|Length:||32 km (20 mi)|
Quaid Road is a 32 km long stretch of private road in Far North Queensland. The road was given corridor approval and completed in early 1989 through rainforest that was later declared Wet Tropics World Heritage Area in late 1989 and links Wangetti, on the coast just north of Cairns, to Southedge, just south of Mount Molloy.
Condition of road
Following the heavy rains of Cyclone Rona in April 1999, parts of the Quaid Road fell into the World Heritage listed Hartley’s Creek. The Southedge Daintree Pastoral Company repaired the cyclone damage to the road and to this day continues to maintain the road.
The section of road from the Peninsula Development Highway turnoff is open to traffic until a locked gate is reached. Past the locked gate the road is in good condition and goes over three big climbs then through the Kuranda Forest Reserve.
The road condition deteriorates after another locked gate prior to the final descent to Wangetti Beach, which is steep with a lot of debris on the road surface. The condition then improves just before the final locked gate at Wangetti is reached.
Ever since its construction as a private road to serve a Quaid Real Estate development at Southedge, the road has been a hot issue in Far North Queensland. For years after its construction, the road was suggested as an alternative route to the Atherton Tablelands for everyday traffic as well as evacuations during cyclones. However, in 1997, Transport and Main Roads Minister Vaughan Johnson announced that the state government was no longer considering gazetting Quaid Road as a State-controlled road because it would put additional pressure on the Captain Cook Highway and divert funding away from upgrades of other parts of State road network in Far North Queensland.
During Cyclone Larry in 2006, all road access to the major regional city of Cairns was blocked and the city was isolated from surrounding areas for three days. This was caused by flooding south of the city near Innisfail and landslides near Port Douglas and on the Kuranda Range Highway. After this period of isolation, Tablelands MP Rosa Lee Long proposed that Quaid Road be used as another route to truck food into Cairns and evacuate people but the Queensland State Government again rejected the proposal. The Cook Shire Council expressed Council's disappointment with this decision by forwarding a letter to the current Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Paul Lucas.
After the Cairns's tsunami scare of April 2007, this idea has become more popular with the city's population once again.
- Government not considering Quaid Road Gazettal - www.Ginfo.cpl (Originally published on 17-09-1997)
- Quaid road use rejected - The Cairns Weekend Post, 10 June 2006
- Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Council of the Shire of Cook held on 17-18–19 July 2006 - http://www.cook.qld.gov.au/council/Minutes/July%202006%20Minutes.pdf