The Alice to Marble Bar

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 12:06
ThreadID: 107066 Views:3001 Replies:9 FollowUps:6
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Hi each

I have a couple of questions:

1. looking at HEMA map "Great Desert Tracks - NW Sheet" I see the notations FV 85, FV 87, FV 88" etc etc marked alongside the WAPET Road. (There also other different but similar notations alongside Gary Junction Road). Anyone know to what these refer?

2. Has anyone driven the following route recently and if so, what is the condition and is it easy?-moderate?-difficult? [always allowing for the usual disclaimers re the wet etc]:

.Alice Springs to Kunawarritji Community via Gary Junction Road/Jenkins Track;
.Kunawarritji to Punmu;
Punmu to Marble Bar via the Telfer Mine Road.

I'll be in a diesel Pajero and towing an off-road C/T

Many thanks
George
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 16:40

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 16:40
"Easy".
One of our favourite routes.

2005.




2008.






Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: 213 - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 17:16

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 17:16
Hi Peter

Thanks for the great pics and the reassuring assessment of the route.

My wife and I travel alone and love the remoteness..but of course also want to be safe...

Do you happen to recollect the location of the "it's quite pretty actually" pic? That looks like an ideal spot for an overnight camp amongst the trees.

Regards
George
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 20:30

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 20:30
Not far from Papunya.
We usually travel alone too.
In 2008 we took the time to stop off at most of the communities, because we could, although we carried enough fuel to go right through.

As it turned out, we called up the Telfer mine gate by UHF from the hill where we spent the night about 30km from the mine. There is also NextG Telstra reception there. The gate man insisted we come into the gate to get permission to use the mine road. When we got there, he realised we weren't where he thought we were and we did not need permission, so he called his supervisor and we were escorted into the mine for 100L of free diesel as an apology for mucking us about. :)

Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: bob&loz - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 18:16

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 18:16
Its a good road. We went that way last year with a 20' van and had no difficulty. If you like that sort of country you can spend plenty of time doing it. We took 7 days from Glenn Helen to Carrawine gorge. No problem finding good camp spots.
We also found it worth while taking the long way round to Marble Bar via Carrawine gorge and skull springs road to Narragine.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 20:39

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 20:39
Scull Springs road is a nice drive.....
Fuel at Narragine is usually cheaper than Marble Bar.
Carrawine Gorge is private property (on Warrawagine Station). They don't require advanced notice to camp, but please take all your rubbish out.
It is easier to enter by turning right across the end of the airstrip rather than going straight ahead across the gravel.
Stunning spot.





Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 08:47

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 08:47
Just wondering where Narragine is - can't find it on any of the maps I use? Do mean Nullagine?
Carrawine Gorge is a great place, and we enjoyed driving the Skull Springs road, very scenic.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 13:40

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 13:40
Oops, yes, Nullagine :)
Nice town too.

Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: B1B2 - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 18:48

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 18:48
G'day George,
The Gary Junction Road was no trouble towing offroad caravans. Fuel supply at Kintore is reliable but very restricted opening times. Lots to see, Jupiter Well, Well 33 and Carawine Gorge. Have a drive over the pebbles if you have some backup. We met police patrols at around 8pm just outside Papunya, then at Well 33 and at Carawine Gorge. ( Where they proved they had NO offroad driving skills on the pebbles, smoking their tyres). You will need 2 permits to do the trip. Have a look at the track on Google Earth. It surprised me how many hills you see. I thought it would be totally flat - the road is of course. We struck a bit of water but no problems.
Enjoy the trip.

Cheers,
Bill



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Reply By: 213 - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 21:08

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 21:08
Thanks everyone for the informative replies

R

George
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Reply By: equinox - Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 21:32

Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 at 21:32
I'm not sure of the significance of the FV marks but they look like survey marks to me.

The NMF's on the Gary Junction Road are definitely survey marks.

There is an explanation on NMF's on Facebook here:

NMF Explanation on Facebook

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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 23:12

Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 23:12
Hi George

No problems with our caravan and a lovely drive. See My Blogs 2009.

Motherhen
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Reply By: The Explorer - Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 23:55

Friday, Apr 04, 2014 at 23:55
Hello

As indicated by others they are survey stations. Not 100% sure what FV stands for but based on the other supplied info "F" may refer to Western Australia. "V" = value? The number just seems to be sequential. So BM FV 47 = Benchmark, Western Australia, V?, Number 47....next one along is 48 etc etc.

Where just BM is used the number is the height above sea level e.g BM 354 = Benchmark, 354 m above sea level.

Cheers
Greg

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: KiwiAngler - Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 07:19

Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 at 07:19
I travelled this track late last year and can thoroughly recommend it

Great views, safe, good camping areas, fuel is readily available and the track itself is a pleasure to drive.

If you are looking for a different way to get from the east to the west this is definitely worth a look.

I have done a short trip report here ( 4.5Mb) - it is mostly pictures, so easy to read :-)))

Alice to India (Ocean that is)
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Reply By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 11:49

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 11:49
G'day George,
I just got back from there last night. The road is very washed away at the moment in places, and some sections with fair bit of sand blown over the road. We didn't see another vehicle at all for 3 days, from Telfer, to Kiwikurra and back to Telfer.
As we got back to Telfer turn off the grader was just heading out to start on the rd, fixing the washouts heading East, then turning around at the border and heading back West, grading the rest. So by the time tourists start hitting it it should be perfect. Road has a really good gravel base, and good sections are easily 100kmh.
Telfer road was heavily corrugated from the constant Quad traffic from the mine.
But again, was getting graded and would get done fiarly regurlarly that section.

Cheers
Al
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Follow Up By: 213 - Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 14:28

Sunday, Apr 06, 2014 at 14:28
Thanks Al - I'm starting after Easter so could be 'runway' quality by then...

Regards

George
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