Anyone done this? - Gary Junction via Kunawarritji to Marble Bar

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 13:32
ThreadID: 135480 Views:2450 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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We've started planning next year’s trip, and for the middle part of our journey we’re looking for a new (for us) way to get from Alice Springs to the Kimberley coast.

Current thinking is to take the Gary Junction Road from Alice to Gary Junction, then the Jenkins Track to cross over the Canning into Kunawarritji. Then on to the Wapet Road towards Punmu, up the Telfer Mine Road to Marble Bar, and on the bitumen to the coast.

So, a general shout out to see if anyone has done this towing a hybrid camper (ours is an AOR Eclipse, a bit over 2t loaded).

I’m not asking about track surface conditions because I’m well aware these change at short notice according the weather, traffic, season, and (maybe!) the occasional bit of maintenance.

But what I don’t want to do is find myself on something so narrow I can’t squeeze between the trees and the rocks without taking the sides out of the camper – we witnessed enough damaged rigs while tenting on the Canning and the Anne Beadell this year to know that some places are preferable without towing a hybrid.

If the direct route from Gary Junction via the Wapet and Telfer roads is not recommended, we’re considering alternative options such as taking the Gary Highway down to Windy Corner and then the Tallawana Track in to Newman.

Any comments from travellers who have tackled these options would be appreciated.
Cheers
Wildmax
2018 Hilux pulling AOR Eclipse
Black Wolf 210 tent

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 15:04

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 15:04
Twice, in 2005 and again in 2008 towing a boat.
Great drive, good road (some corrugations, mostly near communities and particularly on the east side of the border). A preferred route for us.
Straight through to Marble Bar is fine although the detour via the Scull Springs Road, Carawine Gorge and Nullagine is very worth while.
Plenty of fuel available (Kunawarritji being the most expensive).

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
AnswerID: 613366

Follow Up By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 15:18

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 15:18
I'll second that. Good wide dirt road. You won't hit any trees or rocks unless you run off the road, LOL. Jupiter Well and Carawine Gorge would be my pick of camps.
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Reply By: rocco2010 - Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 15:58

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017 at 15:58
BeyondMarble Bar consider the Boreline Road up through Shay Gap to the Gt Northern Highway. That's a great drive and if heading for the Kimberley cuts a few kms off the bitumen route.
Cheers
AnswerID: 613370

Reply By: Sigmund - Thursday, Aug 31, 2017 at 17:35

Thursday, Aug 31, 2017 at 17:35
http://www.caravanersforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=63038

+1 to ringing beforehand about fuel. Community stores can run out and can close for a day within published hours.
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Thursday, Aug 31, 2017 at 20:26

Thursday, Aug 31, 2017 at 20:26
Thanks Sigmund, that thread for which you provided a link has a lot of useful feedback.
Cheers
Adrian
Wildmax
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Sep 01, 2017 at 04:22

Friday, Sep 01, 2017 at 04:22
Pleasure.
I drove it in May.
A long stretch from the border westward had been graded or completely remade after the floods earlier in the year. (Kiwirrkurra was isolated for 3 months).
There's some great scenery - quartzite mountains rising 800m steeply out of the plains on the NT side; sandridge country in the Gibson desert (and puzzle over why there's gums on the ridges and not on the flats).
And there's the Len Beadell history.
Cheers.
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Reply By: Member BarryG - Friday, Sep 01, 2017 at 09:12

Friday, Sep 01, 2017 at 09:12
Yep, the Gary Junction Road is a great road. We drove back from Kunawarritji in June this year. You won't have a problem with vehicle or camper scratching on this road, but the same can't be said about the Talawana Track from Windy Corner!

Barry
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 21:10

Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 21:10
A great drive Wildmax, and with less traffic it is does not have the corrugations of the Great Central Road. Some if it has been improved since our 2009 trip. Check MyBlogs 2009 for details and links to more photos of the road. We took our full width caravan through with no problems. Trucks go through to service the communities with no problems. You are welcome to MM me with any further questions, but as we are travelling, I am not on the internet every day.
Motherhen

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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 22:43

Sunday, Sep 03, 2017 at 22:43
Thanks Motherhen; I'll have a look at the blogs and photos and msg if I need to get further info closer to our trip next year.
Cheers
Wildmax
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Black Wolf 210 tent

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