Old Karungie Road / King River Road

Submitted: Monday, Feb 19, 2018 at 20:44
ThreadID: 136292 Views:678 Replies:4 FollowUps:10
Hi Team
I am planning to do the GRR this July and from our base in Home Valley or Elquesto was wanting to include a day drive around the Cockburn Ranges.
I have read some previous entries on this forum but they were back in 2010 and may be the drive has changed since then.

We will be in Landcruiser 200 series and some queries I have are:
1) I understand the King River track from the Pentecost Crossing to Diggers Rest ( ie on the western side of the Cockburn Range) and then on to the GNH near Wyndham is a Public Access and as such no permit is required. Is this correct?
2) Do I need a permit for the track from Diggers Rest south to the GRR. That is the track on the eastern side of the Cockburn Range. (One of my Hema maps shows that it is a private track ). Can I get permission to use this track and if so who from? What is the normal condition of this track?
3) are there any access tracks up on to the Cockburn Ranges that provide good vistas. Do I need permits to use them?
4) is this circuit doable in a day without rushing it.

Cheers Craig


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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Feb 19, 2018 at 21:01

Monday, Feb 19, 2018 at 21:01
I may be WAAAAAAAY out of date now, but I reckon both of those roads are on ElQuestro property. They tried to close the Pentercost to Diggers Rest one some years ago, but failed because it is a public road. The eastern one is not a public road, so they can and have closed it.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Monday, Feb 19, 2018 at 21:24

Monday, Feb 19, 2018 at 21:24
Thanks Peter.
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Reply By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Monday, Feb 19, 2018 at 23:03

Monday, Feb 19, 2018 at 23:03
Hi Craig - The country around the Cockburn Range is definitely worth visiting.

The Karungie Track from Pentecost into Wyndham past Diggers Rest is part of El Questro from memory, but you can check access availability from the Diggers Rest Station through their website details:

Roderick and Alida Woodland
Diggers Rest Station
PO Box 5
Wyndham WA 6740

Phone: (08) 9161 1029
International: +61 8 9161 1029
Mobile: Roderick 0419 941 236 Alida 0418780337Def

They provide excellent treks around that area - the old fashioned way - on horseback for anyone who is interested.

Cheers - Phil
Phil 'n Jill (WA)

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Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 01:10

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 01:10
Thanks Phil I will follow up Diggers Rest.
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Reply By: PhilD - Monday, Feb 19, 2018 at 23:43

Monday, Feb 19, 2018 at 23:43
Drove it in 2016. Wyndham turnoff to Diggers Rest is public road, and then onto El Questro. There is a top and bottom track.....the bottom across the flats, and the top through the ranges when the bottom is not passable. Top is slower and a lot more rock to traverse.
Doable in a day if reasonable conditions. We stayed at Diggers Rest for a night. Small camp ground with hot showers.
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Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 01:12

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 01:12
Thanks Phil.
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Reply By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 11:05

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 11:05
Hi Phil, did it also in 2016. Coming from Wyndham end you can take a short cut across the mud flats to cut off a chunk of the corrugated road. The road for quite some distance follows the King River.There is an aboriginal art site on the track to Moochalabra Dam which is worth a look at. Next up is the Boab Prison Tree which is a seriously ancient tree.

We found the gate, just south of the prison tree, locked to the track that follows the King River down to the GRR. Not far past the turn off to Diggers Rest the track terminates at a gate that isn't locked and there is a sign that warns you about the Karunji Track and to travel it with care.

A pretty easy track to start with and would have been a doodle if we had stayed on the lower mudflats track but some how or another we missed a turn to the right and ended up on the upper range track. This track was fun with a number of interesting eroded sections and the odd section of rock and sand.

The track finally terminates at the Pentecost River fording on the GRR. This final section was the sandiest and softest section.

We started the track (passing through the gate) at 3:00pm so really late ion the day which didn't really allow us to smell the roses so to speak. We finally got to the GRR just after sunset, so being July about 5:30pm or so. Getting back to Kununurra at 7:00pm.

Fantastic drive and I wished we'd done it again last year but time didn't permit.

Enjoy the drive and take plenty of photos as there will be many an opportunity to do so.

Cheers

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 12:33

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 12:33
Love to know where that short cut is.

I have taken the road past the wyndham water supply prision boab tree and then turned around back towards wyndham as a day trip.

Unless I knew exactly where to re join reckon I be rather bogged up creek without a paddle somewhere

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Follow Up By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 12:39

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 12:39
Dean only reason I know about it is that while we were driving around the mudflat on the normal road, we spotted a Council truck driving right across the flats. This may only be a seasonal thing and a bit of local knowledge as like you we didn't see anything to suggest a track across.
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Follow Up By: Craig M1 - Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 13:08

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 13:08
Thanks Dunc
Great information.
Cheers Craig
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 13:57

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 13:57
We drove across the flats in 2005.
You go along the airfield boundary near Derby. There were other flats as well as a low causeway and stony ground prior to this (driving north).

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 17:39

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 17:39
@ Dunc yes its very much a seasonal & local knowledge thing even the WAPOl coppers do it as a short cut to get across to maybe Kalumbaru without going all way down GRR via ELQ etc. Also seen it on TV kimberly cops or similar not that I make habit of watchign such staged shows

With trip I did 2014 as mentioned above, even with a dry wet was still plenty of soft sections as I drove along the official road/track.

@ Peter sure thats not Wyndham your thinkign of that snap shot looks very much like there not Derby unless its the mudflats near parrys lagoon bird sanctuary
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 17:51

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 17:51
Duuuuur, Yes, Wyndham. Thanks Dean...

The other track nearby that is worth a drive is the one that goes west from Wyndham then north past the old slaughter house and then around the Bastian Range.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 18:15

Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018 at 18:15
Peter I saw a car heading out that way when we were leaving the Parry Lagoon Rd and wondered where it went - now I know.

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