David Carnegie Highway (Ngarinarri Claypan)

Submitted: Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 09:18
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David Carngie Highway (Eagle Highway)

Has anyone travelled the section of the Carnegie Highway between the Gunbarrel Highway and the Talawana Track.

More specifically, I am interested in travelling to the Ngarinarri Claypan, which was the site that two aboriginal people, Warri and Yatungka were located at in 1977. They had been living a traditional life up until this point.

Has anyone travelled this way, and is it in fact possible? The map I have does not indicate permits are required, although this surprises me.

Any feedback, in general, would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 10:10

Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 10:10
Hi Landy, travelled that road in late May. When the David Carnegie becomes the Eagle Hwy when it crosses the Gunbarrel the track at the time was very washed out so you may find our wheel tracks still there. Quite a nice drive with the usual washouts and the occassional minor corrugated bit. We follwed the Eagle Hwy all the way around to the Gary Hwy.

There a couple of signs along the track (Eagle Hwy) that says access is prohibited ( at the Mungkili Outstation, and the track leading into the Warri Site), but when we met up with some of the TO Rangers they were quite happy for us to drive the track.

As to the clay pan you mention I have no idea?

Cheers

Dunc.
Dunc
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 10:34

Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 10:34
Hi Dunc

I think the area is referred to as Ngarinarri Claypan, but it is the Warri site that is off interest to us.

I’m assuming you were travelling north and then headed east towards the Gary Highway. Which way did you travel after that, and would you deem it suitable for a TVAN?

My map doesn't indicate permits are required, but I will check that aspect...

Thanks for your input…

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 11:03

Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 11:03
Baz we did encounter some bad washouts mainly on the Northern end where it does the hard right turn towards the Gary. Washouts were worst in the first 20k or so from the turn. Last 30k was absolutly beautiful driving and fit to be a race track it was that good.

At the bad spots side tracks have been made. The T Van is very capable off road so ok if you take it steady. I'll MM you my phone number if you want to discuss.

Cheers

Dunc
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Reply By: equinox - Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 10:50

Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 10:50
Hi Landy,

I went to the claypan in 2007.
Easy track, you'll get there easily enough in a Landcruiser.

Haven't been on the track north to the Talawana however have been on the track east to the Gary, that's a pearler.







Cheers
Alan

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In whatever comes our way.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 11:20

Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 11:20
Great, thanks for the feedback Alan. Not sure I can fit it in on ext year's trip, but trying to assess all possibilities at the moment. The area has a fascinating story...
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Reply By: Member - David & Kerry W - Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 14:45

Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 14:45
G'day Landy.

The following may be some help - a bit long winded! It was a great trip. My pics are similar to Alans.

Travel safe, David and Kerry

Day 16. Saturday, 11 July 2010. Start 275,832 km making 233 for yesterday. Frosty morning. Ice on the tent. Up the road came to some challenging sharp inclines and then crossed the Gunbarrel Highway to Mungilli nature reserve, this crossroad was where the Gunbarrel Highway met the David Carnegie Road which continued North as the Eagle highway, we had passed this way in 2008. Travelled up the well formed Road to the abandoned Mungilli community. Today this is occupied by sandalwood cutters. David talked to a couple of the blokes who were mainly aborigines used for their good bush sense overseen by a Fijian bloke on a four-wheel-drive quad. I asked the Fijian bloke did he go out looking for the sandalwood he admitted he didn't and everytime he did he got lost, whereas the aborigines could wonder all over this country and come straight back to camp from anywhere.

The sandalwood has become quite rare in Western Australia except in these very remote areas. The sandalwood is cut, even the smallest twigs are saved, bought back to the camp where the bark is water blasted off leaving the white underlaying wood. A heap of this wood looks somewhat bizarre in its bleached starkness, it is stacked into bulk fertiliser bags and collected when a load is available. I believe it's mainly sent China although there is some processing in Australia.

While having lunch on the side of the road a group of four vehicles passed us heading south one stopped to tell us there was heavy rain to the North and the Road may well be impassable. Their vehicles were covered in mud and there were some very mysterious packages covered with tarps on the back of the utes. We intrepid travellers travelled on into the unknown. We opted to take detours around the bog holes thus avoiding the muddy outcome. At no stage were we troubled by floodwaters or impassable mud – so much for listening to others in fact I'm sure they had some other agenda on their gameplan.

Visited the Eagle Hussar abandoned oil well drilled in 1982 then we headed up to the Warri Site. This was the oil exploration camp to all those years ago. Found the track and turned West to Ngariri Claypan.

Yatungke, the last two of the Desert nomads left their way of life in 1977 and were taken to Wiluna where they lived two years. A little stone cairn in the middle of the claypan marked the spot. A seemingly insignificant marker delineating such a profoundly important event. A peaceful place, which had a somewhat eerie feel, an unusual place, a spirtual place. We could understand their reluctance to abandon their heritage.

Went on back to the Warrie site where an oil exploration company put a couple of wells down but later abandoned them. A lonely windmill and tank, not working, were the only company for the many camels. Temperature got up to about 23°C.

Day 17 12th of July 2010. Left the Warrie site drove up to the Eagle Dragoon bore site. They were drilling for oil in 1982 drilled 2000 m. Turns south-east onto the Eagle Highway 66 km to join the Gary Highway. The Eagle Highway was rough going not much traffic had been on it and very overgrown, trees and shubs overcrowding the track itself. Big anthills had to be avoided on the track 25°C today. 10 AM David took photos of holy and wattle together both in flower. On to windy corner and another Len Beadell marker, we took photos around 4 PM and turned drove onto the Talawana Track and camped a few kilometres west.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 15:29

Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 15:29
Thanks David & Kerry

I ready to head off now!

Great information, and I will try and do this trip over the next 12 months. Not sure I can fit it into a trip I am planning next year, but we'll see.

Importantly, it looks as though this is a great trip to undertake...

Cheers, Baz
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Reply By: Mick O - Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 15:30

Friday, Nov 15, 2013 at 15:30
Baz,

The claypan it is closed to the public. You will need to apply for permission from the Birriliburu People. I suggest you contact Central Desert Native Title Services in Perth. They administer applications for access to BB lands.

"Access onto Birriliburu native title determination area for other purposes.
Access to the Birriliburu native title determination for all other purposes requires the consent of the Birriliburu native title holders."

"The only area the public can access that is recognised in the Birriliburu determination is the Canning Stock Route (CSR). Members of the public wishing to traverse the CSR may do so, however, no access off the CSR onto Birriliburu native title determination area is permitted without the consent of the Birriliburu native title holders. Consent for access onto the Birriliburu native title determination area can be sought through Central Desert."

Birriliburu NT info

Cheers Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Reply By: Member - Michael W14 - Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 11:02

Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 11:02
Hi Baz,

How the hell are you ?

I went up there from the Gunbarrel 6 years ago. Track as described by others.

Then we went south to Mt Madley, then up to the CSR via the Mungkulu Ranges and the Calvert Ranges. A trip I will never forget.

So many dunes, so many punctures. Those were the days !

Willie (same suburb as you)

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Follow Up By: Member - Michael W14 - Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 11:23

Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 11:23
PS I see you have finally got yourself a good car !
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 18:03

Sunday, Nov 17, 2013 at 18:03
Hi Willie

Yes, finally a good vehicle (so they say!)

Must say I’m rather envious when I spot that the Bush Tracker isn’t parked outside, meaning you must be Out and About.

We probably won’t get up the David Carnegie next year, but working on a trip across the Anne Beadell and back via the Sandy Blight Junction Track. Although we are all very keen to visit the Warri Site.

Trust all is well otherwise, and I’ll give you a shout once the vehicle is finished off. It is down at Bragg’s Auto at the moment having some wiring done…

Cheers, Baz
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