Dodging Drama in the “Top End”
Far North Queensland Australia
Australia is such a vast and varied terrain. From snowy peaks to humid mud flats beaches and rainforest to dry, arid deserts. It is always a wise decision to check which time of year is best to visit any location – thus “dodging drama!”
Throughout the far northern regions of “Oz”, there are two distinct seasons…wet and dry! so…unless you enjoy being flooded in by rivers and waterways overloaded with “wet season” rainfall or hanker after saving your vehicle from being sucked in by waterlogged bogs – you really should plan to travel after “The Wet”, after February and before December.
Another thing to keep in your journal of “must remembers” is mosquito combat. There are several species that at the very least can cause a tad more than an itchy lump. Denghi Fever, Ross River Fever and there have been reports of Malaria if you go right up to the top of the Peninsula. So lots of repellant and protective clothing or screens are a must. Also, if you plan to camp – do not keep open vessels of water (eg, buckets for pets drinking water)longer than a day. Mossies love to breed in still water.
There have been many “near death” experiences caused by the lack of “protocol” while driving the roads of Far North Queensland. At best the roads heading west from Cairns to My Isa are narrow – really only wide enough for one family sedan….not one family sedan pulling a caravan and a road train (truck with several trailers behind) heading in the opposite direction. The best approach for this situation is purely common sense. A road train requires virtually the entire road as it passes other oncoming traffic – its mere weight demands this. Being so heavy and so long it is a mighty manoeuvre to pull up and slow down, let alone find an alternate path to avoid a collision in time. Your best defence is to simply, safely and slowly…get off the road and let the monster go by! Learning to share the road with these huge vehicles in the “outback” is a separate education – but so easy and effective. Common courtesy, awareness and alertness lead to preservation of life, limb and vehicle!