Travelling in Western QLD in November

Submitted: Friday, May 15, 2009 at 11:50
ThreadID: 68850 Views:1754 Replies:7 FollowUps:0
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Hi everyone,
we are planning a trip to western QLD but unfortunately the only time off we can both get is for the month of November. We plan to leave Sydney, travel up the coast (drop the dog off at my mum's) then head inland, through New England and up to Lightning Ridge, then up into QLD. Our rough plan is to visit Cunnamulla, Charleville, Barcaldine, Longreach, Winton, Hugendon, Julia Creek, Mt.Isa, Riversleigh, Bedourie, Birdsville, Windorah, Quilpie, Bourke, Dubbo, then back to Sydney, around 6000km in 4 weeks.

My question is, although we realise it will be hot, what will travel conditions be like in November? When does the wet season start, what will camp sites be like, etc. We are travelling in a subaru outback, with a roof pod, and we have done a trip 3 years ago to SA, including the Oddnadatta track, so gravel roads don't worry us (8000km in 4 weeks). We carry 2 spares, water, fuel etc and most of our route will be bitumen anyway, but is it crazy to go in November?

Also, we are interested in the gem fossicking areas....but that's for another posting,

Any advice appreciated, cheers!
Lauren & Norm
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Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Friday, May 15, 2009 at 12:20

Friday, May 15, 2009 at 12:20
Those roads should be fine. It WILL be hot but as for rain, who knows. The wet season starts when it starts to rain ;-))
AnswerID: 365026

Reply By: Member - Kevin J (Sunshine Coa - Friday, May 15, 2009 at 12:40

Friday, May 15, 2009 at 12:40
No you are not stupid to travel through the western ares in November. While this is certainly not the normal accepted time to be a tourist there are actually places where people live and work much the same as anywhere else despite the heat, the dust and the flies. Most days will run to the mid 30s but the evenings and nights can be very pleasant and with those western sunsets at happy hour. Wow.

October and November can see storms - usually in the afternoon -
and like anywhere they can cause damage particularly to tents or campers. Since you are planning to run the bitumn it is unlikely that the storms would cause any holdups in your travels other than the visit to Riversleigh. There is quite a deal of black soil road in that piece.

Your itinerary seems to have you a little west of the gem areas of Anakie and Saphire which are east of your proposed line.

My only other comment would be that you will missing quite a deal by trying to cover these distances in such a short time frame. For instance do you intend to visit Riversleigh, which I personally found to be disappointing, without going the extra distance to Lawn Hill/Adels Grove where the scenery is spectacular.

Enjoy your trip. It sounds like you have been around so there should be no real problems.

Kevin J
AnswerID: 365029

Reply By: handy - Friday, May 15, 2009 at 13:42

Friday, May 15, 2009 at 13:42
you can be supprised how cool it can be out here[windorah] in november, summer hasnt really set in.
get out and enjoy it. cheers
AnswerID: 365038

Reply By:- Friday, May 15, 2009 at 20:30

Friday, May 15, 2009 at 20:30
G'day Tapdogs,

We did western QLD in October last year, it certainly did get warm but not unbearable, its what you make of it. Make sure you drink plenty of water, even travelling in the car with good air con you will dehydrate.

Have a great trip, it doesn't matter when you're travelling as long as you're travelling!

AnswerID: 365100

Reply By: troopy 2005 - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 11:46

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 11:46
We travel in the christmas hols with kid ,all over Australia.If its hot its hot but it great because theres not tourists everywhere .Weve spent new years eve at Innaminka,with only locals.
Last christmas we drove from sydney to broome.
oodnadatta ,alice springs,tanami,broome.
These are isolated areas so why not go when theres no tourists.
Dont be like the rest of the chickens and run back south.
AnswerID: 365204

Reply By: Outbackswine - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 12:34

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 12:34
While it's not foolish to be travelling in NW QLD during November, you need to be prepared to get stuck for what could be several days and perhaps even a week in some parts.

As most here would already be aware, places like Winton, Cloncurry, Julia Creek, Mount Isa, Normanton, Karumba and west into the NT had substantial rainfall that closed roads including the Barkly Hwy, Landsborough Hwy, and the numerous development roads in the Gulf region with major flooding for days and weeks on end.

Here in the Isa, we had almost 360mm of rain in 2 days, that's double the annual average rainfall here.

AnswerID: 365214

Reply By: Tapdogs1 - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 17:23

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 17:23
Thanks to everyone who has replied, I really appreciate your comments! We will take all your advice, and plan carefully, and hopefully have a great trip, thank you all again! (And if it rains and we get stuck somewhere for two weeks the boss will just have to understand!) Regards, Lauren.
AnswerID: 366209

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