Best route Melbourne to Tweed Heads

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 13:23
ThreadID: 96504 Views:4498 Replies:4 FollowUps:9
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Question for those who know these roads.

We are heading up the Newel with 3 grandkids and want the best route for my Hzzzzzzzzz (powered??) Landcruiser.

Should I turn right at Coonabarabran and then right off the New England at Armidale, Glen Innes or Tenterfield (If so, which one) and accross the mountains, OR ---- should I go through Narrabri,Bingara and Delungra and then .........??????.

Thanks in advance for the expected sage words of wisdom from those who know.

Peter
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Reply By: Member - blackbird1937 - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 14:01

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 14:01
Hello, It depends on the age of the kids also if they will look at the scenery and how quick you want to get there . I have not been on Narrabri Bingara rd but my map shows gravel so if you are towing a van it might get gravel rashed. Moree across is ok too. Went Tenterfield Lismore with van on, it was much easier than Grafton Glen Innes on the way back . Also did Bendemeer Port Macquarie with van on , all scenic routes but i think fastest is Tenterfield , the sadlers and town are interesting too. Hope you have a great trip . The New England Hwy from Tamworth to Warwick was the old interstate truck route until the road through Moree was ashpalted .
AnswerID: 489460

Follow Up By: Horacehighroller - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 15:19

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 15:19
Thanks Blackbird,
We have been on some of these roads in the past (but long time ago).
Only the vehicle going this time - no trailer, but with the 3 grandsons (and all the stuff some women think they might need (kitchen sink??)) we will be fully loaded.

The kids are 7, 10 and 10, and only the latter is a good traveller (interested in things OUTSIDE the car) having travelled happily in the past.
I intend (up to a point) to "forcibly" educate the other two in "matters rural."

Thanks for your input. By the time I get that far I'll now how desperate I am for "fastest" verses "scenic".

Peter
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Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 14:06

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 14:06
Peter

I have travelled from between Coonabarabran and Gunnedah (Mullaley) to Lennox Head so many times.

The best way is to turn off the Newell and travel the Oxley Highway to Bendemeer and continue on along the New England to Tenterfield then down the Bruxner to at least Casino. There is an option to either to go towards Ballina and follow the Pacific Highway or go to Kyogle and take the road to Murwillumbah.

Hope that helps.

DW
AnswerID: 489461

Follow Up By: Horacehighroller - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 15:34

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 15:34
Thanks DW,
Would Kyogle be your preference (I've been told it can be very slow along the coast) or is that road slow too? (I assume it's bitumen).

Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 15:45

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 15:45
Peter

Both roads will take time as you would have to proceed through the edge of Lismore and the other areas to the Pacific Highway near Ballina plus some speed restrictions between Ballina and the Byron Bay interchange.

The last time I cycled the Kyogle /Murwillumbah Road it was sealed although there were bits that had deteriorated due to weather conditions. It is bendy but nonetheless very scenic and quiet.

I would guess that the time would be similar.

Cheers
DW
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 17:20

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 17:20
Peter and DW

I have lived here in Tamworth for over 25 years and get to Lennox / Lismore a few times each year which is where my wife is from (ca 80km south of Tweed heads)
Respect your opinion DW on going through Tenterfield, but going through Armidale to Grafton is about 40km shorter and a lot more interesting drive, though you have to put up with the Pacific from Grafton.
Going from Glen Innes to Grafton is definitely the longest and slowest way, (a young Grafton bloke whose fiancée was in Armidale taught me that one

Peter
Should you choose to go up the New England, take the Golden Highway (Newcastle rd) from Dubbo through Dunedoo and Coolah, then via Premer, Spring Ridge, Werris Ck to Tamworth, it's about half an hour shorter and flater.
Should you choose to go all the way to Coona, the road from Narrabri to Bingara is all bitumen now, there are a few tight corners going through the Nandewars.

I would vote for Dubbo to Tamworth (via Coolah) to Armidale to Grafton (via Ebor) to Tweed.
If you were going to the northern end of the Gold Coast I would say Newell all the way to Goondi, then Warwick then through Beaudesert to Gold Coast.


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Follow Up By: graham B9 - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 21:14

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 21:14
Travelled all these road many times and I vote with Mark on this one. Not only the time being a factor but they are better for kangeroos as well.
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Follow Up By: Horacehighroller - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 00:09

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 00:09
Thanks to you both Graham & Mark.

I think I will probably do as you suggested Mark.

If it's only me I love to explore a route I haven't travelled before, so providing the kids (or swambo) aren't causing problems I'll do that.

Thanks again Mark for your extensive input.

Peter
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Reply By: aka - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 14:38

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 14:38
We towed our van Narrabri - Bingara- Glen Innes-Grafton a better road than Tenterfield as you get over the mountains quicker only a few k,s further
AnswerID: 489464

Follow Up By: Horacehighroller - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 15:38

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 15:38
Thanks for that aka.

You can't beat local knowledge/experience.
Do you know what travelling is like north of Grafton?

Thanks again.

Peter
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Follow Up By: aka - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 09:57

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 09:57
It is o.k bit of road works not much to slow you down
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Reply By: Member - Duncs - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 17:17

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 17:17
I have travelled from Broken Hill to Ballina many times and used all of the main routes.

You can go from Coonabarabran to Armidale then down to Grafton; Coonabarabran to Narrabri then Bingara, Delungra, Tenterfield then Casino; or you can go Narrabri, Moree, Tenterfield, Casino.

There is not much in it under normal road conditions. The first time I did the trip we went Armidale, Grafton. The run from Armidale to Grafton is very pretty, I really enjoyed it. The next trip we went via Moree mostly because floods kept forcing us north. We were fortunate to get through with the Gwydir Highway literally opening as we got to the road block.

You will encounter more traffic on the New England between Tamworth and Armidale especially in holliday times and it can slow you down. That said if I was to go north of Armidale I would stay on the New England until Tenterfield. I think it is a better run and keeps you heading north longer. Also if you want to go to Tweed without going to Ballina that is your best option.

My favourite route though is up through Bingara. I did some walking in Mt Kaputar National Park many years ago and I still long to spend more time there. If you go this way you must stop at Sawn Rocks. You can go and look at the rock feature but sitting watching eagles fly is not a bad way to spend the lunch break. I am pretty sure the road is all sealled now but there may still be a little bit of dirt. You can still make good time across this route because there is virtually no traffic.

We went this way when we were in a hurry. On one occasion we had to get from the Hill to Ballina in one day and this is the way we went. I was towing a Trak Shak camper trailer behind a GU 4.2TD Patrol. With two drivers we did 1550km in one (long) day.

A friend who regularly went to Tweed travelled via Goondiwindi and Toowoomba. He claimed the better road made for a quicler travelling time. He also had small children with him. Si that too is worth cosidering.

Personally I would go Narrabri, Bingara, Delungra, Glen Innes, Tenterfield, Casino ...

As I said at the start, I don't think it makes much difference. Go one way and come home another. It's all worth looking at.

Good luck
Duncs
AnswerID: 489471

Follow Up By: Horacehighroller - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 00:16

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 00:16
Thanks Duncs.

I couldn't agree more that "it's all worth looking at"

Also agree with your friend about using Beaudesert to get to the Gold Coast.
We used to do that 20-30 years ago when our own kids were young.

We're actually headed slightly south of Tweed so needed to use a route further south and I think what Mark has proposed above is sounding pretty good - some new sights and another road travelled.

Peter
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