Brisbane to Bourke to Broken Hill to Birdsville & Back??

Submitted: Monday, Mar 24, 2014 at 09:42
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Hi all, first post here, but have watched your site with interest for a while. My wife and I are in the early stages of planning a Sept school hols trip out to the Darling River and Corner Country. Our last decent trip was up to Winton & Lawn Hilll and across the gulf to Cooktown. We've got a reasonably well setup diesel Pajero with HD suspension, LT tyres and a canvas touring tent etc. We tend to mix free camping with van parks for a bit of luxury occasionally. I've been reading with interest the "runs" below

http://www.exploroz.com/TrekNotes/OutbackNSW/Darling_River_Run.aspx
http://www.exploroz.com/TrekNotes/OutbackNSW/Corner_Country.aspx

We tend to be restless travellers and like to see a bit rather than staying in one spot and relaxing for a week at a time. Case in point, I haven't been out to Corner Country and Birdsville before and was wondering if it's pushing it to try and extend this trip to get out to Innaminka and Birdsville too?

We'll head to Bourke via Nindigullly pub and Lightning Ridge to check out the opals and hot springs etc. Then cruise down the Darling river tracks for a few days and go as far as Wilcannia or Menindee before heading up via Broken Hill towards Camerons Corner.

I'd appreciate any feedback about what's a must see in this region and how much is doable in 16 days.

Cheers,
Dion
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Reply By: rumpig - Monday, Mar 24, 2014 at 17:30

Monday, Mar 24, 2014 at 17:30
last year we did Brisbane to Nindigully, Innamincka, Birdsville for 3 nights (via Walkers Crossing track), to Windorah (via Cordillo Downs and Hadden Corner), to Winton, Emerald and Cania Gorge in 2 weeks, so i reckon your trip is certainly doable in adding in Birdsville if you like to keep on the go (which is what you'll need to do). There's plenty to see around Innamincka area, we missed some of what we wanted to see (Bourke and Wills grave sites & Coongie Lakes for example) for family illness reasons and vehicle problems encountered on the trip, but still saw some good stuff whilst out that Birdsville / Innamincka area. here's a link to my trip report to show what we got up to in our 2 weeks away..... http://forum.themotleycrew.com.au/index.php?topic=1466.0
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Follow Up By: BrisVegas - Monday, Mar 24, 2014 at 17:42

Monday, Mar 24, 2014 at 17:42
Thanks mate. Reading your trip report now.

My rough plan was to ease into it with Lightning Ridge and then Trilby Station in the first week, then the second week to go up through Tibooburra, Cameron Corner, Innaminka, Strzlecki and Birdsville which would be a bit rougher and more remote. On our last trip, we eased into things with bitumen driving and stops at Mitchell and Longreach first before bush camping at Winton and then restocked at Mt Isa before heading up into Lawn Hilll and onto the dirt for a week.

We could do it the other way round too of course, heading to Birdsville first and doing the loop anticlockwise. Either way would work obviously, just depends whether we do our own thing or try to fit in with the ExplorOz crew.
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Monday, Mar 24, 2014 at 21:50

Monday, Mar 24, 2014 at 21:50
If you go to Trilby Station you will see a heap of ExplorOz Members there for the National Gathering ;)


Cheers Kev

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Follow Up By: BrisVegas - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 10:26

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 10:26
Hi Kev,

Yeah I saw that member event and it looks like fun. I'm on the ExplorOz email list somehow, can't remember when i signed up to it. I wonder if there'll be other young families with kids there? I don't have the cash to join just yet, but plan to. I was gonna call Trilby this week and see if there's room for us in the same period as the ExplorOz event, we'll book in and join up. Otherwise, we'll go the week prior and just do our own thing.

Cheers, Dion
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 13:59

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 13:59
Dion,

I have 10 and a 7 year old girls attending with me so I think there will be a few other kids there going by previous National Gatherings :)

Cheers Kev


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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 14:01

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 14:01
Forgot we have friends comming as well and she has a 14 yr old Boy and a 10 year old girl.

So yes there will be a few kids there to keep each other occupied :)


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Follow Up By: BrisVegas - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 15:27

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 15:27
Cheers Kev. I just spoke to Liz at Trilby Station and I've got a tent site there from Sun - Thurs during the ExplorOz event. I'll buy membership on payday and make it official.

My girls will be relieved to know there's other girls coming. If the kids are amused, it's much easier to relax.

I'll put up a tentative itinerary shortly, now that we can work around some fixed dates.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 13:56

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 13:56
Hi Dion,

That's a great part of the country with plenty to see. If you want to see most of what is on offer you would need rather more than 2 weeks. If on the other hand you want a quick run though, then you could certainly get a taste of the country. One good thing, going in the direction you propose is that if you run out of time either at Tibooburra or Innaminka then its easy enough to head east and home. The rest will still be there next time. There is a fair bit to see around Tibooburra, even more around Innaminka. We have written blogs about our trips out there that you are welcome to have a look at - have a look here, but there are others from 2001 and 2007 as well.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: BrisVegas - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 15:37

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 15:37
Cheers Val, I'd actually been reading your blog as it came up in my searches.

We don't expect to do it all this trip, but just get a taste of an area we haven't been to. We can go back and look at in more detail later. I've always wanted to go and do a nice long trip out through the centre and across the Simpson etc., but I don't have the holidays or funds yet.
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Reply By: BrisVegas - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 17:23

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 17:23
ok, here's my rough plan. be gentle! :-)

Day 1. Sat 20 Sep Brisbane - Muckadilla. 500km (bitumen)
free camp at the rest area.

Day 2. Sun 21 Sep Muckadilla - Windorah. 650km (mostly bitumen)
free camp at the Cooper Creek Camping Area

Day 3. Mon 22 Sep Windorah - Birdsville 380km (dirt)
Deon's Lookout!
either free camp or Birdsville Caravan Park.

Day 4. Tues 23 Sep - rest day @ Birdsville.
check out Big Red, bakery.

Day 5. Wed 24 Sep - Birdsville - Innamincka 330km via Walker's Track
OR 440km via Cordillo Downs Road
Innamincka Town Common camping area.

Day 6. Thur 25 Sep - rest day @ Innamincka

Day 7. Fri 26 Sep - Innamincka - Cameron Corner - Tibooburra 400km (dirt)

Day 8. Sat 27 Sep - rest day @ Tibooburra or stay at Cameron corner

Day 9. Sun 28 Sep - Tibooburra - Wanaaring - Louth 450km (dirt)
Stay at Trilby Station..

Day 10. Mon 29 Sep - Stay at Trilby Station.

Day 11. Tues 30 Sep - Stay at Trilby Station.

Day 12. Wed 1 Oct - Stay at Trilby Station.

Day 13. Thur 2 Oct - Louth - Bourke - Lightning Ridge 400 km (mostly dirt)

Day 14. Fri 2 Oct - rest day at Lightning Ridge. opal mine tour. hot spa pool.

Day 15. Sat 3 - Oct Lightning Ridge - Brisbane 700km (bitumen)


Yes, there's a fair bit of driving at the start and finish, but hopefully there's enough rest days and down time in the middle to make it feel comfortable. Happy to listen to suggestions... :-)
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 19:14

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 19:14
Dion,

I personally would push further down the road on the 1st day, there is major delays between Mitchell and Roma at the moment which may be finished by then (approx 90mins plus to do the 93km). I reckon get to at least Charleville on the 1st day before the kids start to get sick of the car ;)
We did Chinchilla to Charleville day 1 then onto Windorah for 2 nights when we did the Diamontina National Park trip (3000+km in less than 9 days).

If the river has water in it, Liz has a couple of canoes for the kids to paddle in. I am also going to bring down a couple of sea kayaks and life jackets for my 2 kids as well.

Have a fun trip and look forward to meeting you at Trilby Station.

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: BrisVegas - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 20:08

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 at 20:08
Cheers Kev. Yeah, we'll see how we go on the day. I was originally thinking about trying to get to Charleville day 1 and doing Birdsville in two days. Last time out that way we stopped at Muckadilla rest area and quite liked it, so we're tempted to go there again. No doubt, we'll take ages to get going from Brisbane and will prob stop at my mum's in Toowoomba for a cuppa. ;-)

We carted our (used, but new to us) inflatable canoe all the way to Lawn Hilll Gorge 18 months ago, only to have the damn thing tear open along the canvas seam when we pumped it up and set off on our maiden voyage! The kids are stilll scarred by the experience! I'll use Liz's canoes this time.

Oh and I just had a look at your profile. OMG! Our setup is very basic by comparison. Look forward to meeting you at Trilby.
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Reply By: Member - BrisVegas - Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 22:23

Friday, Mar 28, 2014 at 22:23
Well, the Trilby Station part of the trip is locked in now. Just joined up as a member and have booked our stay during the national gathering! We'll pack up and head off from Trilby on Thursday as we want to visit Lightning Ridge on the way home to Brisbane.
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 14:32

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 at 14:32
Welcome abaord :)

Lots of additional info available on the site accessible by members.

Cheers Kev
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Reply By: Member - BrisVegas - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 15:38

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 15:38
Can anyone tell me whether we'd be able to bring a dog with us to the places we're planning to go? I suspect that Big Red might be a no-go as that's in the Simpson Desert park, but what about the stretch down through Walkers Crossing to Innaminka and then Cameron Corner to Tibooburra?
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 09:56

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 09:56
You will probably want to look around the Sturt National Park at Tibooburra; you couldn't take a dog there. Don't know the technicalities for some of the other locations, but I would suggest that the practicalities are to arrange to have your dog looked after at home. The practical issues are the real possibility of baits and the number of very large and sharp burrs that could do serious damage to a dogs running gear. We do miss our dog when we go away, but we always have housesitters to take good care of her - best solution all round.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Member - BrisVegas - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:14

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:14
Cheers Val. I hadn't planned on touring the Sturt National Park. We're pretty much just passing through Tibooburra on our way from Birdsville to Bourke for the annual gathering. I'll see if I can figure out whether it's ok to take him with us if we're sticking to the main roads and tracks of the area.
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Reply By: Member - BrisVegas - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 09:35

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 09:35
Watched the ABC documentary on Lake Eyre the other day and my wife asked if we can get to Lake Eyre while we're "out that way".

Is there a vantage point to Lake Eyre North from the Birdsville Track? Or would we need to go to Marree and onto the Oodnadatta Track to see Lake Eyre South?

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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 09:49

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 09:49
Lake Eyre is a fair bit out of the way for the trip you propose. You would have to go down the Strzelecki Track to Marree, then either in to Muloorina where there is a nice campsite then a further drive on a corrugated track out to level Post Bay, or go along the Oodnadatta Track to Lake Eyre south near William Creek. Suggest you might be disappointed as there wont be much (if any) water to see. If you only have 16 days you would do better to save the lake Eyre experience to some time in the future when there is a bit of water about - then the best way to see it is from the air. Having said that, LE is worth seeing, but its not worth rushing it.

Cheers,

Val.
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Follow Up By: Member - BrisVegas - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:02

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 10:02
Thanks Val. You're probably right, it might be too much to tack onto this trip.
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