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Old September 30th, 2011, 08:29 PM   #701
CairnsTony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Question: is there any credible plans to pave some decent extension of outback roads or those north or Cairns?
In a word no.

The reason I responded so facetiously in my last post is because the local news has been dominated of late by the appalling state of the Pacific Highway north of Townsville. A bit of rain, and we're cut off from the rest of the country for days, sometimes weeks!

Simply not good enough, and there's absolutely nothing on the horizon that will change that.

In contrast, I wouldn't support any major upgrades north of the Daintree simply because it would be too environmentally sensitive. Cassowaries are in big enough trouble from motorists in this area already. You could just about argue for the sealing of the road to Weipa, a major mining town but the distance is huge. I can't see it happening any time soon.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 01:56 AM   #702
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Isn't the Peninsula Developmental Road being sealed as we speak?
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Old October 1st, 2011, 12:48 PM   #703
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The F3 (Sydney - Newcastle Freeway), a ~130km motorway linking the northern suburbs of Sydney with NSW's second largest city, Newcastle. It's part of Australia's National Highway 1.


Approaching the southern terminus on Pennant Hills Road in Wahroonga. This is a major arterial route in northern Sydney, and also acting as a conduit between the F3 and the M2 which is about 7km south of here. Photo from Expressway


Looking south in Wahroonga. This is less than 1km from the previous photo. This section has a limit of 80km/h, but soon lifts to 110km/h.


Looking south at Mt Colah. This is known particualrly in traffic reports as the 'big dipper'.


Looking north west at Cowan - note the rather large cuttings.


Looking south at the crossing of the Hawkesbury River. At this point you officially enter or leave Sydney, and are now on the Central Coast, a large urban area wedged between Sydney and Newcastle.


Looking west towards the Mooney Mooney Creek Bridge, which sits about 75m above the water line.


Approaching the Central Coast Highway interchange northbound, providing access to Gosford which is the main administrative centre on the Central Coast. Photo from Expressway


Southbound approaching the Wyong Road interchange at Tuggerah. This is on the northern edges of the Central Coast, providing an important link to the 2nd largest centre on the Central Coast (Wyong).


Northbound approaching the twin service centres, just to the north of Wyong. Photo from Expressway


Just to the north of the service centre. An interesting point is that Brisbane does not get a mention on any of these signs along the entire length of the freeway - the main reason is that there is actually 2 routes, that being the coastal Pacific Highway (NH1) or the inland New England Highway (NH15), which starts west of Newcastle. Photo from Expressway


Northbound at the Mandalong Road interchange in Morisset. This is on the southern edges of the Newcastle urban area. Photo from Expressway


Approaching the twin interchanges of George Booth Drive and Newcastle Link Road. Despite the name, this freeway actually does not go into Newcastle, and in effect skirts along the outer western suburbs. Newcastle Link Road is a limited access dual carriageway that was constructed about the same time as this part of the freeway (early 90s) and more or less feeds into Newcastle's arterial road network. Photo from Expressway


Looking north west approaching the northern terminus in Beresfield.


Just like the southern end, the northern end at Beresfield ends as an at-grade intersection. Seen here gives the option of which way you want to head to Brisbane. The signage is incorrect - there is a fourth leg to the left, being a rural-grade road heading west to a collection of mining villages and towns west of Newcastle, such as Cessnock. Photo from Expressway


Confirmation about the freeway ending... Photo from Expressway


The roundabout - the east-west road is John Renshaw Drive. In the background is a large industrial area, obviously taking advantage of being on the door step of Australia's number 1 road. Photo from Expressway
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Old October 1st, 2011, 05:11 PM   #704
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Quote:
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Isn't the Peninsula Developmental Road being sealed as we speak?
News to me.

They're sealing bits between Lakeland and Laura, but that's a tiny percentage of the total. Even if one day they seal the whole road, it is still subject to flooding during the rains cutting off the Cape York from the rest of Aus and proving hazardous for travel. The whole area is incredibly sparsely populated so the incentive to seal the whole road anytime soon is limited. Far more important to concentrate resources up here on a half decent road south from Cairns; something they've been promising since forever.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 05:15 PM   #705
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roofromoz View Post
The F3 (Sydney - Newcastle Freeway), a ~130km motorway linking the northern suburbs of Sydney with NSW's second largest city, Newcastle. It's part of Australia's National Highway 1.

....

Just like the southern end, the northern end at Beresfield ends as an at-grade intersection. Seen here gives the option of which way you want to head to Brisbane. The signage is incorrect - there is a fourth leg to the left, being a rural-grade road heading west to a collection of mining villages and towns west of Newcastle, such as Cessnock. Photo from Expressway

...
Very nice!
What's the difference between the two Route 1s?
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Old October 1st, 2011, 05:44 PM   #706
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CairnsTony View Post
News to me.

They're sealing bits between Lakeland and Laura, but that's a tiny percentage of the total. Even if one day they seal the whole road, it is still subject to flooding during the rains cutting off the Cape York from the rest of Aus and proving hazardous for travel. The whole area is incredibly sparsely populated so the incentive to seal the whole road anytime soon is limited. Far more important to concentrate resources up here on a half decent road south from Cairns; something they've been promising since forever.
I think they should seal the whole PDR and set a rent-a-campervan at Cape York. Now you have to rent a campervan in Cairns, go up north and return back to Cairns, if you wanna see the Cape York Peninsula.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 09:22 PM   #707
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I think they should seal the whole PDR and set a rent-a-campervan at Cape York. Now you have to rent a campervan in Cairns, go up north and return back to Cairns, if you wanna see the Cape York Peninsula.
The existing road is OK to use in the dry season. It gets graded fairly regularly. It's only in the rains it deteriorates, often markedly.

I'm not really all that keen to see large scale development up there. It is one of Australia's last great wildernesses and greedy business interests would ruin the place. You should remember that Cape York is bigger than England with the largest town being Weipa with less than 3000 people. One of the things that makes it so interesting is its remoteness and the sheer size of the place. Any half decent vehicle can explore the place already and many do.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 10:06 PM   #708
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Very nice! What's the difference between the two Route 1s?
The difference in shield goes back on the status of Australian national highway for the New England Highway. National highways were routes in the Australian national grid that received special federal funding (being the main arteries between the major cities). Part of the deal was that these routes would not be signposted with the normal black-on-white shield for national routes, but with the green-and-gold and the word "National" at the top. The national highway programme has, as far as I know, been superseded by a different programme. So as much as national highways no longer have any formal status, the national highway shields still have some use on the road signs.

Now back to the situation at the Beresfield roundabout. Back in the National Highway days, the New England Highway to Brisbane had NH-status and the Pacific Highway to Brisbane did not. The idea at the time was that it was preferable to have the interstate traffic take the inland route through sparsely populated area. So the federal funding went there. That original decision was kind-of reversed in the late 1990s, when the Australian government and the NSW government decided to slowly but surely upgrade the Pacific Highway to a dual carriageway while leaving the New England Highway a single carriageway with the odd overtaking lane. I think that nowadays the very vast majority of Sydney to Brisbane traffic takes the Pacific Highway, irrespective of the National Highway shield suggesting that the New England Highway is the primary route between the two cities.

A further question is why Route 1 is signposted in two directions here. Seems like there is some kind of a fork at the Beresfield roundabout. But it is a matter of two kilometers really, since the New England Highway branch quickly turns into National Highway 15, while National Route 1 follows the Pacific Highway.
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Old October 1st, 2011, 11:27 PM   #709
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CairnsTony View Post
It is one of Australia's last great wildernesses
Come on, Australia is one huge wilderness.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 02:56 AM   #710
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Very nice!
What's the difference between the two Route 1s?
I love the photos of the Sydney-Newcastle Fwy. That signage before the roundabout is quite poor it should be New England Hwy route 15. 2 km of a 800km road is nothing and route 15 should start at the roundabout for the sake of not confusing motorists.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 05:38 AM   #711
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Very nice!
What's the difference between the two Route 1s?
It's incorrect - New England Highway is NH15. Straight ahead is Weakleys Drive, a short connecting road to the New England Highway, and on road maps carries no route marking. The map extract below best describes it:



Also, John Renshaw Drive and the New England Highway carries NH1 traffic to the Pacific Highway to the right of the map. The roundabout disrupts the flow of traffic, but there is a grade seperated interchange at the New England Highway, and if you are travelling southbound on the Pacific Highway, there is a set of lights at Maitland Road if you wish to continue on to the freeway to the south. There is an intention to re-align the final stage of the freeway to the Pacific Highway at that river crossing, however, there is a large swamp to the south (Hexham Swamp), and it's all about finding the right engineering solution. A lot of it is also protected as a nature reserve, so there are environmental considerations to be made as well.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 12:38 PM   #712
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Quote:
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Come on, Australia is one huge wilderness.
Someone will probably find a few arguments why this area is more "wilderness" than other parts of Tropical Australia. Maybe it is more about perception than about anything else.

All in all, I do not think that there is a lot of merit in truly creating one big Tourist Drive from Cairns to the Cape, with nice little tourist infrastructure next to the Cape. But ongoing development of the Peninsula Development Road to Weipa (for mining purposes more than for tourism purposes) has made at least the southern part of the trip that bit easier. From, I believe that the trip to the Tip remains a nice road adventure, which is how it should remain.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 01:06 PM   #713
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Quote:
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Someone will probably find a few arguments why this area is more "wilderness" than other parts of Tropical Australia. Maybe it is more about perception than about anything else.
No it's fact, not perception. Much of the Cape is National Parks which you see far fewer of as you head south. Much of the rest is Traditional Lands which are similarly undeveloped. There are far fewer people up there than anywhere else in Queensland except the far South West. Only 1% of the land up there has ever been cleared.

The rainforests around Cairns where I live have all been logged in the past. They have recovered and look magnificent again, but up in the Cape you will find Primary Rainforest, Tropical Savannahs and huge Wetlands (Especially at Lakefield) unlike anything further south.

Much of Aus is of course sparsely populated but it is also ranched. Those grazing animals radically alter the landscape, so it's hardly wilderness. The ranches up in the Cape occupy a much smaller area.

Last edited by CairnsTony; October 2nd, 2011 at 05:18 PM.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 02:15 PM   #714
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Come on, Australia is one huge wilderness.
No, Australia is one huge dessert. The tropical part of Australia is only a quite small nothern coastal area.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 02:24 PM   #715
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Ok, you have a point.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 02:57 PM   #716
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No, Australia is one huge dessert. The tropical part of Australia is only a quite small nothern coastal area.
That coastal area still adds up to huge amounts of land. Cape York, Arnhem Land, other parts of the NT and WA - it's not that Cape York is the last man standing in terms of unspoilt tropical areas. Not an excuse for development of a tourist infrastructure on the peninsula though ...
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 05:12 PM   #717
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No, Australia is one huge dessert. The tropical part of Australia is only a quite small nothern coastal area.
One third of Australia is tropical and only 18% is desert. Almost 40% is arid, but that's not the same thing at all although of course it would appear dry by European standards.

It still leaves an area the size of several large European countries for 22 million people to live in.
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 05:53 PM   #718
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It still leaves an area the size of several large European countries for 22 million people to live in.
Bigger. Australia is as big as all of Europe except for about half of European Russia. (European Russia constitutes 40% of the land area of Europe). Australia is so big
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 06:22 PM   #719
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Australia has 3/4 of the area of US Lower-48. It's a damn big place.

The reason people usually think of it as a smaller place is merely a function of the most common map projection, the Mercator one, which up-sizes, in a Cartesian plan, the projected 2-dimensional area of point further from the equator (Greenland is a good example of that in these representations, it's less than 1/3 as big as Australia)
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Old October 2nd, 2011, 07:21 PM   #720
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Tony seems to refer to the part of Australia that is actually capable of being inhabited by larger groups of people. So not mere surface, but the the coastal strip from Port Augusta to Cairns plus a few other areas. When you take those, Tony's equivalent "a few larger European countries" then appears correct.
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