Nyangumarta Highway / Wapet Rd / Kidson Track - Oct 2016

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 18, 2016 at 14:13
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I just travelled the Kidson Track on the permit system and would like to add a few notes to the current status of the track.

Track Section:
From Lake Auld through to Gwenneth Lakes turn-off it is a classic outback track with good and bad sections but much more good than bad... some rough corrugations in patches but that was about it.
It's very pretty winding through salt flats and dunes.

Razor Blade Bore: In a sad state of ruin and looks a dump site - lot of rubbish, broken glass etc - not inviting to camp at at all.

The only overgrown section of track was between Razor Blade Bore and Twin Gum Hill (about 5kms) and while encroaching on the track it's not too bad with two detours bypassing the worst sections.

Road section:
From Gwenneth Lakes turn-off to Great Northern Hwy (GNH) - pretty much in good condition still - just be wary of the up and over dunes where washouts can be quite deep and rutted.

It is clearly obvious that no work has gone into road maintenance since coming under native title however it is holding up exceptionally well.

The two designated campsites within the permit area are exceptionally disappointing. One looks like an old truck laydown area and the other a turning circle. Neither have any shade and are right on the road. The turning circle camp is littered with feaces, toilet paper and other rubbish and adorned by the well rotted corpse of a dead camel. Referring them as campsites is a little misleading so be prepared to find alternate places to camp outside the permit area.

The old windmill and tank located 15 km north of Swindell Field on the Kidson Track. I camped here as it was of the few areas that provided some shade, but like Razor Blade Bore it is more of a rubbish dump now than a site of interest.

There is no water any where on along this track.
There is very little in the way of shady camping places.

So I crossed from Uluru via Great Central Rd, Sandy Blight, Desert Rd and the Kidson Track on my way home to Broome - an amazing trip, stunning country and the Gibson Desert well words can't do it justice...

I spend a lot of time criss-crossing the Outback and while it had moments the Kidson Track, particularly the permit zone area was lack lustre...
Perhaps I should have done it the other way round - it was a disappointing end to an otherwise amazing journey.

Like other paid permit tracks eg the Canning and the Simpson, this permit leaves a lot to be desired by comparison...
Wildling from the North

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Reply By: Member - Roger S (WA) - Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 at 09:23

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 at 09:23
Hi 17 South

I read you comments with great interest as I had been planning to do this track sometime in the future but will certainly be re re assessing that now, it is a pity about the camp sites they are hardly inviting to the traveller who has paid a permit fee.

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AnswerID: 605205

Reply By: Lindsaydi - Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 at 16:38

Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 at 16:38
The trip is a good one don't allow yourself to be put of you one negative comment. I have travelled this area many times every time has been a bit different. It is a pity that permits are online, in the past you had no excuse not to read it.
AnswerID: 605295

Reply By: Echucan Bob - Sunday, Oct 23, 2016 at 15:19

Sunday, Oct 23, 2016 at 15:19

We passed that way in April 2004 and had a magic time. We left the bitumen at Marla, drove across the top of SA, then up to Warakurna, the SBJ track, the Desert Rd, crossed the CSR at Well 33, and out the Kidson to the coast.

For many years I had looked at my big map of Oz and dreamt of driving along the remote track that terminated at Sandfire.

Perhaps my perception of the trip was coloured by the excitement of achieving a long held ambition, but we reveled in the complete isolation of the Kidson. Not a car or sign of life (not even a dried out turd) between Kunawarritji and the coast.

Our arrival at the coast was one of our most memorable travel moments. Its more than twelve years ago but the image of the white sand and pale blue water of the Indian Ocean at 80 Mile Beach is burned into my visual cortex. We drove onto the beach and ran into the water (only to hear later that a big salty patrolled that beach!).

After that we headed up to Broome, the rest of the Kimberley including the Bungles, left our cars in Broome and flew home.

Thanks for reminding me of one of my best ever trips.

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