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  • Boulia to Alice Springs

    Hi All,

    I'm planning a trip from Brisbane to Alice Springs in June/July. I was thinking about traveling via the Plenty Hwy between Boulia and Alice Springs. However, there will be only me and my 13yo son in the trusty Pajero. I've never traveled in this area before and I'm a little concerned about doing it alone.

    Have any others done this trip? Is it relatively easy? What prep is needed (extra fuel, 2nd spare, lots of water, food, etc)? Am I better off going up to Mt Isa and across to Tennant Creek?

    Cheers,
    Rob

  • #2
    This is just another dirt road. Can be a bit corrugated, bit of bulldust. Depends when the grader has been through. The stretch from Boulia to the border (DOnahue) is a bit ordinary but nothing to worry about. Your DID should have enough range without carrying any jerries. Fuel is available at Jervios station if needed, or carry on to the Gem Tree.

    Go for it. It's a much nicer drive than the boring highway.
    Cheers, John.
    LC200 V8 goodness

    MY12 LC200 GXL 4.5Lt V8 twin turbo, GVM upgrade, ARB bar, Warn winch, Outback Acc rear bar and dual carrier, TJM sidesteps, Bushskinz, Long Ranger 180Lt tank, Black Widow drawers, cargo barrier, Polaris Awning, +++
    Ex - NM auto, 2"Kings, Bilsteins, Buckshots, Wildcat headers, 2.75" Mandrel bent exhaust, Injected LPG, Smartbar, Scraper bar, Bushskinz, Custom steps, Dual Batteries, Breathers, Black Widow drawers, Polaris Awning.

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    • #3
      Rob,

      Does not look too bad. I have a mate and our 15yo sons heading the same way in June July for a trip back across the Simpson.

      When were you leaving Brisbane?
      Pajero Exceed 3.8l, BFG AT 275/70, Narva Ultima 175 spots, o2 Jamin with BT GPS, O'Briens camping trailer, 2" Lift with Bilsten Shocks.

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      • #4
        Was thinking of leaving Brisbane around 21 June. My son has 3 weeks school holidays and he wants to see Uluru and Kings Canyon. Still have a fair bit of planning to do, but was thinking of doing a big loop. Brisbane - Roma - Longreach - Boulia - Alice - Uluru/Kings - Cooper Pedy - Port Augusta - Broken Hill - Cobar - Narrabri - Brisbane.

        The Simpsom sounds good, but I'm not confident enough to do that by myself. This will also be the first big trip for the Pajero, so don't want to get in too far over my head.

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        • #5
          Cameltain,

          You are a week ahead of us. We are leaving on the 27th June and follwing the same path except heading back across the Simpson from Mt Dare to Birdsville.

          Have a good trip!

          Duane
          Pajero Exceed 3.8l, BFG AT 275/70, Narva Ultima 175 spots, o2 Jamin with BT GPS, O'Briens camping trailer, 2" Lift with Bilsten Shocks.

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          • #6
            20 ks out of Boulia you get on to the dirt of the Donahue Hwy (goat track). its main problem is not so much the road surface but some of the corners, washouts and sudden holes in the road. Once you cross the border at Tobermory the road become the Plenty Hwy and with the work that the NT Govt (or local shire) has done on it in the last decade it's quite a good road in the dry.

            The only real problem is fuel. Once you leave Boulia your next fuel stop is Jervois, Artitjere or Gem Tree Resort. The latter is your best refill spot but bit is over 700 kms away so I'd carry a jerry just in case

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            • #7
              Hi Wal, thanks for the tips. I will defintely be carrying some extra fuel.

              Hey Coolman, thanks. You have a good trip as well. I'm looking forward to it.

              Cheers,
              Rob

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              • #8
                I did the road in 2004- bit long ago, but had a pregnant wife on board and 18 month old son.

                Preparation was a tyre repair kit and a compressor and upgraded tyres, did carry 40 lt water and 20 lts fuel, but that was just for the trip and nothing special for that road in particular - proceeded to the rock and kings canyon and Ruby Gap- anywhere off the beaten track hence the water and diesel.

                We stopped at Bulia Motel for the night and then Gem Trees, long drive to try and make it to Alice in a Day! It is a bit boring, but it is just another dirt road and there was surprising numbers of vehicles travelling along the road.

                Take it easy- watch out for the road trains (stop and let them pass) Oh a UHF would be handy if you catch up to one.
                ML triton with some accessories
                National E Trek Libary
                Getting Out There

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                • #9
                  Duane,

                  Sounds like a great trip, what are you planning in 2010 as I am sure I will have some leave by then :-)

                  Josh
                  NS Tall and Short (Trakryder/Bilstein 2" lift with Polyairs) DiD "R", Gunmetal on BFG 270/60/17 AT's, TJM Bullbar, 9500lb Ox Winch, Icom 450, AirTech Snorkel, Cargo Barrier, Dual Battery System to power a CF 40, ScanguageII, LRA Auxillary Tank
                  Custom Intercooler/Sump/Transmission Bash Plates and Sliders by http://www.bushskinz4x4.com.au/

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                  • #10
                    hi all i worked in boulia for 5yrs on stations any of them would be willing to help you out if you got stuck just call into the cop shop and let them no what you are doing as i had to retrieve some people that wernt set up properly for the trip its a good run watch out for live stock regards peter
                    used to be nl 1999 auto,3.5lt petrol.
                    now 1994 80 series cruiser diesel wagon
                    bull bar side steps, mags,dual batt system,2 waecos 35lt,40lt h/reese towbar,103amp agm batt, 500w inverter. narva spotties, uniden uh7700nb uhf 40 ch narrow band, 2.5kva inverter generator
                    SKYPE NAME possum.58

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jfeek View Post
                      Duane,

                      Sounds like a great trip, what are you planning in 2010 as I am sure I will have some leave by then :-)

                      Josh
                      I am sure there will be something but nothing firm yet. We still need to catch up one day for coffee.
                      Pajero Exceed 3.8l, BFG AT 275/70, Narva Ultima 175 spots, o2 Jamin with BT GPS, O'Briens camping trailer, 2" Lift with Bilsten Shocks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cameltrain View Post
                        Hi All,

                        I'm planning a trip from Brisbane to Alice Springs in June/July. I was thinking about traveling via the Plenty Hwy between Boulia and Alice Springs. However, there will be only me and my 13yo son in the trusty Pajero. I've never traveled in this area before and I'm a little concerned about doing it alone.

                        Have any others done this trip? Is it relatively easy? What prep is needed (extra fuel, 2nd spare, lots of water, food, etc)? Am I better off going up to Mt Isa and across to Tennant Creek?

                        Cheers,
                        Rob
                        Rob, you didn't say whether you were towing or tenting. This would change recomendations
                        I've intended to go across the Plenty twice now and circumstances caused us to change plans at the last moment. In 2005, (which was a good wet season) the road changed from bulldust to mud in 2 days with 2 inches of rain. Once the road was opened the road trains cut it up badly. We were at Atitjere (Harts Range) fossicking and when we came back onto the Plenty there were ruts anything up to 8-10 inches deep. We couldn't face 500Km of that, towing caravans so we headed back to the tartop on the Stuart.

                        You probably need to keep an eye on the weather conditions over the next month as there could still be rain. I suspect the inland will be pretty green this year - certainly is around Longreach/Winton. Anyway if you have to go via Mt Isa/Tennant Creek all is not lost. There is a fantastic camping spot on the Georgina river at Camoweel where the droving herds used to stay. You can basically camp on the rive'rs edge and watch the birds at sunset. Also south of Tennant Creek you can check out the Devil's Marbles. They're only big rocks but the way they're stacked by Mother Nature is wonderful and will whet your appetite for the "big rock".

                        Have a good trip.
                        Ray.
                        2006 NP DiD auto -ARB bar, Warn winch, SCA driving lights, HD King coils.

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                        • #13
                          For the time being we have no rain forecast up around the Isa, Boulia etc.

                          We had our fair share already, 360mm in 2 days, both Lake Moondarra and Lake Julius are 100% thereabouts.

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                          • #14
                            Hi All,

                            Thanks for all the info. I'm constantly amazed how much info is available and how willing people are to share.

                            Definitely will be tenting. I'm having enough trouble explaining the cost of all this to the wife without buying a camper. At the moment she is trying to match her spending dollar for dollar against mine. Everything is suddenly twice as expensive... :-(

                            Thanks again.

                            Outbackswine, love your "location"....

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                            • #15
                              Cameltrain,

                              I know the feeling. My wife and daughter started with a plan to go head to a beauty parlour for a day while we are on the boys trip. They have now for plans for an extended weekend in Sydney. Geez not cheap anymore...

                              :-) still I would prefer to be in my Swag in central Aus!.
                              Pajero Exceed 3.8l, BFG AT 275/70, Narva Ultima 175 spots, o2 Jamin with BT GPS, O'Briens camping trailer, 2" Lift with Bilsten Shocks.

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