Road and Traffic Road and Traffic

Road Conditions

If you cannot view the current Burke Shire Council Road Report, please contact the Council Office on (07) 4745 5100.

Even if you've driven on a road hundreds of times, road conditions can change quickly in the country.

PLEASE NOTE BURKE SHIRE BOUNDARIES END:

Burketown to Leichhardt River via Floraville (Savannah Way) – 72 km sealed road

Burketown to Leichhardt River via Gregory and Nardoo (Wills Developmental Road) – approx. 174 km via sealed road

Burketown to Doomadgee Shire Border (Savannah Way) – approx. 65 km via sealed road

Doomadgee Shire Border to NT border (Savannah Way) – approx. 102km via mix of sealed and unsealed road

Gregory to Mt Isa Shire Border (Camooweal Road) – approx. 42 km via majority unsealed road

Before adventuring onto outback roads you should obtain a weather report. (Consider delaying your trip if heavy rain is forecasted.) Check road conditions- RACQ, Shire Councils (Burke, Normanton, Cloncurry and Mount Isa) and local police.

Note - Your mobile phone may not work in the outback, check with your provider.

Unsealed roads

Slow down. Dust may be disguising an oncoming vehicle, pot holes, loose gravel and slippery mud patches. Turn on your headlights where visibility is poor. Consider stopping if you can't see the road in front of you. Drive on the left hand side of the road. In outback areas on unsealed roads it is common to drive on whatever side of the road is in the best condition but take great care in bends and crossings with other roads as other road users may not expect you there.

Sunrise and sunset

Many of Queensland's outback roads have an east-west orientation. When the sun is low in the sky, clear vision is impossible. You could miss oncoming vehicles or hit an animal crossing the road. Avoid driving before 7.00 am and between 4.00 pm and 5.00 pm.

Fatigue

Long distances and stretches of unchanging landscape can make a driver very tired. Stop for breaks frequently.

Animals

Don't swerve to avoid an animal on the road. This may cause you to roll your vehicle. Gently brake and slow down. If you come across cattle or other animals on the road, stop and be patient. It's all part of the 'outback experience'. Beep your horn and the animal will soon move on.

Closed Roads

The wet season, commonly referred to as 'The Wet', is an annual weather event occurring generally between the months of November and April. The Wet affects tropical areas in central and north Queensland. During this season, these regions can experience heavy rainfall, sometimes causing flooding and/or land slips, which can isolate communities, industries and travellers. As a result of this flooding, roads can be affected by being cut off or washed away.

Roads that have been flooded must be carefully managed. To do this, road closures, load restrictions and traffic management may be implemented to protect the road asset and balance access for communities and industries.

Should you require access (for a quantifiable reason e.g. vital services, food delivery) to a closed road within the shire please complete this form and return it to Council.

Don't tangle with a road train

These heavyweights can be up to 55 metres long (the length of 10 cars). Make sure you have plenty of room before you overtake these vehicles and be prepared for them to sway from side-to-side as you pass, especially the last trailer. Expect road trains and large vehicles to stay on the bitumen when you’re overtaking or passing them. Motorists can share the roads with road trains more safely by following these simple rules.

Meeting oncoming road trains on narrow roads:

  • Slow down; pull on to the shoulder of the road and stop, if necessary, until the road train has passed.

Overtaking road trains on narrow roads:

  • Apply indicator and pull out slightly so the truck is able to see that you want to overtake
  • Allow at least one kilometre of clear road ahead and be prepared for them to sway a little from side to side
  • Beware of soft shoulders, guide posts and wildlife on the roadside as you overtake.

OTHER TIPS FOR SAFE TRAVELLING WITH LARGE VEHICLES

Don’t cut in front of a large vehicle as you will reduce the driver’s braking distance

  • Maintain a consistent speed when being overtaken by a large vehicle
  • If you cannot see the driver in a large vehicle’s side mirrors, the driver cannot see you
  • Recognise that large vehicles accelerate and brake slowly and make allowances for this
  • When a large vehicle is turning, keep back from the intersection as the vehicle will require more road space to make the turn
  • If a vehicle displays the sign DO NOT OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE it is legally allowed to take up more than one lane to turn
  • If you’re towing a caravan or trailer and a large vehicle wants to overtake you on a narrow road, look for opportunities to safely pull onto the shoulder of the road – you’ll need to choose a location at which the truck driver has good visibility of oncoming vehicles.