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The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

Old Mar 12th 2007, 3:08 pm
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Default The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

Can anyone help me out with some info on traveling on the A1 north from Brisbane to cairns , i will be traveling with my pregnant wife and 3 year old daughter
Do i need to take any specialist precautions traveling on this road or is it well populated so we can find every thing you need on route ?
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

Originally Posted by Hotashell View Post
Can anyone help me out with some info on traveling on the A1 north from Brisbane to cairns , i will be traveling with my pregnant wife and 3 year old daughter
Do i need to take any specialist precautions traveling on this road or is it well populated so we can find every thing you need on route ?
It was a while ago I did this but there are large expanses with just bush and the odd service garage. I did this in 2001 and 1998 and to be honest not much had changed in that period. just to be safe I would take essentials with you. you wil probably have to plan your journey a bit more than I did as I was single traveller at the time.
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

Thx for that but how do you mean essentials ? how far should i take it 20 gallons of water and a satalite phone lol ?
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

Originally Posted by Hotashell View Post
Can anyone help me out with some info on traveling on the A1 north from Brisbane to cairns , i will be traveling with my pregnant wife and 3 year old daughter
Do i need to take any specialist precautions traveling on this road or is it well populated so we can find every thing you need on route ?
Plenty of water, sat phone, food, first aid kit, depends on the time of year. A lot of the road betwen Townsville and Cairns is underwater for part of the wet season, and even south of Townsville at can be patchy. Mobile coverage may well be intermittent, not good with a pregnant wife. If we (emergency Services) send guys up during the wet season they take sat phones or at least CDMA as well as ordinary ones.

If you're travelling in winter you'll find it easier, but there are still long remote stretches. Make sure you have RACQ coverage, and take food and water whatever time of year it is.

And expect to find it called the Bruce Highway, not the A1!
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

Originally Posted by Hotashell View Post
Thx for that but how do you mean essentials ? how far should i take it 20 gallons of water and a satalite phone lol ?
mobile is always a good idea to have, what ever you think will be difficult to get for your family, sorry but I am not a parent so don't understand the things you would need but if you rely heavily on anything I would take a few to be safe. Most of the service garages were limited with stuff say nappys for example may be difficult to get but to be honest I wouldn't have looked for them so i wouldn't really know. I just remember a lot of bush when I did cairns to brisbane in a bus took a few days and felt like a lifetime and as polyana said above there were large expanses under water (due to heavy rain and a small car washed off the road i remember)up to about a foot in places when I did it but I was in a bus and it didn't really bother the driver to much

Last edited by ballsrburning; Mar 12th 2007 at 3:40 pm.
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

ok thx for that guys it mybe tougher than i first imagined it would be ,
we will be doing the trip in about 3 weeks time any ideas on what conditions i could encounter that time of year ?
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

WE drove that way 2 years ago and loved it, we took a week to drive up there and stopped off along the way, we even went on the barrier reef snorkling which was wonderful, there are plenty of places and shops to stop by on the way, enjoy yourselves its a lovely drive, a bit lonely at time's as some roads you wont see another car for awhile.
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

Hi Mate,

We did it last summer, and to be honest found the whole route pretty well populated. There are expanses of quiet road, but there is always other traffic.

Don't mean to contradict anyone else, but i don't see any need for any specialist kit whatsoever. We did it in a basic saloon car, never felt at any stage on the route (even if we had broken down,) like getting help would be an issue. The highway is all tarmac, and in very good condition (much better than most of the roads i have seen in the UK!) There are loads of motels all the way up the highway, so accomidation should not be a problem, with a little planning. There are plenty of gas stations too, with the obligatory station cafe serving greasy (but tasty,) food.

We did it in June, so the road may well not be subjected to flooding at that time of year, however like someone else said maybe it is different in the wet.

Cheers.
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

P.S : Like someone else mentioned, we did find the cell phone signal coverage not particuarly reliable.
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

Thx baz

that puts my mind at ease , as some of the other replys had me thinking it was gonna be a 1200 mile dirt track with a few swamps in the middle , but il take on board every ones advise and do a bit of planning ect
are the motels on the way expensive , i hope 2 take my time and enjoy the experience

thx again everyone
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

Forgot to mention you wil drive past thousand's of sugar cane fields.
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

ehhh whats that mean
am i in 4 some cane toad poping?
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

We drove from Cairns to Sydney in the summer, and covered the entire route in 10 days with 2 nights at Byron Bay and 2 at Noosa. The road was easy to drive, at the speed limit most of the time. Most other traffic was other camper vans, particularly the 'Wicked' vans painted with amazing graphics.
Lots of sugar cane, and no mobile coverage to speak of. Managed to listen to local radio for most of the journey. Paul
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 10:29 pm
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Exclamation Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

hi there,
we did this in nov 05 and it was awsome. Just be aware that as the sun goes down the kangeroos become active, we didnt know this and very nearly hit a couple at 110 km, bloody massive things. take care.
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Old Mar 12th 2007, 10:34 pm
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Default Re: The Long Drive from Brisbane to cairns

Originally Posted by Baz View Post
Hi Mate,

We did it last summer, and to be honest found the whole route pretty well populated. There are expanses of quiet road, but there is always other traffic.

Don't mean to contradict anyone else, but i don't see any need for any specialist kit whatsoever. We did it in a basic saloon car, never felt at any stage on the route (even if we had broken down,) like getting help would be an issue. The highway is all tarmac, and in very good condition (much better than most of the roads i have seen in the UK!) There are loads of motels all the way up the highway, so accomidation should not be a problem, with a little planning. There are plenty of gas stations too, with the obligatory station cafe serving greasy (but tasty,) food.

We did it in June, so the road may well not be subjected to flooding at that time of year, however like someone else said maybe it is different in the wet.

Cheers.
As already stated it depends on the time of year - they have had a lot of rain around Tully in the last few weeks for instance, parts of the road have been under serious amounts of water. Travelling in June is a completely different story.
The RACQ website is usually pretty good for road condition reports, or even ring the RACQ themselves.
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