great central road travel

Hi all , we are planing a trip to Alice, Ayers rock, then the great central road through to Wiluna, hopefully taking the gunbarrel highway and if not the great central road. I know that you need to travel in a group of 2(with a permit) to travel the gunbarrel highway but if we cannot find anyone to travel with, can we travel the great central road solo (with a permit). We will be travelling in August/Sept and hope to be at Yulara around the last week in August this year. We carry all necessary gear including UHF and sat phone. Any info will be greatly appreciated.

Regards Judy and Laurie
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Reply By: lizard - Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 09:42

Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 09:42
I suggest if you are well set up (with Sat phone) , then you could travel the Gunbarrel Hwy ... is a far more interesting drive and camp spots . We did it in 1992 - including the abandoned section .
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Reply By: Ol' Bunky - Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 09:47

Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 09:47
We went across the Great Central from Laverton in August last year. The road was good, we were pulling a camper trailer behind the Patrol. Tjukayirla Roadhouse was good with friendly staff. Don't bother with Warburton....Warakurna was also good. The road was terrible after Warakurna - very corrugated, but the scenery was worth travelling slow for anyway. Don't bother with Docker River either......
We had no trouble with the distances (fuel wise) nor did we have any tyre dramas.
Oh, counting dead cars along the way is a bit of a pass time - we got to 203 between Laverton & the NT border, the good ol' Falcon winning the highest head count...
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Reply By: Athol W1 - Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 09:54

Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 09:54
Judy & Laurie
You certainly can travel he GCR as a solo traveller, we did in 2005 towing a Coromal Pioneer pop top caravan and we would have seen at least 1 other vehicle during every hour, and most were Commodore or Falcons.

Enjoy your travels
Regards
Athol
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Follow Up By: Member - Judy and Laurie - Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 10:06

Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 10:06
thanks , do you know what permits we need and how far ahead of time do we need to apply for them? thanks again
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Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 10:22

Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 10:22
Judy & Laurie
You need permits for each of the NT and WA sections.
When we did it the WA permit was done on line, and was also issued on line within 1 day, the NT permit had to be done by snail mail and took about 1 month. I believe that they can both be done on line now.

Regards
Athol
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Follow Up By: Member - RUK42 (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 10:34

Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 10:34
I have just got the permits for NT and WA sides of the GCR. You can get both of them (separately) online. The are immediate via email. Easy as.
Cheers
Kevin
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Reply By: The Landy - Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 10:37

Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 10:37
Hi Judi and Laurie

If travelling in that region try and spare some time to head up along the Sandy Blight Junction Track (near Warakurna).

A great outback drive...

The Sandy Blight Junction Track - A Living Poscard

Enjoy, Baz - The Landy
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 11:17

Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 11:17
Judy and Laurie,

See here for GCR permits and other information.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 22:40

Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 22:40
Hi Judy and Laurie

We travelled the GCR east to west and My Blogs (2008) have a summary of the journey. The road had good and bad patches, and you will almost always find this variation. The road has plenty of traffic on it so you are never alone, but more traffic means the corrugations build up quickly after grading. We have not done the old Gunbarrel. We did have a breakage, but did not need to use our satellite phone as we were able to get going ourselves.

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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 23:27

Sunday, Mar 15, 2015 at 23:27
Hi Judy & Laurie - I did Alice - Uluru - Laverton in October last year and put up a road report on this site. Here's the link.

Tjukaruru Road - GCR Road report

The Gt Central Rd will vary in condition in numerous sections, according to how recently its been graded.

To access Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), you need to get a Park Permit from the Tourist Information centre in the centre of Yulara.
Drive up Yulara Drive from the Lasseter Hwy, through the first roundabout and past "Sails in the Desert", and you will see a patch of lawn and big trees on the left, then a road on the left, just before the Ayers Rock Resort.

Take this road and it leads into a carpark behind a number of admin buildings and the IGA supermarket. The Tourist Information centre is in the middle of these buildings. The TIC can issue both Uluru Park Permits, and Transit Permits for the Tjukaruru Rd.

A 3-day permit for Uluru and Kata Tjuta Park costs you $25. There is a checkpoint on the road between Yulara and Uluru where you must stop and present all permits.

To travel the Tjukaruru Rd (from Yulara to the W.A. border), you need a Transit Permit from the NT Central Lands Council. Here is the link to the online application.

Transit Permit Application - Tjukaruru Rd

To drive from the W.A. border to Laverton on the GCR, or on any other of the W.A. Aboriginal Land "highways", you need a Permit from the W.A. Dept of Aboriginal Affairs. Here is the link to the online application.

Entry Permits form to Aboriginal Land - Dept of Aboriginal Affairs, W.A.

Be aware of the tight travel allowance times on these W.A. permits.
Also be aware that you are not allowed entry to Aboriginal communities on these permits, they are transit permits only. If you desire to enter Aboriginal Communities, you need a separate permit.
Warburton townsite is not an Aboriginal Community, entry to Warburton townsite is allowed on the Transit Permit.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Omaa - Monday, Mar 16, 2015 at 09:28

Monday, Mar 16, 2015 at 09:28
We ,with 2 other couples did the GCR in 2013- had a wonderful time. We pulled up when we saw a good spot for the night & took 6 nights. We got both permits on line and neither was checked anywhere but definitely obtain them. We got fuel as each roadhouse just because we could, as well as topping up with good water. Just a warning, do not take photographs in Docker river- big sign in way in says so!
As usual travel to the road conditions which were very good for our trip. NT was the worst.
For some photos check out my blog if you wish.
This year we are doing the Gary Junction road.
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Follow Up By: Greg & Dianne - Monday, Mar 16, 2015 at 21:03

Monday, Mar 16, 2015 at 21:03
I tried to do our permits online yesterday, as I don't know our exact dates I wasn't able to complete them. Any hints. We have to back in queensland by the end of August, probably travelling back along the GCR some time during August but ubsure of dates. Greg & DI
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Mar 16, 2015 at 21:54

Monday, Mar 16, 2015 at 21:54
Hi

Select travel dates for your GCR permits as best you can, it doesn't really matter if they are a few days out (or weeks actually). Nobody checks them. At best I think the info is used as a record of overall numbers rather than some way of tracking individual movements on specific days.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, Mar 16, 2015 at 22:09

Monday, Mar 16, 2015 at 22:09
Hi Greg & Di

If you are only travelling the GCR you can probably do it online just before you intend to travel it as from memory it is all online and self-administered.

Enjoy...Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - Judy and Laurie - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 22:21

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 22:21
Hi Baz, thanks for your info it has been very helpful. Havn't been able to work out how to send member message.
thanks again Judy and Laurie
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 22:27

Thursday, Mar 19, 2015 at 22:27
"Havn't been able to work out how to send member message."

Hi - click on Send Messsage



Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 00:04

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 00:04
Greg & Dianne - The Landy has nailed it, no need to get the permits until you know your exact dates for travel.
With the Central Land Council Permit online application, it is emailed to you within a short time.
With the online GCR Permit from the WA Dept of Aboriginal Affairs, you will get transit approval on the spot - you just print out your permit from the website.
You can do that, up until the day before you travel.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 550084

Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 01:29

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 01:29
Nope - you can get permits even if you don't know your exact dates. Maybe better if you do but (as previously mentioned), if you are a few days out it doesn't matter. Put in your best guess and go for it. No need to worry about it. Apply for the permits 6 months before, 1 hour before, whatever, and then just do it. Its not that hard and the dates you put on the permit application will remain unnoticed by anyone, forever.

Cheers
Greg

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 02:17

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 02:17
I wouldn't be banking on that. I know for sure, you won't get past the checkpoint on the Yulara-Uluru road unless you can produce a valid Uluru Park pass or a valid CLC Transit Permit.

I have read at least one story, written from first hand experience, of one particular "Aboriginal advisor" abusing campers who were camped a long way from the GCR alignment.
This individual was particularly nasty and was throwing his weight around with regard to "disobeying permit conditions".

The rules for the W.A. permit are quite clear. Who actually enforces the rules is not clear - but I'll wager any Aboriginal elder or Community spokesperson most likely has powers to enforce the permit rules.

Aboriginals Lands Permit Travel Information - WA DAA

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 19:38

Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015 at 19:38
You only have to go through the "checkpoint" if heading west (as you also enter the NP), and suspect most travelers also buy a pass anyway so their permit becomes irrelevant (for the checkpoint) ...and doubt very much there would be an issue even if the dates were out. If it was a problem it would be well publicised and it's not.

If you have a permit, you have a permit. As far as camping off the main route - that is a different subject altogether and on not relevant to this specific discussion.

If in fact "Aboriginal elders or Community spokespersons" checked specific permits (I doubt they would ever bother) what are they going to do if you are halfway across and 2 days out of your specified dates? Suspect they will tell you do exactly what you are doing anyway ...drive out .but it would never happen. They have better things to do.

Pick the best dates you can at the best time you can and go for it.

It no big deal - and no need for any stress. According to some your biggest concern maybe getting assaulted on the way more than any thing else :)

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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