - I know you cant use a motor but can paddle the zodiac fairly easily.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 18:29

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 18:29
Andrea - The National Parks people are pretty strong on regulation. I know the conoe hire people (Adel Grove management) had a major argument because they were said to have one more canoe than previously authorised. So far as I know there would be no problem from that quarter with using your own boat (strictly not motorised. as you are already aware). Snags damaging the inlatable should not be an issue.

BUT - there are in fact 2 gorges, with a short portage stretch between. Not too difficult with a conoe, impossible with an inflatable. To some extent the second gorge is just more of the same, but you are travelling a long way to get there and it wiuld be a shame not to view both from the water. We have an inflatable ourselves, but if visiting Lawn Hill again, I would hire a canoe that's already there rather than take a bulky lump of plastic the few thousand km. From imperfect memory the canoe cost only $20 or 30 for enough time to do the trip comfortably and take hundreds of photos. Good investment in my opinion, and a negligible expense in the trip total.

Enjoy - it's a great place.

John
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 19:29

Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 at 19:29
I agree with John on just hireing a canoe. Another tip is to get to the hire place at least 20 mins before they open. I don't remember what time that is, but easy to find out locally. If you stay at Adel's Grove, the office (or other campers) will know. That way you have a good chance of being the first canoe out.

If you are into photography, the water will be smooth as it has not been upset by the passage of canoes, and you can photograph up the gorge without other canoes in the picture.

My wife is the photographer and sat in front. She didn't do much paddling, but took about 300 photos. She got some fabulous pics. It really is a beautiful place. Some of the walks are well worth the effort too.

!MPG:28!!MPG:29!
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Follow Up By: Findanomad - Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 14:36

Friday, Feb 01, 2008 at 14:36
Thanks John and Norm
Your advice is great and the photos are spectacular.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: AdlelaideGeorge - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 13:33

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 13:33
Hi

I camped at Adel's Grove last year-I must say I think it's a far better spot than the National Park camp site. We travelled north up to Adel's Grove from Camooweal and then out from Adel's Grovel to Burketown - all the roads were very good we thought although we weren't towing.
I took my Sevylor inflatable to Lawn Hil NP and pumped it up there. We were on our way up the gorge by 7-45am and had it to ourselves-nobody in front to spoil the pics.

We found it easy negotiating the portage around the waterfall from the first area to second-just picked up the Sevylor and carried it around. No particular problems with stakes or sharp rocks but take care of course.

We tethered to a rocky outcrop in the second gorge and had a swim.......something to be remembered forever-on our own in the middle of nowhere swimming in a magnificant natural pool.......unbelievable

Happy days
George
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Follow Up By: Findanomad - Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 17:49

Monday, Feb 04, 2008 at 17:49
Hi George
thanks for the tips
Cheers
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