Chambers Pillar

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 09:21
ThreadID: 110934 Views:1861 Replies:10 FollowUps:3
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Hi

Does anyone know if a day trip to Chambers Pillar out of Alice Springs would be doable? Thinking of doing it in June so daylight hours would be shorter. What would be approx travel time ?

Phil
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 09:36

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 09:36
Our trip from Alice on 17/9/14 took 2hr 47 min and was 157 km , we don't travel very fast.

You have to watch out for railway spikes (several thousand).

Road is generally flat dusty and uninteresting - apart from small hill and ridge before Chambers itself.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Member - Bruce and Di T (SA) - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 09:37

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 09:37
We've done it twice several years ago. Just set aside the day. Both times the trip was started in daylight hours and completed in daylight hours. Both times were in July.

Di
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Reply By: glids - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 10:03

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 10:03
I did it comfortably in a day in late July '09. Google Maps says 161km and over 8 hours one way - distance is about right, but time is bunkum!

I went via Old South Road to Maryvale, then south west to Chambers Pillar.

Check out the Old Rodinga Siding on the Old Ghan Railway (railway follows the Old South Road) and make sure you stop at Maryvale and ask to use the toilets - you won't lose the keys! Keep an eye out for the old bridge on the railway.

As far as I am aware, you need to go via Maryvale. The road / tracks west from Chambers Pillar to the Stuart Highway were closed when I went. It would pay to check before going.

Worthwhile trip, enjoy.

cheers,
glids
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Follow Up By: glids - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 10:20

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 10:20
Edit: Thinking back, I reckon I may have driven west a bit to the new railway to see the bridge I referred to. I can't find any reference to a bridge on the old railway, and I have photos of looking north and south on the railway line, which must have been the new line.

Cheers,
glids
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 10:17

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 10:17
Hi PHIL

The simple answer is yes. Over the years the track has had a real make over, with the dunes now capped and a very easy drive.


Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: Derek Jones - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 15:05

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 15:05
Chambers Pillar colours at sunrise/sunset are part of the mystique and experience..

We were there in 1997 and you could camp in small area nearby. If this is still the case and you can do an overnighter I would lean that way over a day trip.

Just a different perspective.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 00:12

Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 00:12
I agree Derek, sunset and sunrise viewing is seeing the Pillar at its best. Worth an overnight stay. It is quite a long trip to go in a day and return just to see it.

They have now made a new expanded campground a little further away to supplement the existing campground which only had eight sites, and made improvements to the track in.

Motherhen

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Reply By: 4wheeler - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 19:29

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 19:29
I did the trip in June 2013 and it was completed easily within daylight hours.

Be aware that they run the Finke Desert race around 6 -8th June. When I last did the trip in 2013, the competitors and support crews were travelling up and down the main road doing the route pre-race checks. For the most part they did not care who was on the road and just flew up and down the road spraying my new vehicle in stones. I have driven many thousands of Km on outback roads and was appalled by the indifference shown to other road users.

So, avoid race time and you should be O.K.
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Reply By: duck - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 19:55

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 19:55
Yes you can do it in a day, but to miss the colours at sunset & sunrise is to miss out
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Reply By: Member - ross s - Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 04:50

Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 04:50
Hi Phil,
I can totally recommend camping there the night. The dusk/ dawn viewing of Chambers Pillar is well worth it. The road in from Maryvale was a slow run( August 2014) but we were in no hurry. The "old" camp area is well set up with fire places, some gas bbqs, tables and loos. Firewood can be collected on the way in before the reserve area starts. Didn't see the newer campground but i think it was set up for vans/ camper trailers.
Either way enjoy,
Ross
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 09:09

Monday, Feb 02, 2015 at 09:09
Agree with some previous comments - you can certainly do the drive in a day, but if you don't see a sunrise or (preferably and!) sunset you really miss the best reasons for going out there.
Wildmax
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 00:56

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2015 at 00:56
Even better with a full Moon. Did a weekend trip with work people and one went through the whole counter on his roll of film on an SLR camera only to discover when we were halfway back to Alice that the film wasn't wound properly on the sprockets.
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Reply By: Phil H5 - Sunday, Feb 08, 2015 at 20:31

Sunday, Feb 08, 2015 at 20:31
Thanks everyone for your feedback, certainly given me a better idea of what is involved and some food for thought. Phil
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