Trek Comment: Great Central Road

Hi folks, interested to hear from anyone who has used the Great Central Road this season (June 2017 onwards). We are aware of the need for for permits but particularly interested to know road conditions - and comments on any bush camping. We are contemplating whether to get a permit allowing a longer transit or if the standard options are more than adequate...? We are aiming to be on it around early August. Thanks.
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Reply By: Jon W (Toow - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 10:32

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 10:32
Hi. We did it from Uluru to Laverton in May in a Pajero and not towing. Uluru to Docker River was good. D R to WA border was woeful but only about 10 km. We were down to walking speed for most of that. WA border to Laverton was superb. We were able to sit on a comfortable 90 kph and resisted the temptation to put the foot down.
We had a night at Warakurna and another at Tjukayirla. In hindsight the good conditions would easily have allowed us to do it in two days and to have just one night at Warburton. Be aware that there are major roadworks occurring on the WA section with some lengthy sidetracks in place. Cannot comment on bush camping possibilities. Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 612106

Follow Up By: Member BarryG - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 11:53

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 11:53
In late May, the section from Docker River to the WA /NT border had just been graded.

Barry
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 21:49

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 21:49
Jon were they topping off the new sections with the black stuff by any chance? I know the talk is on about sealing it and there are a few trial sections of bitumen along its length. Would be keen to know if they were continuing the patchwork approach to sealing the GCR.

Appreciate your advice.

Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 11:58

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 11:58
Hi 761

We have driven it a number of times over the years. Even now is still too far out, as you only need one massage lot of rain through the area to change conditions.

It is usually a great drive, with lots of interesting stops along the way . As far as I am aware, your transit permit can not be extended beyond the 3 days they give you to do it, but things may have changed.

One 60 kilometre detour that I feel is an absolute " must do " Is to Empress Springs, up the David Carnegie Road. Most times that road is in better condition than the GCR.

Either way, it is a great drive and lots of great scenery.



Cheers




Stephen
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 21:46

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017 at 21:46
Stephen, any massage received on the GCR would certainly have changed conditions. :-)

Cheers Mate.

Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 17:05

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 17:05
.
As Stephen says, you will not get any extension to the standard 3-day transit permit.

The only way to get longer permits is with a special application to the community elders and then only with very special reasons for the request. Generally only granted to institution study purposes and the like.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 16:15

Sunday, Jun 25, 2017 at 16:15
Having done it many times, it never changes much as long as it's not too wet, but the WA sections are generally good, and the sections closer to the border on the WA side are really good. The bit immediately through the border into NT is uniformly awful, unless it's just been graded, in which case you have won the lottery. From a bit east of Docker River to the Olgas is bad but better than the bit around Docker River.
By far the most scenic stretch is that via Surveyor General's Corner. Get a permit to visit SG Corner and that gets you to Warburton alongside the Wingellina & Blackstone Ranges, past the communities of Wingellina, Blackstone & Jameson.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Reply By: hayden d - Tuesday, Aug 08, 2017 at 10:08

Tuesday, Aug 08, 2017 at 10:08
Hi Member,

We just came back via the GCR in early July 2017 travelling East to West. As others have pointed out the NT side is more corrugated then the WA side. We were in a convoy of three all towing. I myself had a Jayco 17.6 Expanda outback. We had no problems, Our average travel speed would have been 70km/h and we let our tyres down accordingly. Both vans and 2wd box trailer had no troubles, but we were prepared if needed.

There is plenty of bush camps and wood to have a camp fire and the information from this site is what I used to plan our stops. We would have loved to spend more time camping along the road as the kids loved it.

Enjoy the drive and take the time to stop and look around.

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