Heading to the Flinders Ranges in my Grand Vitara Sports AWD

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 16:46
ThreadID: 106313 Views:1734 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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Hi, I am travelling to the Flinders Ranges to bushwalk, and for landscape photography. I have a 2012 Suzuki Grand Vitara Sports which is all-wheel drive. It has the standard road tyres on it.

My question is, would I be better suited to get a new set of wheels for the off road areas and would this car need anything else to make it safe for me to drive in the Flinders Ranges? I will not be doing any extreme tracks, just looking to try some of the beginner to intermediate tracks.

Thanks
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Reply By: KevinE - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 17:11

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 17:11
Hi,

You should be fine with the car as it is as long as it hasn't rained too much before you go. Even then, you should be fine as long as you walk the water crossings before you drive across checking for submerged rocks & water depth - but drive across slowly!

Moralana scenic drive, Brachina Gorge, Bunyeroo Gorge, Parachilna Gorge are all quite doable in a family sedan if it hasn't rained too much.

Aroona is another nice spot to visit & the Suzi should do it easily.

If you have time, Warraweena & Sliding Rock are well worth a visit. You access them via the road into Beltana.

Have a great time up there!

Kevin :=)

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Reply By: tonyci - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 17:48

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 17:48
Hi I agree with Kevin. Just make sure your tyres are in good condition.
Like you I like landscape photography, the Flinders is just fantastic for photography.
Cheers
Tony

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AnswerID: 526815

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 18:30

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 18:30
For a different perspective, drive the road west of the Range via Warrakimbo in the late afternoon.
Also explore the Argadels (Mt Arden) and Willow Springs.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 526820

Reply By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 20:12

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 20:12
I was camped next to a Bloke in a Nissan Patrol at Rawnsley Park near Wilpena Pound who lost 3 tyres in half an hour on the Brachina Gorge road to the North South highway .

He had been forced to fit passenger tyres when he had a couple of tyres go and that was all they had in Kununurra. With his appetite for tyres , it may have been that he had too much inflation or was overloaded but he usually towed a van so I think more likely over inflation.

Now I am not suggesting that you would have the same problem , but be aware of the sharp flinty rocks, and lower your tyre pressures and speed when on the dirt roads.

Of course it probably would be best to have Light Truck (LT rated ) tyres but with care you should be OK. depends how much more off road work you envisage doing to warrant spending the money.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 526826

Reply By: Les PK Ranger - Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 21:14

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 21:14
Good walking up there, you doing any of the Heysen Trail sections ?
The Wilpena Pound St Mary Peak circuit is worth a 3/4 day.

Yes, drop tyre pressures say 5psi under normal road pressures, just to take the edge off road corrugations / sharp rocks etc, drive slowly and no sharp corners at speed.

Does the Suzi have low range ?
If so, you could carefully explore Skytrek (Willow Springs) but Argadells is pretty heavy going most of it, lots of sharp rocks and good clearance required in those hills.
Some good camping in the valleys you could access ok though.

If you want to bag Devils Peak, the Devils Peak B&B has a nice camping area just north of the main residence / B&B, google them and ask about it, I think last time in there it was a fairly cheap $10 a night or so.
Devils Peak is a nice walk and good views.
AnswerID: 526828

Follow Up By: KevinE - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 16:31

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 16:31
Have to agree with Les, Wilpena Pound is definitely worth the walk if you're able.
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FollowupID: 809271

Follow Up By: Endlesswalker - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 20:48

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 20:48
Hi, thanks for the advice everyone.

Sounds like I will need to get an air compressor to re-inflate my tyres if I reduce the psi.

Yes my car is a 4 speed auto, with 2nd and Low gear. Not much clearance though, unlike the Toyota Hilux I sometimes drive at work.

I have had a look at the locations mentioned in your replies, and they all sound like they should be on my list of places to visit! I really like gorges, waterfalls, and mountain walks, so it sounds like there are some really special places up there.
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FollowupID: 809307

Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 22:52

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 22:52
Sounds like you won't have to air up with any urgency.
With no low range gearing or reasonable clearance, you won't really be going places that require dropping pressures more than a little.
If only 5psi under, you could air up at Wilpena servo, or even down at Hawker.
If running fairly low pressures (say 30) normally, you could probably not worry air down at all.
A little lower air pressures just helps with comfort, and reduces risk of punctures.

Forget any of the station hills drives, like Willow Springs (Skytrek) or Argadells in the Mt Arden range, it's just too rocky for anything but decent off road tyres, 25psi, and reasonable clearance.

I think you'd like some of the lower tracks at Argadells - http://www.argadells.com.au/ . . . very nice in there, and some cracker campsites in the valleys . . . maybe Malcolm will take you for a drive to Mt Arden summit if you can twist his arm : )

Other than that, check out all the tracks in the Nat Pk, up to Aroona, where Hans Heysen stayed to paint, have a walk up Aroona Valley, towards the Heysen Trails end at Parachilna Gorge (a good day and a halfs walk), turn around where you feel is good and back to camp there.

The drive from the main road to Blinman is fine, then head down through to Parachilna Gorge, nice driving and camping through the creeks there.

Enjoy.
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