Route 34 - Port Macquarie to Armidale.

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 08:11
ThreadID: 87881 Views:4927 Replies:6 FollowUps:15
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Can someone who has travelled Route 34 from Port Macquarie to Armidale or at least Walcha, give me an idea of road conditions? Particularly if there are any very steep areas as we would like to tow a caravan through there is early October.
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Reply By: Notso - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 08:38

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 08:38
Drove through there 4 or so years back, winding road with some good climbs and downhill into valleys. Towed a 2 tonne van through there behind a Triton ute, no problems just a bit slow.

The elevation rises to around 1100metres.
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Follow Up By: lesterb - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 13:15

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 13:15
What about Route 78 is it any better? Turn off Pacific Hwy between Urunga and Raliegh to Armidale via Dorrigo. Are there any winding or steep sections? I realise it adds about 70K to the trip but we're not in a race.
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Reply By: Roughasguts - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 09:28

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 09:28
Caravan Park at Walcha is nice! to be honest I would rather stay there than Armidale.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Notso - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 09:44

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 09:44
too right, just love the heated shower recess floors.
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Follow Up By: lesterb - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 09:45

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 09:45
Thanks for that info. We are driving from Castle Hill to Armidale to trial our dog in two Obedience trials at Armidale so we have to stay there two nights but thought we would go up the coast to Weeroona Caravan Park, Manning Point for a few days then on to Armidale via route 34 but we'll keep the Walcha Caravan Park in mind if our plans change.
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Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 15:36

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 15:36
Call in for a spell and cuppa at Apsley Gorge, a few k's east of Walcha. Great sight, there should be water going over the falls.

You could also consider going across from Manning Point to Gloucester, then up Thunderbolts Way via Nowendoc to Walcha.

It is a very pretty area.
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Follow Up By: lesterb - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 16:30

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 16:30
Your suggestion looks good. What are the road conditions from Manning Point to Gloucester and on Thunderbolt's Way like as far as winding and steep? These roads don't appear major so I guess we would have less traffic, i.e. semis.

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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 16:54

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 16:54
gee Fred, that is one steeeeeeeeeeeeeep bugger. I'd avoid it meself.

Port Mac to Armidale - isn't that the Oxley? Should be better.
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 16:58

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 16:58
The steep section between the Bretti and Carson's lookout I mean. It's an experience but not the easiest.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Aug 01, 2011 at 22:56

Monday, Aug 01, 2011 at 22:56
I enjoy the pull up to Carson's Lookout. It is the steepest of the three roads. However you get most of your big climbing into one effort. I have done it several times with 2 tonnes on behind. Any modern tug should pull it's maximum towing limit up there. If it wont it needs a tune up or it is towing an overload.





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Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Tuesday, Aug 02, 2011 at 05:18

Tuesday, Aug 02, 2011 at 05:18
It's steep couldn't get the paj out of second gear going up but no one else is going much faster, theres plenty of places to pull over to let others pass.

Going down is a bit of a break ride as well.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Roughasguts - Tuesday, Aug 02, 2011 at 05:19

Tuesday, Aug 02, 2011 at 05:19
It's steep couldn't get the paj out of second gear going up but no one else is going much faster, theres plenty of places to pull over to let others pass.

Going down is a bit of a brake ride as well.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Tuesday, Aug 02, 2011 at 10:48

Tuesday, Aug 02, 2011 at 10:48
The view from Carson's Lookout is worth the trip.
Great spot to have a break and a cuppa after the climb up to the New England district. Then easy drive to Uralla via Nowendoc and Walcha. I have heard there are some roadworks at the Uralla end, which you will also get coming up the Oxley, unless you go Walcha, Walcha Road, Bendemeer, then up the New England H'way.
Should not be any problem with your small van.

Fred
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Reply By: Member Andys Aussie Adventure - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 12:55

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 12:55
You have 30 kls of winding roads that do have a long steep section just before Long Flat, but taking it easy is no problem. Semi trailers use this road with no problem. Nice place to stop is at the bottom at LOng Flat. Has A nice quite pub and bbq, give the brakes a chance to cool down

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Reply By: carlsp - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 17:50

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 17:50
You did not mention size and even better weight of caravan, letting us know tow vehicle would help as well.

The climb is not as steep as the Dorriago road but is much longer. Not as steep as Cunningham Gap either. About as steep as the New England Hy out of Tamworth to Armidale.

Unless you are towing a heavy van with a small vehicle it should be OK.

Aspley Falls just before Walca, is a great overnight stopover place. Flushing toilet and great walks to the falls from the camping area. Then the trip to Armidale is a cakewalk from there the following day. Camps Book NSW number 324. Make sure you pay the site fees as the ranger always come around. Lots of firewood as well for a campfire. It get very cold here however as it is in the mountains.Camp spots 322, 323 and 325 are very noisey so do not stop in them
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Follow Up By: lesterb - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 19:35

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 19:35
Thanks for the advice. We only have a 2ltr Hyundai Tucson and a 12'9" 1987 Advance Poptop (850Kg). Cunningham's Gap is not a problem. I guess the steepest we have encountered so far in our travels is the climb from the Abercrombie River to Oberon and we made that OK.
Sound like this one won't be any problem.
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Follow Up By: carlsp - Monday, Aug 01, 2011 at 07:32

Monday, Aug 01, 2011 at 07:32
Just make sure you replace your overhead camshaft bearing before 100 km. Or take a spare if you are heading further outback.
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Follow Up By: lesterb - Tuesday, Aug 02, 2011 at 06:29

Tuesday, Aug 02, 2011 at 06:29
I've just had the 90K service done and the timing belt was replaced then. Would they have done that at the same time or should I have asked for it to be done?
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 18:59

Sunday, Jul 31, 2011 at 18:59
You will have no problems what so ever provided your town vehicle can legally tow your caravan.
As stated above semi trailers do it all the time, though it is not noted for it's heavy vehicle traffic.
The curves will slow you down more so than the climb/ gradient.
Both Thunderbolts way (Gloucester- Walcha) and Waterfall Way (Bellingen-Armidale) have steeper gradients which caravans and Semis have no problems with.
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Reply By: lesterb - Monday, Aug 01, 2011 at 08:03

Monday, Aug 01, 2011 at 08:03
Thanks to all of you who have responded to my request for info.
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Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Tuesday, Aug 02, 2011 at 10:53

Tuesday, Aug 02, 2011 at 10:53
Good onya mate. Whichever way you go, you will enjoy the drive and the scenery.

Let us know how you get on.

Fred.
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