track questions from Balladonia to Esperence

Submitted: Saturday, May 07, 2016 at 08:28
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Hi all thinking about doing the track from Balladonia to Esperance in early September. Iv read from Balladonia to Esperance it's about 372km's via dempster pt. what is the track like, has anyone done it lately. how much fuel have people used to do it, what sort of time frame am I looking at to complete the track. I'm taking my 2011 Holden Colorado twin cab, it is pretty good on fuel but obviously it will use more on this track
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Reply By: Lindsaydi - Saturday, May 07, 2016 at 10:12

Saturday, May 07, 2016 at 10:12
I have just traveled the road and it is fine normal fuel usage lower tire pressure ect. HOWEVER I suggest that you contact the Esperance Shire to ensure that the road is open. If the main road to Condinup is closed for repairs the track via Mt Ragged is a good run. As well as a climb of the mount there is a couple of old homesteads to explore. Remember that these places are the home of snakes ect . Fuel is available at Condinup. Suggest that you use the free shire camp there so you can explore this bueatiful and historical area. Have Fun
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Reply By: Mikee5 - Sunday, May 08, 2016 at 17:13

Sunday, May 08, 2016 at 17:13
Two weeks ago, before the rain, we towed our off-road caravan from Balladonia to Pormango Road then Pormango Road to Fisheries Rd. The top part of Balladonia Rd was rough to ugly. 70kms in 3 hours. The north end of Pormango Rd was loose dirt and is currently closed following the rain. The 'short cut' took longer than going via Norseman. Balladonia fuel is 1.55.
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Reply By: Member - brucek - Sunday, May 08, 2016 at 21:17

Sunday, May 08, 2016 at 21:17
Like the others, we recently went down the Balladonia/Parmango Road. We had a C5 Citroen, a Forester, Dualis, VW camper and 4wds. The road is stony rough in patches and not at all pleasant, but was not a challenge to any of us except comfort, and some big rocks that don't move for you if you are going too fast. The Baladonia RH was not much help re info. since it was staffed by backpackers, but would pay to ask anyway. The real issue is rain which can close the road for a day or two. Fuel and meals etc. can be had from the Condingup Pub, so range is not an issue.
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Reply By: D-MaxerWA - Monday, May 09, 2016 at 21:26

Monday, May 09, 2016 at 21:26
Leaving Balladonia road house, you have about 45 km of reasonable road, then 30 km of really bad road. I found driving beside the road, where possible, was a better alternative. Once you reach Parmango road, Balladonia road is a lot better. From there to Mount Ragged is good going. Haven't done the road to Point Dempster, but met some young fellas last June on the Balladonia road who said it was good. They were going fishing for the weekend and were from Norseman.

Hope this helps. Should have no worries with a full tank.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, May 09, 2016 at 22:03

Monday, May 09, 2016 at 22:03
While Parmango Road is a maintained rural road, the next two sections heading towards Balladonia weren't brilliant. Yes, we tried the side tracks but found then just as bad. Taking it slowly we got through without incident. It was an interesting alternative. We stopped overnight part way along the road in a gravel scrape. Since then, going past it on the Eyre Highway, it has been closed at the Balladonia end, which may have been temporary closures due to to rain.

If you are planning on going soon, check with the Shire of Dundas (Norseman) because rain has gone through the area.


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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, May 09, 2016 at 23:19

Monday, May 09, 2016 at 23:19
Motherhen - Only a short section, about 50 or 60 kms, on the most North-Eastern end of the Balladonia-Esperance Rd, is within the Dundas (Norseman) Shire boundary. The rest of the road falls under Esperance Shire control.

Dundas (Norseman) Shire will never do anything to upgrade the road, because it would then divert traffic, that ordinarily has to go through Norseman to get to Esperance, around Norseman.

Esperance Shire is the only one that will spend money on the road, in an attempt to garner more visitors to head straight to Esperance from the East.

Eastern W.A. Shire boundaries and major roads

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, May 09, 2016 at 23:25

Monday, May 09, 2016 at 23:25
Hi Ron, my reason for suggesting to contact Dundas was because there has been a barrier at the northern end of the road when we have seen it closed, so most likely placed by the Shire of Dundas or at least they would know about it.

Has there ever been maintenance on the middle section?


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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, May 09, 2016 at 23:44

Monday, May 09, 2016 at 23:44
Yes, the barrier would most likely be put up by Dundas Shire, as it falls within their boundaries.

I don't think the middle section of the track has been maintained since the late 1960's or early 1970's, as is common with many of these "4WD tracks".
The track is not shown on any official maps, so it obviously receives no official support, nor any funding for maintenance.

One is usually dependent on companies to upgrade these tracks if they're working in the area, and they need improved access.

I personally graded and widened the Eastern section of the original Hyden-Norseman Rd (from the Gt Victoria Rock Rd, Eastwards), in 1986 - and that was because, as contractors, our family had been using it extensively - and I had some time and fuel to burn as I transported our Cat 14 grader from the Gt Southern to Higginsville.

I know I was the last person to grade that section of track, it has never been touched since.
Of course, that section was effectively abandoned after the Dundas Shire elected to install the South-Eastern diversion of the road, in the 1990's, that now runs from Lake Johnston direct to Norseman townsite.

The original Hyden-Norseman Rd intersected with the Coolgardie-Norseman Rd about 20kms South of Higginsville.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 00:07

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 00:07
Funny story about that road Ron. For our first trip away with our Bushtracker in 2005, I purchased a map of the Nullarbor (from EO) because my basic map book was years old and is not detailed. Believing the purchased map more up to date that my old book, we sought the Hyden-Norseman Road from the map. We drove a little way in, and came to a large sign saying it was it was unmaintained. I told my husband we were on the wrong road. It said "Hyden Norseman Road" he replied and refused to stop. I convinced him it was the wrong road and it was not a good idea for us to continue without knowing more about what we might encounter. We were on our own and had a heavy caravan towed by a 3 litre td Patrol. He had to back out some way. He still says "No spirit of adventure".

A couple of years later I took a photo of the sign at the Victoria Rock Road end.


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