Cloncurry Trails

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 16:05
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Good Afternoon Leaned Travellers.

I have purchased copy of a great publication called "Cloncurry Trails" to research and prepare me for a upcoming trip into the area during the year. There is some great reading in the book and it has opened my eyes to many great four wheel drive tracks in the area.

My question is to anyone that has travelled into many of the mining tracks in the area is, how would you rate them? as the author has rated a number of the tracks as "Extreme".

I know that we all have a different perspective of track conditions, two people travelling the same track can give you different answers from easy to hard.

One such area that we would like to head into is in the area of the Wee MacGregor Mine and the Hightville area.

So if you have ventured into this area, are the tracks "Extreme" and if they are, what are the conditions like to give them this rating.



Cheers



Stephen








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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 16:53

Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 16:53
Stephen,

I've been along that Cloncurry - Mt Isa highway, about 4 times/week, on 'n off over past 5 years, but regrettably haven't made the time to explore through the hills. Much of the ranges appear to be very rugged, but lack the height of, say the Vic high country.

If he doesn't acknowledge your thread soon, I'd be sending Doug Tilley an MM, and pick his brains. Believe Doug has done some extensive trips in the area, and written about it on his website.

Some great history in the area, and worth a look at both the 'Curry and the Isa too.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 17:08

Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 17:08
Hi Bob

Thanks for that, and yes intend to spend time in the area exploring that great country. From what I have read, it looks very interesting and like you say, a lot of mining history in the area.

Like all areas that we travel, the right approach and knowing how to drive in four wheel drive would be the key to success, unless the heaves open up and that then opens another can of worms.....lol.


Thanks for taking the time to reply.


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Stephen
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 11:40

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 11:40
Stephen,

Had never heard of Hightville until you posted the above, so did a Google, and came up with the page below:



I checked out the 4WD Action article at the top, and I think you'd be interested in it too. There's a link to a mud map available, but I couldn't get it to work on my iPad. :-(

Mentions Wee Macgregor, a couple of other mines and a brief description of the roads in that area.

Enjoy,
Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 22:09

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 22:09
Hi Bob

I have seen those sights and after reading the book, I just wanted to know why they rate the tracks there as extreme, as from the film clip, it did not look that extreme to me.

Well time will tell....lol



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Stephen
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Reply By: Member - Bigred13 - Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 20:27

Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 20:27
Hi Stephen L ,I cannot help with the tracks around Cloncurry ,but would be interested in reading about any travels you do there ,I will try and get there one day and see the area ,a lot of my family lived in that area .In 1953 my cousin was one of the founders of the Mary Kathleen Uranium Mine ,near Cloncurry/ Mt Isa .
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 20:45

Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 20:45
Hi Bigred

Mary Kathleen will be on place that we will be visiting. No problems about reading about the trip as another blog will deffinately be on the Cards, along with mega photos.

Cheers


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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 23:51

Saturday, Mar 07, 2015 at 23:51
Mary Kathleen is a fascinating place, been there a couple of times, camped there last September, gets a bit chilly at night as there is a ban on camp fires.

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 07:53

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 07:53
Hi Shaker

Thanks for that and yes I have read that you are not able to have any open fires while camped there and the station owner comes around each night to make sure that everyone is doing the right thing.

Are the fires only for open fires and can you you an Ozpig?


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Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 19:49

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 19:49
I can't give you a definitive answer, but my guess would be all fires!
I would like to get involved in properly identifying all the main town building remains.
I met some people camping on the block that their own house used to stand on, they were able to provide heaps of info about MK in its hey day.



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Reply By: The Landy - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 07:58

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 07:58
Hey Stephen

That is a favourite part of Australia for us, so much to see and do!

One book worth getting your hands on is "Angor to Zillmanton" which details deserted towns in North Queensland.

The book has been well researched and is a great reference book for the region. I spend many hours just thumbing through it!

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 08:11

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 08:11
Hi Baz

Thanks for that and will try to get a copy. Have you ventured into Hightville and the Wee MacGregor area and are the tracks extreme?


Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 08:15

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 08:15
Hi Stephen

Not familiar with it, I spent some time around the Gilberton (Gilbert River) area...

Cheers, Baz
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 09:18

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 09:18
Hi Stephen,

When we were there in 2011 we were guided by a member on here who gave us some useful mudmaps and background info. Unfortunately I cant recall more than his given name. We did not go into the area you mention, but I guess you have seen our blog and there is a map of our route around that area in there. One problem you will encounter are mining company signs which were pretty common. But there are plenty of places you can get into and have a good poke around, taking care not to stumble into the many shafts that have no protection around or over them. The most rugged area we went into (fossicking area) is described in our blog, and I would not call the tracks there extreme - some washouts, steep sections and sharp creek crossings but quite OK with reasonable care.
There are many mines and at least some remains old old towns, including cemeteries and you would need a lot of time to first of all find and then get around them all. It's a a very interesting area. A good background read id Geoffry Blainey's "Mines in the Spinifex".

Cheers,

Val.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 10:03

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 10:03
Hi Val

Thanks for that and I will re read your very informative blogs. Like you say as long as I uses reasonable care, it should be OK.

Thanks for the reply Val.



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Reply By: MEMBER Bushbum - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 15:20

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 15:20
Afternoon Stephen and I visited most of that area a few years ago. We never encountered an "extreme Track" in that area other than the one leading to the railway tunnel near to the Wee McGregor mine and it was most certainly so. Having made that statement , I was driving a 4.2 GQ Nissan Patrol tray back and my son was in a 100 Series Wagon and both made it readily if not easily. It is a most interesting piece of country and well worth exploring. Make sure you have a look for some "Maltese crosses" on the way in to the Wee Mac Gregor.
Regards,
Ray W
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 22:17

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 22:17
Hi Ray

Thanks for your follow up reply, greatly appreciated. My wording of extreme would be needing lockers, which I do not have, with very deep gutters and very large rocks that will hang up a vehicle.

You said " one leading to the railway tunnel near to the Wee McGregor mine and it was most certainly so"

I would presume you were in low range? or was it doable in high?

As I drive a 120 Series Prado and have been on a few hairy tracks, do you think that I would have any issues.

Yes I am away of the Maltese Crosses. Were you able to find any, and if so, was it hard trying to find them.



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Follow Up By: MEMBER Bushbum - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 07:52

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 07:52
Morning Stephen . We are currently in Tassie and thus away from my maps etc. I am due to return on the Ferry on Wed night and will be another week after that getting home. I am currently using the mobile app on my IPad and can't find where to send you a members message. My email is bushbumswil@bigpond.com so should you choose, it will probably be better to converse by that means. The track near Wee McGregor was done in low range by both vehicles and is quite narrow and is over large boulders that tend to move about. It can be by-passed. My son and I are both well experienced off roaders and found the area interesting. The Maltese crosses were simply laying on the ground when we were there and have the site marked on a mud map.
Bye for now and take care.
Ray W.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 08:59

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 08:59
Hi Ray

Thanks for that and I will send you an email.

Hope you are having a great time over in Tassie.

Speak to you soon.



Cheers


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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 23:17

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 23:17
Hi Stephan, I have done a little bit in that area I find it hard to imagine that there would be much that would stop you as long as it was dry. I would liken much of it the Northern Flinders Ranges. Mary Kathleen is a very interesting place and well worth the effort although I would not stay there. I would advise against staying at any of the CP's in Mt Isa they can be very noisy and you have to be very careful about security. A great place to stay in that area is the West Leichardt Station on the Lake Julias Road, the hosts there Ron and Joan are very welcoming and interesting to chat with. They are also a good source of local knowledge. Good place to stay for a few days and do day trips from there.
I have just put up Place id 107914 for more information.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 09:03

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 09:03
Hi Chris

Thanks for that great bit of information. I have read that the nouse is an issue with the parks in the Isa, but like you, would prefer somewhere quite and in the bush if possible.

Thsts for your reply.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Vic - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 19:05

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 19:05
Ron sometimes puts a BBQ on for his guests. If one of the boys cook the meat (some of the pigs you see in the pen if you are lucky) thats probably OK. But if Ron is cooking get your meat straight off the BBQ because Ron only knows how to cook one way - to a cinder.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 19:41

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 19:41
Hi Chris

Thanks for bringing this great location to my attention, and yes we will be staying there.



Cheers



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