Karlamilyi ( Rudall River) National Park WA

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019 at 16:09
ThreadID: 137951 Views:1298 Replies:6 FollowUps:12
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At the beginning of June we plan to drive west from Alice Springs on the Garry Junction Road to Kunnawarritji and then to Rudall River National Park via Telfer mine Wapet road or the CSR and Talawana track.
If you have recently travelled in this National Park we would appreciate some information about the roads and general terrain please.
We will be travelling in a 6 cylinder Landcruiser and are experienced at travelling in the outback having traversed the full length of the CSR on a previous trip.
Many thanks.
Robert and Barb.
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019 at 17:03

Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019 at 17:03
In July last year we drove to Karlamilyi via GJH, Wapet Rd, Telfer Rd and Telfer to Desert Queen Baths and left the park driving south on Rudall River Rd to Talawanna track, then west to Newman.

It was all a doddle except for the park itself. Tracks in the park were rough, as you'd expect, but the worst was the main route south from Telfer mine to Talawanna Track via Rudall River Rd. It was heavily used last year as a bypass by CSR travellers avoiding the then closed (due flooding) section of the CSR north of Well 24. Corrugations and traffic were horrendous. They may have put a grader through it by now, but if not it won't be any better.

I guess if you've done the Canning you'll be ok and know what to expect.
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Follow Up By: Member - Robert S21 - Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 21:31

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 21:31
Thank you for your reply. This is probably our preferred route so it is good to have some information on road conditions.
Robert.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019 at 18:56

Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019 at 18:56
We went into Rudall in June ‘18 from Telfer Road, via Telfer Mine, after travelling up the Connie Sue, Gary Highway & other desert tracks to Kunawiritji. Roads were as described by Frank, very corrugated in places. We probably missed the further destruction by travelling when we did?

Our exit from the Park was west from Watrara Pool, to Hanging Rock, then across top end of Balfour Downs to Skull Springs Road & then to Nullagine, before heading south to Newman.

Bob

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

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Follow Up By: Member - Robert S21 - Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 21:34

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 21:34
Thank you for your reply. It is good to have your view on the area.
Robert
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Reply By: Joe Fury - Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019 at 19:19

Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019 at 19:19
G'day Robert

Not too sure if anything I say about the region or even Rudall River N/P will be valid as far as information goes, projected as far forward as June, as much can change in three months.

But as it has been aptly stated in a previous reply the track system inside the boundaries of the park are rough, very corrugated, sandy, rocky and deeply eroded in many places, especially the Desert Queen Baths track.

I came in from Newman ~ my home town, the Jigalong road was being touched up by a grader, on the Ethel Creek station proper, not sure if the grader will work it's way to the Jigalong boundary though.

The Balfour Downs portion of the track was quite washed out in places and all water courses that cut the Balfour track were vehicle wheel track width only, so there are deep erosion channels either side of the wheel width on the track.

The Talawana track right through to the Kintyre/Telfer access track was surprisingly good, and by good I mean 'bloody nice to drive' though sandy in the western end of the sand ridge country, the Talawana track is clay topped.

The South Bore/Pump water point is just a 'place' as the pump has been vandalized, so there is no way of bringing water to the surface.

The north bore/pump produced plenty of water, the first six or eight pumps gave plenty of foul smelling water and a few frogs, there after it just plain stank, but it's water!

The track right through to the north bore/hand pump ~ or the Telfer end entry is very rough, sandy, rocky and quite wet in places, the Rudall River watercourse is very loose but navigable in low range, the entire length of this track North to South is unmaintained and deeply corrugated.

I spent three days ~ two nights out there exactly one month ago, solo vehicle, two occupants, no major issues apart from a couple of staked tyres,and a few loose driving lights/etc.

Average day time temperature 45 degree C. nights got down to a chilly 33 degrees C ~ massive thunder storms but we had no rainfall at all, the Talawana was wet in patches but more so once we were west of the upper reaches of the Oakover River catchment.

Apart from that it's absolutely magnificent.

Safe travels : Joe Fury

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019 at 06:30

Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019 at 06:30
Nice photo of Darlsen Pinnacle Joe. Glad you made it in there. Cheers. Mick.
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019 at 16:04

Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019 at 16:04
G'day Mick

Firstly, thank you for your input and information in all respects to what Hugh and I had planned and attempted. I won't say any more as it is not my story to tell.

Sadly for Hugh incorrect dosage of Thyroid medication was the undoing, the good thing is that his negative symptoms came to head before he crossed the Telfer road.

My apology for miss spelling Darlsen Pinnacle, it's quite an amazing feature that at a guess not too many 'outsiders' would have seen personally. I did remark to Hugh at the time as to how utterly insignificant we were at the time.

No doubt Hugh will keep you in the loop in all respect to what his next step will be with this 'adventure'

Again ~ thank you for everything.

Safe travels : Joe F

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Sunday, Mar 17, 2019 at 20:49

Sunday, Mar 17, 2019 at 20:49
Mate if anyone can get this done, it will be Hugh and with you to back him up on the ground, even more so.

It's amazing but unforgiving country as 'Outback Al' and I found out 10 years ago now. Near did for me in a day and yet to be attempting what Hugh plans to do......well I think you and I are of a similar mind there (Crazy bastard lol). He's certainly done the research and hard yards in preparation though.

I'll be watching from afar and celebrating when he pops out on the other side.

Thanks to you as well mate. He couldn't get it done without you.

Cheers

Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Member - Robert S21 - Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 21:43

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 21:43
Thank you Joe Fury for your information. It was good to get your perspective.
Robert.
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Follow Up By: Austag - Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 at 12:16

Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 at 12:16
Hello Joe, did you climb and explore the pinnacle? Don't suppose you found our "visitors jar" and added to it?
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 at 17:47

Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 at 17:47
G'day Austag

It's a negative on your questions ~ our visit to the area was primarily to fulfill a request of a fellow 'adventurer' and to check and see first hand, water availability and easiest passage though the Throssell Range at a given point.

Sounds a little contrite, but we tried to minimize everything as much as possible in respect of being in the region, though we did seek and gain permission from the traditional land owners through their representatives, well before venturing into this part of the western desert region.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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Reply By: LAZYLUX16 - Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019 at 00:37

Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019 at 00:37
Robert S1 wouldn't mind seeing myself last frontier really.Planned to go ladt year but didn't leave Adelaide. Been lucky saw amazing places when lived with Aboriginals they know the sweet country.Poor 60s Landcruiser took a hiding but survived and the Aboriginals appreciated me taking them out..Contacting Newman Tourist office might give u info before leaving. Cheers I could tagalong if timing right .
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019 at 16:17

Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019 at 16:17
G'day LAZYLUX16 and Robert S1

Quote : Contacting Newman Tourist office might give u info before leaving.

By all means gather as much information on or about the region before you start your adventure, this Forum and possibly 4x4earth.com will be a wealth of information on anything remote and all things off road outback Australia.

If you require info on BHP's mine tours, Karijini, Broome or a local coffee shop or maybe a favoured fuel or tyre outlet by all means visit the 'tourist office'

No malice intended.

Safe travels : Joe fury
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Follow Up By: Member - Robert S21 - Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 21:47

Friday, Mar 22, 2019 at 21:47
We will confirm our departure date in the next few weeks. There are two other vehicles travelling with us to work in with.
Robert.
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Reply By: LAZYLUX16 - Tuesday, Mar 19, 2019 at 12:56

Tuesday, Mar 19, 2019 at 12:56
If all the planets align would you consider a tagalong.. Ta
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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 20:55

Saturday, Mar 23, 2019 at 20:55
We did this route in July '18 , Patrol towing a Tvan.
These 3 entries from our blog will give the flavour & some pics Covering from the West Macs to Newman. We went on to Mt Augustus, Kennedy Ranges & Milstream Chichester NP before coming back around to Skull Springs Rd/ Running Waters, via Marble Bar on our slightly convoluted route to the NW Kimberley.

http://cuppa500.com/Blog/2018/07/30/the-gary-junction-road/

http://cuppa500.com/Blog/2018/07/30/karlamilyi-national-park/

http://cuppa500.com/Blog/2018/07/31/kalgan-river/
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Follow Up By: Member - Robert S21 - Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 at 15:43

Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 at 15:43
Hi Cuppa,
Loved reading your blog. Can’t wait to get out in that country.
Robert.
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 at 18:55

Sunday, Mar 31, 2019 at 18:55
G'day Cuppa500

Had a wade into your video on the water course crossings that you have posted, sadly you too have fallen prey to what's rapidly becoming an accepted title for what is actual fact 'Kalgan Creek' ~ this creek only ever flowed as the result of seasonal rain, now the section you show of the creek flows continuously, 24/7 if you like, but this flow depends entirely on Rio Tinto's Hope Downs iron ore mine/aquifer dewatering program currently and in practice since 2014.

It is a 'creek' and not a river, the hood wink and change of name came about after the 1999/2000 wet season, when the Marble Bar road/Kalgan Creek water course had to be re established ~ all main roads signage was washed away as the direct result of the creek flooding into the Fortescue River.

My guess is the main roads mob had a spare 'Kalgan River' sign, so they planted it on the road side and as such the 'Creek' became a river, just as the Fortescue River will in time be called a creek, as there is already a roadside sign on the Jigalong access road at the Fortescue River causeway calling it a 'Creek'.

There is an actual Kalgan River, but it's down in the south of Western Australia, in the Albany region.

I'm not sure how the Albany ~ Kalgan River got it's name, but the Newman ~ Kalgan is a bastardization of an un pronounceable Nyiyaparli word, which sounded something like 'galga' and as the old saying goes ~ that's history.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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