travelling horsham to grafton, advice please

Submitted: Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 10:22
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hi
we are making the trip from horsham to grafton, with a f250 pulling a 30' van
was just after some advice as to the smoothest route to take, dont want to have to tackle to many hills and mountains

thanks in advance
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 10:36

Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 10:36
Hi,
Have a look here as an almost identical question was asked last week.
Since you are going to Grafton I would add that if you go up the New England Highway the section north of Tamworth up the Moonbi Range is very steep. If you go to Grafton via Glen Innes down the Gwydir Highway the road is good but steep in places, but very scenic.

Cheers,

Val
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Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 13:08

Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 13:08
I wouldn't recommend the Grafton to Glen Innes option towing a 30' caravan.

There are a few hairpin bends on that road as you get to the lower sections of the drop off the tablelands to the valley. They are a hand full in a standard Cruiser/Patrol sized vehicle with a camper trailer let alone a 30' caravan!

The New England Highway has the climb out of Murrurundi over the mountain as well as a fairly steady climb almost all the way from Willow Tree to Tamworth. After that is the long climb up both Moonbi Hills and the steady rise of the Highway from the top of Moonbi to Armidale. After that you've got the Black Mountain pinch into Guyra and the general rise to Glen Innes.

Then you've got the drop from Glen Innes to Grafton.

Really with the size of your rig and the request for minimal hills the best answer is straight up the Hume and Pacific Highways.

You'll know more about the Victorian end than I do. The biggest climbs you'll face on the Pacific are out of the Hawkesbury after the bridge and up out of the Moonbi bridge on the F3. (Both north of Sydney) After those two is the short sharp one out of Cooloongolook. (The F3 climbs you'll have to do anyway as they occur before the start of the New England Highway)

After that the Pacific is moderately flat, just normal highway undulations.

If you are going into Grafton think about how you are going to negotiate the narrow bridge with the two bends in it crossing the river into town.

I've assumed in this answer your whole rig is in excess of 50' long and probably closer to 60'.

Geoff

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Reply By: Willem - Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 14:38

Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 14:38
I would go up the Newell Hwy to Moree then cut across to Warialda on the Gwydir, then left up to Coolatal, Ashford to the Bruxner Hwy and then on to tenterfield. Its a nice scenic run from Warialda and reasonably flat. ....I know its extra kilometres but if you want flat country..... From Tenterfield, accross to Casino and then either south from there or further on to Ballina and then south. As far as I can remember there are less climbs and downhills on the latter route....but then again my memory isn't what it should be although I drove Lismore to Tenterfield and beyond about 9 months ago

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 14:41

Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 14:41
Laser

Have been travelling Tamworth to Grafton 2-3 times pa for > 20 years.
No matter which way you go, you have to get down the eastern escapment.

Three routes from Tamworth

1) Most direct (after Armidale) is to Ebor then onto Grafton. Windy in places, no steep hills, narrow in places with low overhanging power lines (caravan should be OK). Local timber jinkers and stock semi trailers do it, but never see any out of region trucks on it.

2) Amidale-Glenn Innes- Grafton, mentioned above, would be prefered to (1) but I haven't done it for a while. It is about 50km longer than (1)

3) Armidale- Ebor- Dorrigo, hit the Pacific Highway just south of Coffs Harbour. Semis, school buses, milk tankers do it every day. Maybe an hour longer than (1), but the easiest, no hair pin bends and where it is single lane due to recent landslips and floods there are traffic lights.
Would be the easiest in terms of descents.
Road from Armidale to Dorrigo is one of NSW best picturesque rioads with numerous impressive waterfalls. Take your time and have a look.

We tow 14.5T CT on (1) with no dramas.

Mark

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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 14:45

Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 14:45
PS, from Dubbo to Tamworth take the Dunedoo- Coolah-Premer-Spring Ridge- Werris Ck route, it saves 30 minutes AND you avoid the haul up the Warrumbungle mountains staying on flat country
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 14:46

Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 14:46
PS that is 1.5T camper trailer not 14.5T!
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Reply By: laser1 - Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 23:33

Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 23:33
geoff
have had a look on google and the bridge looks straight to me ?
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 08:32

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 08:32
Hi laser,
That bridge is a tricky one, the rail way runs under the roadway.

The rail deck is dead straight and gives it the appearance of a straight bridge.

The road deck above the rail deck has two tight bends in it. I'll see if I can find a photo somewhere of the road deck.

It's actually a little challenging to get a car and wide trailer across the road deck with a semi coming the other way!

Geoff

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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 08:58

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 08:58
Here's a photo taken from the rail deck and pedestrian path level which is under the road deck.



You can clearly see in the top of the photo the road deck does have a curve. There is an equivalent curve at the other end. Both are designed to clear the rail line.

This bridge was designed as a rail bridge and the road deck was added as an after thought. The road deck is significantly narrower than most other bridges of its length.

Geoff


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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 09:30

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 09:30
The sooner they straighten that bridge the better. When we were down there at Christmas there was talk in the papers that it was in the plans to be done :)



Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Member - barbara M (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 21:16

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 21:16
Hi!
If you meet a local you will be fine if we see a truck, caravan or anything you stop and let them come around the corner and give each other a wave. My vivid memory is the first time our son drove across there on Ls I asked him who he thought he was Jack Brabham his answer was to turn and look at me and say who is he never asked that question again. It is scary when your kids drive it for the first time.
My dad was a timber truck driver and used to drive across the bridge with a long load of logs on all the time. He used to say it was horriblee when the young kids on their push bikes would hold on to get pulled across the bridge.
Barb
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Reply By: laser1 - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 10:30

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 10:30
thanks geoff, thats great info

is there a middle island on the bridge ? or will i be able to cut corners if need be
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 10:36

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 10:36
No middle island, you will just need to time it right with oncomming traffic.


Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 11:49

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 11:49
Hi laser,
I wish I could get a photo of the deck. It's just two lanes with a painted unbroken centre line.

As Kev said, it's all in timing and the hard part from either side you can't see who's approaching from the other!

Might be worth ringing Grafton police to outline what you are driving and when you are likely to cross the bridge. Maybe they have a plan for bigger vehicles to make everyone's life easy.

I know in the 3 1/2 years I lived in Grafton the coppers used to block one end of the bridge occassionally for various types of vehicles to cross.

The RTA have agreed that bridge is totally unnacceptable now days and have planned a second crossing beside that one. Exactly when this bankrupt NSW Government would be able to fund the second crossing is another story!

Geoff



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Reply By: laser1 - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 13:35

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 13:35
just a thought
we are actually staying at the big river cp at seelands which looks to me on the google map like its on this side of the bridge, so no need to cross, can anyone confirm that for me please.
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 13:56

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 13:56
From memory you are correct, it should be on the south side of the river which will make your life a lot easier.

You go a few k's west of South Grafton on the Glen Innes road, turn right toward the river and it's in there.

Geoff

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Reply By: Member - barbara M (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 21:19

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 21:19
Hi Laser 1
That is correct you wont have to cross the bridge at all. If you have a boat up there get up early one morning and ski in stop at the Crown hotel and walk up to Hank's bakery for brekky we did that every year good
barb
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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 11:44

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 11:44
mmm. Hanks Bakery, I'd forgotten about it!
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Reply By: laser1 - Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 22:14

Thursday, Jan 21, 2010 at 22:14
thanks all
we started off today, did 500 odd k to glenrowan
heading off tomorrow for another 500k and plan on stoping for the night at the truckstop/service centre in sutton forrest

from there we would likr to take this route as mentioned by trickytoo on the other post

I would take the Hume all the way to Casula which is on the outskirts of Sydney, and then pick up the M7 ( the M7 only has electronic tolling). Follow the freeway all the way to the Pennant Hills Rd exit, you will then have about 15 kilometres of built up traffic but will then get onto the F3/Pacific Hwy.

so just checking that it by passes sydney, does not have to many hill climbs, steep decsents or winding road

also if anyone would be kind enough to have a more detailed map (im a bit worried about missing a turn off and ending up in the middle of sydney !!)

thanks again in advance.
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