Travelling the West MacDonalds

Hello just wondering what the usual road conditions are from Gosse Bluff following the Meneerie Loop to Kings Canyon. Also the Finke track from the Ernest Giles Road through to the Larapinta Drive. We have 4wds towing off road caravans. I am just trying to put togetner our trip for July without too much back tracking as we only have 4 weeks and want to enjoy the west & East Macdonalds as much as possible. Thanks to you all in advance. Cheers Greg & Di
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 18:08

Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 18:08
The Mereenie loop is a well maintained gravel road - corrugated a lot of the time but generally ok - as for the Finke Gorge NP track up from the E Giles road - that is a real track most of the time - there is often significant water to cross, maybe deep dry sand sections (riverbed) and narrow paths between vegetation - all variable of course, depending on the last water events through there - been through there with a Subaru Forester a few years back, but conditions were very good then - but definitely not van territory. Check in the Treks section here for expert advice on those routes.
AnswerID: 505984

Follow Up By: Greg & Dianne - Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 18:49

Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 18:49
Mmmmmmmmm Thanks for that looks like we might have to give the Finke Gorge NP a miss..Thanks G&D
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Reply By: Mick O - Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 18:23

Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 18:23
There has been a lot of work done on the road over the past two years. From the start of the Larapinta Drive 12 km south of the turn to Glosses Bluff. it is bitumen all the way back in to Alice. A fantastic drive and one you should accomplish easily in your vehicle and van.

You may glean some road info from my blogs below

Mereenie Loop and Western McDonalds

Meerenie Loop - Kings Canyon

Cheers Mick

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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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AnswerID: 505985

Reply By: Echucan Bob - Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 18:37

Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 18:37
Crikey, next thing we'll be having a Happy Meal at Ormiston Gorge:-)

Its the MacDonnell Ranges.
AnswerID: 505987

Follow Up By: Ross M - Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 21:42

Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 21:42
Probably no fries with the MacDonnell one though.
Change the word, change the meaning eh?
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 19:58

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 19:58
:) same misunderstanding my old grand dad made when he arrived in Manchester to build the ship canal. Gave his name in, being a McDonnell but we've been known as McDonalds ever since because the old bugger couldn't read or write. Didn't stop him filling a betting slip in though.
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Reply By: craigandej - Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 19:09

Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 19:09
Straight off the sign at the southern end..........
"This drive follows the Finke River and includes long sections of deep soft sand. It is heavy going in places and you will need to use low range 4WD a lot."

"4WD vehicles with high clearance are essential. Trailers of any sort are not recommended."

I wouldnt say it was that hard, but the high sections are rocky and narrow tracks through scrub. Some of the lower sections are soft river sand. A few smaller dunes appear at the southern end also. The area just south of Boggy Hole can be tough depending on conditions, often over rock platforms along the waters edge.


AnswerID: 505992

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 08:51

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 08:51
Id be taking the loop rd rather than the Boggy Hole track.
Boggy Hole track is fine with camper trailers but I wouldnt recomend caravans.......unless its something like a Kimberly or something really small and light and your pretty comfortable with it.

AnswerID: 506017

Reply By: The Bunyip - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 11:55

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 11:55
Sounds like the road is nowhere near as bad as it was many years ago when first opened. In those days we took our time with a 2WD camper trailer yet the corrugations still managed to jolt & snap the radiator off the car body. It was an expensive repair exercise when we got back to Alice Springs.
To this day I've still never had anyone give me a definite answer on how to drive on corrugations. In those days I felt at a certain pace we would manage to hit every second one which felt comfortable enough.
That aside, this road is certainly worthwhile rather than having to backtrack.
AnswerID: 506030

Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 16:27

Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 16:27
Perhaps I can help you there, Mr Bunyip. Mr4X4 said, in a recent TV program, that you take corrugations at 80 to 90 kph. He didn't say what size of corrugations so I guess the advice applies to them all - even those monsters we see pictures of from the Anne Beadell Highway.
But I didn't say that I was going to follow his advice.
It is important to always maintain a sense of proportion

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