Comment: Dalhousie to Finke via Bloods Ck

Submitted: Friday, Jul 05, 2013 at 23:49
ThreadID: 103114 Views:1694 Replies:5 FollowUps:17
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We are going to Mt Dare - Dalhousie Springs from Kulgara side of Finke and are interested to know what the road condition of the Old Ghan Rail Route from Finke to Alice Springs is like? We have travelled the Anne Beadell, Strezlecki and Birdsville without much difficulty - is the Ghan Rail Route similar? Terry H8
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Reply By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Saturday, Jul 06, 2013 at 05:55

Saturday, Jul 06, 2013 at 05:55
I had a tour pass through yesterday and while I have not had a chance to talk to them, they made normal time which leads me to the conclusion that the Ghan track from Finke to Alice is in good condition. It has in the past been corrugated but nowhere near as bad as the Anne Beadell. You will find it no hassle at all.
AnswerID: 514365

Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Saturday, Jul 06, 2013 at 12:41

Saturday, Jul 06, 2013 at 12:41
The Finke Desert Race was run in June so would have thought it wouldn't be in its best condition???
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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Saturday, Jul 06, 2013 at 16:56

Saturday, Jul 06, 2013 at 16:56
I find the race makes little difference to it. It can't have been too bad because the tour made good time.
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 11:13

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 11:13
Gday,
Have to disagree there Mr. Olsen.......The Finke race makes a real mess of the track.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 18:08

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 18:08
Having actually been along there after the race, I'd have to agree with Olsen's 4WD - the race doesn't change the road much. They race parallel to it, not on it. They cross it occasionally, but that's about it. The only extra traffic on the actual road is from support vehicles & spectators.

Also agree with Olsen's 4WD on that track not being near as bad as the Anne Beadell. In fact, it's quite easy. Avoid any dog spikes that are sticking straight up - drive straight over the rest, let your tyres down a bit & take it easy........ you'll be fine.

The sand is quite soft along there & that bumps your fuel consumption up A LOT, so being forewarned is forearmed lol!

Have a great trip!

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 18:47

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 18:47
Yep, been along it 21 times each side of race week, can't say I see any difference.
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 09:59

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 09:59
They do actually race on quite a bit of the road not just cross it and there are probably as many support vehicles and spectators heading down the "road" that weekend as there are competitors (which is around 500 these days).
How any one can say 100's of fully loaded vehicles towing trailers ,trucks, and all sorts of off roaders roaring up and down a dirt road for a week doesn't make any difference to the condition of a road has me beat. But each to their own I suppose.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 10:05

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 10:05
Read the reply from Troopmaster96.....He' just been down it.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 14:28

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 14:28
Which only really shows that we all view road conditions differently ;)

I'd say that anyone who's just traversed the Anne Beadell Hwy will find the old ghan heritage road a breeze.

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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 14:44

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 14:44
Yes I agree......the only point I was making was the Finke race makes a mess of the road. Therefore any conditions the poster (Terry I think it was) may have heard regarding the track in previous times, wether good or bad, this time of year would certainly be at the worse end of the scale.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 17:44

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 17:44
As I said. I have driven the track 21 times on either side of the race. I gave my observation based on my experiences. Feel free to give advice based on your own experience.
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 18:46

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 18:46
Ive driven the track 2 days before the race, during and two days after around 20 times (40 times plus if your counting there and back).........3 or 4 times a year for 20 years visiting mates along the way and countless times for work on various section but not always the entire length for work purposes for over 20 years......but hey......who's counting....LOL.
This is not a matter of who been along the track more times but a simple bit of advice for someone asking a simple question.
Do you honestly believe that somewhere between 500-2000 vehicles loaded and in race mode can travel down a dirt road over a week or so without making more of an impact than the few vehicles than usually travel the road in any other week????
Its not rocket science.........
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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 18:48

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 18:48
I not only believe it, I've seen it
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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 18:50

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 18:50
In any case. I gave my experience without criticising yours. Your experience obviously differs from mine. I see no need for an abundance of question marks.
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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 18:56

Monday, Jul 08, 2013 at 18:56
In addition my reference to the number of times I have driven it is not to compete with you. I gave it as a form of qualification. ie if I had driven it twice and seen no difference, the reader could assume I was lucky and perhaps the advice was worth less. Since I have driven it so many times he/she can conclude the advice carries some weight.

I think the track was in far worse condition back in 2004 than it has ever been since- race traffic or no race traffic. The amount of damage to a road by traffic depends on a number of factors including the soil type and moisture levels to name just two - some roads can improve with more traffic. In any case I don't intend to make any more comment on this thread. Your experience and observation is as valuable as any other and I have not in any way criticised it, only given my own observations
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Reply By: BUSH CAMPER - Saturday, Jul 06, 2013 at 07:46

Saturday, Jul 06, 2013 at 07:46
Should be OK, suggest you let tyres down to about 26 PSI and drive to conditions. Last year we did it with an offroad van with no trouble.
Another mate with us had trouble with his fridge going walkabout in his van and tied his mattress down with tiedowns, he didn't let his tyres down and travelled to slow.
What vehical and trailer are you travelling in?
What condition are your tyres in?
You will see plenty of other people on the road at this time of the year.
Good luck, Hugh
AnswerID: 514366

Reply By: Member - Greg T - Saturday, Jul 06, 2013 at 15:18

Saturday, Jul 06, 2013 at 15:18
I drove from Mt Dare to Alice Springs the week before the Finke Desert Race and it was very corrugated and at places the bull dust was quite deep. As the other replies say, lower tyre pressures and you should be OK. I towed a camper trailer with no problem. Watch for the rail sleeper spikes when you are on old railway line alignment and don't be emberrassed when people from Finke round you up in VS Commodore.
AnswerID: 514389

Reply By: troopmaster96 - Saturday, Jul 06, 2013 at 19:29

Saturday, Jul 06, 2013 at 19:29
Hi Terry,
Literally back from the area yesterday, (Friday 5th July).
Went from Mt Dare to Alice via Finke and the Ghan Line, as mentioned earlier the Finke Desert Race has just been, thusly approx 2000 people have traversed along this "Line" for the race according to locals in Alice.
Myself, I couldnt believe how chopped up, rutted, and bull dusted the "Line" is!
Me in my HZJ75 Troopie had to sit on about 80km/h to get away from the Rutts, mind you 80km/h was pretty hard going nevertheless, (shocks on an accompanying 4wd all blew and my OME Nitrochargers were quite hot!

FYI Mt Dare to Dalhousie is pretty rough for the first 10kms aswell, but has nothing on the Ghan Line!!

I was really discusted in the rubbish lying around along the Ghan Line, locals tell me its from the Desert Race, it seems no one cares about it......I intend on writing an email to the Alice Springs Council on the rubbish.

A great time of year to get up there, I have just gotten back to the Adelaide Hills and its 10 Degrees and Raining......it was mid 20's, Blue Skies and Sunshine when I was there!

Hopefully this helps a little Terry?
AnswerID: 514399

Follow Up By: Sandman - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 11:45

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 11:45
Dont write the council, they are as bleep off as you about the trash. Write to the race organisers, details on their website... The more trash thats left, the less likely the station owners will let the race continue...

The organisers should patrol the route themselves, they charge enough for folks to enter !@

Pete in Alice
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 16:55

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 16:55
Station owners have been threatening to shut it down if something isn't done about the rubbish for years. Don't know the answer, but the Northern end of the track is a bloody disgrace and has been for years!
It wouldn't be that hard to drive through all the camps over the weekend with a video running and capture everyone's number plates and prosecute later if there is rubbish left behind.
They sort of tried that with camping fees but nothing was followed up from what I know.
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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 18:59

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 18:59
Yes the rubbish is disgusting on the Ghan, but don't get me started on the OTL on Cape York. I hope they do close the OTL because the pigs who make such a mess of it deserve to lose access- the rest of us will just have to accept it
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Reply By: Terry H8 - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 10:55

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 10:55
Thanks to the four replies, greatly appreciated. From the information it seems that it is very similar to the South Australian side of the Anne Beadell minus the rubbish. We managed 1300km in our Toyota 80 series with a camper trailer albeit at about 15-20km an hour in some parts due to the rough terrain - but lets face it, it why we all go bush. Thanks again - Terry H8.
PS no more replies required.
AnswerID: 514430

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