Alice Springs/SA Trip

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 13:36
ThreadID: 130175 Views:2636 Replies:4 FollowUps:8
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Hi all,

I'm currently about to drive to Alice Springs and having trouble researching many websites as i just have my phone and limited signal.

Basically as my main points of interest i am hoping to do:

Alice Springs - Uluru - Kata Tjuta - Kings Canyon - Coober Pedy - Arkaringa Painted Desert - Lake Eyre - Dalhousie Springs - Alice Springs

Due to the mix of tracks and roads i am struggling to find the distance and quickest routes with just my phone to research.

Could anyone help with an ideal route? My main issue is knowing the quickest way to tackle the SA section. I was thinking a straight drive to Coober Pedy and stopping at Arkaringa on the way. Then i can drive back to the Oodnadatta track to do lake Eyre. Then i read i could go through Hamilton station and Bloods creek to reach Dalhousie and then when leaving just take Mt Dare route to leave back to Alice?

A bit more info: I have a Pajero that's just been up to the tip so tracks are fine although i don't have a snorkel so i can't go above the headlights crossing wise. I think most of these tracks are quite tame anyway.

Is this route okay? Does anyone have a rough distance for this? I'd like to do this over 7-10 days but i don't know the distance yet so if this is infeasable then please say.


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Reply By: vk1dx - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 13:42

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 13:42
What do you use for navigation? Surely the distances are it's maps.

AnswerID: 589927

Follow Up By: Martyn J - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 13:45

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 13:45
Currently my maps are in my car which is in a garage having some work done. Its too far for me to walk to unfortunately and therefore it's hard to find mixed track/road distances without it (especially on this stupid phone).

FollowupID: 857927

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 13:54

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 13:54
You won't have to worry about any deep water. Just stick to the tracks.

Do you carry a compressor?

FollowupID: 857928

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 14:07

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 14:07
Yes you can drive that itinerary in 7 to 10 days. Even my kingswood could do it. But to properly answer your question I need some info. I wouldn't recommend some of my relatives to do it even though they drove the Nullabore back whebn it was all dirt, or should I say bull dust. So I just need a little info to say if I think that you could do it safely.

I would wait to get the maps and get the distances your self that way you get a map "embedded in your head" and get familiar with the route.

Do you carry and non internet and non cell or cloud based GPS etc?

fair enough

FollowupID: 857929

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 14:22

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 14:22
SRI The Q was: Do you carry any off line (that's non internet/cell/cloud) based GPS etc?

One bad one for me

FollowupID: 857931

Follow Up By: Martyn J - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 14:45

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 14:45
Hi Phil,

Thanks for the info.

Yes i do carry a compressor and i have the Australian HEMA map and also the HEMA app on my phone. The app has maps downloaded to it so it tracks my movements using GPS even when not connected to the internet. It doesn't give directions as such but obviously i can use it the same as the HEMA map with the benefit of having my location shown on it.

FollowupID: 857932

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 15:10

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 15:10
No voice commands - handy to have the "map in the head" then, isn't it? Mate I don't even take a mobile phone away and if I do it is left in the first aid kit with the sat phone. Hate the buggers.

You'll be fine, but it's still worth getting out the pen and paper and working out your own mileages. That way you get map "in the head" and you can plan the overnight or siteseeing stops.

Sorry put put it back to you but I always do my own for those reasons.

Personally we have a 2 din box in the dash and run Oziexplorer on it. Easy to see and not a "cabin missile" if we prang.


PS: As Dean, who used to be at Oodnadatta would say, "For a large 4wd 20 front and 26 rear are the best".
FollowupID: 857934

Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 15:50

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 15:50
Some suggestions, having just traveled many of these roads/tracks
If you decide to give Dalhousie Springs a miss, head south on the Stuart Hwy, turn left at Cadney Park about 85kms south of Marla and proceed to Arckaringa Stn (camping or cabins) - stay a day so that you can visit the Painted Desert at the right time of the day to see the best colours eg 4pm for the walk and dawn from the lookout, then head south through Mount Barry Stn to Coober Pedy.
After Coober Pedy, head east to William Creek and if you want to, take a Wright Air flight over Anna Creek Stn (Painted Hills) and Lake Eyre (~$420 for 2+ hrs)
Then south east viewing the Mound Springs and then Lake Eyre from the L/O just before the Borefield Rd TO and then on towards Marree. If you wish to see the channel between the North and South Lakes, head north to Muloorina Stn just before Marree. Good camping by the lagoon with (often prolific) bird life.
(All roads/tracks from Cadney Park to Marree subject to little or no rain)
You could then head south through Leigh Creek dropping into the Flinders Ranges (magnificent and would be my preference having come so far) and then head back up the Stuart Hwy from Pt Augusta.
AnswerID: 589929

Reply By: Member - mechpete - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 16:30

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 16:30
if its too far to walk get a taxi or a friend to ur car ,an get ur maps
AnswerID: 589933

Reply By: Martyn J - Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 17:25

Thursday, Sep 03, 2015 at 17:25
Thanks for the replies.

Phil, i completely agree regarding maps. I recently did Cape York and found myself constantly checking over the maps just to reinforce knowing where i was going, as i generally don't use anything when driving (just use the road signs and if unsigned i pull over when i am near the correct distance to a turn and check on the GPS). Therefore i like to know how far i am from things just in case anything goes wrong.

I'll be working out the mileage as soon as possible. The main reason i asked that question was more to confirm the itinerary was suitable for 7-10 days while i am in the planning stage. Obviously you answered this for me anyway so once i get my car back i'll be looking at the distances and so on.

It's good to hear there shouldn't be too much of a problem though and thanks for those pressures, it's always useful to have a guide for my tyres when doing roads i've not seen yet.

Great suggestions Andrew! Thanks for the advice regarding the painted desert. I will be sure to do this as i'm sure it will look a whole let better at these times!

I'm actually doing an anti-clockwise lap of Australia and therefore will be coming through SA again at the end of the year. I have been trying not to dip too far in whilst doing Alice Springs (hence why i didn't include Flinders Ranges). I was originally not even going to include Coober Pedy on this trip but i know i will be short on time at the end so i am trying to do the top 'half' of SA now and then i will do the bottom and Flinders Ranges when i come back the other way.

When talking about viewing Lake Eyre, are there good locations from the western side, or is it better to drive round in the Marree direction? I'm trying to work out the extra distance and therefore time, whilst not wanting to miss out.

Thanks for all the help.

AnswerID: 589939

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 09:08

Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 09:08
Re Lake Eyre. You may have to go almost 300 kms south of Oodnadatta to Curdimurka to see Lake Eyre.

Or if others first confirm that there is a view from Halligan Point, then about 7Kms south of Willem Creek, swing east on the Halligan Point track for 62Kms to get a view of the lake.

We just went through there a month back and from what I recall we didn't see the lake north of Curdimurka. Maybe others will have a better idea. We weren't sight seeing on the way to a solo Madigan Line crossing of the Simpson Desert (great drive). Unfortunately when you have limited time available to travel you can't "stop and smell the roses".

Thinking of the weather, I think this time would be better, rather than later in the year to see if you can see Lake Eyre. Or are you just talking about next month. I wouldn't be too keen in driving up from lower latitudes just to see Lake Eyre in the summer.

And 200 to 300 kms is a large drive just to get there, see the lake and turn around and come back another 200 - 300 Kms. And that's just the distance to/from Oodnadatta.


FollowupID: 857968

Follow Up By: Martyn J - Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 12:41

Friday, Sep 04, 2015 at 12:41
Thanks for the information again.

I have just been researching and apparently Halligan Bay is a good spot to see the northen lake from. Looking at where it is and the current lake water level ( i think it would be a good point to stop.

When referring to when i will see it i was talking about in the next few weeks. When i come back through it will be around December and i don't think i'll have enough time to drive all the way up to just see one or two things as mentioned (I'll be trying to stay more coastal except for if i go towards Flinders Ranges).

I think the Halligan Bay area is what i will do and if i felt that i had really missed out by not going further towards Curdimurka i will consider booking some accomodation and replanning part of the route whilst there.

FollowupID: 857979

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