2WD Navara & Birdsville, Strzelecki, Oodnadatta Track travel.

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 10:47
ThreadID: 137122 Views:1163 Replies:13 FollowUps:13
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I am planning a trip going through Broken Hill up to Tibooburra, Cameron’s Corner, then to Innamincka via Old Strzelecki from Merty Merty until it meets up with the new road and then on to Innamincka using the “new” road. From there we will visit the Dig Tree, then travel north until we re-join the Cordillo Downs road and on to Birdsville. From there we plan to travel down the Birdsville track to Maree, turn right and head to Oodnadatta on the Oodnadatta track and then turn south heading for Coober Pedy, then back home on the bitumen.

There will be 2 vehicles making the trip. My 2007 BT-50 Dual cab with all the fruit (except winch) and a 2-year-old Navara Dual cab 2WD which has all-terrain tyres and a suspension lift kit (small lift) and shocker upgrade. What is the general consensus regarding the 2WD making this trip? Only asking regarding capability, we will be carrying everything needed for remote area travel as I have done several of these types of trips myself in the past. Thanks!
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Reply By: rooster350 - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 11:06

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 11:06
We have not so long ago got home from .doing parts of your trip...4wd 17ft poptop van, Broken Hill to Tibooburra part black top last bit rough dirt..then to the Corner and up to Birdsville bits of bitumen here and there but mostly b....y rough, watch the crests of the dunes west of the Corner...dangerous.Cannot offer advise on the rest as we went east from Birdsville and it to was b....y rough. It took us 8 hours to go from the Dig Tree to Birdsville ...we stopped briefly to have a look at the shearing shed. The 2wd would be o.k.
AnswerID: 620695

Follow Up By: KevinE - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 13:11

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 13:11
That top bit of the Silver City Hwy is a tad rough isn't it lol! (If you were to keep going up through the Warri Gate towards the Noccundra pub, it doesn't get any better either)

Agree 100% about cresting the dunes out from Cameron Corner. A UHF helps if you have one. Just to announce your presence to any oncoming traffic.

We lost an Anderson Plug & a D shackle on those roads - like you say, very rough!
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Reply By: cookie1 - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 12:15

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 12:15
One thing to keep in mind, if it rains the tracks will close, it will then open to 4wd only and could, depending on the amount, be a while before it opens to all vehicles and your friend can move again.

Most of the tracks would be quite doable in 2wd, Old Strez can be a little boggy in places, just remember to let a bit of air out of your tyres to make it easier on your car and suspension on the rough stuff.
AnswerID: 620696

Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 12:35

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 12:35
Gday Lockie
My brother did almost the same trip a couple of years back in a Holden Caprice. I did a part of the same trip in June and didnt use 4wd at all .
Muzbry
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AnswerID: 620697

Reply By: KevinE - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 12:59

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 12:59
Wow! That's a very big trip!

I can't imagine that a well maintained 2WD Ute, driven to the prevailing conditions, would have any problems negotiating those roads in dry weather.

Enjoy your trip! :)

AnswerID: 620698

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 13:02

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 13:02
Lockie, have been through all and never used 4wd. As stated rain is a show stopper.
AnswerID: 620700

Reply By: rumpig - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 17:58

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 17:58
If it rains then all bets are off, but have driven most of what you asked about and never needed 4wd engaged once....just deflate tyres appropriately and you should be fine.
AnswerID: 620703

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 18:59

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 18:59
I did exactly that trip in a Corolla in 1978.
Easily done in a 2wd ute these days but some of those roads are a bit rough at the moment as they are due for a grader.






AnswerID: 620704

Follow Up By: Rangiephil - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 21:26

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 21:26
What great photos.
a 2WD drive ute will do it easily and the roads are closed anyway if it rains.

Just don't succumb to the temptation of driving out onto Lake Eyre as you can be bogged for a very long time.
Regards Philip A
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 21:48

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 21:48
Agreed!! You could drive on to Lake Eyre South back in those days but it would be a hell of a risk. Driving on inland lakes creates an eyesore and a fair chance you'll sink into black goo
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FollowupID: 893165

Follow Up By: qldcamper - Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 08:25

Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 08:25
Standard issue bush footwear of the era lol,

Used to work well until you encounter the 3 corner jacks out around Broken Hill.
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Reply By: Lockie - Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 23:04

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 at 23:04
Thanks to everyone for their responses. I didn't think it would be a problem (unless it had received a lot of rain just prior to us leaving home or having some bad weather while we were travelling) but my travelling companions just had a few queries about their vehicle's ability to get them out and back again, so I think this will help allay their fears.

Best regards,

Lockie.
AnswerID: 620711

Follow Up By: rumpig - Thursday, Aug 16, 2018 at 06:24

Thursday, Aug 16, 2018 at 06:24
Was out on The Plenty Highway, Oodnadatta etc several weeks ago, I saw atleast 3 Hiace type vans cruising along on the roads then. Many of the roads these days are gravel highways that corrugations will be your biggest issue, they are far from being ‘tracks’ nowadays....was more fun driving them when they were more track like IMO.
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Reply By: splits - Thursday, Aug 16, 2018 at 20:02

Thursday, Aug 16, 2018 at 20:02
Outback roads did not stop these cars. Redex. A 2WD Navara will have no trouble.
AnswerID: 620720

Follow Up By: rumpig - Thursday, Aug 16, 2018 at 20:39

Thursday, Aug 16, 2018 at 20:39
Did several Endevour Car Rallies many years ago, we took 2wd vehicles to heaps of places throughout Oz....Cape York, Haddon Corner and down the Oodnadatta Track (when it was more a track) just to name a few locations. Even used to do proper timed rally race sections, had great fun racing around the paddock at Curtain Springs on a Ayres Rock trip one year.
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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 10:11

Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 10:11
That film is awesome! Thanks for the link. :)
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FollowupID: 893196

Follow Up By: splits - Sunday, Aug 19, 2018 at 20:48

Sunday, Aug 19, 2018 at 20:48
That film is awesome!
--------------------------------------------

It brings back a lot of memories for me. I was eight when I stood on the side of the Pacific Hwy at Hornsby in Sydney's northern suburbs and watched the 1953 Redex go through along with thousands of other people. All three of them ('53.'54 and '55) stopped the country and brought just about everybody out to have a look.

You have probably already found this one. There are plenty more on Utube. 1953 Redex

Those Cinesound and Movietone news reels were shown at all picture theatres. They were the forerunner of the 6 o'clock TV news today.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Sunday, Aug 19, 2018 at 22:37

Sunday, Aug 19, 2018 at 22:37
There were about 30 tarted up 50's and 60's model cars travelling west on the M4 in Sydney last week. On their way to the variety club bash?
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FollowupID: 893219

Reply By: Member - DOZER - Friday, Aug 17, 2018 at 07:18

Friday, Aug 17, 2018 at 07:18
My answer to your question is it depends on 3 things....the amount of rain that has fallen, how much gear (weight) you carry, and where its loaded, and how much time you allow for travel. Travel as light as possible, be prepared to camp and wait out a wet road, or change itinery.... and take lots of breaks. The newer the tyres on your rims, the better. If the Gods are in your favour, you will not have a problem.
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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AnswerID: 620725

Follow Up By: Lockie - Friday, Aug 17, 2018 at 08:43

Friday, Aug 17, 2018 at 08:43
Thanks Dozer. Have done several of this type of trip previously so am well aware of variables re weather, loading, flexibility of itinerary etc etc. Was only asking about the suitability of the vehicle choice. But thanks for the feedback.
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FollowupID: 893179

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 10:00

Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 10:00
It's not that long ago,well maybe 40-50 years ago, when almost everybody drove 2-wheel drive vehicles, and very few drove Landrovers, Jeeps or the then less common Landcruisers.

When I worked on the Diamantina in mid-60's, Holden utes were all the go, with Goodyear Suburdanite(???) tyres as a dirt road choice.

Adequate clearance and LT tyres will see it handle almost anything.

Enjoy!

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 620754

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 11:42

Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 11:42
Bob,Yep we used to use winter treads also.
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FollowupID: 893197

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 12:09

Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 12:09
Okay, I tried some wintertread 185.14's on the ute once, think they were Olympic radials. Were used by some of the rally blokes, Slow.

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 12:22

Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 12:22
Thanks Bob, my memory isn't as gapped as yours and hey were probably Olympic tyres. They had plenty of grip in the dirt for those days.
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FollowupID: 893199

Reply By: Candace S. - Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 11:06

Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 at 11:06
I drove a lot of that earlier this year.

I didn't go out to Cameron's Corner or use the old Strez. But from the point where you plan to join the "new" Strzelecki Track, I drove the roads you listed. Except that I only drove the OT as far as William Creek. But I suspect the OT is pretty much the same all the way up to Oodnadatta.

I last drove the Kempe Road between Oodnadatta and CP in 2008! But I'd wager it's quite good. The road between WC and CP was excellent in June.

I drove from Innimincka out to the Dig Tree and back. No dramas at all. (I also drove west from Innimincka to "Wills Grave", etc. sites. That was a little rougher but unless something dramatic has happened, you would be fine.)

I never used 4WD on any of that, as far as I can remember. A lot of those main tracks are "sheeted" (I think that's that's the right word?). It's dirt but formed so that can be nearly like a sealed road. That describes much of the "new" Strez; the Birdsville Developmental Road; most of the Birdsville track; the stretch of the Oodnadatta from Marree to WC. On those roads/stretches, I often had the cruise control locked on 80 kmh. Which is the max allowed by the hire company. :)

I encountered several spots on the Strez where road crews were busy. And there was work on the BT not far out of Birdsville.

Farther south on the Birdsville Track, I did start encountering bulldust holes.

I'm trying to recall the roughest spots... I remember it did get a rocky for awhile on the Cordillo Downs road. But with all-terrain tyres it shouldn't be any problem.

BTW, the road between Innimincka up to at least the Arrabury junction was quite good. I had aired down expecting rougher conditions. I wished I had simply started out at 40 psi. IIRC the road was rather corrugated the first km's out of Innimincka, but soon improved greatly.

In case you decide to visit, the road out to Coongie Lake is very corrugated (or was in June). At times comparable to what I later encountered on the AB! If you go out there, plan to stay at least 2 or 3 days to make it worth the beating. :)
AnswerID: 620756

Reply By: Nacho - Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 22:03

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 at 22:03
We did Tibooburra - Merty Merty last week.
In some spots after Cameron Corner a low clearance 2wd may have trouble but I would think a high clearance 2wd would have no trouble.
Track was open only to 4wd last week which probably sums it up.
The rollercoaster ride was fun as usual.
AnswerID: 620856

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