Great Central Road attractions.

Hi there all,
We will be travelling the Great Central Road next July and I was wondering what good sites there are to see which are close to the main road.
I have travelled the road previously but was a bit hurried and did not have the time to explore properly.
Also interested in good overnight camp locations.
We are towing a KK camper trailer.
Thanks Craig

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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 16:21

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 16:21
Craig, As you are probably aware, permits must be obtained for travel on the Great Central Road for both the WA and NT sections.
These are 'Transit permits' and approve travel only for passing through the Aboriginal Lands.

Some of the constraints are the following.................
You are required to remain on the approved route and to not depart from the road by more than 30m.
All side tracks are private and not accessible.
Entry into the aboriginal communities is not permitted unless specifically approved.
Camping on the Aboriginal Lands is not permitted except in an emergency.

So that leaves you with only the landscape to view as you drive along.
Even photography is unapproved!

All the above conditions are detailed on the permit application websites and on the issued permit.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: MARIC - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 18:56

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 18:56
Isn't it sad that you are limited on these outback roads.
Can you imagine the outcry if the residents there had the same conditions imposed on them in country towns and hwys
It is only when you see mosquito land on your testicles that you find another way to solve problems without violence

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Follow Up By: Member - Robert1660 - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 20:06

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 20:06
It is a shame to some extent and at one time I also was critical, however one has to remember that this land has been titled to them and it is similar I would
suggest to a cattle station and its private property. In this case you need permission to travel just like you need permission to travel across indigenous land. I suppose the issue is that these roads are really not public roads and this is where the confusion arises. Possibly in future some agreement can be made so as to obviate the need for a permit.
Robert
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Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 21:14

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 21:14
Thanks Allan,
Yes I got the permits last time i travelled the road but I do wonder for what purpose. I understand and appreciate if you want to wander off the GCR you can apply for other permits.

Regards Craig
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 22:57

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 22:57
Craig,
The purpose of permits as expressed by the Central Land Council is as follows from their website...............

"The permit system is simply a system of regulated access to Aboriginal land. The system complements Aboriginal responsibility for country and is consistent with the land title held under Australian law.

Without a permit system there would be no way of asking permission to visit private Aboriginal land.

Benefits of the permit system are:

Protecting and caring for sacred sites, consistent with Aboriginal landowners’ special attachment to land
Providing a policing tool for unscrupulous behaviour given the difficulties of applying trespass law in remote areas
Protecting Aboriginal cultural and intellectual property
Protecting the privacy of Aboriginal ceremony and other cultural events
Encouraging Aboriginal participation in and realising commercial value of projects on Aboriginal land
Promoting awareness and respect for Aboriginal land and culture
Promoting visitor safety
Protecting the wider natural environment."

All very nice, but apart from the "Promoting awareness and respect for Aboriginal land and culture", I cannot see how indiscriminatingly issuing a piece of paper without investigating the worthiness of the applicant is going to serve the other expressed "benefits".
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Allan

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 16:30

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 16:30
Lasseters Cave :)



Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: equinox - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 16:31

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 16:31
Empress Spring is 60 clicks up the David Carnegie Road and is worth a visit, there are caves and rockholes on the way too.

Nearby, Tjukayirla Roadhouse is great for an overnight stop and a good feed.



Cheers
Alan

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Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 22:26

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 22:26
Thanks Alan, great video. I would probably have got stuck or claustrophobia about half way down.
Regards
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Reply By: The Explorer - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 16:43

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 16:43
Hi

Some info here - the Outback Way - Australians longest shortcut..

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: Craig M1 - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 22:35

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 22:35
Thanks for the info Greg. I did the Outback Way to Longreach an onto CapeYork a few years ago. It was the adventure of a life time.
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Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 23:38

Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 23:38
We have just completed our journey from Kata Tjuta to Laverton. The road in WA is in excellent condition with some roadwork along the way. The NT side is not nearly as good but still acceptable.
The roadhouses at Warakurna and Tjukayirla have very good caravan parks attached.
We took the Hema Guide to the Great Central Road and found that it really lacked credible information at times. It appeared that words were used to fill the required space rather than actually inform. Nevertheless it will help locate places of interest.
Warburton Roadhouse, as you have probably found, and the associated caravan park leave something to be desired.
The Hema Guide talks of many rockholes. We found these difficult to find however we did manage to locate two sites. The first is located at 27°42'16.2"S, 124°10'32.0"E, which is about 75 km on the Laverton side of Tjukayirla Roadhouse. This site is also readily identified by a large a White Cross on the southern side of the road. Also at this location are caves with Aboriginal art.
The other rockhole site is at 28°22'12.1"S, 122°35'45.2"E. This is on the northern side of the road about 40 km from Cosmo-Newberry on the Laverton.
The Giles Breakaway at 28°16'48.6"S, 122°42'03.7"E is a good spot for a break or to just to look at the view. It is about half way between Cosmo and Laverton.
Another place we found of interest was at 27°56'42.8"S, 122°59'45.0"E. This was a windmill which had free water running into a small dam. The site had many finches darting between the water and a neighbouring bush. This was about 15 km on the eastern side of Cosmo.
Hope this helps.
Robert
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Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 00:53

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 00:53
Thanks Robert, some good info there. I will be sure to check them out.
Regards
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 00:01

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 00:01
The Giles weather station is of interest Craig, but they no longer have the staff to give you the full tour and a close up view of the weather balloon release as we saw. There is also an interesting collection of Len Beadell memorabilia in the Visitors Room, as well has his grader in an outdoor display. See My Blogs from 2008 and Travelogues for more on Giles and the Great Central Road.

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Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 00:51

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 00:51
Wow what a shame. Probably a result of federal cuts. Did the tour some years back it was excellent and was planning to take our friends to it again on this trip.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 08:41

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 08:41
Craig

They still release a balloon each day, but it is automated so need to be there at the correct time. Check with the roadhouse.

One way to possibly enhance your trip is to make contact with the art centres in the various communities and organise to visit and view. You would need to contact each individual community and then include this in your permit application, which will be different to the transit permit. No guarantees, but this is a good way to approach it.

And as mentioned earlier in the thread by Equinox, the drive to Empress Springs is well worth it, so spend a night at “The Chook” (Tjukayirla) and head out there for a day.

Enjoy…
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 08:56

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 08:56
When it was announced that the tours were being axed due to a staff reduction, the Senior Meteorologist, Media and Community Relations in Adelaide was keen to get some public access continuing. Thanks to Paul we can still visit the Weather Station.

Balloon releases can only be watched from the car park now.
Balloon release times which are coincided worldwide are -
Non Daylight Savings: 8:45am and 2:45pm. (South Aust. time)
Daylight Savings: 9:45am and 3:45pm. (South Aust. time)

The station is only open for public visits and the guided tour at 11am, Mon to Fri (South Aust. time)

Thanks The Landy. Have you been since they changed? I have not spoken to anyone about the tours as they are now. We had a hour with the staff member on the old tour, and his explanations of all he did with the weather checks were the real highlight of the Great Central Road tour. Without that it would still hold interest, but not be the same.
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Follow Up By: Member - Robert1660 - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 09:09

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 09:09
We have just visited the Weather Station and apart from the Len Beadell memorabilia we were quite disappointed. As stated there are no more tours and unless you are very vigilant you will miss the actual time the balloon is let off. The car park is some distance from the launch site so be prepared at 8:45 Central Time. One might have thought that a little more could have been done considering the distance you have to travel to get to Giles. Display 9/10 , launch 3/10.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 09:19

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 09:19
Thanks for the first hand report Robert. It was a long haul to get anything for the public at all when they could not longer staff the tours. What we got was a compromise.



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Follow Up By: Zippo - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 11:16

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 11:16
For us, the highlight of the LB memorabilia was undoubtedly his artwork. He was a natural artist and his caricatures are up there with the late legendary Paul Rigby.
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Reply By: Kevin S - Life Member (QLD) - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 16:09

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 16:09
I found this an interesting watch. A bit long but worth the time.

Video - Great Central Road

Cheers, Kevin
Kevin
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Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 19:32

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 19:32
Hi Kevin, I was looking forward to a video but you have only a few photos attached .
By the way the Landcruiser is farrrr to clean.
Regards Craig
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Follow Up By: Kevin S - Life Member (QLD) - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 21:07

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 21:07
I don't know what the problem is Craig. It is playing the video for me. Are you clicking on the "Video - Great Central Road" link?

Cheers, Kevin
Kevin
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Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Monday, May 18, 2015 at 21:41

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 21:41
Thanks Kevin. Yes, all is ok now. I need to go back to Uni and do IT 101.
I was pressing on the photo not the link.
Apologies.
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