Road conditions in March in North Australia

Submitted: Sunday, Nov 02, 2003 at 05:11
ThreadID: 8253 Views:1475 Replies:7 FollowUps:8
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Hello All,

My name is Richard and I am new to this site. The reason why I am posting is that I am searching for specific details about road conditions in March in North Australia and was not able to find something usefull yet.

In January I am coming to Australia for the second time to do a lot of driving again. I shall name the cities I want to pass: Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Port Headland, Broome, Fitzroy Crossing, Kununurra, Katherine, Darwin, Alice Springs, Uluru, Melbourne.

I will leave Melbourne the end of January and I think I will reach Broome by half March. What worries me is that March is still the wet season. Will I be able to do do Broome - Darwin, passing the above mentoined cities? That is Great Northern Highway, Victoria Highway and Stuart Highway. I am talking about a conventional 2wd car.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!
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Reply By: Member- Rox - Sunday, Nov 02, 2003 at 11:06

Sunday, Nov 02, 2003 at 11:06
Hi Richard, The roads are all sealed on hiway #1 but as most do, they deveate down here and up there. I have travelled all Australia by 2wd seen some dirt, Sand& gravel roads/tracks. Take a good jack and a base to lift the car out of bogs. Also a uhf radio will be helpfull. PLENTY of WATER. and most of all a spirit of adventure and you'll have the time of your life.Have 4WD will Explore
AnswerID: 35955

Follow Up By: Dutch Richard - Sunday, Nov 02, 2003 at 23:57

Sunday, Nov 02, 2003 at 23:57
Thanks, the spirit of adventure is not the problem ;-)

Thing is that my time schedule doesn't allow me to get stuck for weeks in the Kimberey.

Deveate means that the road is destroyed, right? How long does it normally take before they are repaired?
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Reply By: Member - George (WA) - Sunday, Nov 02, 2003 at 21:54

Sunday, Nov 02, 2003 at 21:54
You may have to wait at some of the floodways, otherwise should be no problem.
Keep a listen out for potential cyclonesKing Edward River, Mitchell Plateau
VKS-737, ch 2, sel. 2131
AnswerID: 35992

Follow Up By: Dutch Richard - Sunday, Nov 02, 2003 at 23:52

Sunday, Nov 02, 2003 at 23:52
Are the floodways running over the sealed roads? And are they destroying the roads in a way that they not passable by a 2wd car?
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FollowupID: 25981

Follow Up By: Member - George (WA) - Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 11:46

Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 11:46
The cyclone season in the NW of WA starts at November and can last as long as May.
Most bitumen roads in the NW have many floodways, during heavy rain in the area the floodways will have water running through them.
On highway 1, most of the floodways will not have any damage after the water subsides.
However, you may have to wait for the water to go down anything from a couple of hours to a week, depending on the amount of rain falling.
Listen to the radio for reports of cyclone warnings.

Hope this helps King Edward River, Mitchell Plateau
VKS-737, ch 2, sel. 2131
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FollowupID: 26001

Follow Up By: Dutch Richard - Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 18:49

Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 18:49
Thanks George, that sure helps me! I just hope not to get stuck for more than a week, because that might mean I have to swim back to The Netherlands ;-)
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Follow Up By: Member - George (WA) - Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 20:42

Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 20:42
Richard, If you let me have your email address I would be happy to communicate directly with you.
I think I have other information that you may be interested in.

My email address is, nsbc@bigpond.com

cheersKing Edward River, Mitchell Plateau
VKS-737, ch 2, sel. 2131
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FollowupID: 26034

Reply By: Dutch Richard - Sunday, Nov 02, 2003 at 23:59

Sunday, Nov 02, 2003 at 23:59
How bad is the rain and the floods in March? March is near the end of the rainseason, if you have a 'normal' rain season, will the Great Northern Highway, Victoria Highway and the Stuart Highway be open for 2wd in March?
AnswerID: 36007

Reply By: Willem - Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 11:41

Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 11:41
Hi Richard,

From Broome to Darwin and you may experience some delays at river crossings if the rivers are in flood. It depends on how active the WET season has been. Normally Northern Australia will receive around 2500mm of rain between November and the end of April. All the places you have mentioned have sealed roads connecting them. Going off the sealed road in March could bring problems. Best thing to do would be to do a search on the Internet on the Road Report for each state that you intend to visit. Enjoy your travels.
Cheers,Willem

Always going somewhere
AnswerID: 36034

Follow Up By: Dutch Richard - Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 18:47

Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 18:47
Hi Willem,

Thanks for the reply. It is not my intention to go off the sealed roads. You talk about 'some delays', is that a couple hours, a couple days or even a couple weeks? I've seen the sites from the government with the road conditions, they will be very usefull when I am there, but not yet with planning.

Bye,
Richard
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FollowupID: 26027

Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Nov 04, 2003 at 07:28

Tuesday, Nov 04, 2003 at 07:28
The river which may stop you is the Victoria River in the Northern Territory. The bridge is about 16 metres high over the river but when the river floods it rises up to 20 metres. It may take up to 4 days to subside to make crossing possible. Other rivers that flood are the Fitzroy River but I am not sure if there wopuld be any problems there as I have not been there for a whie now. The East Baines River could also flood its banks and push water on to the plains around it. It has from memory a low level bridge. So it all depends on how much rain has fallen in the WET season. As a general rule we found that moving around in the wet season you may have restrictions from Novemebr through to the end of April. The main rains come in February where it would rain for a week solidly in a rain depression. A few years ago when the town of Katherine flooded up to 400mm of rain fell in 5 hours. If you could vary your plans to fly in to Darwin in January and do the reverse trip you may have a better scenario for travel. Remember also that you are visiting Australia at the hottest time of the year and temperatures WILL be uncomfortable up north.

Cheers,
Willem

Always going somewhere
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FollowupID: 26058

Reply By: TonyY - Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 13:13

Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 13:13
Nice to see that Port Hedland and Fitzroy Crossing are high on your list of places to see. ROTFL.
AnswerID: 36052

Follow Up By: Dutch Richard - Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 18:42

Monday, Nov 03, 2003 at 18:42
They are not high on my list, but I will pass them and wanted to show you which way I was going.
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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Tuesday, Nov 04, 2003 at 12:49

Tuesday, Nov 04, 2003 at 12:49
Richard,

As others have said, in March you will most likely encounter some flooding over the road between Broome and Darwin. The degree of flooding will depend on the the wet season. Every year is different to the next but locals up north are all predicting a big wet this year. March is towards the end of the wet season but by no means is it the end. Heavy rains can still fall through March, April and even early May. You would need to approach your journey with a flexible attitude and extra supplies on board in case you get stuck for a day or more.

An example of what can happen - In late March 1999, we set off from from Darwin to Perth along the Great Northern Hwy. For all intents and purposes the wet season looked like it had all but finished, then whilst we were killing time in Kununurra a late season cylcone formed off the coast, dumping rain right across the Kimberley before wiping out Onslow and Exmouth about halfway down the WA coast. By the time we left Kunanurra it was early April and we encountered localised flooding all the way from Kununurra to the Lyndon River halfway down the coast. We were driving a 4WD with a snorkel so none of it stopped out progress along the sealed highway but in a 2WD I suspect we would have spent some time waiting for the water to recede.

:o) Melissa

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
AnswerID: 36175

Reply By: Bill - Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 22:57

Friday, Nov 07, 2003 at 22:57
Hi Richard, Stop worrying and just start out from Melbourne with a stout heart. Make sure that you talk to the local people all along the way and you will find out all that you need to know, and met some beaut people as well.
AnswerID: 36582

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