Bruce Highway

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 11, 2011 at 22:19
ThreadID: 88422 Views:2102 Replies:3 FollowUps:7
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The wife & I just flew down to Brisbane & drove a Toyota Prius back up to Cairns.
Drove nearly the whole distance at the speed limit on cruise control & averaged 5l per 100k.
What stood out the most was how well the traffic moved. We only passed about 15 cars & that was mainly because they were not on cruise control & they fluctuated their speeds. 2 cars North of Ingham were the only ones that were travelling well below the speed limit. It's an NQ thing that. I think it has something to do with sugar cane.
Had about 20 or 30 cars pass us, but no maniacs amongst them.
Only had about half a dozen of those dills that catch up & sit behind you until you encourage them to pass & they scream off into the distance to sit behind the next bloke.
This is going to cop some flack, but I was impressed with how much the road has improved over the 5 years since I last drove it.
The worst part of the drive for us was from Townsville to Cairns, especially Innisfail to Cairns.
Must have passed 2000 caravans heading South.
Felt sorry for 1 Australia Post truck driver stuck behind a that did 75 around corners & up hills & 110 on the straights.
I could not be a truck driver.
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Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 05:56

Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 05:56
Hi Fatso

I was only speaking with a fellow NSW traveller yesterday about the state of the Bruce Highway.

As far as I am concerned it is mostly better than the unseparated parts of the Pacific Highway in NSW. We have not seen too many idiot drivers except several on the Bloomfield Track.

In fact many of the roads, sealed and unsealed, in Qld are in better condition than many NSW roads.

I think some of the Qld criticism is from parochial Qlders living around Cairns. It is similar in NSW that the past government has treated NSW as Newcastle, Sydney Wollongong! While the Qld Government treat Qld as Brisbane, SE Qld and the Sunshine coast.

Happy travels.
AnswerID: 462369

Reply By: Member - Bill B1 (NSW) - Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 09:35

Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 09:35
The Bruce Highway is a goat track!
I am travelling down from Townsville to Brisbane and the surface while covered in tar, is lumpy and sunken so the truck and van wander and bump all over the place. There is a lot roadworks going on so the traffic flow slows downs and builds up 'freight trains'. A good thing for the future, I guess.
The speeds that people travel are of course around 90 tops and most van combinations are doing 85.
The 'freight trains' that accumulate are between 15 and 20 vehicles with 5 to 10 trucks in that line. This is because there are not enough overtaking lanes and a lot of those are not long enough - just 500 metres over a crest. There is a lot of traffic, yes, heaps of van combinations and trucks so the overtaking opportunities are even further curtailed.

Don't get me started on the roads away from the cost. Especially around Richmond and Hughenden. The new road topping they are putting down just covers up the limps and sunken bits.
I am not sure that NSW has much 'ribbon road' yet Qld seems to have it a policy. better I suppose than dirt but of the edges are not maintained then a van driver takes his life in his hands trying to get off safely and then back on without cutting tires.
From my latest experience, those 4WD with trailers need to realise that getting off the centre of the ribbon road is only the first part of the equation. You have to slow down as well. I had 2 stars in my windscreen at Mt Isa and 8 by the time i got to Rollingstone.

Oh boy, that feels better.

Bill B

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AnswerID: 462391

Follow Up By: snoopyone - Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:48

Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:48
Are you aware that a greater part of Queensland was under water earlier in the year and a lot of the roads have suffered because of this.

Perhaps they havent all been repaired to your satisfaction yet.

The edges of the roads in the west are about the same as well with sharp edges and drop offs in parts, so not only Queensland .
FollowupID: 736213

Follow Up By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 14:14

Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 14:14
I am sure Bill must have been on some other road as the Bruce Highway I travelled was nothing like his description. Roadworks are inevitable on all highways and byways!

The roads I have been on are very good. One just has to accept a slower speed with narrow roads and lots of traffic, which there is.

Years ago, I drove heavily laden grain semi trailers on a one lane bit of bitumen. A little bit of foresight as to where to drop wheels off the bitumen is all that is needed. Maybe I have memories of that that make me realise these roads are good.

If one drives to conditions there is no problem.

FollowupID: 736218

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff P (SA) - Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 15:48

Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 15:48
I drove Cairns to Brisbane a month ago and I made allowances for the state of the road due to flood/cyclone damage, my main issue was the almost total lack of overtaking lanes(and the few there are are far too short) and the endless convoy of caravans etc heading south at 75-85kph refusing to pull over occasionally to let the "train" pass. Not to mention one idiot who sped up at the few overtaking lanes to 100kph preventing anyone from passing him and then immediately slowing down again to 85 kph!

We were towing our off-road camper and had no trouble sitting on the limit of 100kph. If you can't travel at the appropriate speed have some consideration for those behind you, I certainly do. If I have a "train" behind me I will let them past, its called courtesy.
FollowupID: 736228

Follow Up By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 at 18:43

Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 at 18:43
Snoopyone, the roads were like that before the rain as we travelled Cairns to the South last year. Jeff, I agree entirely that the lack of overtaking lanes is the real problem. Yes, there have been idiots that speed up every overtaking lane, and I am not sure how many times I encountered that.

Hey, Duncan, are you already slowing down to you bike speed mate? Hehehe, that Mazda is supposed to run faster than that.
FollowupID: 736392

Follow Up By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 at 18:49

Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 at 18:49
Hey The Original JohnR!

No I have never dropped to 30 km/hr on the Bruce unless stopping in front of a coffee shop!

There could be many more passing lanes and the Mazda BT50 is raring to pass the slower ones.

We have encountered the speed up slow down clowns. I think they are every road.

FollowupID: 736393

Reply By: CSeaJay - Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 16:04

Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 16:04
I think the Bruce Highway can be a LOT better.
I know we had a cyclone and rain so there are potholes, that is not the point

* Point is, very few overtaking lanes, and when there are some it is so short that only one or two cars can overtake. One can sit behind a truck and caravan doing 80-90 for many km's before a passing opportunity arrives.
* Road surface bad BEFORE Yasi
* Camber and general construction unsafe for travel at 100km/hr on some sections
* Road not constructed to handle even small rain events in places.
* Road between Townsville and Cairns cut regularly - imagine what that does to family/holiday/business travel, people having to get to doctor/specialists, catch planes, delivery of everyday goods and services

It is a shame. Fatso you just had a lucky run
AnswerID: 462425

Follow Up By: Member - Bill B1 (NSW) - Saturday, Aug 13, 2011 at 09:12

Saturday, Aug 13, 2011 at 09:12
Hi CSeaJay,


Bill B

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FollowupID: 736282

Follow Up By: Fatso - Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 at 20:19

Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 at 20:19
Have to agree with you there CJ, we did have a lucky run.
Never got in any of those trains, though we did see plenty of them heading South & usually with a caravan at the front.
Personally I hate the Bruce Highway myself & we try & avoid it usually.
FollowupID: 736404

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