Colson Track

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 17:39
ThreadID: 137672 Views:761 Replies:9 FollowUps:9
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I'm considering the Macdonnell Ranges (both east & west) for this year's trek and looking at routes from the Sunshine Coast.

The Colson Track may do well but I have yet to determine if a permit can be obtained. Is this track still available to us? And is it as boring as it looks? How dodgy for a sole vehicle?

Alternatives are....
> Donohue/Plenty? That really doesn't excite me any more.
> Cross the Simpson then up the Old Andado track? I think I've crossed Simmo enough times.
> Madigan's? Even more dunes!
> Up Hay river then the Plenty Hwy? Maybe, but done recently.
Have I missed a route?

Interested in your comments guys.







Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 18:19

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 18:19
Hi Allan

I have just sent you a MM.


Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: Member - nickb "boab" - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 18:37

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 18:37
G'day Alan : The old Andado track is a nice picturesque Drive into Alice Springs not challenging at all and if you haven't seen old and dado itself it's certainly interesting as well and Mac Clark Conservation Park is apparently worth a look.
You should enjoy the MacDonnell Ranges so many places so beautiful .
My old stomping grounds for many years .
Enjoy nick
Cheers Nick b

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 19:06

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 19:06
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Thanks Nick,

Yes, we have been through Old Andado and camped at the homestead several times. It is a fascinating place and it amazes me that it has not been pillaged.
Someone said that it is no longer attended by volunteers and is locked up. Can anyone confirm that?

We are looking forward to the Macdonnells as we have passed through several times but not explored them thoroughly.

We just need to find an acceptable route.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - JOHN C16 - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 13:05

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 13:05
Hi Allan,

I visited Old Andado in May 2018. A caretaker was in residence and the homestead and camping area were open to visitors.

Cheers, John
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Follow Up By: Member - nickb "boab" - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 15:09

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 15:09
Ditto late july 2018
Cheers Nick b

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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 19:28

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 19:28
In September the old homestead was open and there were volunteers looking after the place.
There were actually two lots of volunteers at the homestead. The former caretaker had taken up residence out the back and they were having trouble evicting him.
... and he sees the vision splendid, of the sunlit plains extended,
and at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars ... Banjo Paterson

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 21:06

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 21:06
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Well that's good news that the caretakers are still in operation. I don't remember where I heard that they were not.

The Old Andado website does not seem to have been updated for a couple of years although their Facebook page had the following dated in July 2018...........

"The family's plans to secure a better future for Old Andado Station have been assessed and we have unanimously decided to ready the property for lease to a tourism based business. It is very early days in this process and we ask for your patience as this evolves. On the ground at Old Andado things will remain the same with access to camping and the Homestead.
Our long term Caretaker, Cobby Bob, will be moving on, at our request, to allow us to ready the Homestead and property for the lessee."
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Allan

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Reply By: Member - Ross N (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 20:05

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 20:05
Hi Allan,
My understanding is that the northern section of the Colson Track goes through
Native Title land and that no permits are issued.
You could check easily enough with the Central Lands Council.
Ross
AnswerID: 623188

Reply By: PhilD - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 22:07

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 22:07
The Colson runs interdunal, and 12 years ago was an overgrown corrugated drive. There was about 100 kms of native land in the middle of it. The top part goes through the station, and there was no sign to tell you where to go. I cannot comment on its current condition.
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Reply By: andy - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 22:25

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 22:25
Last year we travelled on the lower part of the Colson, leaving Mc Clarke Reserve we drove to the Colsen on an easy track towards the start of the Madigan LIne. On the Colson we went south to the French Line for approx. 200 km, easy to drive, only little corrugations but boring. No problem obtaining a permit.

The French Line is carved up and the Rig Road very corrugated.
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 23:09

Sunday, Jan 13, 2019 at 23:09
Have done the top bit from Madigan camp 5 to Geos access point some 50km south.
As far as I’m aware there are no native title below the marked region of Pmere Nyente land.

Not sure how you wanted to use Colson though. Mid all the way to Ross Hwyvia Newmery Rd you will probably not get a permit.

If going up Colson from French Line to Colson camp 5 vicinity, then Madigan to Old Andado / Binns Tk you only need to apply for a free Madigan permit and put the estimated dates you will hit camp 5 and depart native title about 10km east of camp 2.

You could also continu on to Old Andado, Finke and north to Alice via the old Ghan, but you’ve possibly done this.
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Reply By: Member - sparra - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 08:21

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 08:21
I done a few trips up and down the Colson back in the mid 80’s when I was a supply truck driver on a seismic crew,Our camp for a while was at the abandoned Colson Oil well. I enjoyed the run into Alice up through Numery Station,was a pretty good track back then.
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 12:17

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 12:17
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Thanks everyone.

The attraction of the Colson Track is that it will take me right up to the Ross Hwy in the MacDonnells, but a permit may be difficult. I'll try CLC.

Failing that, going into the Simpson via the Warburton Crossing, up the Rig Road then the Hay River Track to the Plenty Hwy is probably my best option.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 11:43

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 11:43
Allan,

I have a Westprints map that has a note saying that

"From late 2008 the Central Lands Council is no longer issuing permits to travel the NT section of the Colson Track."

Nevertheless, can't hurt to ask, I suppose.

Good luck.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 11:47

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 11:47
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Thanks Frank,

If challenged, I could perhaps say..."I thought that meant a permit was no longer required."??? lol
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 17:13

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 17:13
Back in the days when I wore Green as a daily clothes colour, if you were "challenged", you had to know the password to advance!! [;-)

Maybe the Indigenes could take to issuing passwords!
That'd separate the intruders from the genuine travellers - and save a lot of paperwork as well! [:-)

One has to wonder, with the basic literacy level of Aborigines in remote regions being around 34% (meaning 66% are essentially illiterate), how many Aborigines you encountered, would be able to read and understand any paper permit, anyway?

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 17:15

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019 at 17:15
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Ron, it would be the one that asked for mine!!!!!
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Allan

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Reply By: Member - JOHN C16 - Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 13:25

Monday, Jan 14, 2019 at 13:25
Hi Allan,

Jol Fleming from Direct 4WD has been pioneering a new route from Hay River to Bedourie via Lake Caroline, Ethabuka Station and Montara Sandhill. The initial trip along this route was done as a tag-along in August 2015.

Allan Whiting from Outback Travel Australia describes the route here:Hay River to Bedourie

At this early stage the route may still be restricted to tag-alongs led by Jol and to travel in an easterly direction. A phone call to Jol could be enlightening.

Cheers, John
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