Plenty and Donohue Highways

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 18:23
ThreadID: 56819 Views:1479 Replies:5 FollowUps:8
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Has anyone travelled these road recently and can advise on the condition. Particularly the Donohue which appears to have a bad reputation. We want to do Alice to Boulia towing an off road camper with a 100 TD Landcruiser.
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 19:36

Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 19:36
On this website, look up TOPICS, then Road Conditions.

Last update 13/4.

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Follow Up By: Richard & Leonie - Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 19:53

Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 19:53
Thanks for the advice but I did check it before I asked the question and the last post was 2007.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 21:57

Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 21:57
Oooops!!

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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 20:05

Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 20:05
Haven't been that way since 06. The council were working on the Donahue end..but they always are after any rain.
The Plenty has a reputation for chewing tyres out.
Tobermory station is now off the tourist list...no facilities there any more.
There's fuel at Jarvois...but not much else.
A reasonable run across in two days if it hasn't rained.
I've done it in one very long day ...but it took me two days to recover :))
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Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 20:26

Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 20:26
R&L

I did the Donohue last August and it was in excellent condition and I was able to cruise at 100kmh with trailer in tow.

It is an easy run mainly over plains country. The road has improved to great extent from the earlier days when it became a bulldust hole during trucking season.

Have done the Plenty a couple of times and I suppose it is how you strike it. I have driven it in the dry with corrugations for ever and have driven it in the rain where traction was a problem

Don't think either road poses a significant problem. Just drive to the conditions.


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Holden4th - Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 21:52

Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 21:52
"excellent condition' needs to be qualified. Yes, you can travel on the Donohue at 100kmh in many places but the road conditions (bulldust holes, corrugations and some really tricky corners) can catch you out very badly.

I travelled the Plenty from the west last May and was surprised at how well they had improved the road, especially considering that the whole journey was in wet conditions until about 50 kis out of Tobermory. The NT road crews have done a lot of sterling work. I crossed the border at Tobermory, drove for about 20 Kms on the Donohue and was met with what could be described as a goat track! This road, considering the volume of traffic it carries, is a disgrace and being black soil is closed very quickly in rain - I got through 4 hours before the rain arrived and I was told next morning (in Boulia) that the Donohue was now closed.

That said, with a decent 4by both roads a very navigable. No fuel at Tobermory now and you'll have to call the station at Jervois beforehand if you want fuel. If you fill up at Boulia you should get through to the Stuart Hwy without the need to refuel
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Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 07:55

Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 07:55
By your own admission you travelled the road last May.

I travelled the road last August.

The Boulia Shire had effected extensive roadworks east of Tobermorey in the months preceeding August.

So my information in this thread is more up to date than yours.

Blacksoil is blacksoil and is a fact of life. When it rains you stay where you are or take an alternative route.

As with everything, drive to the road conditions and you will not get caught out very badly

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Follow Up By: Holden4th - Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 18:25

Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 18:25
Yes, your info is more current and yes I did pass through the road upgrades that were being done at the border. However, I think you missed my point.

This road is now a major gateway to the west and is shared by two governments. The work that the NT Govt has done on the Plenty in the last 7 years has drastically improved the road and conditions from when I first travelled it on '01 and again in '03. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the Donohue which, after the road works, immediately degenerates into a one lane goat track.( I have pictorial evidence of this). Now if those road improvements are going to continue to steadily travel east then that's great news. If not, then the comparison between the two sections of road are like chalk and cheese. Let's hope the former is true

My Paj comfortably handled both roads.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 19:16

Monday, Apr 21, 2008 at 19:16
What seems to be an ordinary road for some is a goat track to others

Hopefully the original poster can read between the lines and make up their own mind
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Follow Up By: Holden4th - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 19:22

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 19:22
A picture of the Donohue not too far east of Tobermory



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Follow Up By: Mintabie - Saturday, Apr 26, 2008 at 06:28

Saturday, Apr 26, 2008 at 06:28
Richard & leonie
We are planning to hop across the donahue to the plenty hwy on our travels to mintabie in a couple of weeks if you are able, could you post a current road condition for us. We are towing an off road 14ft caravan with a triton twin cab. We travelled across the gibb river and then across the gulf last year and ended up buying a place a mintabie, south ausi. Idea of road conditions seem to be an individual thing but i have found it best to ask what speed are people travelling. You have a good trip and stay save Stan & "E'
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Reply By: Anthony (Vic) - Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 21:47

Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 21:47
Hi R&L
We travelled Gemtree to Boulia last Dec. Had no problems towing a Jayco Outback with the TD Prado. There are a couple of pic of the better sections of the Donohue in my rig pics.
Cheers Anthony
AnswerID: 299530

Reply By: Richard & Leonie - Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 22:19

Sunday, Apr 20, 2008 at 22:19
Thanks everyone for the info.
AnswerID: 299535

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