|Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
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13 September 2006 - Springsure to Roma
From Springsure we drove via Rolleston to Roma along the Carnavon Development Road; despite the "development" road tag this was a two lane road. The weather was bright and sunny but a little windy. Traffic was surprisingly heavy with a large number of trucks, B-doubles and road trains (short ones with only a single trailer) going in the opposite direction. Many of them looked to be carrying mining machinery for the coal mines in this area. Other reasons for the variety and volume of traffic include this road being the only access for Carnavon Gorge and also being one of the routes for traffic between Victoria/New South Wales and central-north Queensland; as well, Roma has one of the largest cattle sale yards in Queensland with sales twice a week.The road was variable; some stretches were quite good but these were in a minority. Other parts of the road were quite poor and we were down to 70 kph to reduce bouncing and shaking. Outback Queensland seems unable to support more than about 25 kilometres of good road in a single stretch.
Just after leaving Rolleston we passed a few large grain fields but were soon among pastoral leases with cattle grazing among open timber and grasslands. Further south was a remarkable variety of vegetation; sometimes we passed through eucalytpus forest with thick undergrowth; at other times there was woodland of uniform eucalyptus species; occasionally grassland. Approaching Injune we passed through large stands of cypress.
The road quite often passed through ranges of hills, the highest point was 545 metres. One uphill stretch was so steep that the cruise control dropped out (Territory cruise control doesn't handle steep hills well when towing the A'liner) and we lost speed at just the stage on the hill when speed is needed. Kicking down on the gearbox got us up the hill with little further hassle. On one hill we passed a sign proclaiming that we were entering the Murray-Darling Basin at 436 metres.
Arriving in Roma after a slow trip, because of the poor road for much of the way, we went to the caravan park and set up in a smallish site under a line of bottle trees - these are prominent around Roma. When we went into town and bought petrol I paid 120.9 cents a litre (including Coles discount). Cheapest petrol for a long time.