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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, Northern Suburbs
    Posts
    334

    Planning a trip to FNQ and the cape mid 2018

    I am planning a trip for 4-5 months through Queensland and the cape starting around the middle of next year.

    I haven't done any real planning yet with regard to routes and places to stay other then I have the vague plan that my wife and young family will fly to Cairns, and I will drive from Perth to Cairns so the little ones don't do the heavy week of driving cross country. And the other plan is to budget for a caravan park cabin once a week or so to get out of the van.

    Currently doing the vehicle prep at the moment so the costs and effort can be distributed over a year or 2. The vehicle is a 150 prado and the camper is a Jayco Dove outback.

    anyway, thought that I would start a done and to do list for the trip, starting with the vehicle and van prep. This is as good a place as any to keep the list as I can access it from anywhere and slowly progress my way through the list. Any comments, suggestions or opinions are welcome.

    Done list:
    Bullbar
    Winch
    Driving lights
    Recovery points
    Additional fuel filter
    Dual batteries
    Under bonnet compressor
    Canvas seat covers
    Awning
    Fishing rod holder
    Suspension upgrade
    UHF
    underbody guards


    To do list:
    New tyres for camper (ordered)
    New tyres for wagon – to be done Q1 2018 (or as a special if opportunity arises)
    Get camper serviced including springs and brakes (jayco dove outback 2005)
    Rear drawers
    Rear storage and fridge slide
    Breathers
    Snorkel?
    Relocate battery in Van to increase storage space
    Relocate water pipes to increase storage
    Water filter and electric pump
    Seal up dust paths
    Tidy up bed end awnings
    Move spare wheel to make storage space on rear bumper
    Move gas bottle and remove jerry can holder to make storage space on draw bar (wanna be able to fit babyQ here)?
    Extra LPG port for baby Q
    Solar for camper?
    Solar for wagon?
    Roof storage for camper (has 2 roof bars)
    Roof storage for wagon (currently has 2 roof bars that clamp to side rails).
    Battery monitor for wagon
    Battery monitor for Van

    Traveling spares list
    Toyota fuel filter
    Racor fuel filter
    Toyota air filter
    Miscellaneous 10mm and 12mm nuts and bolts
    Electric and tie wire




    Looking at the Route accrosss. Main criteria is to get to Cairns ASAP to meet up with the family.

    comparing between hema and google maps

    Day 1
    Perth to Leonora
    856km
    9h18min according to google maps

    Day 2
    Leonora to Warburton
    669km Dirt
    21hr 27min according to google (WTF)

    Day 3
    Warburton to Mt Ebenezer
    743km dirt
    21hr 46min according to google (WTF)

    Day 4
    Mt Ebenezer to Alice Springs
    275km Dirt/Bitumen


    havnt worked out the Alice to Cairns bit yet.
    Last edited by Wil; 05-04-2017 at 02:45 PM. Reason: adding prelmin route info

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Perth, Northern Suburbs
    Posts
    334
    Does anyone have any comments/experience regarding the plenty hwy between alice springs and mount isa?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    melbourne, vic
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by Wil View Post
    I am planning a trip for 4-5 months through Queensland and the cape starting around the middle of next year.


    Looking at the Route accrosss. Main criteria is to get to Cairns ASAP to meet up with the family.

    comparing between hema and google maps

    Day 1
    Perth to Leonora
    856km
    9h18min according to google maps

    Day 2
    Leonora to Warburton
    669km Dirt
    21hr 27min according to google (WTF)

    Day 3
    Warburton to Mt Ebenezer
    743km dirt
    21hr 46min according to google (WTF)

    Day 4
    Mt Ebenezer to Alice Springs
    275km Dirt/Bitumen


    havnt worked out the Alice to Cairns bit yet.
    Wow! That's ambitious.

    A quick look at Google Maps shows it is about 400km longer but 25 hours quicker to stay on the blacktop and go via Port Augusta and Broken Hill.

    It will be a lot easier on both vehicle and driver.

    I haven't driven it myself but that seems to be the best way if "you want to get to Cairns ASAP to meet up with the family".

    S.
    155 SX with dual battery and Polyairs in the rear springs..

  4. #4
    Advanced Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sydney, NSW
    Posts
    816
    As Above. The time on the Great Central Rd reflects the fact that it is dirt, is badly corrugated in places, especially east of the NT border. It is doable with a Jayco BUT you will have to take your time or the camper WILL shake to pieces. The Plenty across to the tar at Boulia is similar ie good bits and corrugated bits.If you push too hard with the camper to do big distances you will break stuff. Speaking of which, you will absolutely need some form of protection for you rear window. Dirt + towing equals stones bouncing forward from trailer into rear window."Australia's Greatest Shortcut" is a great trip and quite doable with your set up but it has to be respected.You are talking up to 2000km of real outback dirt roads. Count on about 80 kph with tyres at 28 psi and trouble will be minimised. Tow the Jayco at 100kph on those roads even tho they look ok is asking for trouble. eg, day 3 only go to Uluru and save 200 km then the next day do it easier on all tar 400 ish to Alice.There is about 100 km of tar from Alice and onto the Plenty and a few new bits of Tar on the QLD side. Once you hit you are on tar to the coast.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, VIC
    Posts
    62
    Have to agree with a couple of the above opinions. Have driven from Melbourne to Broome 3 times in the last 10 years for camping holidays (the family flew!) The only time I had any trouble was when I decided to try our a few different tracks on the way. Stress of issues with vehicle or camper on the way to your #1 destination can ruin the whole trip for family members. Your family may be better at it, mine definitely is not!

    I would stay on the black top to maximise the chances of getting to Cairns safely, and then do all the additional offroad stuff on the way home. You may find you want to spend more time on the Cape than initially planned and then can cover off the some of the places closer to home on a different trip.

    I'm planning a trip to the Cape in a couple of years, so look forward to reading about your travels and places you visit along the way.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    2004 GXL 1KZ - ARB Deluxe Winch Bar - Safari Snorkel - Dobinsons/Ironman suspension - BFG AT 265/65/17 LT

  6. #6
    Senior Member Smithy - 120 D4D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Port Macquarie NSW
    Posts
    455
    My experience with Google maps and estimated travel times on gravel roads, is that the times are meaningless.

    You should be able to do the GCR at 80kmh on the WA side, if not faster while towing. The NT side isn't maintained as well and will likely be slower, but covers less distance.

    We travelled it 3 years ago, leaving from Kalgoorlie to Yulara with a single overnight stop at Tjukayirla Roadhouse, so you should be fine with your plan for that section. If you haven't got some sort of stone protection for your van, I would recommend seriously looking at the Stone Stomper.

    Most A grade outback gravel roads should be fine to travel at least 80kmh, but conditions will vary depending on timing of grading, rains, etc.
    2009 White KDJ120R Manual fitted out for family camping and touring - See my Rig Build at http://www.pradopoint.com/showthread...hy-s-Rig-Build

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