Straight from the Horses Mouth

Submitted: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 19:49
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Good evening All

I was speaking today with one of my Aboriginal friends from the APY Lands.

He is down here at the moment and I asked him when was going back up to the good country, and he said soon, as he has to go back to work.

I asked him what was he doing this time and said working on the main road through to Western Australia. He said they are upgrading it to connect to the Great Central Road.

I then said will white fellas be able to use it and he said yes.

We know how things work in terms of Aboriginal progress, but if it ever happens, it looks like some unreal country will be opened up to tourists....well fingers crossed.

It has been just over 20 years since we travelled all through that country visiting Aboriginal friends, and have been invited back a few time for funerals of people that we knew, but each time we had other commitments.

So let's hope the future looks promising for everyone that does not have contact up there.



Cheers




Stephen
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Reply By: Candace S. - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 20:41

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 20:41
I'm looking at the atlas, and trying to figure out what road(s) you are referring to. Could you briefly explain?

P.S. I am posting this via the Maralinga Wi-Fi! It is in large part due to your accounts of this place that I am here now. :)
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 21:06

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 21:06
Hi Candace

Firstly you should be having a fantastic time out in the bush, there is nothing like it and tell Robin I am still waiting for that phone call.......lol

The roads that Raymond was referring to is much of the original "Gunbarrel Highway" that runs through the top part of South Australia through the APY Lands.

From Amata, you follow it due west and into WA at the Aboriginal Community of Wingellina, and then further west out through Blackstone and Jamieson and coming out at Warburton.

It may be all talk and a way of getting Federal Government Money for road upgrades, but if it ever does happen, it will open up more great unreal country that very few tourists ever get to see and visit.

Today the only way to get into that country is either have first hand contacts, or I believe that there are a couple of very lucky tour operators that now take limited numbers of people through there.

Like all things, many of the true old "Black Fellas" have now long departed this earth and the lure of the tourist dollar is creeping into the newer young Aboriginal Elders.

We just need to hope it eventually eventuates.




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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Friday, May 25, 2018 at 19:18

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 19:18
Stephen,

Thanks for the information. And, I passsed along your message to Robin. ;)
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Reply By: Batt's - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 00:14

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 00:14
Would there be a fee involved if wanting to travel in this region.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 07:38

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 07:38
Hi Batt's

Knowing the way that other roads through Aboriginal are travelled, I would say most likely, but it could be years away until the new road is complete.

At least there is talks about opening up that unreal country.



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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 08:27

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 08:27
Geez I hope you are right Stephen. The APY lands have some spectacular landscape and sights.

The Musgrave and Mann Ranges are spectacular. The area is begging for Tourism support and money.

I was lucky enough to get a permit when I went there about 3 years ago. The local cop asked to see my permit and could not believe I had a legit permit. He said that my group wast the first legitimate tourist group he had seen since he had been working there - about 3 years.

Mind you it took nearly a year to get the permit, with a lot of work and research, and even then we got it just 1 week before leaving for our trip and it was Plan B a month before leaving home. I recall you gave me a few tips on how to get it. Tip Number 1 was allow a long time, and have perseverance.

The Policeman also said that there was so much family trouble there that the council didn't want tourists, and tourists would always be discouraged until the situation was fixed. Sadly 1 year later the Nurse Gayle Woodford from Fregon was murdered.

I hope some good has come from that and the communities have taken steps to change things. Maybe that is a catalyst for the area opening up.

I won't be holding my breath, but I'll be one of the first back there if it gets easier to get permits.
Tony
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, May 25, 2018 at 09:10

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 09:10
Hi Tony

Like you, I do hope that it does eventuate, as when you actually speak with the Aboriginals, rather than the white "Do Gooders" out there that think they own the place, many of the Traditional owner have no objections to seeing other "White Fellas" out there.

Even 20 years ago, they would at point blank, "NO" not issue a tourist permit.

As we were out there visiting Aboriginal friends, out permit went through in under one month and was worded "Family Visit"........lol

So we can all hope now that the wheels of modern day progress are slowly turning and eventually the lands will be open to get more tourist dollars into the communities.



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Reply By: mountainman - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 17:42

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 17:42
I too have been to some remote aboriginal country..
Lucky for me it was for work and got paid to do it.... he he he.
I honestly prefer the untouched country where tourism isnt even started yet.
You might see the thousands of dead cars lying around and more than a few dogs running about. .
But this is the real , raw australia i want to see.
Sooo special to have soo little white man come in and commercialize it and end up ruining the real experience of what it should be.
Simple supermarket and somewhere to get fuel.
And cop shop , and just a mechanic shop in a real emergency to use is all you really need.
And they both had it.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 19:42

Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 19:42
Hi Mountainman

Yes we have been privileged to go to a few very remote Aboriginal Communities and it is very different to places that tourists visit.



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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 18:04

Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 18:04
I am so glad we also got the change to travel through there many years ago.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 19:44

Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 19:44
Hi Michelle

Yes it is very special country and it just begs for the tourist dollar to get more tourist dollars into the many communities out there.

How were you able to get your permit, or did you know someone out there.



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Reply By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Friday, May 25, 2018 at 08:59

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 08:59
In the interval, if you want to see the WA section, from Wingellina, past the spectacular Blackstone Ranges, to Warburton, apply for a permit to Surveyor-Generals Corner when traversing the Great Central Road. It’s a much better drive than Warburton to Warakurna (Giles). A bit further, granted, but who’s in a hurry out there!
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Friday, May 25, 2018 at 11:50

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 11:50
Hi Paul,

Do you have a plot file of this route? I would like to put this journey of my bucket list. I will be in WA this year but not near the GCR, but maybe next year.

Cheers, Chris
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Friday, May 25, 2018 at 16:48

Friday, May 25, 2018 at 16:48
I should have one somewhere Chris, but I won’t be able to post it for a few days until I get home.

You simply follow the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku’s excellent roads, south from Len Beadell’s marker about two thirds of the way from the border to Warakurna to the Mulga Park Rd about 20 km west of Wingellina and then follow the sign to Surveyor General’s Corner. Then backtrack along the Mulga Park Rd, past the turn off to Warakurna to Warburton, ensuring you take the bypasses past the communities of Blackstone, Jamieson & Warburton to rejoing the Great Central Rd at the WArburton Roadhouse.

The Blackstone Ranges are great.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 19:47

Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 19:47
Hi Paul

We have not been that way yet and from what I have heard, it is more great country to explore, and I believe a little easier to get permits than it is through the APY Lands.


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Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 22:19

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 22:19
Plot file uploaded onto my Treks, but also here

Looking back at the plot, I'd forgotten how windy the northern part of the road is.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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