comment on treks, tracks graded,closures.

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 14:55
ThreadID: 100019 Views:3112 Replies:3 FollowUps:9
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I see nice articles on treks, tracks across Aust and local. I have heard a lot of these are no longer any much of a '4wd' adventure but now just graded long dirt roads. some are now closed off- i did the Kennedy ranges ( Pilbara) in 4wd while in Army Res about 10 yrs ago- it was brilliant, followed an old drill exploration track up and over ranges for 3 days. Also followed an old WW2 rescue track that hugs the Zutdorf cliffs- resticted access , very rough and high grade 4wd-again a brilliant goats only +survival training area. Benefits of the military ( Pilbara Regiment to be thanked), have some access to remote or public closed areas .
I believe Kennedy Range track now closed and a NP, fair enough I suppose to protect it. I beleieve closure or urbanising is an unfortunate thing and wonder should it be? are we all becoming environmental vandals or is it greenies ? are the legals getting hold with duty of care and liability?
takes a days drive just to get to anywhere 4wd legal now.
local 4wd clubs have to work hard to keep some areas open as several good old 4wd/fishing areas (Perth) now closed or Nat Park.
over to forum...
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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 16:22

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 16:22
Hi mike g2, yes it's an ongoing problem - our desire to have a bit of a 4WD vs rules and regulations. Some say that the land was carved up wrt 4WD tracks so that the clubs got some to remain open while the others were closed to vehicles and remain only for walkers. I am refering here to NE Vic. Trouble is, a 20 or 30 km walk is simply too long for plenty on this forum. Case in point is Nadgee NP in far SE NSW. The Cartoscope map had some fire trails but upon inspecting the NPWS site they're closed except to walkers. Too far for us.
And as for some so called tracks, the Bloomfield Track up in the Daintree being the prime example, you are spot on, it's just a graded dirt road with any steep bits concreted.... W

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Reply By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 20:13

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 20:13

Not sure if the track over the top was recently closed - we did in in Sept 2012.

I have seen a proposed management plan about the NP and they don't talk about closing the track they intend leaving it open. Here's what the proposed plan said on p 35.

Some visitors traverse the planning area on the rough 4WD track over the top of Range, but numbers appear to be very small. In the short to medium term, the track will not be promoted due to significant hazards, alignment, erosion, wildfire risks, and the lack of visitor infrastructure and management capability.

Furthermore, access to this track from the Ullawarra Road is through Minnie Creek Station via a station track. Mt Sandiman homestead is well located on this track and could potentially assist in managing visitor access and provide visitor accommodation and services accessing the planning area via this route (see Maps 1 and 2). Dispersed, unregulated camping and exploration of gorges, dunes and other features occurs along this 4WD route. Visitor risks are high (see Section 27. Visitor

This plan allows 4WD access to continue across the top of the Range. In doing so, however, the Department and the Conservation Commission recognise that the development of appropriate visitor facilities and control of visitor numbers is
required to prevent impacts and to retain the remote experience (see Introduction and Administration of a Permit System for Crossing the Range). To date, there are no designated sites or facilities on top of the Range.


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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 22:32

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 22:32
It's a pity the proposed management plan didn't say, "it's alright we'll keep our nose out of it".

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Follow Up By: mike g2 - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 11:05

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 11:05
Thanks Phil and others,nice detail on the plans. it was bieng talked about a few yrs ago to close the ranges to a NP. havnt been there to check, I should look it up in CALM or other websites or list of NP's and am out of touch with pilbara off road now. nice to see that its still open, its a really good 4wd track, rough,high grade and yes goes thru stations-so need to check with station as to ok access.
As for 'facilities' on the range, I think there was basics such as parking area ,bush loo and may have even been a bbq /shelter at base on the East side-it was a drive out thru station tracks on the west side to Canarvon-Mullewa rd.. was that correct on your trip phil?
In camps 6, temple gorge rates a mention as a camp spot on Ken Range with facilities.
I'm fairly sure this area also used for goat 'farming' ( they ran wild there) and as such , station owners may be reluctant to allow too much access that may risk income loss.
management plans are common now, I'm sure its because of misuse by a few and conservation. Perth catchment areas are bieng closed up now, same reason + concerns about dieback ,loss of catchment( water shortage) risk of pollution,and so on.
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Follow Up By: AlanTH - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 12:12

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 12:12
Strange how what 4 wheel drivers do is so closely monitored but when exploration licences are issued, anything goes.
Look at the destruction of Gwenneth Lakes and the Kidson Track all in the name of more revenue for governments to waste.
Go along the Skull Springs Road from Nullagine and check out how much damage has been done by drilling/mining crews. Bush flattened, huge trees pushed over and fuel drums and other debris left laying around til it rots away.
No doubt all the environmental safeguards are being adhered to though so that's alright.
Funny how we have to get permits to travel through many places these days yet the big destroyers can move in trash everything, leave it a shambles, but us camping somehow is supposed to ruin it, although I admit some of our fellow campers behaviour leaves a lot to be desired.
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 13:07

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 13:07
Hi Mike

I've been over the track four times in the last four years.
One one trip I took my Cub Camper with the wife, no problems experienced.

Here are some points that may be of interest:
1 the goats have gone,
2 Binthahlya station on the west side has been abandoned
3 Mt Sandiman I believe is DEC owned
4 Mookarite in being mined down near Mooka Spring, there are a number of leases and two are been actively mined.
5 I haven't been able to find anything on the DEC sites about the western side of the ranges - I guess because there aren't any facilitates for the regular ma and pa type tourists and the potentially difficulties in crossing the Gasconye.
6 there are still cattle on the west side but numbers are dwindling
7 the track over the top is relatively easy and defined
8 there very few spots to camp up top and if you find one firewood is

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Follow Up By: mike g2 - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 16:33

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 16:33
Thanks Phil, Lots of change in 10yrs since my Army Res days! my recollection of track was rough, and your right, few potential camp spots over top.
Interesting that goats are gone maybe station herded them all up? they were running (wild) in many parts of pilbara. would like to go see that country again with any like minded such as your self. dont 4wd much now as wife put off by bumpy dusty rides, rough/steep stuff and is now also fussy about "camping"out in general , prefers comfort of a c/van at minimum. should trade her in.

Note: anyone looking for a pax or co-driver on a 4wd trip in WA-I'm in !
will contribute with fair bit of experience and knowledge as well.
MG. ...contactable via forum.
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Follow Up By: mike g2 - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 16:38

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 16:38
Alan th, Good point about mining activity apparently bieng OK . saw quite a bit of abandoned stuff in my time in outback. good example is Kalgoorlie, everyone knows its not safe to just walk around the bush without great care due to old shafts, not always easily seen or guarded. 100 ft drop is good for the soul.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 21:13

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 21:13

we drove the Kidson last August/Sept.
I wouldn't call it a trck now. Gets rougher west of Razorblade Bore for a bit then opens up to the Kidson Hwy.

The grader driver that did the new section must have been on his L plates.

As soon as it rains it'll be Kidson River.

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Follow Up By: AlanTH - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 21:26

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 21:26
We had a club member slip on the side of an abandoned mine last year out in the Mt Jackson area and very nearly ended up going down. Very lucky lad.
I thought the same Steve about where they've trashed the track out to Gwenneth Lakes, doesn't look as if it's been done very expertly at all, some very low points which will quickly fill up.
We met an elder from the Martu who was going out for a look at what was going on. I don't know what he or his offsider would have thought of all the destruction in their lands.
Seemed like a nice bloke who cared for his country but I suppose as long as all the crap government guidelines have been met it's all OK though.
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Follow Up By: mike g2 - Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 10:58

Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 10:58
Hi again Alan, tell me more about the club you mentioned. sounds like you do regular trips out . assume its 4wd,will try and get to a meet if your in northern suburbs of perth.
forum and club members should try and lobby whoever it is ( ?shires)thats grading these tracks.having the traditional owners onside would help.
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Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 09:12

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 09:12
Hi Mike,

I blame the Greenies (fun police). The Greenies want to stop anything that is remotely enjoyable and turn us all into video game fatsos. They claim they are into environmental awareness but I've never heard them ever campaign against the spiraling population.

You reduce Aust population by a half and watch the prob's disappear.

Cheers Wilko
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