Strzelecki and Oodnadatta Tracks in 2WD Trayback Ute

G'day there!

I'm doing some very preliminary planning of a trip in September and October, doing the outback first and then heading for the southern coast.

Travelling in a Rodeo 2WD trayback ute in company with a Landrover 4x4.

Last year we successfully went from Broken Hill to Cameron Corner via the dog fence (not actually on the dog fence track, that's illegal) and wouldn't mind heading west from Cameron Corner.


At Lake Boolka on the dog fence.

So my questions are:

1) Would I get through the Strzlecki Track from Cameron Corner to the Oodnadatta Track?

2) I'm thinking the Oodnadatta track to the Borefield Road would be OK. Correct? I could then go down Borefield Road to Roxby Downs. (Might need to go to Roxby for fuel, anyway).

3) Would I get through Oodnadatta Track and Oodnadatta Road to Coober Pedy?

And yes, I do realise this is a major undertaking even in a big fourby, with a long way between fuel stops and drinks.

We won't be in a hurry so can wait a week if it should rain.

Of course, anything can happen with the weather between now and September. I'm asking the questions on the assumption that it will be a normal season (if there's such a thing any more).


Salt at Lake Torrens.

An alternative for us may be to return to Broken Hill from Cameron Corner, via the highway, and then go up through the Flinders Ranges and around the top of Lake Torrens.

I'd appreciate the benefit of experience.

Thanks,
Laurie.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Feb 15, 2013 at 23:45

Friday, Feb 15, 2013 at 23:45
I did all those tracks you mentioned in 1978 in a Corolla. The tracks are in better nick these days, so yes just do it. If it rains, you stay put until the road is open again.

Only advice is to have decent tread on the tyres because the rocks can be sharp.
AnswerID: 504841

Reply By: Member - Graham Watson (SA) - Friday, Feb 15, 2013 at 23:54

Friday, Feb 15, 2013 at 23:54
Unless it is wet the trip from Camerons Corner to the Strezlecki track (new track not the old one) then down to Lyndhurst up to Maree, along the Oodnadatta Track and down the Borefield road should be easy in a 2wd. The main issue would be the ute surviving the corrugations rather than ground clearance or the need for 4wd traction. I have driven those routes in a 4wd, but there were no places where 4wd was neccessary. Only issue we had was bursting a tyre on the Oodnadatta track. We didn't notice the loss of pressure or change in handling because of the corrugations. We now use tyre pressure monitors to hopefully prevent that happening again.
When up at Sturt National Park we found the 4wd track was actually a much easier, smoother track than the main road from Camerons Corner to Tibooburra. Just the luck of which road has been graded when.
From Camerons Corner to the Strezlecki track there are quite a few hard packed dunes/ridges to drive over. Traction is not an issue as the surface is quite hard packed, we did however find there were some significant potholes just over the crest of the hills, but if you take it easy you will be fine.
I haven't done the Oodnadatta Track past william creek, so can't comment on that portion of the trip.
Graham Watson

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Reply By: Bega Photographer - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 06:56

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 06:56
Thanks so much, Phil and Graham! That's great info! Looks like we're right to go!

I'll now have good info when I talk further with my friend who has the Landrover.

I'm good for 1000km with my jerry cans in heavy driving conditions.
AnswerID: 504845

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 08:33

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 08:33
Hi Laurie,

Those roads are all very doable in a 2WD ute providing it is dry. We did a similar run in 2011 and wrote some blogs about the trip - link to one is here. At that time the roughest section was in the Sturt NP where the corrugations were very bad. As already mentioned keep a watch out for patches of bulldust where the clay roadbase has broken up on top of the dunes west of Cameron Corner. The Strzlecki has quite a few bitumen stretches now, though we have not done the section from Mt Hopeless to Lyndhurst. The Borefield Track is well maintained.

However your alternative track around the tip of Lake Torrens (through Mulgaria) is not an option for a 2WD. In '11 there was one section that was quite badly washed out, and there are numerous small sand dunes where you would need 4WD. Its a great run though, but Im not sure if its still open - there was a bit of discussion about it on here quite recently.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Reply By: Ozrover - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 09:30

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 09:30
Not a problem as stated by all above in the dry, if it rains, then forget it or be prepared for a long wait until it dries out.

I'd be more worried about the Landie breaking down! lol!!!

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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 09:31

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 09:31
:) It had to be said!!!

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Follow Up By: garrycol - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 11:57

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 11:57
Why must it be said?
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Follow Up By: Member - Keith C (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 13:28

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 13:28
Yer a cruel mongrel Jeff, what about that little wire at the back of the battery on the cruisers. Best regards Keith
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 17:48

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 17:48
Shhhhh!!! We don't talk about that. ;)

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 11:45

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 11:45
As said, you won't have an issue, but run decent tyres.

Heading north towards Moomba in September 2012.
It is a short video clip, so double click on it....



Cheers,
Peter
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AnswerID: 504859

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 14:10

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 14:10
Geez Peter, passing a tanker road-train on that track! Did he have some engine problem? LOL

Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Bega Photographer - Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 15:33

Saturday, Feb 16, 2013 at 15:33
Thanks everybody, that's great info and very encouraging!

A great read and photos, Val. Thanks.

Jeff. I suppose I could always tow the Landrover if it came to the crunch.

Thanks for the video, Peter! They call that a track? That's a road! Gives me a good idea of what to expect, though I guess there will be narrower, rougher, softer, looser, windier, muddier, steeper patches along the way.

I have more questions that are not quite the same topic so I'll start a new thread.
AnswerID: 504868

Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 17:54

Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 17:54
We headed up that way last year with a Subaru Outback in the group - made it easy.

A lot of those roads are now used by the gas fields - so they're well maintained.
AnswerID: 504955

Reply By: Bega Photographer - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 11:54

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 11:54
Thanks Scot!

I have some more questions but will post again later.

I see we could take William Creek Road or the long way, Oodnadatta track and Oodnadatta Road.
AnswerID: 504988

Follow Up By: Dr Hook - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 16:30

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 16:30
I agree with the earlier Post: you will have trouble towing that Landy over those long distances, so better to prepare to repair it yourself, each time it breaks down.

Last big trip I led, it was the Landy which stripped the spline-drive on the steering universal joint: fortunately we were able to remove the joint, reverse it and get just enough spline each end to keep it functioning for the remaining 2000kms.

If that had not worked, we'd either have to leave it there (middle of the Anne Beadell) or rig up some sort of tiller-steering with wire and branches: can't imagine how but I'm sure other readers will have plenty of ideas on how to rescue Landys.....

Meanwhile, bull dust WILL get in everything, so wrap up well!

Dr Hook
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Reply By: Bega Photographer - Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:41

Monday, Feb 18, 2013 at 17:41
Ah! We'll strike some bull dust, huh!

I remember an old cocky saying "Sooner mud than dust." But I reckon "Sooner dust than mud" for my purpose.
AnswerID: 505015

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