Balgo track and surroundings

Submitted: Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 12:13
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Hi All, we are planning our next outback adventure and would appreciate any input on maps, road conditions and permits needed.
We are planning to Leave from Healesville Vic in October and head to Ayres rock as quick as we can, from there onto Docker River NT, and take the Sandy Blight Junction road
Need info on the track from Kiwikurra to Balgo please.
from there he head to Wolffe Creek, Halls Creek and Kununurra. next Daly Waters, Alice Springs. then home.

Having trouble finding up to date info on the track from Kiwikurra to Balgo.
Any help, info and maps would be greatly appreciated

Jo
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Reply By: Member - John - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 12:36

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 12:36
Jo, G'day, don't think that there is any track direct from Kiwikurra to Balgo, always ready to be stood corrected though, you would have to either continue on to the CSR and head North or East back to Papunya and then North on the Tanami. Starting to get hot and possibly very wet in some of those areas at that time of the year. Good luck.
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: joanne b4 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:26

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:26
Thanks John
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:06

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:06
There is a track there all right but it is very remote. How many vehicles in your convoy?
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Follow Up By: joanne b4 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:27

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:27
Hi Chris will only be our vehicle, toyota hilux with off road camper trailer
Husband saw an article in a magazine about track through any advise please
Jo
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 15:35

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 15:35
Have travelled that track, it is very remote, a lot can go wrong, I would strongly advise against travelling it with only one vehicle.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 15:56

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 15:56
I'm pretty sure you wouldn't get a permit to travel through there with just one vehicle. Have you checked on what permits you have to get for that trip?

Mick O and Equinox can give you more info on that area and links to there videos would be in their blogs.

Steve

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Follow Up By: joanne b4 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 15:58

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 15:58
Hi Chris
I am still in the planning stage, but will be looking into permits etc,
It will be only my husband and I, well prepared no other option
Jo
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 17:19

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 17:19
No other option??????
There are a number of abandoned 4WD's on that track. If you cannot drive out you won't get out. I hope you realise the risk you are taking.
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Follow Up By: joanne b4 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 17:52

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 17:52
Wherver we have and will travel in the future is only the 2 of us, that is what i meant by only option :) We don't travel lightly, and don't take risks, we use common sense and research thoroughly before any of our trips This trip is still in the planning stages, that is why I have posted in here to hear what others have to say and reccomend.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 20:52

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 20:52
I'm pretty sure you will struggle to get a permit travelling alone unless you try an alternative way to get through like Mick suggests below.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 20:54

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 20:54
PS. I wish you all the best.

If you can do it with just your vehicle I'll be keen to know. It's on our list and we are travelling on our own more often now.

Steve
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Follow Up By: joanne b4 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 21:09

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 21:09
If it works out that we can do the trip will let the forum know
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 21:47

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 21:47
How about you let us know either way?
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Follow Up By: joanne b4 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 23:14

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 23:14
Not a problem Eighty matey, will let the forum know whether the trip is possible, what I find out etc and if we make the trip will post pics, conditions etc
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Reply By: Member - mechpete - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:46

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:46
you couldn,t pick a hotter time to travel in that part of the world
cheers mechpete
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Follow Up By: joanne b4 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:51

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:51
Thanks Pete we have 6 weeks to do this, and really hoping to find some info on the track from Kiwikurra to Balgo
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Reply By: Member - Marc Luther B (WA) - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:55

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 13:55
Hi Joanne b4
Yes, there is a track from Kiwirrkurra, around Lake McKay, through the old Yagga Yagge community, then into Balgo. In normal times, the Pintupi mob do that trip in less than a day, but that is not touring, just getting from Kiwirrkurra to Balgo.
There has been quite a bit of rain in recent times, so I will wait and find out how the track is. The office phone number for Kiwirrkurra is (08) 89568612, or alternatively the shop is (08) 89568615.
I live in the area and have a little knowledge of it.
Marc
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Follow Up By: Member - Marc Luther B (WA) - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 14:03

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 14:03
Alternatively, the Mulan Aboriginal Corporation office phone number is (08) 91688939 or (08) 91688676. If you ask for Marc, with the long white beard, they will find me.
Marc
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Follow Up By: joanne b4 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 14:27

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 14:27
Thank you very much Mark, I will write those numbers down, and look forward to hearing any more details from you. Will call around September :) my email is j_m_bruce@bigpond.com we appreciate any advise etc.
Jo
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Jan 26, 2015 at 01:30

Monday, Jan 26, 2015 at 01:30
Hi Marc

What distance is the road Marc? Thinking about Joanne's fuel needs. I wrote a purely fictional short story about a small group of travellers going from Kiwirrkurra to Balgo once, and all the problems they encountered. Running out of fuel was just one of these, so it comes to mind for Joanne.

I note from the article Joanne linked Beyond the Horizon that the author travelled with a tour company; rather different that doing the trip as first timers on that route, even if the road is better than the one described in my story.

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Follow Up By: joanne b4 - Monday, Jan 26, 2015 at 09:09

Monday, Jan 26, 2015 at 09:09
Hi motherhen track is approx 330 km according to the article, fuel will not be a problem we always carry plenty extra onboard
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Follow Up By: Member - Marc Luther B (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 at 12:16

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 at 12:16
Hi MH
Although I am local here, and have done the track on multiple occasions, I have no idea of the actual distance. We leave just around sun up, and get there around sun down, that is about the best idea I can give.
Marc
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 at 12:20

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 at 12:20
Thanks Marc. You may have an idea how much fuel it takes?

Cheers

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - Marc Luther B (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 at 12:28

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 at 12:28
Hi MH
The fuel is depending on the road. We have been through twice when we got bogged a few times, and that took us both tanks and a jerry can, but normally about a tank and a half. We normally use a 75 series troops, I don't know the tank sizes.
No good giving the fuel cost, as that is still $2.60 a litre here.
Marc
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 at 12:39

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 at 12:39
Hi Marc

Sounds rather like that fictional little story I wrote a few years ago - they got bogged a few times and used more fuel than they had allowed for. They staked a few tyres too, but it was all fiction.

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Follow Up By: Member - Marc Luther B (WA) - Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 at 12:52

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015 at 12:52
Thanks MH
We do allow the extra fuel when it is a bit wet, as normally we don't use four wheel all that much, but when wet, and low range is needed, then of course the extra fuel is used.
Never had a puncture on that track yet though.
Marc
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Reply By: Member - John - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 15:47

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 15:47
G'day all, nice to find out about non existent tracks. Will file the info away for future reference.
John and Jan

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Reply By: Mick T3 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 19:30

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 19:30
That will be an exceptional trip, Jo, in October, and put you in the league of Willem Kempen and Mick Olsen, unless you are cooked by the sun, and then you'll be in the league of James Annetts and Simon Amos, who died near there in 1986.

If you can get an elder from Kiwirrkurra, who needs a lift to Balgo, and who didn't disrupt your schedule, then perhaps you could get through that part without a permit as you'd be a guest of a traditional owner. This could be a bit tricky, but often it's the unpredictable aspects of a journey that in time prove to be the most rewarding. But be careful of picking up a big mob.

The locals are extremely pragmatic so if you are of use to them they will be of use to you, and will remember this. But be careful of picking up a big mob.

And don't forget to post photographs and medical reports on the forum. Good luck.


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Follow Up By: joanne b4 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 20:03

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 20:03
This track was featured in an racv article hence us considering it, thankyou for all advise
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Follow Up By: Mick T3 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 23:14

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 23:14
Can you put a link to the RACV article, Joanne?

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Follow Up By: joanne b4 - Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 23:36

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 at 23:36
Hi Mick
We have the racv royal auto delivered montly as part of our memebership but found it online as well, it is in the current issue hope the link works
http://www.racv.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/royalauto/home/travel/australia/northern-territory/central-australia-beyond-the-horizon
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 at 21:29

Saturday, Jan 24, 2015 at 21:29
I can see why you're keen to give it a go, it sounds like a fantastic trip.

Kiwirrkurra to Balgo, through Lake Mackay is on our list but starting at Uluru and running up to Sandy Blight Junction sounds better.

Steve
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Reply By: andy - Sunday, Jan 25, 2015 at 01:02

Sunday, Jan 25, 2015 at 01:02
Hi Joanne b4

The Balgo is remote indeed but is travelled by the the locals once in a while. We have driven this track three times during the last 6 years in a HILUX (no van) solo without any difficulties. It is a very nice trip but the northern section is corrugated, sometimes scratchy with many detours which might be difficult to navigate with a van. Nature and landscapes are beautiful. When we travelled this track last year the locals at Balgo adviced us not to tow a van.

We obtained a permit through the www.daa.wa.gov.au site without problems. Send me your email address if you need more detailed information.

Andy
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Saturday, Jan 31, 2015 at 18:01

Saturday, Jan 31, 2015 at 18:01
Joanne,

do a Google search for Lake Mackay Track.

We traversed N to S in 2008. Rather than drive in to Kiwirrkurra we emerged onto the Desert Rd at Mt Webb. I've been told this option has since been closed off.

Its an easy drive - it was dry when we did it. But extremely remote. For that reason alone I'd be reluctant to do it unaccompanied.

Bob

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