victorian desert trip

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 12:55
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Hi all,

my wife and I are planning on exploring big desert and murray sunset national parks in early march and just wanted everyone's experiences of the parks, main attractions, things to look out for etc. We will be up there for a week traveling in a Nissan patrol with camper trailer in tow. We've done plenty of high country travelling and 4wding in general, but havn't done too much desert/sand driving, so all suggestions/hints will be most welcomed.

cheers
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 13:42

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 13:42
Hi Santaz,
Its 10 years since I wrote this blog but it will give you some idea of what you might see out there.

Cheers,

Val
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
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Follow Up By: santaz351 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 14:20

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 14:20
thanks for that!
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Reply By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 15:13

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 15:13
G'day Santaz,
Got a property out that way & have spent the last 30 yrs 4WDing out there & the High Country too like yourself.
Have tented it & towed a camper trailer too. We have had a very dry winter out the Wimmera/Mallee so the sand is pretty soft. Drop your tyre pressure in the Trailer & vehicle & you should be fine.
Had a few fires out that way in the New Year due to lots of lightning strikes as a result of "dry storms" so keep your eye on the forecasts. Also can still get VERY hot at that time of the year. We were out there at Christmas/New Year & a couple of days got to 45 deg!
Plenty of info here
Milmid track
& here
Parks Vic
Cheers
Stu
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 15:15

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 15:15
Sorry MILMED.
You wont find it on Google with my lousy spelling!
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Follow Up By: santaz351 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 15:44

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 15:44
hi bushranger
thanks for the info. one of my concerns was the weather being too hot, i thought march may have cooled down a bit. 30-35 degrees we can handle, above that probably to uncomfortable. been looking at maps but the problem with them is nothing in up to date, so thought better do some research lol. are there places where you can swim/cool off? Also are there places you can get water from?

cheers
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 16:18

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 16:18
Only really the Wimmera river in The Eastern block of Little Desert NP that you could swim in.
Everything else is dry Salt lakes.
Carry plenty of water as its hard to come by. Some of the more popular camps have rainwater tanks but don't count on them that late in summer.
A few old dams may contain water & are good spots for birdwatching if you are into it.
Spring Wildflower season is my favourite time out there.

Its absolutely stunning country we love it. That's why we bought our own piece of paradise.
Actually its Victoria's best kept secret so don't tell anyone ok!
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Follow Up By: santaz351 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 16:38

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 16:38
ok no worries, i'll keep it quiet haha.

I can carry about 150 ltrs of water in the camper, which is used for showers and washing etc, plus bottled water for drinking. where would you fill up if i did need more water. is it just the case of going to a main town servo and filling if from a tap? i'm used to in the high country pulling up next to a running river/creek and pumping water out.
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 16:51

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 16:51
You can SOMETIMES get water suitable for washing from some of the old dams but all 12 Dams on my property are empty at present due to a dry winter.
If the main camp tanks are empty then you will have to duck out to town for water.
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Follow Up By: GarryR - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 17:36

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 17:36
are talking about the river near Wail and Dimboola. I think the rowers were trying to put there oars in mud at the bottom last year, but has been great swimming in the past
location - Warragul -Victoria
life is too short, so out and about enjoy

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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 18:07

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 18:07
Yep that's it. The Wimmera River
There are a few spots along its course that remain as swimming holes but yes they are few & far between at the moment.
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Follow Up By: Hilux fan - Friday, Feb 20, 2015 at 12:34

Friday, Feb 20, 2015 at 12:34
You can get water at the Broken Bucket Campsite. It's bore water but good quality. We use it regularly and it's quite drinkable. Watch out for Mallee Fowl while you're there.
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Reply By: GarryR - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 15:55

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 15:55
Hi Santaz

Judy and I were up in the Sunset Desert, Big Desert, and the Little Desert last August '14. As a suggestion we entered the Sunset Desert just up from the Hattah roadside stop. Great old bloke to talk to and will give you updates and hints on the western side of the park for conditions as well as having good maps of the area (about $12 dollars). There is a Pink salt lake about 20ks in for good photography and the salt crystal are pink. We found that some of the track intersections are questionable as per the map. If you come across a cross road intersection according to the map and it is a "T" intersection, don't panic as we found the track could be offset either 200mtrs either way. Some tracks were unusable so they re-route the intersection around the problem and not clearly signed or signed at all. In some places the sand was fairly deep but ok. We did not have a trailer as we use a rtt. We stopped to look at the lizards that were out and the flora was amazing. As stated, you are proposing to travel there in a very hot period. Before we entered the Park we spoke to a copper at Ouyen who knew a lot about the park. There are numerous good camping sites. We eventually came out at Murrayville ( at the south western corner) and also camped at Big Billy Bore at the southern end of the Big Desert park. The main Murrayville-Kaniva rd is like a freeway , but we travelled on the eastern tracks off the main rd. That took us about 6hrs to do the 80k's but the slow trip was perfect for us. Just south of Kaniva you can transverse the McDonald Highway across the Little Desert. (NO Bloody highway I assure you) this is a 35k sand and clay track with some great camping opportunities. This track is almost a straight line through the park and amazing site looking down from the top of some of the dunes. The animal life and flora were amazing to see and photograph Good travelling these areas as well as seeing the old salt mine machinery just left to rust away
location - Warragul -Victoria
life is too short, so out and about enjoy

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 16:05

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 16:05
The chap at the Hattah Store is Mr. Alex Dowsley. Nice chap.

Cheers

Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: GarryR - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 17:32

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 17:32
Judy and I love the area being that Judy was born and bred at Sandsmere that backs onto the Big Desert. At the bottom of the Big Desert is Sanders Track which used to be her grandparents and parents property boundary. Many of the extended family still live in Kaniva, but her brother now farms out by the Grampians.
location - Warragul -Victoria
life is too short, so out and about enjoy

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Reply By: Mick O - Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 16:35

Sunday, Feb 15, 2015 at 16:35
These blogs may assist you.

Cheers

Murray Sunset

Murray Kulkyne - Fireman's Bend

Border Track
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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