While a growing minority of grey nomads are choosing to travel out of season in a bid to avoid the crowds and to see some incredible country as not many get to see it, recent heavy flooding in the north has highlighted the downsides of bucking the seasonal travel trend.
In the Northern Territory, the Victoria Highway between Timber Creek and Kununurra has only just been re-opened with an eight tonne load limit from Timber Creek to the Western Australia border. And the NT News reports that Stuart Highway will be reopened between Mataranka and Elliot but only high clearance four-wheel-drives can travel beyond Larrimah and Daly Waters. The newspaper says that water is still flowing over the road 20km north of Carpentaria Highway but is open to high clearance four-wheel-drives and trucks.
Of course, grey nomads who choose to see the north at this time of the year are well aware that the price of relative solitude in camping areas and spectacular wet season scenery is searing temperatures, heavy rainfall … and possible flooding.
In Queensland, heavy rain has given areas around Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Winton a severe soaking … and led to some flooding.
And police are asking grey nomads or any motorists to reconsider any travel through areas experiencing heavy downpours.
“Roads have been closed to ensure the safety of the public,” said Mount Isa District Inspector, Trevor Kidd. “Drivers who undertake risky driving behaviour by disobeying those signs are putting themselves and emergency services crews in danger when they respond to calls for help … remember, if it’s flooded, forget it.”
* Are you travelling out of season? Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Comment below.