Adelaide to Kimberley

Submitted: Monday, Apr 06, 2015 at 10:24
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Leaving mid June, crossing the Tanami and towing a Pioneer camper trailer, would appreciate any feedback on current road conditions and camping spots along the Tanami.
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Monday, Apr 06, 2015 at 14:01

Monday, Apr 06, 2015 at 14:01
If you're travelling from Adelaide, it is well worth doing what we did last year and heading a bit further West to go through the Gawler Ranges and then up along Googs Track from Ceduna towards Coober Pedy - gets you off the boring bitumen and both those areas are great drives.
Good camp spots in the Gawler NP, and then at Googs Lake and Mt Finke.
Then from Coober Pedy you can loop out through the Painted Desert, Oodnadatta etc and come into Alice Springs via old Andado and Chambers Pillar
Along the Tanami, take the detour in via the aboriginal community of Mulan and camp at Lake Gregory, and then there is an interesting track which will bring you out to Lake Stretch on the northern end of the Canning, just before you get back on the Tanami at Billiluna just south of Wolf Ck crater.
Also, once you get off the Tanami at Halls Creek, instead of taking the bitumen up to Kununurra to start your Kimberley journey, take the Duncan Road which goes up the eastern side of the Bungle Bungles.
It's a fantastic scenic drive and really good camping at Caroline Pool, Marella Gorge and Negri River on the way - and hardly a vehicle on the road. You still come out near Kununurra.
None of it is difficult with common sense and the right gear, but you need to be comfortable on sand if you're doing Googs.
It's a bit of a zig-zag, but you can get virtually all the way from Ceduna to the Mitchell Plateau, without going on the bitumen.
Enjoy !!
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Follow Up By: Member - Robert1660 - Monday, Apr 06, 2015 at 17:52

Monday, Apr 06, 2015 at 17:52
Hi All,
Just thought I would add a few comments based on the excellent suggestions of Wildmax.Coober Pedy definitely worth a visit. From here head as suggested to the Painted Desert and stay at Arkaringa Station. Staying here allows you time to visit the various scenic spots in the Painted Desert. The folks at Arkaringa will suggest the best times and places. Just north of Coober Pedy is the Breakaways and the Moon Plains. These can be part of the trip to Arkaringa.
From Arkaringa you would head to Dalhousie Springs and the to Mt Dare. Old Andado is a great place to camp. The home of Molly Clarke has been preserved as she left it. It is managed by volunteer caretakers. Santa Teresa can be a destination on the way to The Alice. If you are into caravan parks the Macdonnell Ranges CV park in The Alice is outstanding.
The Tanami is a mixed road but is doable in good conditions. Two wheel drives can do it with care.Tilmouth Well Roadhouse is ok for camping and is the end of the bitumen.
I can recommend Stretch Lagoon. Good camping excellent composting toilets, at least in 2013.
Caroline Pools is marginal as a camping site as far as I am concerned. In 2013 it was very busy and there was no toilet. As you can imaging being busy and having no toilet can lead to some unpleasantness. The place is worth a visit but when busy it is not the best camp site.
Bungle Bungles outstanding but you cannot take a caravan in. Campertrailers are ok.
Lake Argyle cruise is excellent. Take a boat that moves quickly however.Kununurra rodeo is worth a visit if you are there at the right time of the year.
The Five Rivers Lookout at Wyndham is worth visiting.
Gibb River Road is quite well maintained. Suggest visiting El Questro. Quite a lot to do there.Home Valley is ok but not as well structured as El Questro. Lots to visit along the Gibb.
Mitchell Plateau is a must if you have a vehicle that can take the very punishing road, and believe me it is 80 km of unrelenting corrugations.
Horizontal Falls is great but it is expensive. Flights from Derby or Broome.
North of Broome is the Dampier Peninsular. At the far end is the Cape Leveque "resort". It is worth camping here a few days, however there is about 100 km of dirt before you reach 100 km of blacktop. The final few kms is quite soft sand. You do need to book well in advance.
Hope this gives you some additional ideas for your journey.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Apr 06, 2015 at 23:08

Monday, Apr 06, 2015 at 23:08
There are several large rest areas along the Tanami and an occasional old gravel dump site. No traffic passing at night.


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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Apr 07, 2015 at 06:14

Tuesday, Apr 07, 2015 at 06:14
You have to check conditions shortly before you embark on a route as rain can change things in a matter of hours. 6 weeks out you can't tell much.
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