Gary Junction Road Permits

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 22:17
ThreadID: 116935 Views:3133 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Hi all
Later this year we will be travelling from the Pilbara back to Alice Springs. At the moment we are undecided as to whether we will travel from Marble Bar across the Gary Junction Road or further south across the Great Central Road. I have been looking into the permits required for this. Obviously at this point in time we don't have any set dates for when this travel would occur but we could nail it down to some window in time.
I have no problem with the permits for the NT side of this - the same permit can be used for both roads and it seems I have a 3 week block in which I can make the travel.
However, for the WA side it seems the DAA wants to now more specific dates for when we would be travelling and the website says that permits for the GJR can take some time. Also, when I tried to apply, I was informed that I could not apply to travel on either one or the other - I had to make a decision. Questions about making two applications met with some confusion. Similarly they wanted more definite dates for the travel.
So... fellow travelers. How do I solve this dilemma? What have others done in this situation or is it unique (I hardly think so)?
We leave Brisbane in early May, travel across the top and around to Karijini and then back to Alice Springs. When - probably beginning of June (ish).
All information and opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Prado SX and a little van

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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 23:26

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 23:26
Hi Kevin,

I also will be travelling home from the Pilbara on the Gary Junction Road in August/September. As we will be leaving the Sunshine Coast in early July to begin this trek is is difficult to predict just what dates we will require permits for the return trip.

Furthermore, as we will be in remote areas in the weeks before our return we will be out of communication (other than satphone) and therefore impossible to apply for permits when our return dates become more defined.

To be frank, this whole permit system is a mess. I really cannot perceive what it pretends to achieve and it certainly is not administered with any sort of competence.
I met a pair of professional buyers of aboriginal art. I asked how they coped with the system. Their answer was that they simply did not bother with any permits and they had never been asked to produce one.

I really think that the solution to the problem that you and I find ourselves in is to obtain permits for dates as best we can predict then carry them when travelling on the eventual dates and, if push comes to shove, bluster and blubber if asked to present the permit. Without wishing to elaborate, I doubt that we would find ourselves in court!

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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 01:13

Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 01:13
You can only make a best guesstimate of your expected dates Kevin, as the Gary Junction Road permit needs at least three weeks to process. If you change your mind and go via the Great Central Road, that is a 'next day' one and you can fax from Tjulayirla Roadhouse in business hours if necessary to amend your dates.

While both routes have their interests, the Gary Junction would be my preferred route for scenery, even more Len Beadell history, and most of all, less traffic and less corrugations because of less traffic.


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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 21:48

Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 21:48
The lady to talk to in the permits section is Joan Groves. She is an absolute champion and will bend over backwards to make obtaining a permit easy for you. I am sure if you explain your dilemma she will sort it out.

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Reply By: Stephen_L - Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 22:20

Thursday, Mar 05, 2015 at 22:20
Hi Guys
In exactly the same situation here. My partner and I have 3 months off later this year and plan to be in the same area at the same time. We really want to leave our options open as to which route we will take and exactly when we will be travelling.

This business of nominating the day you want to be on a particular road is so at odds with the idea of hitting the road and enjoying this country at your own pace in your own time.

After much consideration and frustration I too have simply decided to apply for permits with best estimates and if I'm a day or a week late or early then so be it. There is no way I am going to find my self leaving some beautiful spot earlier than I want to because some piece of paper says I have to be on this road on this day.

I don't necessarily mind the permit idea but it should be realistic. If I wanted an itinerary I would book a tag along.
AnswerID: 549481

Reply By: Member - Teago - Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 15:41

Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 15:41
I did the Kidson track a few years back as well as many other tracks where you need a permit . Talk with the Land council in Alice . Frankly if you have a permit and the dates are a bit out I would not stress . The point is you have applied for a permit and done the right thing . Whats a few weeks or days matter its the pinciple?
Cheers Mike 11
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Reply By: Member - RUK42 (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 16:33

Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 16:33
Thanks everyone - some very good advice.
I have applied for a GCR permit online and it was instant - that's a bonus - same as the NT permit. I have put some dates down for a Gary Junction Rd permit and wait and see what happens. I would really like to do the latter track - just need to "make the decision" to get out there on our own. We'll see. Looking forward to the holiday anyway.
cheers and thanks
Prado SX and a little van

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 17:42

Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 17:42
That's good Kevin.

The last time I booked the GCR online it was also instant. Then we were delayed for a week so I tried to reschedule online. No go. So I made a new booking for the later week. I was then advised that it had to be referred to the 'Tribal Elders'. We got the new permit..... a week after I got home! Sometimes I despair!!

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