Great Central Road

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018 at 12:25
ThreadID: 137240 Views:3045 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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I am heading East over Xmas and was looking at returning via Coober Pedy, Uluru and Great Central Road and am seeking advice regarding what road conditions would be like at that time of year.
Any advice would be appreciated as I haven't been that way before.
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Reply By: Ozi M - Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018 at 16:30

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2018 at 16:30
Exceedingly flaming hot

I did that road in late May and it was a typical country gravel road, no unexpected problems.

Just the usual corros, cows, camels and sandy patches that we find on all of our favourite roads.

But in summer that is very different, would not do it unless absolutely essential but all the people who live out there do it in the summer so I guess if they can you can

Take lots of water, a sat phone and a PLB I guess
AnswerID: 621166

Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 at 11:07

Thursday, Sep 13, 2018 at 11:07
The road conditions vary widely, according to how long it has been since the graders passed through - and the level of Summer storms.

The road needs constant grading, and it can be several months between grades, meaning the road can deteriorate substantially in that time. The ruts get deep, and the corrugations get bigger.

Summer thunderstorms can drop a lot of water in a relatively localised area, making road conditions unpleasant.

Temperatures will be in the 40's after Christmas, and the number of vehicles on the GCR will be down to single figures a day.
I believe the daily average is around 27 vehicles a day during Winter.

I did the GCR 4 years ago in late October, alone, in a lightly loaded 2WD traytop petrol Hilux. I just took some basic camping equipment with me.
Temperatures were regularly around 38-39 deg daily, by that date.

I bought the Hilux at auction in Alice Springs and relocated it to Perth by driving it, rather than paying excessive transport charges.
I had no problems, but the road was recently graded in many places, and I sat on 90-100kmh most of the way.

Be aware of the abandoned cars of the locals, they just leave them where they stop, on the road.
Don't drive after dark, don't load up to the limit, carry plenty of water and some basic tools and spares, and you won't have any problems.

I took some photos of my trip, perhaps these images will assist with your perceptions of the road.
It's a long drive, with many relatively boring, featureless sections - but the Ranges and hills in the East of W.A. are very impressive.

Tjukaruru Rd - GCR

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 621184

Follow Up By: Member - DingoBlue(WA) - Friday, Sep 14, 2018 at 11:06

Friday, Sep 14, 2018 at 11:06
As Ron has said, conditions do vary greatly depending on weather and grader activity. I've driven this road at least half a dozen times over the last 6 years and found it to be pretty good. Generally a bit stony East of Giles and sandy East of Docker River.
Rather a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy!

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Reply By: Member - Stevej54 - Monday, Sep 17, 2018 at 22:16

Monday, Sep 17, 2018 at 22:16
Thanks for the Info and advice and Pics from Ron I shall Try and keep notes as we go along.
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Reply By: ChrisVal7 - Friday, Sep 21, 2018 at 22:24

Friday, Sep 21, 2018 at 22:24
I have put up a report on another forum (I am unable to load it here) with the report following our crossing of the GCR a couple of weeks ago.
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Nov 04, 2018 at 12:00

Sunday, Nov 04, 2018 at 12:00

Perhaps you should read my Thread 137426 (here) before you proceed.


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