McKinlay Shire Council owns and maintains the local road network to service properties within McKinlay Shire. McKinlay Shire Council is the maintenance contractor for all state controlled roads in the Shire. Please report any washouts or other road damage on 0428 464 001 or 07 47467 166. Please go to www.mckinlay.qld.gov.au and click on the Roads tab on the left hand side. If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact the Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre on 07 4746 7690 or McKinlay Shire Council Office on 07 4746 7166 during office hours (8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday).
PLEASE NOTE:For travelling on roads within McKinlay Shire Council please proceed with extreme caution at floodway crossings, river crossings as road conditions can change without warning.
Rail - The Inlander
The Inlander operates between the popular tourist destination of Townsville and the mining centre of Mount Isa and stops in Julia Creek. For timetables or to book rail tickets go to their website. Alternatively, you can visit the Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre on the corner of Burke and Julia Streets for assistance with your travel bookings. The Julia Creek train station is located within walking distance of the Julia Creek town centre.
Bus - Bus Queensland and Greyhound
Julia Creek is serviced by two bus companies - Bus Queensland and Greyhound. For timetables or to book tickets, please go to the Bus Queensland or Greyhound websites. Alternatively, you can visit the Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre on the corner of Burke and Julia Streets for assistance with your travel bookings. The bus stops are centrally located in Julia Creek.
Air - Regional Express
Regional Express (Rex) operates between Townsville and Mount Isa (and return) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For details on departure and arrivals or to book a ticket go to their website. Alternatively, you can visit the Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre on the corner of Burke and Julia Streets for assistance with your travel bookings.
The Julia Creek Airport
S20° 40’ 06.0” E141° 43’18”
McKinlay Shire Council owns and maintains the local road network to service properties within McKinlay Shire. The majority of these roads are unsealed and may be impassable during wet weather.
McKinlay Shire Council is the maintenance contractor for all state controlled roads in the Shire.
Please report any washouts or other road damage on 0428 464 001 or 07 47467 166
If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact the Visitor Information Centre on 07 4746 7690 or the McKinlay Shire Council Office on 07 4746 7166 during office hours (8:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday).
For further Queensland Road Conditions please visit the RACQ website or the Queensland Government Traffic and Travel website.
A little bit of preparation goes a long way in the Outback - Ensure you have a good map and plan ahead. It’s a good idea to calculate travel times and distances between stops, even prepare alternative routes, especially when travelling during the Australian summer (Nov – Apr) when rain and storms can impede travel plans.
Along the Overlander’s Way fuel stops are rarely more than 200 kilometres apart so it should not be necessary to carry spare fuel. However, where you do see “no fuel” signs, it means exactly that. Ensure that your vehicle is mechanically sound, carry a first aid kit, ample water and spares such as tyres, radiator hoses and fanbelts, together with a good tool-kit. Ensure that your spare tyre is at the correct pressure.
Before setting out you should ensure you have adequate supplies of all personal medications. Julia Creek has a Hospital (07 4746 4000) and a Medical Centre (07 4746 7159). Prescriptions can only be filled however, in Cloncurry.
North West Queensland summers are hot but much less humid than on the coast and more bearable. Most facilities and transport are air-conditioned. Storms and heavy rains can occur during summer and minor flooding can cause some towns to become cut off for a few days, but this is all part of the adventure of the Outback. The most temperate weather occurs between the beginning of April and the end of October. Wearing a broad brimmed hat and sunscreen is recommended for all seasons.
Mobile Phone Coverage
Only the Telstra Next G network is available, usually within a 20km radius of towns. Service availability fluctuates for different brands of mobile phones. Public phones are available in all towns. There is no mobile phone service in McKinlay or Kynuna.
Heavy Vehicles/ Road Trains
Care should be taken when passing and overtaking road trains and heavy vehicles, including; other caravans. Ensure you have a clear line of sight, allow plenty of room and be prepared for vehicles to move a little from side to side as you overtake. If a road train is approaching to overtake you, move as far to the left as possible and stop if necessary to allow it to overtake safely.
Single Lane Driving
When meeting road trains and heavy vehicles on single lane roads, slow right down and move off the road to the left, if it is safe to do so move of the road entirely and stop to avoid driving into any obstacles on the verge. In wet conditions road verges tend to be soft and/or slippery, so when pulling off to the left you should always keep your right wheels on the bitumen and keep moving slowly to avoid getting bogged.
If you see stock or wild animals near the road, slow down; don’t swerve as this may cause your vehicle to roll. Be patient of stock and wary of kangaroos and emus, it pays to be vigilant when driving in the Outback, especially either side of sunrise or sunset – when kangaroos tend to be at their most active and the light more difficult.
Many roads are gated and cross station properties. The rule of the Outback is to leave gates in the same way that you find them, ie. if the gate is closed when you get there, close it again after you drive through or, if the gate is open when you arrive, leave it open.
Depending on how you drive, you can be a welcome visitor or someone who causes careless damage to roads and wildlife. Follow these tips for low impact driving.
• Stay on existing roads and tracks.
• Give way to animals. Parks and forests are for their protection.
• If you get stuck, try not to use trees for winching. If you have no choice, use tree protectors.
• Wash your vehicle thoroughly before and after trips to prevent the spread of weeds.
Water crossings should not be attempted if you are uncertain of your vehicles capabilities. Walk through the crossing first - test the depth and current and try to detect any underwater obstacles by using your feet or a stick. Engage 4x4 low and drive through in second or third gear, keeping the momentum up.
For tips on travelling go to http://www.outbackqueensland.com.au/travellers-tips/