Article Comment: Anne Beadell Highway

Anyone here happen to be doing the AB highway this May (or have done it in May)? (Or know a good place to ask such things.) I'm an American taking his first trip to Australia in May. I'll have 35 days, starting and ending in Sydney. I'd really like to do the AB (starting in Coober Pedy), but I realize doing it solo may not be such a great idea, but with the right prep, comms, enough fuel, water, and food, I think it's doable.
If I go through with it, I have to do it in early May before the Woomera section is closed for a few weeks by Defence.
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 09:45

Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 09:45
Hi Anthony. You don't really ask a question so hard to reply. If you do ask more specific questions can I suggest you fill in your "Profile". The more we know about you the better the responses will be.
Minimium for such a trip is a very strong vehicle and a satphone.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 10:39

Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 10:39
Hi Anthony, welcome to the forum. EO is a great place to start looking for partners or further information and The ABH is certainly a beautiful remote road. One of my favorites.
I guess you are hiring a 4wd??? Or may a bike? This is none of my business and excuse me prying but some background on why you picked the ABH for your first visit could be useful. Not the usual Koala patting and Opera House trip agenda LOL? You obviously love desert and remote travel and have done some homework.
The reason I ask is that you may or may not want to do the whole highway, and if hiring a vehicle it may pay to fly Syd - Adelaide then Perth - Sydney to give you more time. You will be busy driving a return trip to Sydney in 35 days.
If your agenda is something other than completing the ABH, then a trip following the Railroad track from Port Augusta, then up to Maralinga, then up to Emu on the ABH then west, may be a better option. You get to go to ground Zero of a few nuke sites. It is very interesting. The ABH from Coober Pedy to Emu is very slow, very bump rutted, very scratchy work. Plan to lose any deposit on a hire 4wd from scratches.
If you are experienced in remote travel, which is looks like you are then it is a great trip.
Also plan to get a Telstra Phone service, they are the only one to use in Australia outside major towns. Your phone should me capable of 850Mhz 3G if you intend to use it on Telstra. It won't work on the ABH but it's as good as it gets. A sat phone is useful. I would guess we passed 1 car every 2 - 3 days when we went last year.

Hope you find a trip partner. Another good forum might be 4x4earth, there is someone looking for partners on the Tracktrailer forum, but they are planning on Aug.
I wish I was going back in May to go with you.
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Follow Up By: Member - Anthony O - Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 11:53

Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 11:53
Thanks. This is such a great site. I've also updated my profile a bit. This trip is all about the outback (as well as Uluru, and the Great Ocean Road). I'm saving the cities for another trip.
I love taking really long road trips.
I'm hiring a Land Rover Td5 with a RTT. But I have to start and end in Sydney. Still working on planning that return trip.
The ABH just seems like an amazing track. (And I've been reading about Len Beadell. Wow.) It doesn't seem as ultra-demanding as the CSR, which is strictly forbidden by nearly all 4WD hire companies. The ABH is okay with some.
I find the remoteness and challenge of it really appealing, as well as all of the neat things you get to see along the way (spinifex, the test sites, varying terrain and plant life). It also seems more exciting than taking the Nullarbor route. When I first looked at a map of the outback tracks, the ABH kind of jumped out at me.

I've done some remote travel, but this would be on an entirely new level for me.
It would be nice to find someone to go with. I love road-tripping alone, but the ABH. Well...

Thanks for the phone tips. I'm on 4x4earth as well.
I'm developing a Plan B involving Flinders, Oodnadatta, Birdsville, Walkers Crossing and a few others.
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Follow Up By: 671 - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 00:02

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 00:02
I'm developing a Plan B involving Flinders, Oodnadatta, Birdsville, Walkers Crossing and a few others.
=====================================
Anthony

Another possibility out of Sydney could be out through the north west of NSW to Cameron Corner to the Strzelecki Track then on to Innamincka and Cordillo Downs to Birdsville. Next go north to Bedourie then Boulia and down the Plenty Hwy to Alice Springs. Spend a few days around Alice looking at the gorges and places like Palm Valley then go north on the main sealed road for about 140 ks then west on Len Beadell's Gary Junction Road. It is unsealed but fairly well maintained.

When you get almost to the WA border, go south down Len's Sandy Blight Junction Road. This is like a shorter version of the Anne Beadell. There is about 250 ks of mostly two wheel tracks, small sand hills, rock formations and varying forms of desert vegetation and trees. Down the southern end is a three kilometre detour up three steep rocky hills to the top of the Sir Frederick Range. This detour was also built by Len. A little further on is another detour to the west to the beautiful Bungabiddy Rock Hole described by Len in his journals as a place too beautiful to conjure up even in your dreams.

At the end of the Sandy Blight you can turn back to the east through Docker River to Kata Tjuta and Uluru (The Olgas and Ayres Rock) then on to the main highway between Alice Springs and Pt Agusta. That road will take you through the opal mining town of Coober Pedy near the start of the Anne Beadell.

Halfway down that road you can turn off onto the Oodnadatta Track then down the Borfield Road to Roxby Downs and Woomera and up to the Flinders Ranges. An alternative would be to stay on the Oodnadatta Track to Maree and then go down to the Flinders.

If you want to see as much as possible about Len Beadell then one of his Land Rovers is on display in the Alice Springs Transport Museum. When you get to Sandy Blight Junction you can go about 200 ks further west to his burnt out ration truck then come back again.

At the southern end of the Sandy Blight Junction Road, go west for about 100 ks to Giles weather station to see the road grader that he used to build all of his roads. The visitors room at Giles contains some of his drawings and a lot of photos. Three of his original aluminium road side plates are on display with the grader. The ones that you will see on the Gary Junction Road, at Sandy Blight Junction and beside the Sandy Blight Junction Road are replicas.

The museum at Woomera has some information on him and his grave site, and that of his wife Anne, are at the Woomera cemetery.

This should fill up 35 days nicely without rushing. You will certainly see some remote parts of the country without having to drive over the Anne Beadell if you are on your own. I don’t think that would be a real good idea.
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Follow Up By: Member - Anthony O - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 08:09

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 08:09
Wow. Thanks so much for the detailed suggestions. Much appreciated. They all sound great. Especially the Sandy Blight Junction. Which of all of these tracks would you say is the most difficult or most demanding of driver and vehicle?
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 08:40

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 08:40
None of these are at all demanding on the driver. The beauty of these tracks is the isolation and remoteness. They all can be very demanding on the vehicle due to constant corrugations for thousands of kms. personally I wouldn't travel on the Anne Beadell or any of the mentioned roads unless the vehicle is new ( with modified suspension) and / or you have set it up specifically and or suspension set up for this kind of abuse, then it is highly possible that you will have a suspension failure. The roads are a killer on the vehicles. Of the 3 cars I saw on the road, 1 was broken down with a broken spring and the driver left his family to get spares sending messages via passing vehicles.you know it backwards. I'm not sure about the Land Rover you are hiring, but unless it has
If you are after something more technically challenging for the driver, remote and closer to Sydney then the Simpson Desert would be more suitable.
The trip to Western Australia and back from Sydney will be a long one in a Defender. Have you been on a long drive in a defender. It takes a special type of person to get used to cramped shoulders, 90kmph, offset steering wheel, poor cooling and having to duck your head down to get the view of the horizon. If you are into a defender's quirks, then there is an experience in it's self. If not you are in for 4 weeks of hell.
Personally I think you should consider alternatives to the idea of doing a return trip from Sydney in a Defender ( or anything really) if you want to appreciate the time on the ABH etc. Places like this will probably be as cheap as a Landy, save you weeks of boring travel and make sure you get to the other end of the trip. Their web site says it is ok to drive so long as you stick to Hema Maps. That means just about anywhere.
I hope I am not too negative, you will have a ball if this is what you are expecting. I just think you are doing the equivalent of driving about 2/3 across the US at 50mph to do a 600 mile track that is as badly corrugated as you have ever seen, then returning, all in 4 weeks. If you hire a vehicle locally you could spend more time on the ABH where the beauty is. Slow is the go on these roads. and 3 weeks will be more enjoyable than a rushed week or week and a half. You should also have 2 spares, a kit to remove and refit tyres, a full tyre / tube repair kit and a working knowledge of how to do it. It is highly possible that you will get a few punctures.


BUT I am not very familiar with your agenda. Just what I would do.
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Follow Up By: Member - Anthony O - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 11:30

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 11:30
After a series of reality checks and all the great info and advice here, I've shelved the ABH for another time. Just going to focus on NT/SA and take my time. I will return for the AB though. And as you suggest, hire closer to the great tracks.

I can watch videos, study maps and read about it, but you guys have actually been out there. It's still a bit abstract for me. I'm sure I'll be making a lot of adjustments to my route once I get there, talk to people and see what it's really like. As I'm doing this thing solo, it's easy to be flexible.

Yup, the Defender's quirks will definitely be part of the fun for me. I did a roughly 1800 km road trip in Iceland last month in an older Defender 110 and learned all about some of those quirks. It was modified for the winter, but no frills, except heat, a CD player, and cup holders. I've never driven anything like it. I had a great time, but driving it was a challenge in and of itself that I will not soon forget. We'll see how things go with the newer, fancier Td5. I think it has power windows, which is very exciting. :)

I'm hooked on the Defender, but those Land Cruisers look pretty cool. Have to try one of those out too.

Not really looking for Simpson Desert level challenges. Yet.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 13:50

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 13:50
Anthony, the Hay River track North to south in the North Simpson Desert is an interesting trip that is not frequented too much. Closer to Sydney and quite beautiful like the ABH.

While technically a desert, there is still plenty of vegetation and lots of firewood.

You could come out east to Birdsville or to the south if it is open on the Birdsville track.

You could do that by yourself. The worst part for dunes is heading back east to Birdsville on the QAA track. You should not get stuck but if you do, there is enough traffic on that section to snatch you out. Bring a snatch strap.

You could take in Innamincka, and the NSW corner country. You'd probably save at least 2500km compared to the ABH so could take your time more. Just a thought. You could also get away without a sat phone too.

Like the ABH, this is an isolated, beautiful trip. You may also get a few more takers for a trip together.














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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 14:12

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 14:12
Hey Anthony,

I've owned three Landrover Defender over the years, a glutton for punishment some would say, and I now use a Land Cruiser dual cab modified for remote area travel. The Land Cruiser does it far better...

Mind you, the mob from Beadell Tours use Landrover Defenders and they travel this area regularly.

Any well prepared vehicle will do these trips, but in my opinion, having been on both sides of the fence, so to speak, is the Toyota on balance is far better choice.

But let me preface all that commentary with "in my humble opinion". Lest I start a mine is better than yours debate in this thread...

cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 14:48

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 14:48
'
I certainly would endorse all that Boobook has said. Well experienced and wise.

And Baz..... the "mob" from Beadell Tours is actually a couple..... Connie and Mick. They are a rather unique pair who travel slowly. They drive a Defender because they regularly go on 'expeditions' off-track and Mick has misgivings about more modern vehicles with independent front suspension for this work. He does endorse a number of other vehicles for track work.
You can read Mick's views here.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 15:03

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 15:03
The Landy Said:

"The Land Cruiser does it far better..."

Cough cough, splutter splutter Baz, have you been sniffing the diesel?

I guess either vehicle would be ideal - given that you know the vehicle well and it has been set up properly. Though Sydney - WA - Sydney in 35 days via the ABH in a Defender would make a long trip even longer. One day driving my mate's 70 series on the ABH shook every bone I had - that was enough for me. Back to the 200 series "boat" for me. Though I guess the Landy would ride better that a 70 on that really rutted stuff.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 15:10

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 15:10
'
Yes, 35 days out there in a Defender would be an experience.

Some years and "three Defenders" would produce a special kind of individual. lol

The Troopy does it tough on tracks such as the ABH but at least we have Stratos suspension seats.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 15:27

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 15:27
Hi Allan,
I've had the pleasure of speaking with Mick on a number of occasions and one could learn a lot from travelling this region with him and Connie and I hope Anthony, our American member, gives some thought to looking them up...he will be the wiser for it!

Certainly, a trip through the region in the company of Connie and Mick will provide lasting memories he can take back home with him, to be recounted as the amber Bud fluid flows…

I must say having done off-track expeditions in my Land Rover Defenders and more recently in the 79 Series Land Cruiser, my vote goes to the Land Cruiser - a subjective view formed on the basis of first-hand experience with both; raised only because there is relevance in this thread.

Maybe I was let down by the “mob” that maintained my Defender’s – heaven forbid I contributed plenty to their retirement fund…

But does three Landrover Defenders make a special kind of person?

Nah, just one poorer for the experience - mind you I still have a "soft-spot for Red Rover" which coincidently cost me the least to buy and run...

Now, on Sue and Mick, call them a mob, a couple, or just a pair of decent Aussie’s, you’ll travel a long way before meeting another couple who have such a rich and wonderful association with Outback Australia...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 15:31

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 15:31
Thanks for the kind words Allan, but I think my experience in the area pales next to Stephen L's, Baz's and yourself as well as others.

I just wish they would move all those deserts closer to Melbourne. I'll swap for the High Country.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 15:39

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 15:39
Hi Baz, Don't feel that I was censuring you about your expression "the mob". Merely that it may have conjured up the wrong impression in the minds of some who don't know this rather special couple. Having travelled in their company on more than one occasion Roz and I have experienced their special virtues. Anthony (and others) could gain much by signing on to one of their "Beadell Tours".
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 19:01

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 19:01
Alan B said....
"And Baz..... the "mob" from Beadell Tours is actually a couple..... Connie and Mick. They are a rather unique pair who travel slowly. They drive a Defender because they regularly go on 'expeditions' off-track and Mick has misgivings about more modern vehicles with independent front suspension for this work. He does endorse a number of other vehicles for track work.
You can read Mick's views here."

We followed 24 hours behind them travelling west along the ABH in 2006, in the OKA, towing a boat and never caught them :)

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 19:23

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 19:23
'
So Maybe you travel even slower Pete?

Errr........ if you "never caught them" how do you know they were ahead? Just asking'. lol
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 20:50

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 20:50




Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 20:57

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 20:57
'
I feel I'm missing something.......what is your point Peter?
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 21:36

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 21:36
Hiya BOOBOOK just read your replies.You say can do Hay River track alone and Simpson too is that correct..cheers Like all the stuff you wrote to new American guy
I used to work in old Landcruiser utes in Cooper Basin .They were terrible petrol ones with tank under seat and the leaf springs were bent the other way and steering needed some popeye biceps Finally the company upgraded to Diesel much better for sandunes tooo!
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 21:45

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 21:45
Alan, there are log books in waterproof boxes at Vokes Hill Corner and at the SA/WA border.
Travellers fill them out with who they are and when they passed.
We could tell that Mick and Connie and others with them were about 24 hours ahead of us at both points and we never saw them (or any one else).

Aren't they still there?????

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 22:04

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 22:04
'
Peter, I am familiar with logbooks on the Beadell roads..... thought you would realise that.

What I do not comprehend is your...."We followed 24 hours behind them travelling west along the ABH in 2006, in the OKA, towing a boat and never caught them :)"

So..........???
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Follow Up By: Member - Anthony O - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 05:01

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 05:01
So grateful for all the advice everyone.
I'm into the solo thing for this trip (though I do hope I come across some fellow travelers to chat with every once and a while).
Probably do a group thing/organized tour next time for a totally different experience. All of the tours on offer by Beadell Tours sound amazing. Maybe 2017...
Have to make it though my 2016 trip though. :)

As for the Land Cruiser, it does seem favored by (the very few) hire companies that hire out to people who want to do the CSR and the like. Looking forward to driving that one too. Looks like a spaceship compared to my current fave, the Land Rover.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 06:12

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 06:12
Stephen F2. yes the Hay River track is a lot easier and a solo trip would be great if you are familiar with remote travelling. There is a lot more traffic on it than the ABH in case things go wrong. ( 1 -2 car groups a day maybe). Once you get down to Poeppel corner onto the QAA or French Lines it gets quite busy.

It is a beautiful track, but you must take your time. We took 1 week from the Plenty Hwy to the corner and it was too rushed. You are generally travelling interdunal. There are a few large dues to cross about 80k north of the corner but unless you are towing they won't be troublesome.

You need a permit from Direct 4wd in Alice Springs.
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:20

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:20
Thanks Boobook I was lucky when young we snuck over to Poeppel Corner while working in Simpson Desert.Memories getting bit vague now so be nice to get out there again but this time in my own vehicle and wife and son.They might hate me after ha ha ha.May I ask how you came up with user name ? Wonder how my Hilux would go .I always had Landcruisers.I have lift kit Dobinsons new Kelly Safari tyres 17inch.I havent been anywhere yet but thought I would try the Kelly tyre out .Popular in USA and got rave reviews.But I think luck plays a part too.The permit do you need to go into Alice Springs..thanks
.When working in Cooper Basin we had Michelin sand tyres not a puncture for 3 years.Then the next year had heaps maybe they changed the compound..When I did trip to Qld on Bridgestones bloody got 2 nails.No flatties offroad though .. cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:48

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 08:48
Stephen, google Direct 4wd and give them a call. You can get the permit on the phone / email. Allow a minimum of 4 weeks and chase them up. Their paperwork can go missing.....

If you take your time, then your son will have a ball, not sure about your wife LOL.

Your vehicle will be fine. Take a CB and a tyre repair kit. Allow 8 - 10 days if you can. The less kms you travel a day the more interesting it is.



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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 15:57

Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 15:57
Hi Anthony, I'm not sure of what the fuel consumption of the TD5 is but I used 138L from Ilkurlka to Coober Pedy in my Land Cruiser Troop Carrier & Kalgoorlie to Ilkurlka (we travelled via the Trans Line and then the Connie Sue to Neale Junction), 159L and fuel at the time at Ilkurlka was $3/l so an expensive refill.

You can camp and or have a shower at Ilkurlka.

Don't forget that you need a few permits: We had the Dept of Defence Woomera Prohibited Area Permit, Maralinga Tjaruta Land Permit & also the Desert Parks Pass. (Order now as we had a delay in getting the Dept of Defence ones)

The track when we did it was good to reasonable on the WA side, SA side from the border to Emu was pretty good but around Emu to around Tallaringa Well was bloody awful to reasonable with the worst definitely just east of Emu. Lower your tyre pressures and slow down or you'll shake everything to pieces. I ended up with a fractured reserve fuel tank and leaks in my transmission and we did all the right things.

The aboriginal ceremonial rock lines are found on the northern side of the track opposite the airstrip which is 24k from Neale Junction and are found on the western side of the parking area.

Bishop Rileys Pulpit is worth a stop and climb to the top for excellent views.

All in all while people will bemoan the corrugations the vast majority of the track is very good and a pleasure to drive. Also the closed in scratchy bits didn't bother us much, maybe because we weren't towing and we took it careful around the tight bendy bits.

BTW Hema put out an excellent book that trip logs the entire route from east to west and available at the EO store

Enjoy the journey.

Cheers

Dunc



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Follow Up By: Member - Anthony O - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 08:25

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 08:25
Thanks for the great info. Looks like I'll be doing my multi-track Plan B. In my enthusiasm, I even went and got all the permits for the AB. In the end though, even if everything went right, something would probably still go wrong, and it would be more stressful than enjoyable. (Planning has been tremendous fun though.)

I will return for the AB though.
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Follow Up By: 671 - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 17:09

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 17:09
Which of all of these tracks would you say is the most difficult or most demanding of driver and vehicle?
==============================
All present challengers but I think the major unsealed roads like the Birdsville and Oodnadatta Tracks have the potential to cause the most damage. They may be called tracks but was how they started many decades. Today they look like wide unsealed highways that are mostly long straight and flat.. The big problem here is a combination of heavily loaded often top heavy cars that are travelling far too fast for the conditions.

The road surface can vary from very smooth to corrugated to having sandy patches and deep washouts due to rain. Hitting washouts hard because you were traveling so fast that you could not get the speed down low enough in time can cause major damage to suspensions and chassis. A sandy patch can drag the front wheels back suddenly causing the rear of the car to try and get around the front resulting in a rollover. The same thing can happen if the car looses traction on long high speed sweeping corners.

This link gives a little more information on it.
http://www.mtdare.com.au/the-australian-outback/safe-driving-in-the-australian-outback

This link involves a caravan crash. Speed may or may not have been an issue here but it often is
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-21/couple-flown-to-hospital-after-rollover-crash-on-outback-nt-road/6410092

This link shows the result of thumping the back of the car down hard with far too much weight too far back behind the rear axle.http://www.4x4australia.com.au/drive/1504/bent-utes/

I very rarely reach 70 kph (not miles per hour) on these roads and can be down to about 20 on bad corrugations. Our usual speed in good areas is between 50 and 60.

I have found the rougher roads like the Anne Beadell and Sandy Blight are relatively trouble free. They are often narrow, winding, rocky or sandy. The potential for something to go wrong is much more obvious so I never even think about going fast. My cars have always been stock standard and never loaded up to anywhere near the maximum. I always plan on doing no more than 100 ks per day and have never had a problem in many years of driving in those conditions. This means speeds usually range from walking speed to about 30kph.

When you are in that type of environment you can not afford to have anything go wrong. You can’t stop a car from breaking down but you can stop it from being your fault.

The DVD in this link is well worth buying. It will show you exactly what some of Len’s roads are like as well as some of their history. They run for a total of about three hours and contain no advertising.http://www.lifestylevideos.com.au/Desert_Highways-dvd.html

This one shows a 4x4 truck climbing to the top of the Sir Frederick Range off the Sandy Blight. If you do go up there then walk up the three hills first. If you find any holes that look too deep then fill them with the countless rocks all around you. I had no trouble driving up there in my standard Hilux single cab three years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozQjRHT5AWY









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Follow Up By: Member - Anthony O - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 04:44

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 04:44
Thanks for the great links. I think I'll try to make the Sandy Blight track one of the linchpins of my trip.
Sounds awesome. Of course, all depends on how things go for me up to that point.
I'm a pretty slow driver, sometimes too slow, especially on unfamiliar roads in foreign lands. Except for Canada, because, well, it's Canada and their roads are so much better than ours.
Good to know about loads and speeds. It will just be me, but I'll be carrying a serious amount of water and fuel on some of these tracks.
Things like bulldust and long stretches of corrugated roads will be new to me.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 22:45

Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 22:45
Will the hire company allow you to take their vehicle on the Anne Beadell Anthony?

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Follow Up By: Member - Anthony O - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 07:44

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 07:44
It does indeed, but I think I'll be doing the AB another time. Probably going with Plan B, still in the works.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 08:38

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 08:38
Anthony

Given this is your first trip to Australia I suspect it might be difficult for you to fully appreciate just how vast and remote these areas are. Notwithstanding, with proper preparation travel in these areas can be most rewarding.

Is going with one of the numerous four-wheel drive tag-as-long tours an option you would consider to ensure you get the most out of your trip?

Whilst they can be a bit rushed, at times, you have the advantage of travelling with like-minded people and the benefit of support and insights provided by people and operators travelling Outback Australia on a regular basis.

There are a couple of outfits that actually focus on the area you are looking at and there is even one that is run by the daughter of Len Beadell and her partner, so potentially first-hand knowledge, so to speak.

Great Divide Tours, and

Beadell Tours

Whilst not giving an endorsement for either, I did a couple of trips with Great Divide Tours in my earlier days and found them to be very professional with a good offering of tours across Australia.

And I have never travelled with Beadell Tours, but the area you are looking at is their backyard, so to speak.

But, I’ll leave you to do your own due diligence on operator’s and highlighting these are two of many possibilities.

Someone noted the Sandy Blight Junction Track as a possibility and I must say this is a spectacular track and one that Len Beadell is quoted as saying was his favourite…

I wrote some detail on it in an EO blog you can view.

The Sandy Blight Junction Track - A Living Postcard

Enjoy Australia, Baz – The Landy…
AnswerID: 596030

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 09:17

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 09:17
G'Day Anthony

The Anne Beadell Highway is a fantastic track to drive, and one that will draw you back again.

If you troll through my many blogs, you will see I am no stranger to the Anne Beadell, as that red dust is in my veins and keeps me going back.

A few basic things to help you plan your trip.

You must be fully self sufficient for the complete trip, with the exception of fuel which can be purchased approximately mid way through your journey at Ilkurlka, meaning you must have a minimum fuel range of 700 kilometres.

Even though it is just over 1400 kilometres in length, you must allow a minimum of 7 days, and 10 days would be better. I would advise as a minimum for safety, a PLB and Sat phone. A UHF may be handy, but the chances of you hearing anyone talking will be very rare at all.

Travel speeds will be low, between 20 to 40 kph due to the corrugations. The worst section is from Mabel Creek through to Emu, and gets better the further west you travel.

I have updated many of the special places to see along the way in EO Places to help future travellers enjoy this special place.

Also if you are experienced, it is possible to do it solo, as we have done it one time this way, but company around the campfire is always very enjoyable.


Keep planning and you will have a great trip.

Please feel free to ask any questions, that what the EO community is all about, helping each other out.


Cheers


Stephen
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AnswerID: 596031

Reply By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 10:05

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 10:05
Hi Anthony, there is a lot of information here given by some VERY experienced people. Its all great advice and it won't matter what you do it is all good. The plan given by 671 is well thought out and is as good as any, I would highly recommend it. The only advice I would give you is its about the journey, not the destination. Don't try and cram too much in so that you are driving 6 hours every day. Take your time and soak it all in, and enjoy every day. If you run out of time to complete your whole plan, so be it, there is always another day and and an excuse to come back.
Another bit of advice, carry a couple of Bud's in your fridge. When you meet anyone offer them a Bud and they will reply "nah mate, not drinking that s**t, here have a real beer". Meet enough people and a couple of Bud's will last the whole trip. LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 11:07

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 11:07
Chris got to agree with you about the Bud's, worst beer I ever tasted and a glass of water had a higher viscosity. LOL

Cheers

Dunc



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FollowupID: 864830

Follow Up By: Member - Anthony O - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 11:44

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 11:44
LOL. Yup. Utterly disgusting beer. A true marvel that people drink it all. And then there's Bud Lite Lime. It just gets worse.
Thanks for the advice. I've made that mistake before, trying to pack too much into a road trip. Long, long days of nothing but mind-numbing driving. I love long drives, but there is a breaking point.

Will try to take my time and be ready to modify or even scrap my plan as needed.

Cheers

Anthony
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FollowupID: 864833

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 13:37

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 13:37
Geez Anthony. Be careful. Bud Light Lime is Robin Matthews, caretaker and tour guide of Maralinga's favorite beer. A case of that will go a long way if you meet up with Robin.

I'd love to see a yank hanging crap on Robin for drinking that though. He would get good ol laugh out if it.
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FollowupID: 864839

Follow Up By: Member - Anthony O - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 04:49

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 04:49
This is very valuable information. I may very well. That Maralinga tour sounds really interesting.
He probably wouldn't like my "Lite" typo either. LOL.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 06:18

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016 at 06:18
I wouldn't worry about the spelling too much Anthony, the beers won't last long enough for Robin to read them.
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FollowupID: 864903

Reply By: Rob Kay - Saturday, Apr 02, 2016 at 13:36

Saturday, Apr 02, 2016 at 13:36
Hi Anthony
We are doing the AB Hwy in early May
Are you still traveling it?
AnswerID: 598107

Follow Up By: Member - Anthony O - Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 01:20

Sunday, Apr 03, 2016 at 01:20
Hi Rob,
Ahh, wish I could join you.
No, I've ultimately decided to save the AB for another year. In the end, it probably wasn't my best choice for my first major (solo) outback adventure in Australia. I'll get there. Maybe next year.

Instead, I'm aiming for Sandy Blight Junction as the main event with a nice mix of other tracks (Broken Hill to Cameron Corner, Old Strzelecki, Cordillo Downs, Gary Junction) as well as Uluru and maybe some West Macs/Flinders.
Following some of the great advice from the great people here on the forums.
Trying to check out a bunch of Len Beadell spots along the way.

Rolling out of Sydney on May 2, and if all goes well, rolling back in on June 2 or 3.

Have fun and safe travels!
Anthony
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