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Old 19-07-2019, 11:16 AM   #1
cheap
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Default Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

Just wanted to drop a quick note on driving from Sydney to Brisbane without using highways. I'd been planning this for some time and it isn't as easy as it sounds, the exception I gave myself is that we're allowed to cross a highway just not drive upon them. It can be done and is extremely rewarding for those of us that like driving. Mrs and myself drove a new MX5 RF and it is a brilliant piece of kit, roof open for much of the way. Heated seats and heated air kept us comfortable. Travelling light is name of the game, just pack what you need.

I know this won't go down well, but we did cheat! We used a combination of Freeways/Tunnels/Motorways to make our way out of Sydney. Being an ex Sydney resident I could have used back roads to get onto Windsor Rd but it would have added a couple of hours.

Day 1:
Thursday morning 07:30 Alexandria to Windsor. Sydney Peak Hour, I'm genuinely surprised as we make good progress towards South Dowling St.

Harbour Tunnel, Warringah Freeway, Lane Cove Tunnel, M2 Motorway and exit onto Old Windsor Road. I have no idea how much the trip cost in toll charges, but it was worth it!

Old Windsor Road: I remember the road being a single lane each way, but hasn't it changed. The train line running adjacent looks awesome too.

Arrive at Windsor: Stop for breakfast. Refill water bottles.

Putty Rd: I haven't travelled on this road for many years, it is a great road. No rush as there is next to no traffic an easy 80-90km/hr. Great views as we cross the Great Dividing Range.

Stop at Grey Gum Cafe for an ice cream, refill water bottles and we're on our way again.

Singleton: Stop at a local bakery for lunch (we're determined to not use McDonalds).

Single to Dungog via Glendonbrook Rd and Bringleburra Rd. Did God have a hand in making these roads and the scenery. Absolutely brilliant, once again so little traffic it is a dream run with time to relax and take in the views.

Dungog, what a nice town! Local bakery for coffee and scones, stroll through the main street, quick stop at IGA for essential driving supplies (Tim Tams, Chicken Chips and other goodies).

Dungog to Gloucester. Absolutely blown away by the road and scenery. The Buckets Way has the odd rut and potholes but it is all part of the journey.

Overnight in Gloucester. It is steak night at the local pub, life is good!

Day 2:
Friday morning. Breakfast at the local Gloucester cafe, and refuel the car too.

Thunderbolts Way! We've driven the previous day on awesome roads and along comes Thunderbolt! This would have to be one of the best roads I've driven, IMO much better that Great Ocean Road, on par with Oxley Highway and Alpine Way too. From the roller coasters, sweeping bends, hairpins and then the very long climb up to the top of the range. This road has it all.

Lunch at Walcha, again a nice town. Then back onto Thunderbolts Way.

Heading towards Uralla and turn right to Gostwyck and Armidale, one of my tenants is to not use a highway thus avoiding New England Highway.

Armidale is huge, what more can I say.

Waterfall Way - We've travelled this road a few times and on this trip didn't top at the various waterfalls but for those who haven't done this drive it is highly recommend - glorious.

Dorrigo, a great town on top of the range, the views from Dorrigo National Park and Griffiths lookout are superb.

Waterfall Way into Bellingen - if you enjoy steep downhill runs and the smell of burning brakes then this road is for you!

Bellingen, our luck runs out. The yearly Bellingen music festival is on and no accomodation available. Dinner at the local pub. Decide that rules are mean to be broken and use the Pacific Highway to drive to Coffs Harbour. Note there are back roads via Urunga and Sawtell into Coffs Harbour but we didn't use these as it was getting late.

Overnight in Coffs Harbour.

Day 3:
Saturday Morning: Coffs Harbour to Grafton via Coramba Rd.

Lunch at Grafton. Refuel at Grafton.

Heading out of Grafton using Summerland Way we almost get to Lismore but Bruxner Highway impedes progress. We turn away towards Tatham, Coraki and into East Lismore. Using the suburban streets of Lismore we cross Bruxner Highway and then head north towards Nimbin.

Nimbin to Murwillumbah, at this point we are both questioning our sanity, you can only take in so much Aussie bushland at a time and we still have miles to go.

Murwillumbah, Natural Bridge, Advancetown and then back inland towards Canungra. Late afternoon tea at Canungra.

Canungra to Tamborine Mountain. Down to Waterford. Kingston Road, Logan Rd through to Stones Corner.

Stones Corner, Story Bridge and into Brisbane CBD.

So, there you have it Sydney to Brisbane without using a highway!

Next Sydney to Melbourne without using a highway - but this is not going to be easy.

Last edited by cheap; 19-07-2019 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 19-07-2019, 11:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

Piece of cake, your next challenge.

Great write up, many thanks.
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Old 19-07-2019, 11:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

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Next Sydney to Melbourne without using a highway - but this is not going to be easy.
I found this is easier.
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Old 19-07-2019, 12:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

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I found this is easier.
Iíve used Google and heading south from Sydney every variation seems to eventually be roadblocked by either the Hume Hwy or Princess Hwy. Sydney west is locked by Western Hwy and Nepean river system. The southern problem is the rugged Great Dividing Range with its many rivers/creeks and very few bridges. I can get to Dapto without much problem but then get locked in. Then once in Victoria with the Murray and other rivers/creeks it isnít as easy as it seems, admittedly I donít know that area very well. If there is a way without highways I would like to know.
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Old 19-07-2019, 01:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

next challenge, Sydney to Brisbane via Perth & Darwin no highways.
did that about 20 years ago, 3 old series 2 LWB landrovers, took us 3 months but we were not in a hurry.
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Old 19-07-2019, 02:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

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Iíve used Google and heading south from Sydney every variation seems to eventually be roadblocked by either the Hume Hwy or Princess Hwy. Sydney west is locked by Western Hwy and Nepean river system. The southern problem is the rugged Great Dividing Range with its many rivers/creeks and very few bridges. I can get to Dapto without much problem but then get locked in. Then once in Victoria with the Murray and other rivers/creeks it isnít as easy as it seems, admittedly I donít know that area very well. If there is a way without highways I would like to know.
Travel Sydney to Wagga Waggavia Blue mountains though you will encounter the great western Highway.

Wagga to Shepparton,
Shep to Seymour.
seymour to melb
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Old 19-07-2019, 05:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

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Travel Sydney to Wagga Waggavia Blue mountains though you will encounter the great western Highway.
I suppose it depends on what you are calling a highway.
Old Bells Line of rd west and down through Oberon, Black Springs, Wombeyan caves, Taralga and back rds to Goulburn.
Or...
Old Hume over Razorback to pass Picton into Southern Highlands via Bundanoon, down through Bungonia to Goulburn, out through Parkesbourn (dirt road) to Gunning, over bridge to Dalton, Jerrawa (dirt) to Yass, cross hwy to Binalong, Bowning back road Coota, Coota back to Jugiong, cross Murrimbigee at Jugiong to Gundagai, Gundy to Adelong, Adelong to Batlow, Forrest camp Rd to Tumbarumba, back (was dirt rd) past Mannus until you arrive at the Murray River at Jinjellic (dropping off your fruit at the fruit fly bin) head for Albury turn off at MT Granya heading for Tallangatta, backs past Keiwa, Yack and Beechworth. From Beechworth there are numerous ways to go to Melbourne.
Victoria is basically a crisscross of spray seal and dirt rds outside the metro areas.
Excuse my name place spelling.

I've done most of this by bicycle.
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Old 19-07-2019, 06:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

I have followed your path in my previous planning but Bells Line of Road at Lithgow is where progress is stopped by Great Western Highway. There doesnít seem to be a way to get onto Magpie Hollow Rd without using ~2 kmís of GWH (FWIW have driven through this area a couple of times).

Same with Mt Victoria and down through Cox River Rd which is also impeded by GWH.

I donít see a non-highway way, not even overland using the Land Cruiser.
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Old 19-07-2019, 06:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

Great trip... well done!

\
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Singleton: Stop at a local bakery for lunch (we're determined to not use McDonalds).
We don't get down there very often but if we do we stop at Singleton and have a Chicken Kebab from the shop halfway along the main drag.

Actually, it's worth a trip on it's own. Forget the Sydney rellies...
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Old 20-07-2019, 09:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

There is another way minus the Old Hume,

taking back roads to Campbelltown Menangle rd to Douglas Park, past the Blue Circle Cement company there and onto Picton, take the road to Thirlmere follow old railway spur to Mittagong via Buxton. There is a back road behind Mittagong to Bowral (Old Sydney rd) (very hilly) onto Bundanoon (passing Quarry), Wingello and Tallong 300mtr along Superslab and go behind Marulan weigh station through the town, was a service rd to Bungonia rd exit.
As before Goulburn back streets to Parkbourne dirt rd to Cullerin range railway crossing, cross old Hume, follow Lerida rd nth past the Gunning windfarm, cross Hume Fwy to Lerida rd sth until turning right at Gunning Collector rd back into Gunning, as before follow Dalton Jerrawa rd (dirt) to Yass, same as before to Gundagai.
The last direction was via what I call the "Left side of the Hume" route,
This time take the "right side of the Hume" route, which is under the Fwy follow old Wagga rd through Wantabadgery, Nangus coming out over the Murrimbigee to the East Of Wagga township at Gumly Gumly, cross hwy to Forrest Hill and down through a lovely valley running between the Hume Hwy and Olympic Hwy. This takes past Mangopla, Cookardinia across to either Henty or Culcairn, there is a back rd via Walla Walla and Burrumbuttock bringing you out at Howlong where you cross the Murray into Victoria.
Follow straight ahead to Chiltern (where I'm currently working) back Chiltern - Springhurst rd to Springhurst. Past here will take you via Boohaman crossing the Ovens River at Peechelba. Peechelba-St james rd to St James admiring the Silo art towns there , Devenish and Goorambat. leaving Goorambat cross the Midlands Hwy at Nalinga (Nalinga Steel) at cross roads follow down through my favourite town name of Upotipotpon (great Olive Oil here) head south through Violet Town taking Riggs Creek rd, Miepoli behind Euroa following western side of main railway line to Seymour, Puckapunya rd to Lancefield.

Perhaps someone from Melbourne can fill in from here as there are a few ways in avoiding hwys.
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Old 20-07-2019, 02:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

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I suppose it depends on what you are calling a highway.
Old Bells Line of rd west and down through Oberon, Black Springs, Wombeyan caves, Taralga and back rds to Goulburn.

.
From Goulbourn to Braidwood to Cooma then either Via Cann river or Omeo into Mexico...
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Old 20-07-2019, 03:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

Obviously you've done this now so this is too late but if anyone else is interested...

My parents in law live west of dorrigo. I live west of brisbane. I used to travel to sydney regularly.

We adopted a new route years ago, the summerland way. It's not that much longer than the pathetic er I mean pacific highway. The big problem with the pacific apart from the revenue raising is the holiday traffic especially at christmas. The summerland has gradually got busier but there is virtually no traffic and no cops. I set the cruise to 100 but it's nice not to have to worry.

So from my place along ipswich motorway turn right toward springfield there is a connecting road that gets you to greenbank which in turn leads to Beaudesert Road/Mt Lindsay highway (ok technically a highway), through beaudesert and on to rathdowny, change your T shirt from maroon to blue and follow the signs to Kyogle, Casino then onto Grafton. Cross the Pacific and take the Armidale road to the back of waterfall way. We turn left but you would press on to Armidale, making sure to stop at Ebor falls especially if it's been raining. Spectacular, free and the stop has toilets.

We were coming back from tasmania last march and dropped in at dorrigo on the way home. Nothing we saw in tassy, save maybe great lake, compared to the absolute beauty of that area. You crest a hill and have the most spectacular vistas layed out in front of you, and you don't have to spend $1000 for 14 hours of torture on the ferry to see it.

Armidale road is twisty and there is very little on it, toilets at Nymboidia I can't remember if there is a servo. Make sure you have a full tank and lots of patience, but it is spectacular.
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Old 20-07-2019, 08:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

I'd have to disagree with you about Tas scenery, but definitely rate the roads you describe.

And RW - curse you, I am locked down in Sydney for most of the next two years and you post that sort of itchy-feet stuff!
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Old 21-07-2019, 09:34 AM   #14
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

CB, If it makes you feel better I'll be stuck in $ydney late September and all of October.
Would rather be in Coffs.
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Old 21-07-2019, 03:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

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I'd have to disagree with you about Tas scenery, but definitely rate the roads you describe.

And RW - curse you, I am locked down in Sydney for most of the next two years and you post that sort of itchy-feet stuff!
I wanted to love tasmania. We spent 3 weeks there and did basically the whole island. We were just really shocked at how ordinary it was. New Zealand is 100 times better, cheaper, better organised. The locals in tassy were really nice but 9/10 tourist operators were just trying to sting us for maximum $ for minimum effort. It was really disappointing.

I'm thinking our next adventure will be regional victoria. I hate melbourne but love the rest of that state. Fantastic place...
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Old 21-07-2019, 03:32 PM   #16
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I'm thinking our next adventure will be regional victoria. I hate melbourne but love the rest of that state. Fantastic place...
You'll love the country, 6 million people in Vic, 5 million live in Melbourne.
They are not out to rip you off here either.
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Old 21-07-2019, 06:45 PM   #17
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There is another way minus the Old Hume,

taking back roads to Campbelltown Menangle rd to Douglas Park, past the Blue Circle Cement company there and onto Picton...

.
Have Googled the directions and sorry to say but once at Picton the journey is stopped by Old Hume Hwy, can't see a way to continue without having to drive on the Old Hume Highway.

There is an alternative, that takes you further south...

Back roads to Cambelltown then Narellan Rd, Camden Valley Way, Burragorang Rd and Wilson Dr down to Cold Vale.
But even this route the journey eventually gets to Willow Vale and requires driving on the Old Hume Highway.


Sydney to Melbourne without highways is not as easy as it seems.
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Old 21-07-2019, 06:49 PM   #18
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

cheap what a fantastic post, this is exactly what these forums should be about! Great drives & inspiring cars. I'm going to go through it all in detail later on the maps...

Recently did NSW coast trip with youngest, decided we weren't going to go through Sydney, and made up the route as we went through (a very dry) inland NSW. It was a great road trip, little traffic, and the youngest got to experience distance driving. Highlight roads were between Bathurst and Singleton, and some around Cootamundra I think but we were overall trying to get to the surf in a timely fashion so highways were used. We discovered a deli at the latter place that did an entire cooked breakfast as a wrap, that surely is a National Treasure!

Guzzi regional Vic can be great - how regional do you want to do it? I surveyed almost every bit of telco infrastructure in the Western half, you have some great towns/valleys that are off the tourist trail. You can be in the little desert, or in beaut green sloping hills and towns. Or huge forests. Or even see Gabo Island, famous from all the weather reports by the BOM.

Next mission here is to get the littlest ones up to their first snow experience not going through Melbourne, so maybe a boat trip and some twisties on the way.
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Old 21-07-2019, 07:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

Thanks Sprintey. FWIW I drove from Brisbane through the Simpson Desert onto Uluru and back to Brisbane in June. With that trip and the Sydney/Brisbane trip I reckon I've driven near to 11,000km just in the past month and I couldn't agree more it is about the freedom and enjoyment that comes from driving!
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Old 21-07-2019, 07:06 PM   #20
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I wanted to love tasmania. We spent 3 weeks there and did basically the whole island. We were just really shocked at how ordinary it was. New Zealand is 100 times better, cheaper, better organised. The locals in tassy were really nice but 9/10 tourist operators were just trying to sting us for maximum $ for minimum effort. It was really disappointing.
Yes, some things are really dear. I suppose my take on it is not so much with "tourist eyes" and for the simplicity of life I totally rate it. Blind-corner overtakers and the obsession with maxing one's personal roadkill tally are two downers, whether a visitor or caring local.
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Old 22-07-2019, 08:47 AM   #21
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

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Have Googled the directions and sorry to say but once at Picton the journey is stopped by Old Hume Hwy, can't see a way to continue without having to drive on the Old Hume Highway.

Sydney to Melbourne without highways is not as easy as it seems.
Cheap, Menangle rd into Picton, turn left over Prince st railway bridge 200m along Argyle rd ( technically the old Hume but hey) right into Thirlmere Way through Thirlmere and through Buxton to Colo Vale crossing hwy again there. Yeh Its another 200m along the old Hume (which technically isn't called that anymore here.) here, when you get to Marulan (200m along Fwy) take Wilson drv out to the South West to bring you back around to Bungonia rd turn off.
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Old 22-07-2019, 09:29 AM   #22
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

I realise the OP put forward the no highways thing, but for pure touring pleasure that isn't my criteria. Some highways like the Mt Lindsay are spectacular. I have so many times driven out of beaudesert at dawn and up the hairpins to the border, little clouds about the mountains, hot air balloons taking off on the plains. The place is absolutely spectacular, and the last 15 minutes are 20 kmh hairpins, not a horrible crowded freeway.

The princess from sydney to melbourne can be beautiful also and most of it ain't straight... To me the real appeal is getting off the common routes..
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:51 PM   #23
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

I'm still trying to work out how cheap got into Singleton from Mt Thorley or Broke Rd turn off without using the Golden Hwy(Putty Rd from Mt Thorley) ?
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:01 PM   #24
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Default Re: Sydney to Brisbane (the long way)

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We adopted a new route years ago, the summerland way. It's not that much longer than the pathetic er I mean pacific highway. The big problem with the pacific apart from the revenue raising is the holiday traffic especially at christmas. The summerland has gradually got busier but there is virtually no traffic and no cops. I set the cruise to 100 but it's nice not to have to worry.

Yup agree on this. Any busy time of the year heading south from Birssie I use the Summerland Way. Mt Lindsay highway (highway by name only from about Rathdowney) is very ordinary up to the QLD border, but once over into NSW, it's pretty glorious.

I try and do it a few times a year on the motorbike as well.
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