Googs Track versus Anne Beadell Hwy

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 22:55
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I am pondering whether to return to Perth from Alice Springs via Googs Track and the or via the Anne Beadell which I know is quite corrugated. Anyone done both and would like to comment on which track was more rewarding scenery wise ?

I plan to go from Alice via the Andado Track towards Coober Pedy. There's a track that leaves the at Balladonia and exits in Kalgoorlie I could take if doing the Goog should time permit Any comment or suggestions appreciated............Peter
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Reply By: Member - DingoBlue(WA) - Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 23:21

Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 23:21
I`ve done both. The Anne Beadell is corrugated in places but a great drive. Googs is great fun on the North side of Googs Lake but only about 300km overall and then back on the bitumen (maybe to Balladonia). Both are great drives but I would recommend the Anne Beadell for your return and keep the Googs for another time. Saying that, Googs is quite challenging and is supposedly a mini Simpson.
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Follow Up By: Member - kwk56pt - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 12:49

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 12:49
Thanks for the reply. Think I will do the Anne Beadell, try low tyre pressures drive slowly and enjoy the scenery. Guess I will find out how good it is or how wearing the track can be.
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Reply By: Member - Michael John T (VIC) - Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 23:55

Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 at 23:55

Goog's is a great drive and you could and should spend a little time there, but if driving through probably a two and half day drive and then bitumen. Anne Beadell is also a great drive, corrugated some what but splendid scenery and if you take it easy and look around/stop you will find lots of small flowers and birds etc.., quite a bit of history as well with bomb sites, Beadell markers etc. With Goog's plenty of sand just before Mt Finke and through to the Lake, but good driving with tyres well down.

Difficult choice but I'd probably just choose The Anne Beadell. Which ever one you choose however you will enjoy it.

Good traveling,
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael John T (VIC) - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 00:02

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 00:02
Sorry Peter I forgot to mention I have a blog which you are welcome to open on Goog's Track "Surveyors General Corner Part 2 -Sand and Granite"

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Follow Up By: Member - kwk56pt - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 12:45

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 12:45
Thanks, I checked out your blog, I can see you are serious bloggers in terms of quality as well as quantity. I have book marked it and will read the Sandy Blight Junction one as well as have a read of your other interesting trips to give me some ideas for the future.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 07:37

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 07:37
Hi Peter

Both are two very different drives and different scenery. Have you thought about doing both?

I personally believe the most corrugated part of the Anne Beadell is from Emu through to Mable Creek. The Googs Track on the other hand is very cut up on the Northern approach at the northern end, heading north.

Why not refuel at Glendambo, head out throuth Kingoonya, Tarcoola and take in the many historical sights along the way. Duck down Googs tracks, stock up with all major supplies at Ceduna, then head west. Around 15 kms west of Nundroo, head north and come through Ooldea and through to Maralinga.

My mate Robin will show you all the important features around the area, including your last hot showers for a few days. The Emu Road is a fantastic drive with great scenery and will bring you out at Emu on the Anne Beadell. If you have not been to the 2 Totem sights, check them out, and west all the way to Laverton.

As they say, there is always 2 ways to skin a cat and you get to see and drive 2 great and very different drives.


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Follow Up By: Member - kwk56pt - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 12:42

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 12:42
Thanks for the great idea. I will keep the idea but a bit short on time for that. I have 26 days. Perth , Great Central Road, Sandy Blight Junction Rd,Alice Springs Area.

Have you a opinion on whether to exit the centre for Coober Pedy via old Anado or via Chambers Pillar ?

I think I will come back via Anne Beadell 7 to 8 days back to Perth from Coober Pedy plus 2 or 3 days to get from Alice to Coober Pedy.

The trip over is roughly 5 days so I think your plan is ok but I did not mention my time frame. I appreciate the time you have taken to respond.
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Follow Up By: Member - Noldi (WA) - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 14:03

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 14:03
Hi Peter,
Sounds like a great trip, I’m hoping to do similar in 2015. I did the Connie Sue in September (about 2 weeks after Connie Sue was there herself) and was sorely tempted to turn left when I got to Neale Jct.

Still have many things to decide, starting with weather to do Googs from the North then up through Maralinga then home along the AB or the other way around.

I will need to re read both Stephens and Michael's blogs
Be intrested in your thoughts on the AB when finished.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 14:12

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 14:12
Hi Noldi

All that country is fantastic and no single trip does it justice. Weather permitting, see me report at the end of August this year.


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Follow Up By: Member - Noldi (WA) - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 14:15

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 14:15
I sure will Stephen, suspect there will be lots of questions as well
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 14:31

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 14:31
Both are good. When are you planning on doing it?

If I were in your shoes and well set up, I'd do the Anne Beadell Hwy - it has more points of interest. Another alternative is to follow the ABH as far as Voakes Hill and then head south via Cook to the Eyre Highway. It would take you around 4 days from Coober Pedy to Nullarbor at normal pace.

As for the Alice Springs bit, Old Andado track to Andado then south to Mt Dare, then Oodnadatta and Coober pedy is the way I'd go. Lots of interest that way - spend a night at Eringa waterhole.
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Follow Up By: Member - kwk56pt - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 16:04

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 16:04
Hi Phil, circumstances have allowed me to get away in April, so departure is a week away. Yes I am well set up. I did admire your tray back landcruiser set up for a long time before I eventually saw and bought a 2005 Patrol Ute that had a Telstra style canopy on it with the dual spare tyres mounted on the back. Already had a barrett 550 HF radio fitted and a water tank which was a good start along with what appeared to be previous caring owners.

To be honest I was annoyed and a bit disappointed to see your Toyota for sale after the long and pain staking process of fitting it out. It was a lot of work, planning and research to get all together but I have ended up with a good unit.

Thanks for the Eringa waterhole tip. Yes I think I will take the old track, its good to know this is the way with the most interest. I have added a couple of pictures I thought you might like.

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Follow Up By: Member - kwk56pt - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 17:02

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 17:02
Seeing you are quite knowledgeable have you any suggestion on how you would best fill 8 or 9 days in while in the Alice Springs area. I suppose I am asking what do you consider as the high lights or how you would spend the 9 days if in the area again ? Is boggy hole trip in the Finke nat Park worthwhile doing given my limited time in the area ?
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 17:25

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 17:25
There are many great places to see around Alice Springs, depending on your interests. Apart from the standard touristy in the Alice and places like Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm there are:
East Macs - Ruby Gap, n'Dhala Gorge, Arltunga Reserve. There is a good tourist drive that runs east from the Stuart highway, taking off a bit north of the Tropic of Capricorn.You could do a loop going out that way to Arltunga, on to Ruby Gap and back via the Ross H'way and the gorges off that road.
The Mereenie Loop at the end of the west Macs is a good drive - go out along Namatjira Drive that will take you past the major gaps and gorges, past Gosse Bluff, down to Hermannsburg, Palm Valley, then the Boggy Hole track down to Ernest Giles road, west to Kings Canyon on Luritja Road then back to Alice via Larapinta Drive. Might be a bit rushed to do it justice in 9 days but its wonderful country.


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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 19:59

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 19:59
Thanks Peter,
You have done a great setup. I like the way you've minimised weight by smart use of aluminium and plastic.
Yeah in some ways I miss the traytop - it was the most practical desert vehicle I've had and setting it up was an absolute blast - I really enjoyed the shed time and the trips. But after 8 years, I was struggling to stay interested - I started changing things...and making them figured I needed a new project, and seeing we had the Tvan and we now have grandkids, went back to a wagon.

The 200series is quiet, smooth, powerful, swish and capable.......not necessarily good though! - I've done a pretty good fitout so it works nice on the desert trips....but one day I might just give it the chop and turn it into a traytop :-) We were thinking of stepping up to a 4.5T truck, but living out of the vehicle is not something I want to do and a bigger vehicle becomes less capable in the places we like to go.

Yeah Alice Springs area is a favourite - met my wife there 34 years ago! We've been back fairly often. We'd tend to do a loop these days and not camp at Alice Springs - prefer to use the town for a visit, a restock and camp outside the town. This is my suggestion for you for 9 days, bearing in mind it will be pretty warm in April and a few flies around:

Day 1: Not sure which direction you're coming from, but I'll assume its from the south. So Day 1 camp at Rainbow Valley off the Stuart Highway. Sip a glass of Adelaide Hills Sav Blanc from those nice wine glasses you carry as the colours change on that brilliant rock face!

Day 2 Turn left and drive through Owen Springs. Its a nice "shortcut". Call into Hermannsberg and check out the great restoration of the old mission and grab a scone while you're there. Head out to camp at Palm Valley for the night.

Day 3 Do the valley part of the walk (it's shaded whereas the hilltop walk is not). Maybe one hour up, then 1 hour back. Then leave palm valley via Gosses Bluff (quick look when you drive in there for lunch) and drive past redbank Gorge towards Glen Helen Gorge. Just before Glen Helen you'll drive across the Finke River, turn left onto the track that follows the river and it's the best free camping you'll get for the next few kilometres - watch the sunset over Mt Sonder with a glass of Barossa Shiraz.

Day 4 Visit Glen Helen Gorge and splash around in the water, then drive to Ormiston Gorge for morning tea (have a swim to cool off (its pretty cold all year!)) Drive to Ellery Gorge if you wish (its a similar gorge to Ormiston) then towards the end of the day camp near Reedy Hole waterhole, off Namatjira Drive about 9 k's west of the intersection with Larapinta drive - its nice camping in shady river beds.

Day 5 Bacon and eggs morning, then off to Stanley Chasm at midday if you want to see it in full light. Head for Alice Springs - do your shopping, refuel them take the road east to camp at trephina Gorge. Nice shady camps here.

Day 6 Walk the gorge - it's nice, then maybe have a free afternoon to take a breather

Day 7 Drive to Arltunga in the morning and do the drive and look around. Then move onto N'Dhala Gorge to camp the night.

Day 8 Walk the gorge in the morning to check the rock carvings at N'Dhala, then drive out south to the Numery road (start of the Old Andado track) Head down the track, probably bush camp along the way towards the Mac Clarke Acacia Peuce Reserve.

Day 9 Walk the Acacia Peuce Reserve then visit Old Andado, and head south from Andado to Eringa waterhole or go via Mt Dare (check conditions of the Mt Dare track before attempting it).

Anyway dinner is on the table...I'd better go :-))


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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 20:18

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 20:18
Regarding Boggy Hole in April - I still haven't done Boggy Hole, but given the time pressures it would be one place I'd save up for the next trip. You won't see everything this time - always nice to leave a few spots for next time. My itinery is designed to maximise what you see in the time available. It is also biased against spending a night in Alice Springs - just because I've seen it all before and I go there to see the bush and don't like caravan parks. But while you're passing through Alice, take the drive up Anzac Hill to take in the view of the ranges (and the town!).
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Follow Up By: Member - John N (SA) - Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 09:52

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 09:52
G'day Peter,

I add our vote for Phil's itinerary. For the Alice Springs recommendations, we did that trip in May last year (in reverse) and the whole trip was a great experience. We started the Binns Track bit from Mt Dare and camped at Old Andado on the way to AS. We had a little more time and after camping for a few days at Palm Valley we visited Boggy Hole and had a great night camped there alongside the water. We kept going south to the Ernest Giles Road and camped at Kings Creek Station for a couple of days before heading off and complete the loop described by Phil. I concur with his recommendation of the free camp site opposite Glen Helen - I could look it up, but I think it was called 3 mile creek or similar. The rest of the gorges and the trip east of AS are well worth the time.

We also drove the ABH on a club trip a couple of years ago - altogether another inspiring experience. Good luck

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Follow Up By: Member - kwk56pt - Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 20:05

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 20:05
Thanks for all the replies, sounds like Anne Beadell is worth doing despite the bad corrugations over a large section. I think the worst aspect of really bad corrugations even with reduced tyre pressures is wondering how long your 4x4 can sustain this before some significant nut or fitting gives up.

Thank you Phil for your itinerary. I will be coming in from the west via Papunya. Have to do the Sandy Blight Junction road as I have read good reports about that trip but I will alter your itinerary a little to suit my westerly approach. I really need six weeks for the trip it seems as it does take longer than you often expect.

I am just debating whether to do the ABH first in case it takes longer than the anticipated 5 days and return via sandy blight and great central road as that leg might be more predictable in the time frame needed.

Yes it will be a bit warm. Last time I was in the centre the days were sunny with a icy wind and sub zero temps when the sun went down.
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 19:41

Friday, Mar 21, 2014 at 19:41
The oysters at the (southern) end of Googs Track are better than those at either end of the ABH.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jim (Syd) - Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 05:25

Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 at 05:25
Absolutely agree, possibly the best oysters in Australia. As for the ABH, try and keep your tyre pressures lowish, about 25 psi on the front to soften the corrugations. You get long stretches of severe corrugations then suddenly a few sand moguls. The sand moguls will really test your shocker seals as they will be red hot from the corrugations and then get a sudden and long travel, taking them to full stretch and all the way back down if you are not careful. This will blow the seals if they are a bit worn. Agree that the worst corrugations are between the dog fence at Mabel Creek and Emu Clay Pan. Gets sandier further west, particularly the 100 kms or so after the WA/SA border. Good camping spots most of the way.
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