Corner Country

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 02, 2015 at 19:10
ThreadID: 129633 Views:2026 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Hi all Im heading to corner country last week in August for about three week. Maybe head up to the Dig Tree area then to Birdsville or across towards Coober Pedy. I have a few questions for the experienced ones that have been to these areas.
Do I carry an eperb for safety or should I hire a Sat phone?
Traveling on these dirt roads it has been suggested to drop Tyre pressure to around 25 psi. As I am driving a Nissan Patrol GU with an Adventure Tray on camper on the back (about 1500KG) does this still apply as I assume this is because of sharp rocks.
I have an on board compressor ect so to drop pressures is no problems.
Also any places or spots to avoid due to our time constraints.
Thanks.
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Reply By: gentoopeng@me.com - Sunday, Aug 02, 2015 at 19:21

Sunday, Aug 02, 2015 at 19:21
We were in this area 12 months ago and had a great experience. We only went as far as Cooper Creek and Innaminka. I didn't drop my tyres on day 1 out of Tibooburra and wore the consequences of a sharp stone piercing a tyre. Repaired and on our way again we dropped the pressure and had no more troubles. We loved camping along Cooper Creek, magic spot.
AnswerID: 588227

Follow Up By: David & Jo - Sunday, Aug 02, 2015 at 20:04

Sunday, Aug 02, 2015 at 20:04
Hi, would you be kind enough to share where you camped along the Cooper. We are heading there end September and wondering which camp spot to stay at.

Cheers

Jo and David
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 08:19

Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 08:19
Hi Jo and David

The Cooper Creek area is a great place to camp, and will depend on where you camp as to what you will pay.

Out at the Dig Tree, which is inside of Queensland, you will pay $11 entry fee to visit the site, and includes the camping fee, regardless of weather you stay one or 10 nights, which is fantastic value and a great place to camp. From the Dig Tree, you continue out on the shortcut track and will give you access for a number kilometres where you can camp.

When you get to Innamincka, you will have 2 options of camping. The first option is the Town Common, which is great, a very easy walk into to town area with Pub with great meals, and a hot shower. Camping fees for the common are $5 per night, with all funds going directly back into the Innamincka Progress Association ( all funs stay in the town). You can either pay at the store or the honesty box as you enter the Town Common area.

If you wish to camp anywhere within the permitted camp sites in the Innamincka Regional Reserve, the cost is $18 per night if you do not have a Desert Parks Pass, and this money gets lost within the Government financial system.

The choice is yours, but I know where I like to camp.


Cheers


Stephen



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Follow Up By: David & Jo - Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 22:11

Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 22:11
Thanks for the info Stephen. We are looking at either camping at Policemans or Cullymurra waterhole and have a Desert Pass from our trip to the Simpson last year still. So looking forward to the trip and gathering lots of information.
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Reply By: Member - tommo05 - Sunday, Aug 02, 2015 at 20:05

Sunday, Aug 02, 2015 at 20:05
I always carry an EPIRB, but I've been out that way plenty of times without a sat phone. Your choice, a sat phone is never a bad idea but you're not really super-remote.

The roads generally aren't too bad, but if things start to look a bit rocky then yeah drop your pressures a little bit. I would have thought somewhere around 28-30 would be sufficient, I wouldn't go down to 25 but everyone has their own opinions on this. The lower you go the more chance you have of getting a sidewall puncture, and that's much worse than just getting it through the tread.

I don't think I would suggest avoiding anything, it's all great country out there. You haven't mentioned Innamincka though, make sure you don't miss that.

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Reply By: TCM - Sunday, Aug 02, 2015 at 23:07

Sunday, Aug 02, 2015 at 23:07
Hi Brendan,
We were their two years ago it was our first real outback experience and was amazing. We lowered tyre pressures to about 25 psi cold. If you are camping at Tibooburra just a few Klms out of town is a NP called Dead Horse Gully , nice place for a night or 2. Also if you get to Innamincka try to get a spare couple of nights n get to Coongie Lake, absolutely beautiful place with lots of bird life but very rough ride in. 106 Klms in but took us 3 1/2 hours in but so worth especially if you have kayak or the like. Then we went to Birdsville through Walkers Crossing once again a great drive but pay attention to detail on maps as the gas mining roads are magic but thr tracks you will be on are small but fun as long as there hasn't been any rain. Wish I was doing it again.
We were driving 2012 Nissan Pathfinder towing an AOR Quantum n did it easy.
Tony.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 07:40

Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 07:40
Hi Brendan,

I would start with around 28-30psi and adjust your rig to suit by the 4psi rule if you really need to "tune" your tyres to the load of your rig. 25psi may be a little too low for some of the rubble based roads you are likely to travel on.

Having said that, you have heard of Murphy haven't you?
One of our traveling group never lowers the tyre pressure in his Jackaroo and has been lucky to have avoided a puncture. They however are relatively unloaded, just carrying a tent and basic camping supplies.

The other two vehicles in our usual convoy both tow campers and lower our pressure to 28psi on both vehicle and camper for a comfortable ride, as soon as we hit the unsealed tracks we like to travel on.

Oh and a tyre repair kit is an essential piece of equipment to carry to help keep Murphy at bay.

We are also heading up that way last week in August for four weeks, but we are traveling up the Birdsville Track then on to Bullia, across to longreach and back down through corner country to Innamincka and down the Strzelecki Track as far as the Gammon Ranges turn off for 4 weeks.

19 more sleeps before departure, woo hoo!


Bill


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Reply By: The Landy - Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 09:35

Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 09:35
A great part of the world and plenty to see if you take the time.

On communications, always a good idea to have some form of it that works. I always carry both out of preference.

On tyre pressures it isn't a precise science that has a one size pressure that works for all. The key thing is you want to maintain suitable traction. Play around with it, drop less rather than more and adjust further in need. Bear in mind it comes down to road surface, ambient temperatures, vehicle speed and importantly vehicle weight.

Worth noting that low pressures and speed can result in tyre failure so be balanced in your approach

Enjoy!

Baz - TheLandy
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Reply By: gentoopeng@me.com - Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 11:46

Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 11:46
Hi again Brendan,

We camped at Cullyamurra Waterhole during school holidays and only saw one group of people going for a walk in 3 days. Great spot close to the Creek with new drop toilets that were amazingly clean and cleaned regularly.

We also carry an EPRB just because I have one, never felt like we were really remote. No mobile service at all around Innaminka unless you drive out to Moomba. Pay phones in town near the General Store.

So wish were heading up there again, especially with this cold miserable weather we are suffering at the moment.

Safe travels,

Rob
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Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 14:00

Monday, Aug 03, 2015 at 14:00
Hi Brendan,
Like a number of others who have replied I would recommend Coongie Lakes. The road out has had massive improvements to cater for the mining industry, however once you reach the national park boundary it turns into a sand track. At the Lake you have a number of choices regarding camping areas. We took the track across the sand dunes and found a very pleasant camping area. However, to cope with the sand you must lower your tyre pressures. We have a 200 Series Landcruiser towing a Tvan and for the sand we will lower tyres to a starting pressure of 18 psi hot. The camping area was almost on the edge of the lake and surrounded by trees. Unfortunately some previous campers were not as careful with respect to the toilet paper issue as they should have been. However, this is far from being unique to this location.
One of the issues with tyre pressure is that unless you have LT (light truck) tyres sidewall damage can be an issue. With our LT Coopers we will run a fully loaded Landcruiser at about 25 front and 28 or 30 rear, hot, on dirt. This makes the ride much more comfortable taking the "bang" out of the bumps. It also gives you better traction. The only limitation is you have a maximum speed of 80 km/h, however this really is fast enough on a loose surface especially if you are towing.
We always carry a sat phone with us along with the UHF. If you are on Telstra it is surprising where you can get a mobile signal. These days we found on our recent trip to WA that mini Telstra 3G hot spots are being installed. These are very short range almost restricted to a single building but the do allow internet and phone calls. Hamlin Station and Yardie Creek in WA had these. I am not sure what you might find where you are going, however.
With our sat phone, an Iridium with Telstra, we can send messages to mobiles which include current longitude and latitude. The format of the location data allows recipients to click on a link and then be taken to your location on Google Maps.
From Innimincka we travelled down to Cameron Corner via what we thought was via Orientos and Santos Stations. Again the road has been completely realigned for the mining industry and is some 30 km from the old road.
Have a great time on your travels
Robert
Robert
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Reply By: Pegasus_rise - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 22:04

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 22:04
Much like the other replies, Coongie lakes is a lovely spot to visit with great bird life.

We have a 200 series and find 23psi front and 26psi rear (towing) is very "comfortable" on the unsealed roads, but sit on 80-85 kph. I believe higher speeds create higher temps in the flexing sidewalls that can increase the risk of a failure.

Regards Gary
AnswerID: 588854

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 23:05

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 at 23:05
Hi Gary


Se you have a good camper in tow. We are covert 12 months ago and just love our Ultimate.


Cheers



Stephen
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