Frank Hann National Park (WA)

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 29, 2014 at 23:26
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Hi folks
Has anyone done the trip in WA between Norseman and Ravensthorpe, via the Frank Hann National Park. Planning next year's travels, and just looking for an alternative to the bitumen once we get across the Nullabor on the way to Albany.
Thanks
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Reply By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 04:16

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 04:16
Not yet.... but Peak Charles to the east is worth a stay - magnificent country, good facilities free and quiet. Worth the climb too, but don't be disappointed if you don't reach the summit can be windy and slippery. Drove in there after a massive storm and the roads were solid.
There is a bit to explore in the surrounds as well.
Roads will link up to your proposed route.



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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 13:08

Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 13:08
hi Kerry w
nice pics

that's still on my bucket list
cheers
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 08:34

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 08:34
Hi wildmax
When wife n I were over that way, instead of going north or south at Norseman , we headed west, on the Norseman / Hyden road...all gravel road, we called into the tourist info centre at Norseman, picked up a broucher, had heaps of info on the Granite and woodlands discovery trail.. Camped amoungst the salmon gums at McDermid rock.. Had the whole place to ourselves. Was fantastic..
Crossed the holland track around there at some stage.
One of our boys was working at Raventhorpe at the time, but we headed to wave rock, then onto Perth... Was funny, the bars on the tourist info centre, didn't look open, thought we would prefer to camp as far out of town as daylight allowed.. No offence intended, but had heard a few stories, and didn't feel comfortable, some of the looks we got, thought best to get what was needed, and keep going.. Cheers
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 21:20

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 21:20
The Hyden-Norseman Road is a good road and a lovely drive Odog, and has great camping, but is further north than Wildmax is looking at. To go to Albany the one through the Frank Hann NP is a more direct route.

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Reply By: MARIC - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 10:26

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 10:26
I live in Albany area, and have gone past Peak Charles camped at 90 mile well towing 6.5m offroad coromal in winter with water on track. Track comes out at Lake King, and then you go south to Ravie, u could then spend a night at Hopetoun, and Albany next.
Or go Norseman to Hyden and see Wave Rock and full day drive to Albany via Lake Grace,

Cheers Ric
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 12:22

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 12:22
Thanks for your replies everyone - very helpful for our planning, and we'll certainly make time to enjoy.
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Reply By: get outmore - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 14:15

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 14:15
just be aware about half way along that road it changes shires and goes from a well maintained road to an unmaintained goat track.
I went from 100kph to 20-60kph.
but yes peak charles and the rocks to the south are a little known gem
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 21:54

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 21:54
Noted, thanks for that. We're in a well set up Hilux towing a TVan, so road conditions not really a problem.
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 14:10

Tuesday, Dec 02, 2014 at 14:10
oh youll have no issues main reason i say that is you might start on the road and make your daily plans figuring it will stay the same way so you will be whereever you want at a certain time
- but you will have to factor in driving alot slower on the eastern part of the road
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Reply By: Member - tommo05 - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 17:39

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 17:39
I did it about 5 years ago. Was heading from Perth to Melbourne but visited some friends in Bunbury on the way out. I looked on the map to find the quickest way to the Nullarbor from Bunbury and chose the route through Lake King. Unfortunately my map didn't tell me the road east of Lake King was unsealed. Not that I have an issue with unsealed roads, but it was the middle of summer and our air con had packed up the day before we left Perth so we had to do it with the windows down, and my missus does not like driving on dirt roads with the window down.

Anyway she was good enough not to make too much noise about it, and then she made me stop the car for this photo, which has become a favourite of mine:


The road was quite good, however I will agree with get outmore that it gets a bit hairier towads the eastern end. I tried to maintain 80kph and regretted it when I came around a corner into a heap of potholes. I also have a mate whose Valiant Pacer got written off on that road (with his old man driving), they religiously drove that way when crossing the Nullarbor and had done it many times before so it goes to show you that you need to respect it. Definitely a 60kph max towards the end.

I don't know how he ever forgave his Dad for that btw, that car was a rare beauty.

Anyway... drive it. You won't regret it. I never have.

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Follow Up By: Member - tommo05 - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 17:45

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 17:45
Did I just crap on about the wrong road? I just realised OP asked about the road from Norseman to Ravensthorpe, mine went just south of Norseman to Lake King.

Anyway you can have my story free of charge...

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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 21:57

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 21:57
No, you're right. Interested in all options out that way.....just want to get off the bitumen as much as possible, and away from the crowds! Thanks
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 23:58

Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 23:58
It is the Norseman-Lake King Road Tommo; you were on the right road. Heading south either before or after Lake King gives a number of different rural roads to get to the South Coast Highway and on to Albany.

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Reply By: equinox - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 17:40

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 17:40
There's a link road between Hyden Norseman and Norseman Lake King Road which passes Lake Johnston. It starts just before the turnoff to Emily Ann mine.

Will take a little bit longer but you will see some great Salmon Gum country.



There's also a track south from Peak Charles to the settled areas, however I do not recommend it.






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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 21:39

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 21:39
G'day Alan.

I did that track (Honman Ridge west of Lake Johnson) about five years ago. There was a short but muddy swampy section south of the Ridge (not the swamp at the dogleg which has a by-pass) which tripped me up.

Took me about an hour to get a couple of Maxtrax under...This was in Feb, but then again, it can rain anytime out there with the thunderstorms.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 13:05

Monday, Dec 01, 2014 at 13:05
hi there folks
there is a very old track from peak Charles through to Ravensthorpe which i think is the one equinox may be referring to that links up with carlingup rd just east and n/east of ravy it runs between lake tay and lake mends crosses over the cascades/lake king rd through to northover soak and peters soak and passes the extreme n/west end of the oldfield river to link up with the n.east end of carlingup rd
but its a bush track and I don't think it would be suitable for towing a camper trailer it used mainly by government doggers etc it has always been on my bucket list as
my grandfather used it in the 1930's in his 1928 Oldsmobile
6 cylinder tourer on many occasions going back and fourth to norseman
and his never ending prospecting expeditions through all those tracks on the east side of the rabbit fence from ravy through to marvel lock in fact he and his gold digger mate actually cut and made some for short cuts that still exist to get from a to z around hatters hill 90mile tank through to lake Johnson and norseman /hyden rd he had a gold mine at hatters hill for several yrs and and also found the Johnson lake deposit that was mines a few years ago I listened to his interesting stories many times up until he passed aged 90yrs
sorry for extra o/topic ramble
cheers
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Wednesday, Dec 03, 2014 at 19:23

Wednesday, Dec 03, 2014 at 19:23
MAZCAN that track you refer too is now extremely overgrown and quite hard to see from peak charles - you would do significant damage to your vehicle following it - i should know I tried it for maybe 200m before giving up

there is however a newer survey shot line which parrellels it which isnt too bad
there are tracks leaving the shot line which lead to the old soaks which used to be along that track you speak of

the original track is picked up to the south and continues on to the verman proof fence nth of ravenshorpe
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 20:58

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 20:58
Yes, the Norseman Lake King Road is our preferred way home. While the middle section through the Frank Hann NP is usually fairly potholed, it is not a difficult road - unless it has rained. Last time the road was closed due to rain, so once again I missed the chance to climb Peak Charles. We have been through it when very wet and slushy and others were having difficulties.

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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 21:46

Sunday, Nov 30, 2014 at 21:46
Agree with MH.

We did it Feb this year westwards direction from the Norseman end (road starts well south of Norseman) and it had rained heavily the previous days.

Plenty of water on the road but the base held up well (altho, if you get it when there is water right across the road, just be careful because there are a few (deep) holes.

There's mostly b'all camping along the road as it's mostly in sandplain country. You could camp at 90 mile tank, and there are a few good spots towards the Lake King end. Or go into Peak Charles.

Cheers.
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