This trek starting at Neale Junction takes you though varying countryside from Spinifex flats to rocky patches. Even the flora changes from marble gums to acacia and mulga trees. This trek is definitely not for the faint hearted and adequate experience and preparation for remote travel is a must.
The route traverses around 48kms of the Anne Beadell Highway
to the west from Neale Junction before turning south onto what is known as the Naries Point Road. The condition of the Naries Point Road and the vegetation varies, with a mixture of windy and straight sections, with gravel, rock and sand patches. It has areas of spinifex and kangaroo grass and areas of mulga and marble gum. Speeds may vary between 20 to 30 km/hr. Allow a comfortable 5 hours along Naries Point Road to reach the Plumridge Lakes Road. Once on this road, you should be able to travel a little faster as the track is much straighter and wider than Naries Point Rd. The country is also much prettier, with breakaway country, many mounts and small salt lakes. The landscape soon turns to open country as you head towards Lake Rason and can be rather easy to drive along.
At the western end of Lake Rason you will come to a turn off to the north where you will see a letter box and a slow down to 40kph school sign at the corner – some one has a good sense of humour. Following the track up, you will arrive at a tin shack with an earth floor. It has all the basic appointments including a table, pot belly stove, kero fridge, beds and lighting, and a wood fired oven outside. From the front veranda, the views across Lake Rason to the east and north east are superb.
Continuing on through some pretty breakaway country, you will eventually meet up with Tiger Trap Gully which is a set in a group of breakaways. Some of the interesting names of features in this breakaway system include Signal Point and Crow Cave Hill. Heading ever further west towards the next stop - Mallee Hen Rocks, which is another Frank Hann named feature and near the western side of the breakaways, there is the site of a rock hole.
The trek then heads towards Burtville, which is an abandoned gold mining area with interesting ruins and abandoned mine shafts. From here, the final stretch into Laverton is on excellent, wide, graded road and is straightforward but just watch for trucks and other mining traffic.
How to Use this Trek Note
Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places
on each POI page.
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- If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.
Although called the Great Victoria Desert, don't think of sand dunes like the Sahara Desert, far from it. It's called a desert because the area attracts little rainfall, at times it may not rain for years. Terrain in the GVD varies from vast spinifex plains, spinifex covered dunes, belts of marble gum and mulga, bluffs, breakaways and buttes. In addition to marble gums, mulga and spinifex there are vast areas of shrubs and other small desert plants such as parakeelya.
If rain has fallen in the winter months, the desert can blossom into a botanist dream when you may find vast fields of everlastings, flowering grevilleas, acacias and numerous other flowering plants and shrubs.
The best months for travelling are April to October. Outside these months the desert can be a very hot, placing additional stresses on your vehicle, especially the cooling system. It is highly recommended that one sticks to the cooler months.
Wildlife variety in the GVD is also surprising; camels, dingoes, kangaroos, galahs, budgerigars, birds of prey and wild turkeys are not uncommon.
Noted explorer Frank Hann had his base in Laverton and frequently travelled in this area between 1903 and 1908, he was prospecting and looking for pastoral country. Hann discovered and named many of the features seen on this trek.
In 1891 the Elder Expedition led by David Lindsay travelled through this area from north to south. Of particular note is his camp at a place now known as Lime Juice Camp. David Lindsay on the day of Camp 47 on 11th September 1891 suggested to Dr Elliot that they open the supply of limejuice and have a celebration. Dr Elliot agreed and mixed the concentrated juice with whisky and water in a galvanized canteen. The entire party became very ill with zinc poisoning.
Len Beadell, as a surveyor for the Australian army, surveyed, and with his road construction party, made many bomb roads in the 1960's. He named the Connie Sue Hwy
after his daughter and the Anne Beadell Hwy after his wife. Len wrote a number of entertaining books about his time in the desert.
The name Neale in Neale Junction comes from the Raster map for the area "Neale". That in turn came from Captain Frank Neale a WW1 flying ace, who carried out private aerial surveys in the area from 1930 to 1935 for a Donald McKay from Wallenbean NSW. The map was named in recognition of his aerial work.