Gary Highway & Talawana Tk.

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 21, 2018 at 19:26
ThreadID: 136595 Views:1285 Replies:5 FollowUps:22
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If anyone is planning to travel along these tracks before July we (my wife & I) would very much appreciate your report on track conditions. Hoping much of the spinifex will have been 'prepared' for us by early season adventurers.

Thanks
Cuppa
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Saturday, Apr 21, 2018 at 20:08

Saturday, Apr 21, 2018 at 20:08
We did Gary last year and the south end is very ordinary. Very rough and washed out and overgrown. We did in April and the grass was over the bonnet and the shrubs that close to track we didn't bother resetting the mirrors when they were knocked in
AnswerID: 618464

Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Saturday, Apr 21, 2018 at 21:52

Saturday, Apr 21, 2018 at 21:52
Thanks Ivan. We won't be doing the southern section of the Gary Hwy.
Planning Gary Junction down to Windy Corner then westward along the Talawana.
Can cope with shrubs/branches, but hoping the grass will have been knocked down by July.
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FollowupID: 890464

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Saturday, Apr 21, 2018 at 22:30

Saturday, Apr 21, 2018 at 22:30
Access as far south as the oil wells is actually quite good. Well made road with a few minor wash aways. I assume it's reasonably well maintained
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:28

Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:28
Ivan,

Where are these wells you speak of, are they in that twisting area around those dunes. My interest is in the Gary Junction to Windy Corner then Windy Corner to Well 24 (on the CSR)
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Apr 29, 2018 at 21:44

Sunday, Apr 29, 2018 at 21:44
Oil wells. There are several down the top part of the Gary highway. The top section is maintained to a degree until you get past the turnoff to the last well then there is no maintenance at all. Dont forget to visit Veevers Crater
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Monday, Apr 30, 2018 at 08:28

Monday, Apr 30, 2018 at 08:28
Hi Ivan,
I see some wells on the map, Wormy Whau Whau and a group called Patience Wells off to the east and some cleared lines, are these wells serviced or deserted that gives rise to the better road conditions.
Saw a U tube video on Veevers crater and saw it to be a very overgrown track. On my CSR trip we visited Henbury Craters near Alice and the big momma, Wolfe Creek Crater between Billiluna and Halls Creek so probably give it a miss. Was it a 'must see' sight ?
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Monday, Apr 30, 2018 at 18:58

Monday, Apr 30, 2018 at 18:58
Patience Wells is basically were the track deteriorates. Veevers Crater is average but when you add Conolly Crater to the list you have all the craters in the area ticked of the list. Connolly is just off the Talawana track
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FollowupID: 890650

Follow Up By: Triton man - Monday, Apr 30, 2018 at 19:57

Monday, Apr 30, 2018 at 19:57
Thanks Ivan,

May visit, will depend how much fuel and if I can spare it. Have you done Eastern Talawana, sounds like you may have, the track Windy Corner to Well 24. Towing an off-road camper, does it cross dunes like the CSR or share the f'ing corrugations??
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Monday, Apr 30, 2018 at 20:58

Monday, Apr 30, 2018 at 20:58
We run a trailer and it made it interesting on some of the bigger dunes. We only went from Windy Corner to Connoly and back. Plan to revisit later this year as the Gary was just our emergency exit for the Canning and we didn't have the time needed to have a good look.
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, May 01, 2018 at 08:25

Tuesday, May 01, 2018 at 08:25
Oh dear, I had envisaged it all as being reasonably flat, tried to look at it on Google Earth to gauge the terrain, thought there might be undulations, not dunes. Ivan, could not find Connoly on the Hema maps, is it before Midway well.

What do you mean interesting ?, hard going, deep sand, run-ups required, or corrugated. Would like to hear more Ivan
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Tuesday, May 01, 2018 at 17:24

Tuesday, May 01, 2018 at 17:24
If you are only going to Windy Corner then you drive around the only 2 dunes. The dunes we had trouble was on the Canning. The Eagle Highway goes through Connoly Crater
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Tuesday, May 01, 2018 at 19:07

Tuesday, May 01, 2018 at 19:07
That's the best news I've heard, thanks for getting back Ivan. Yes, I saw those dunes on Google Earth as the squiggly zig zag section north of Veevers.

Yes, without towing a van on the CSR, I had a few issues on some dunes but that was due to some of them catching me by surprise off a sharp left or right turn.

All in good fun and for a challenge
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Reply By: TTTSA - Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 18:38

Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 18:38
We exited the CSR via the Talawana to Newman last year in April, no spinifex it is a route used regularly by semi's. It did have a lot of water and long pools but no problem. Just go straight through them rather than around them, very firm in the pools but very boggy off the edge of the road.
AnswerID: 618544

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 20:20

Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 20:20
Talawana Goes from the Canning to The Gary not to Newman and is a minor track
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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 23:07

Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 at 23:07
The Talawana runs east AND west of the Canning .
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 12:07

Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 12:07
CORRECT. Even the bit ( approx. 38 kilometres) on the CSR from Georgia Bore to east of Well 24 is technically called Talawana Track, not the CSR.

Cuppa, do you have a screen to keep out the spices seeds, ? they burn hot when ignited. The CSR is littered with burnt out vehicles and a few on the Talawana also. Warm beer ?? is good for extinguishing fires.
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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 12:37

Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 12:37
Yep, have a shadecloth screen, metal hook, 1/2 litre squirt bottle + hose & external connections to pressurised water.

That said the thought of high spinifex haunts me as it will be our first time driving in those conditions. I read somewhere yesterday of vehicle roof height spinfex on some tracks resulting from 2 years of good rain.

I'm hoping we might get more info on the eastern Talawana condition before we get there in early to mid July. If the spinifex is still high on the track we may take an alternative route.
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:04

Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:04
Hmmm, I also have a shadecloth screen, and the hook on a stick, and a 5 litre "Aqua" pressurised sprayer, 2 x 1 Kg fire extinguisers. Hoping not to use warm beer !!! We did the Canning Stock Route last May (2017) and spinifex was above bonnet height and we were mowing it down like a slasher, I was pleased I had taken these precautions. We did NOT have any fire issues and all our stops were made in open clearings and checks made. The carnage of fire was amazing on the Canning, everything melted, glass, alloy wheels, seats, fridge and contents, we even saw 2 spent fire extinguishers. How one extricates himself from that I don't know, not as if you can hitch hike out.

Cuppa, glad you can do some mowing down in front to clear the way for us.

I have watched quite a few U-tube videos on Skull Springs Road and so after Newman and Karajini, we will do that trip up on Skull Springs Road to Carawine Gorge and Marble Bar. You could possibly go straight ahead from Gary Junction, cross the CSR near Well 33 and Kunawaritji and continue west towards Marble Bar then turn onto Skull Springs Road and down to Newman.
diesel at Kunawaritji was $3.40 last May, I carried jerries and went Willuna to Halls Creek non-stop without refuelling, 2050 kilometres.
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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:09

Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:09
Really not sure that I want to do anyone's 'mowing' for them. Never having driven in that sort of country the thought of bonnet height spinifex gives me the heebie jeebies. Much rather others did the 'mowing' *for* us!!!
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FollowupID: 890591

Follow Up By: TTTSA - Sunday, Apr 29, 2018 at 21:24

Sunday, Apr 29, 2018 at 21:24
Hi Cuppa,

I wouldn't be too concerned about mowing down spinifex if you are properly covered on the front with shadecloth. I use a doubled over piece and it goes right up over my bull bar, open the bonnet and cover the gap between the grille and ragiator and cable tie it in position. Then down below the bullbar and cover as much of the gap underneath as you can and fix in place with more cable ties. I probably use about 20 cable ties all up.

Never had a problem on the CSR and on the Madigan line before there was a track and it was cross country. You'll be fine.
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Follow Up By: Triton man - Monday, Apr 30, 2018 at 08:15

Monday, Apr 30, 2018 at 08:15
Wow TTTSA, you have seen some remote areas, I am jealous now, would love to do the Madigan, I did cross it doing the Hay River southbound and it left me wondering.

Cuppa is travelling solo and towing a T-Van so can understand his reticence to mowing down spinifex but I do agree with the proper preparation as you mentioned above, you would be fine but everyone is different with different comfort levels. My CSR had lots of growth as we were early May and although not roof height, it was well over bonnet height.

An option for Cuppa would be to decide at Gary Junction which way to go if he chats to any eastbound travellers on UHF as to which way they came, and get a track report. Another option would be to go to Kunawaratji and re-fuel so that a turn back would be possible - an expensive option though.
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Follow Up By: TTTSA - Monday, Apr 30, 2018 at 21:36

Monday, Apr 30, 2018 at 21:36
We were 2nd down the Canning last year so we had quite a bit of spinifex to deal with, but you are right. You need to meet your comfort level, we were also towing a Tvan.
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Reply By: Triton man - Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 12:01

Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 12:01
Hi Cuppa, we are doing the same route in August. Alice Springs to Gary Junction, thence south on the Gary Highway to Windy Corner then Talawana to Newman. Will look for a post from you before we depart on August 5th. Towing an off-road trailer, first outback trip with a trailer, normally swag it. ??
AnswerID: 618576

Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:04

Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:04
Hi Triton man, I'm uncertain of where we will be by August 5th, but will post if we have reached somewhere with 'net access. We are thinking of taking the longer way to Newman, northward through Karlamilyi from Parngurr, Telfer, Carawine Gorge, & down the Skull Springs rd.

If it looks like the Talawana may be dangerously overgrown in July we may chicken out & just take the Wapet/Telfer Rd instead.

In the meantime any snippets of info regarding others crossing the eastern Talawana this year, and/or track conditions which you come across - please post'em up here.
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Reply By: Triton man - Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:15

Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:15
Hi Cuppa,

Our reply's crossed over, you have read my mind re Carawine and Skull Springs etc. as potentially a better and safer bet, will you be solo or in convoy with another vehicle.? I don't think I would chance it solo.

Cuppa, I will pass on any snippets I see which may be of interest to both, and guess you will do the same for me. Are you towing ?
AnswerID: 618578

Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:19

Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:19
Solo (wife & I) towing a Tvan.
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Reply By: Triton man - Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:24

Saturday, Apr 28, 2018 at 13:24
It is a holiday Cuppa, you don't need STRESS, I would not chance it myself, I am towing an older Kimberley Kamper and will have another similar vehicle in convoy. TIP:, a following vehicle may see smoke before you do and you wont have that advantage Cuppa.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip and stay safe. Will keep this thread open and keep checking till departure date
AnswerID: 618579

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