Caravan on the Northern Yilgarn Conservation Reserves trek?

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 09, 2016 at 13:15
ThreadID: 133183 Views:2227 Replies:1 FollowUps:3
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I'm thinking of driving this trek route at the end of August, but would appreciate any feedback on the current track conditions and suitability of the route (or sections of it) for towing a 3 tonne off-road caravan with my 200 Series (apart from some of the side track options that involve steep climbs into the ranges). Time on the route is not critical, so will be taking it easy and enjoying the ride. Presumably, there are informal camping options for self-contained overnight stops along the way?
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Reply By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Tuesday, Aug 09, 2016 at 23:28

Tuesday, Aug 09, 2016 at 23:28
Not quite sure what you mean by the Northern Yilgarn Conservation Reserves Trek, but if it includes Helena & Aurora or Mt Manning Ranges then I don't like your chances of getting your van in, as those tracks are pretty narrow and windy in places, with low hanging boughs.
However if it is more confined to the Bullfinch Evanston and Evanston Menzies roads, which are fully formed gravel shire roads, you should be fine. You'd probably also get it up to the old Mt Elvire station conservation park, but someone who's been there more recently would be able to give you a clearer picture of that.
But its great country, so I hope you do get to see it.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Member - Helmick - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 16:35

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 16:35
Thanks for the advice Paul. The trek I was hoping to make is the one outlined in the ExplorOz Treks section of the same name. It includes an approximately east-west link from Kurrajong Rockhole in the east to Mt Geraldine in the west, through the Mt Manning Nature Reserve, before heading north to Mt Elvire. Are the more difficult/constrained tracks you refer to likely to be in the Mt Manning NR section? The track notes give distances and directions, etc, but very little description of the status of the roads/tracks themselves.
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 20:41

Friday, Aug 12, 2016 at 20:41
It's so much easier when you use a computer instead of an i or A tablet! I've now looked at the trek notes and the picture of your rig again and am pretty certain that if it were mine I wouldn't take that van into the bit of the trek that is north from Koolyanobbing.
However if you were to start in Bullfinch and follow the Bullfinch to Evanston Rd I'm sure you'd find some reasonable spots to camp along that road and you could do day trips in. It is certainly worth seeing the Helena & Aurora Ranges, but you will get some stripes on your 200 Series' paint work.
I've been into the Mt Manning Range several times and for the life of me I can't see what is so special about them. Perhaps if you are a botanist if might appeal, but there were very few birds and the range itself is very nondescript.
The hills along the Bullfinch to Evanston are quite spectacular, so don't feel you're necessarily missing out if you only do that part of the trek. And you can follow the Evanston to Menzies road out of there to the east through some interesting old mining towns and link up the Golden Discovery Trail.
But you'll need a lot of fuel because there's none to be had north of Westonia or Southern Cross until you get to either Kalgoorlie or Leonora (ie none in Bullfinch, Koolyanobbing, Menzies, Ora Banda or Broad Arrow). We ran out just near Paddington and a mate who worked at the mine rescued us with some fuel properly belonging to the shareholders of Norton Goldfields Ltd!
I've also driven from the old Jaurdi Station (now DPAW) NNW up past Mt Finnerty and the Yendilberin Hills to Currajong Rockhole and the back into H&A Ranges from the NE, but that was with a camper trailer and I doubt you'd get your van through there unscathed either. It was a lovely drive though.
All the best with it.
Paul
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Member - Helmick - Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 20:51

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016 at 20:51
Thanks again Paul. Will follow your advice. By the way, fuel is available in Menzies from a 24-hour self-serve outlet in town (credit card only) - have checked with the Shire.

Cheers,

Mike
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