Cook S.A to Ooldea Range S.A

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 18:37
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Has any one travelled from Cook through Aboriginal Land ( permit is required) to meet up with the nullabour road house to Maralinga Road that comes out just south of the Paryina rockhole hole in recent times. If so what can I expect to come across in the way of terrain and possible hazards. I am still in trip planning at this stage and cannot find any info in regards to this area - Garry R
location - Warragul -Victoria
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 19:50

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 19:50
Hi Gary

First and for-most, you MUST get your permit and permission from my great friend, Robin at Maralinga.

This Track is what is known as the Caravan Track and is dead easy providing that the track is dry and you know where you are going. We have travelled it 3 times, twice solo and once with a group I was taking into Maralinga. The easy drive will take you around 3 hours, giving you ample time to stop regally and take in this great little drive.

The track can be taken 2 ways, and if you are not using moving maps, eg OziExplorer, it will be very easy indeed to get lost, as in the early stages out of Cook there are a number of tracks going in a number of directions.

The lower section will take you into the original Old Rabbit Trappers Hut and then meeting up with the main track that heads north, then takes a swing to the east.

Here are some images of what the track is like.



Cheers


Stephen







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Follow Up By: TTTSA - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 20:04

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 20:04
Yep, what Stephen said.
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Follow Up By: 489 - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 06:48

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 06:48
hi there Stephen - judy and I normally travel solo and are fully equipped. WE DO NOT use digital mapping, as I'm not really computer literate. I mainly use paper maps and compass and purchase other topo maps as required for an area that I find is not covered clearly by road atlas and such. Love the pics along that route. Yes I have robin's email address along with several numbers for that area during my current research. Question to you is how soon should one apply for this permit as we are not travelling and reaching this area til mid July this year. we are from the Gippsland area of vic - thanks garry r
location - Warragul -Victoria
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 08:46

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 08:46
Hi Garry

You must be completely prepared for long range emergency communications. Yes you will have full Telstra phone coverage at Cook, but from about 5 km out you will have nothing at all. Robin will expect you to phone him when you leave Cook, and will kept an eye on the time.

This is very remote country and you will not see another vehicle at all, so a PLB, HF Radio or Satellite Phone would be recommended minimum form of communications in the event that something goes wrong.

Do you use a GPS, as I can supply you with the the correct waypoints to keep you on track. A very easy unit to use and gives you all the maps that you will ever need is the Hema HN7, a great unit that gives you both full offroad and street navigation all in one unit.

Robin is at times hard to get in contact, and only go through him for approval to travel this track. Also leave phone messages on his phone also and he will eventually get in contact with you.

Please feel free to ask any further questions.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: 489 - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 09:14

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 09:14
thanks Stephen, I have plb radios but not sat phone. We don't have a GPS unit but if you recommend that I should carry one, what gps unit is preferable to purchase. I know some prefer one unit over another, so this is just an insight to gps. We know what it is like not to see people for days on end. Our last trip we sure no travellers for 6days only a lonely stockman in the middle of nowhere. He was great for info and life experiences in the outback. My son-in-law was getting me to purchase a wifi tablet an install the hema maps onto it, as a back up - it sounds like a good idea to me as we are both heading off for a couple of 3day trip close to home to break in his new landcruiser as well as showing me how to use digital mapping. I still like paper as it is foolproof for malfunctions Your opion is welcome about gps and digital garry r
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 14:17

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 14:17
Hi Garry

If you are not using a GPS and feel happy with the paper maps, your next best option will be to go with the tablet and the Hemps maps, for that section it will be the Great Desert Tracks South Central.

From Cook, cross over the Railway Line and head north towards the dump. Around this area, there will be a two wheel track branching off to your rights and this is the track to take. If yo miss turn off, the track north will take you all the way to Voakes Hill Corner, so make sure that you keep an eye out for the side track.

Your tablet with the moving map will keep you on track, but just keep to the most used two wheel track. We usually travel at speeds ranging from 40 - 60 kilometres per hour, as we are in no hurry and there are the occasional large limestone rocks on the track that you do not want to hit.

Like I said, it is a very easy drive and we just love the pure solitude out there. It is not all flat country, and when you do get to a very large flat area, stop and turn off your car and just take in the area. Even though there are not many large trees, there are still lots of small birds around and you will be surprised what you will see, smell and hear.

We plan to travel it again in August, so you can see that if we did not like the drive, would would not keep going back......lol


Enjoy the solitude and you will have a nice easy drive. Like I have said before, please feel free to ask any further questions.



Cheers




Stephen
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Follow Up By: 489 - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 16:41

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 16:41
thank Stephen. we are looking at buying an Ipad with wifi gps cellular which hopefully should do the job as my son in law states ( young whipper snipper knows all the answers - haha). All he needs to do now is make sure the mapping system will load up. I have the map you stated, and have been comparing it with other maps that I currently have. Yes and you are right about taking things slowly and enjoying the large country we have. I do a lot of photography. Digital mapping will aslo be a challenge for the cook, as she keeps turning the map around in circles as she navigates, but she's not bad. At least she can read a compass easily and orient a map when needs be. ( here comes the back hand - whack ) Looked at your trek profile to obtain more info was also handy. We will be in the area about 3rd week July or 1st week of August. Thanks garry and judy
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 19:12

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 19:12
Hi Garry and Judy

Once you get used of the moving maps, you will never go bush again without that being the first thing that you put in your car. Make sure that you get a secure mount for the iPad, so that it is easy to look at when travelling and secure.

Judy will not have to do thing but sit back and relax, as once you get the moving maps going, the iPad will take care of everything, and you will be able to see exactly where you are at any given time.

Looks like we will miss each other, and make sure that you do the 2 days Range Tour at Maralinga, as there is just so mush to see there.

One other thing I should have also given you is Robin's phone number.

It is area code 08 - 8670 4089.

Robin is one of the hardest persons to get hold of, even for me, so just keep leaving messages on his answering machine and keep up on the emails.

I know that you will have a great time is some very special remote country.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 20:54

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 20:54
Garry,

I'd endorse what Stephen has said about moving maps.

Sitting at our dining room table, and using my iPad, I copied a section from a Hema map, in the area you are planning to visit this year. With a swipe of 2 digits, one can zoom in and out, and once mobile a cursor captures your every move.



Paper maps are great to spread over the bonnet, and if some agreement can't be reached as to where you are, then someone will suggest: "might boil the billy, eh?"

Bob

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Follow Up By: 489 - Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 19:01

Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 19:01
thanks Bobby- we have now decided that for me is to take a leap in technology. My son in law has decided that I go ipad with wifi, gps, cellular with hema maps as well as memory maps. That way with eotrek he can follow my route ( why are the kids worried at my age ). this is also as duel purpose - hey dad buy the gear and we will make use of it in the near future. I love the pic's steve posted and got me even more eager to spend more time in the area. We don't need the bonnet to view paper maps as I've got the cook down to a fine art.I use paper to plan a trip up to 12mnths in advance and research what I need to do. this forum is great when I get stuck as there are many out there that have been there with great advice. Most people where I live only do High Country where as we love the desert regions as we were original from Sandsmere near the Big Desert ( Vic) fence line. That was the original family property boundary _ once again thanks for the response - garry and Judy
location - Warragul -Victoria
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 21:01

Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 21:01
Sounds like SIL has it all sorted for you both, Garry. Yes, Stephen's photos are somewhat addictive, and sometime in the future he'll probably get a tourism award for enticing many more people to SA, and it's deserts.

Not half bad camera in the iPad too, so it's often quicker to get a photo with it than retrieve the "good" camera. This a quick grab:



Plenty that the iPad can do besides the mapping/gps, but I let you find out over time, otherwise you'll think I work for Apple! :-)

Happy travels,
Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: TTTSA - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 20:03

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 20:03
robin.matthews@y7mail.com, I would suggest you contact Robyn Matthews. He is the caretaker at Maralinga Village. Wouldn't be much he doesn't know about that area, can also issue some permits.

Cheers
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