Old Andado Track

Submitted: Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 13:20
ThreadID: 132774 Views:1783 Replies:6 FollowUps:9
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G'day Travellers,

I'll shortly be heading off to the East McDonnell Ranges for a club meet. I would like to either get there or return via Mt Dare and the Old Andado Track. We'll be travelling solo in a well kitted 2014 BT50 (Lovells GVM upgrade kit with 45mm lift, new BFG KO2 ATs, recovery gear, tools, some spares, sat phone, Spot tracker, PLB etc) and towing a Kimberley Karavan (2.2 tonne). We have a long range replacement fuel tank (140L) and can carry up to an extra 120L if we need to.

Dependent on weather and track conditions, of course - I like red dirt and dust, but not so keen on red mud.

Any advice on the practicality and wisdom (or otherwise, particularly the solo part) of the plan would be appreciated.

Cheers

FrankP

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Reply By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 13:37

Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 13:37
Hi Frank P,
I stand to be corrected, but I think from Old Andado the track to Mt Dare has long and wide stretches of bull-dust which I think would make it very difficult if you are towing.
I went that way this time last year in my Prado with a 2" lift and had difficulties getting through.
Like I said it might not be this section you will be travelling.
Enjoy the trip.
William
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 15:33

Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 15:33
Thanks William. Will check conditions before committing, of course, and will take care.

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Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 13:58

Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 13:58
Do it.

Take it steady and you should be OK. Yes, the bull dust is sometimes bad immediately north of Mt Dare.

At this time of year there's a high likelihood of passing traffic, which can offer some security to a lone vehicle.

It's a magnificent drive, one of the best in Australia, IMHO.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 15:40

Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 15:40
Thanks Rick,

It's a drive I've wanted to do for some time - we love the deserts of Aus.

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 14:51

Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 14:51
Went up that way on 7th June, Frank, from Mt Dare, via Andado to Old Andado, then onto Mac Clarke Reserve, and further on from there to a camp near the Madigan Line.

Had rained a few days before and a "local" didn't recommend it, but with 3 vehicles we pulled it on anyway. Quite damp in places but we drove around all the muddy, damp sections so didn't cut the road up at all. Couple of spots near Andado where heaps of water over the road and it was more sensible to follow the road, in these spots. Further on, there seemed to be less water, though the rain appeared to have been patchy, heavy in spots, with consequent run-off, then lighter, and drier in others.

Good going all the way, and may break into bull dust in drier times, but really doubt if you'd have dramas.Old Andado is a real education in remote life on a station, and reminded me of some of the stations I'd worked on, years ago. Not a bad camping area there either. Make sure you check out the photos taken there in 1974!!!

Most travellers we met were still working on Ch10, which was good(even though we're usually scanning)

Enjoy,
Bob
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 15:47

Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 15:47
Thanks Bob. A recent report such as yours is most valuable. From what you say I might be better waiting for a week after rain rather than your three days, would that be correct?

We'll just have to play it by ear - we have a few options.

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 20:30

Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 20:30
Checking my notes, Frank, it may have been closer to a week since the rain, when we arrived at Mt Dare. Cooler weather doesn't help the roads dry out too quickly, eh!

Plenty of travellers in that area so you won't be on your own. Ring Andado(08 8956 0804) or Mt Dare(08 8670 7835) to get an idea on current road conditions.

Still downloading images, but these are two I took on a very cool day, on way to Old Andado.




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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 18, 2016 at 09:47

Saturday, Jun 18, 2016 at 09:47
Thanks Bob.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Monday, Jun 20, 2016 at 21:58

Monday, Jun 20, 2016 at 21:58
G'day Frank.
We travelled with Bob and we continued up the track from Mac Clark CA through to Santa Teresa and Alice.
North of Mac Clark still held plenty of water for the first fifty or so kilometres then dried out as the land got higher. There are diversions around most of the water and there was really only one spot we had to blast through.
There was a fair bit of traffic considering the conditions but it was the lead up to Finke desert race. Weirdest traffic was five Toyota Commuter buses heading south in a hurry. Later three overtook us heading north.
They had more rain last week I heard. Call the numbers Bob gave you before you leave home but the new people at Mt Dare only took over last week. I'm not certain how in touch with local conditions they'll be yet.

Hoo roo.
Steve
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 11:20

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 11:20
Thanks Steve. I'm keeping a close watch on road conditions out there. Things are starting to dry out, but there's more wet weather on the way. Bugga!!!

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 16:08

Friday, Jun 17, 2016 at 16:08
From recollection (1999), the bull dust sections were all between Mt Dare and Andado.
Going via New Crown would avoid that.
North of Old Andado was no drama at all.



Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 18, 2016 at 09:50

Saturday, Jun 18, 2016 at 09:50
Thanks Peter. That's a huge bulldust pit. Wet or dry it would not be pleasant. Via New Crown sounds like good advice.

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Reply By: Member - Ozymandias - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 19:52

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 19:52
We did it back in June when the wet weather was around, in a Ranger. We were not towing but were traveling solo. Worst part was 500 meters of water at bull bar depth at Mt Dare. Plenty of other stretches with water and mud but sticking to the middle of the track we had no problems, so by now I would say you should be fine. The Old Andado is a lovely drive. By the way, we went from Mt Dare to Dalhousie and were feeling pretty good until a guy rode in on his bicycle next day!
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 20:55

Tuesday, Jun 21, 2016 at 20:55
Thanks Ozy for your recent conditions report. As I'm towing I'll be keeping your report in mind, taking it easy, and I'm watching the road and weather reports.

Will head up that way and always have an exit if the conditions are no good.

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FrankP

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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 20:06

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 20:06
Just back having done the track on the return leg 10 days ago.

Thank you for your help and encouragement.

What a fabulous drive, no doubt enhanced by the recent rains so no dust, wonderful wildflowers, greenery and no bulldust.

Caretakers at Old Andado were wonderful hosts, very adept at extracting a donation to the cause for minor services rendered. Such as a special batch of scones prepared for the only guest of the day, yours truly. And then she did my washing. Another donation extracted :-)

If you can fit the Old Andado Track into your itinerary this travelling season, I suggest you do so, it's magic.

Tracks around Mt Dare are really cut up with many local diversions pending repair, but all is good with more great hosts and legendary scotch fillet steaks.

Cheers
FrankP

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