Route from Hervey Bay to Rockampton

Route from Hervey Bay to Rockampton

Postby GillesArcas » Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:32 pm

Hi, French guy here, preparing my ride from Brisbane to Cairns in May (second time in Australia). I have found a pair of routes and I have a question about the section from Hervey Bay to Rockampton.

Both routes I have found go inland and follow A3, going through Gayndah and Bilolea. However it is also possible to follow the Bruce Highway, through Gin Gin and Benaraby/Gladstone. First one is longer but could me more peaceful. The second one is more direct and gives a chance to see the sea. Which one would give the most interesting experience and which one would you advice?

Of course, any other advice welcome!
Thanks a lot.
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by BNA » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:14 pm

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Re: Route from Hervey Bay to Rockampton

Postby elantra » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:14 pm

Hi Gilles, I think you must avoid the Bruce highway.
It is too dangerous and very nasty to travel on.
From Hervey Bay you should probably pedal towards Bundaberg.
Not sure how is the best route but if you can go to Burrum heads and then get a boat across the Burrum river and get to Woodgate beach would be the nicest way.
But i do not know if it is possible to get a boat across this river.

SO you might have to ride on the Bruce highway (!) from Howard to Childers.
From Childers there is a road to Bundaberg.
Bundaberg to GinGin, preferably on the secondary road NOT the main road.
GinGin to Mt Perry. Mt Perry to Ceratodus.
Ceratodus to Cynthia. Cynthia to Monto on the secondary road NOT the main road.
Then Monto to Rockhampton via Biloela and Mt.Morgan

Have a look at it on the map and see what you think.
Steve.
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Re: Route from Hervey Bay to Rockampton

Postby GillesArcas » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:07 am

Hi, elantra, thanks a lot for the route. So I have now three possibilities:

  1. The first route I found, through Gayndah and Bilolea (577 km, total climb 3,875 m)
  2. The route following Bruce highway (395 km, total climb 3,134 m)
  3. Your route, through Mount Perry and Bilolea (552 km, total climb 4,997 m)

The three routes can be compared here (gpx/kml available there as well).

Avoiding Bruce Hwy and given the figures, I guess I will stick to the first one (saving 1,000 m climbing) following the secondary roads you have mentioned.

However, I am a little bit worry about the rest of the trip, as the Bruce Hwy seems often difficult to avoid. Perhaps more questions to come!

Thanks a lot again!
Gilles
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Re: Route from Hervey Bay to Rockampton

Postby RonK » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:01 am

OK, I take it you are cycle tourist heading for Cairns and want to stay near the coast, as most people do - so sections of the Bruce Highway are unavoidable. There would surely be less traffic on the inland route, but it's all bushland and agriculture, so probably not so interesting, unless you are a farmer.

From a cycle touring perspective, this is the route I would choose, because it takes in some of the most interesting and beautiful coastal locations, including the Town of 1770, where Captain Cook landed during his voyage of discovery in (you guessed it) 1770.


Click on More Options to open the map.

Once you reach Rockhampton it is probably worthwhile riding the Emu Park/Yeppon loop, where you may be interested in visiting the Keppel Islands.

You'll also probably get more responses if you post in the Touring Australia forum.
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Re: Route from Hervey Bay to Rockampton

Postby elantra » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:26 am

GillesArcas wrote:Hi, elantra, thanks a lot for the route. So I have now three possibilities:

  1. The first route I found, through Gayndah and Bilolea (577 km, total climb 3,875 m)
  2. The route following Bruce highway (395 km, total climb 3,134 m)
  3. Your route, through Mount Perry and Bilolea (552 km, total climb 4,997 m)

The three routes can be compared here (gpx/kml available there as well).

Avoiding Bruce Hwy and given the figures, I guess I will stick to the first one (saving 1,000 m climbing) following the secondary roads you have mentioned.

However, I am a little bit worry about the rest of the trip, as the Bruce Hwy seems often difficult to avoid. Perhaps more questions to come!

The route from Bundaberg to Mt Perry to Eidsvold to Monto that i have described was the route (in reverse direction) of the 2010 "Cycle Queensland" event.
I did ride most of this route at the time on a 14 speed road bike and i thought it was moderately easy.
But yes i was not carrying much weight on the bike because it was a supported event.
Some of those hills around Mt Perry would be much harder on a heavily loaded touring bike.
Here is a link to the details of that event if you are interested.
http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=29818&hilit=CQ+2010

I don't know much about riding through Gayndah.
I have driven car through Gaynday and i did think at the time the highway there is rather narrow!
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Re: Route from Hervey Bay to Rockampton

Postby GillesArcas » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:00 am

Hi RonK,

thanks a lot for another possibility! You're right, I would prefer to stay close to the sea but I don't like traffic. Well, I will chose when the time comes.

Here is the updated list of routes:
  1. The route through Gayndah and Biloela (577 km, total climb 3,875 m)
  2. The route following Bruce highway (395 km, total climb 3,134 m)
  3. The route suggested by elantra, through Mount Perry and Biloela (552 km, total climb 4,997 m)
  4. The route suggested by RonK, through Bundaberg and Town of 1779 (507 km, total climb 2,577 m)
And the four routes can be compared on gpsies.

You'll also probably get more responses if you post in the Touring Australia forum.

Ok. Perhaps not a lot of responses here but very interesting ones. Thanks a lot again!

Gilles

edit: typo
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Re: Route from Hervey Bay to Rockampton

Postby GillesArcas » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:15 am

elantra wrote:Some of those hills around Mt Perry would be much harder on a heavily loaded touring bike.

Well, more or less 12kg including panniers and camping stuff, plus food and water. Not really too much weight but I am more comfortable on flat roads!
The Cycle Queensland seems a big event. Never gone to something like that.
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Re: Route from Hervey Bay to Rockampton

Postby GillesArcas » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:24 am

Hi RonK,

I realized that the route given by the thumbnail and the one obtained by clicking on it are not absolutely the same. They differ by the section around Agnes River. The first one leaves the Bruce Highway near Berajondo and reaches Agnes River passing by Baffle Creek and Deepwater National Park. After that the road goes through the Eurimbula park and finds again the highway at Foreshores.

This would be great as it would avoid taking the main road two times from Agnes River and back. However, I guess they are unsealed roads but I have no information about it. Graveled would be ok but sandy could be very difficult.

Do you have, or someone else, any information about this route?

Thanks
Gilles
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Re: Route from Hervey Bay to Rockampton

Postby elantra » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:38 am

Gilles i would also strongly suspect that these secondary roads via Deepwater and Eurimbula national parks are very rough and probably sandy in places.
But i have no direct experience so we will have to wait till RonK answers.
The main road into and out of Agnes Waters is a sealed road and not many hills.
The tablelands road from Bundaberg direction is also sealed.
I would advise avoid these roads on the weekends when there is more traffic.
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Route from Hervey Bay to Rockampton

Postby RonK » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:33 am

I'm not quite sure what you mean Gilles. Berajondo is not on the Bruce Hwy, it's on the Bundaberg-Lowmead Road.

The route I mapped is all sealed. I doubt there are any alternative routes. If there they are probably only known by locals. Really, if you want to visit 1770 and Agnes Waters (which I highly recommend) then you'll just have to do the two-way trip. It would be worth spending a couple of days there.

Edit: ah, ok, I see what you mean. I'm not sure why the thumbnail shows a different route, and I don't have any knowledge of the roads it selected. Looking at the satellite pictures they appear to be unsealed and in that area, very likely sandy as Elantra has posted. Zoom in and it's marked as a 4wd track.

Looking at the Deepwater National Park web page, it seems that the road is accessable by 2wd vehicle as far as the Wreck Rocks camping area, however the track may still be sandy, and there is no 2wd access through to Agnes Waters.

Also a look at the Eurimbula National Park web page shows that the tracks are sandy and 4wd is required.
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Re: Route from Hervey Bay to Rockampton

Postby earlybird » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:16 am

Gilles, the info above by elantra and RonK is correct. I try to avoid the Bruce Highway as much as I can - this region in Central Queensland is a fatigue zone as well as poor roads in places. The drivers are usually no different to anywhere else - the odd bad apple, but predominately good. Because of this my route suggestion would be:
* Harvey Bay
* Childers, exiting at Apple Tree Creek for Bundaberg
* Bundaberg / Bargara
* Lowmead / Tablelands Rd to Agnes Water/1770
* Tannum Sands via Miriam Vale
* Biloela via Calliope
* Rockhampton via Mt Morgan

You don't mention a time frame but if you are in a hurry you could do Tannum Sands to Rockhampton via the Bruce Highway, but you couldn't pay me to do that. I live at Tannum Sands.
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Re: Route from Hervey Bay to Rockhampton

Postby GillesArcas » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:24 pm

Hi all,

ok let's forget the national park roads. I was afraid of the possible difficulty but I did not think to search for the park web sites.

@earlybird: I have added your proposal to the comparison on gpsies.

With all your suggested roads, all with some interest, I have no idea about the one I will chose the time being. But I have now a lot of information.

Thanks a lot everybody.
Gilles
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