Melbourne to FNQ via central NSW and QLD

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 07:42
ThreadID: 83837 Views:2810 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
This Thread has been Archived

Related Pages

Hi All

We are planning a 3 week trip for May in the Prado. Heading from Melbourne up through central NSW (kidman way) and then central QLD (Matilda Hwy) to Normanton. Then from Normanton across to Cairns and up to Cooktown. Not sure yet if we will go further north than that at the moment.

I would like to stay off the bitumen for a fair part of the trek and was wondering what suggestions people might have.

Is anyone else doing a similar trip at that time?


Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Patrol22 - Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 07:59

Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 07:59
There a nice off the bitumen drive from Hughenden via Muttaburra and Undarra you could take and there is also a nice off road drive from Mt Garnet to Petford via Irvinebank. I have the Oziexplorer track file for the Mt Garnet to Petford drive that I can let you have if that is useful but I didn't record the drive via Muttaburra (it's pretty well signposted though). If you would like the Ozi file post an email address and I'll send it to you.

AnswerID: 442767

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen W1 (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 08:05

Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 08:05
Hi Pete,

That would be great, thanks.


FollowupID: 714791

Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 08:18

Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 08:18
Just sent you the info and a bit more Stephen.
FollowupID: 714792

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen W1 (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 08:43

Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 08:43
thanks Pete
FollowupID: 714795

Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 08:14

Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 08:14
I believe you will miss out on a lot if you choose to stick to the blacktop, just a few things you will miss are Lark Quarry/ Old Cork out of Winton, the Combo waterhole (Waltzing Matilda) out of Kynuna the wonders of Lawn hill and the Bloomfield Track which is just another dirt road not a track at all.

Skip the Stockmans Hall of Fame and go to The Matilda centre in Winton.

If you can go down to Wallaman falls out from Ingham (bitumen) or out to Blenco falls west of Kennedy.

Have a good trip.

AnswerID: 442768

Reply By: Member - John G- Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 10:23

Sunday, Jan 23, 2011 at 10:23
G'day Stephen

I agree with Pete. The trip from Hughenden to Undara is a good unsealed road, with Porcupine Gorge not far out of Hughenden a must-see. On the way from Hughenden to Undara we stayed at the Oasis Roadhouse. Good spot for an overnight stay but quite small. Undara is well worth three nights and the 1-day guided tour there is good value.

We were advised in July 2010 by various local info centres that road from Barcaldine to Hughenden via Muttaburra may be a bit too rough for one of the caravans in our party, so we went the more northerly route to Torrens Creek and then to Hughenden. That road is mostly sealed though.

AnswerID: 442780

Reply By: Road to Discovery - Monday, Jan 24, 2011 at 13:23

Monday, Jan 24, 2011 at 13:23
Lightening Ridge is fun. But regardless which route you take in outback NSW, stop at any thermal pool you come to to wash the dirt off - very nice!

Another stunning place to visit between Normanton & Cairns is Cobbold Gorge. Its about 70kms of dirt each way off the Savannah Way at Georgetown, and IMHO is more stunning than Katherine Gorge.

We did Undara too, but found it didnt live up to the expectations of the brochures/website. Even before we went there, people who had been there were kind of non-plussed about it.

Bloomfield Track from Cairns to Cooktown is now quite an easy drive and very pretty. Stop at Cape Tribulation and do Jungle Surfing !! And enjoy great pub meals and atmosphere at Lions Den Hotel.

Your 3 weeks is pretty quick to get to Cooktown even on the bitumen, let alone the dirt. (is that one way or back again?)
AnswerID: 442898

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Monday, Jan 24, 2011 at 16:58

Monday, Jan 24, 2011 at 16:58
G'day Stephen, we did a similar trip last May..via Ivanhoe..Wilcannia..White Cliffs
..Tibooburra..Noccundra..Thargomindah..Windorah..Diamantina Lakes NP..
Middleton..Kynuna..Cloncurry..Lawn Hill..Normanton..Cairns.. back down coast
..Toowoomba..Tamworth & home...took 4 weeks. I would leave out the
Diamantina NP (a bit underwhelming). All roads were fine then, but plenty of
research required now. I doubt you can do any more than Cooktown in 3 weeks.
Also check Mungo NP if going that way....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 442914

Reply By: Frances - Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 22:25

Sunday, Jan 30, 2011 at 22:25
Hi Stephen, I did that trip last year but continued on to the tip of cape York. The only thing that I would suggest is that you go to Lawn Hill National Park and stay at Adel's Grove for a couple of nights - it was one of the highlights of our trip - and trust me it will satisfy your need for staying on gravel roads! We drove from Mt Isa directly west towards the NT border and then turned north to Lawn Hill (forgotten name of roads etc). When we left Lawn Hill we headed to Burketown and then went across to Normanton/Karumba.
AnswerID: 443582

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (9)