Gunbarrel Hwy between Heather Hwy and Everard Junction?

I'm curious about conditions on the stretch ofGunbarrel Highway highlighted in this map snip.

Does anyone here have recent experience with this particular stretch?

I know there are some sections of the Gunbarrel, notably the abandoned section, that are in bad shape. To the point that it requires numerous extra steps to get a permit. OTOH, the particular stretch I'm looking at is a standard permit.

Unfortunately, the company I'm hiring a 4WD from has the entire Gunbarrel blacklisted. But Hope Springs Eternal, so I'm researching for evidence to get an exception for this stretch. :)

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Reply By: cookie1 - Monday, May 27, 2019 at 06:53

Monday, May 27, 2019 at 06:53
Did that stretch a few years ago now and it was in pretty good condition with a few washouts, the straight section on the Heather was a brilliant highway. We had a great nights camp at Camp Beadell and were in Warburton by around midday the next day.


AnswerID: 625771

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Monday, May 27, 2019 at 18:59

Monday, May 27, 2019 at 18:59
Last time we did it it was a dogs breakfast consisting mostly of washouts or diversion around washouts. Beadells camp is a highlight
FollowupID: 899417

Reply By: Member - Ray S - Monday, May 27, 2019 at 21:48

Monday, May 27, 2019 at 21:48
Candace, my wife and I drove the Gunbarrel in August of last year 2018 from Carnegie Station, so we obviously travelled the section you have highlighted on the map.

I'm not great with my memory, but Ivan's assessment - "a dogs breakfast consisting mostly of washouts or diversion around washouts" seems to paint pretty reasonable picture. This applied also to a fair proportion of the Heather Highway to its junction with the turn-off to Tjirrkarli. The section of the Heather Highway from the Tjirrkarli turn-off to the Great Central Highway was in really good nick.

Just skipping back a bit in the journey: the corrugations commenced pretty soon after we crossed the Wiluna Shire boundary from west to east and were severe, relentless and inescapable to a point well beyond Everard Junction (maybe after Mount Gordon), where the number of washouts increased - which was almost a welcome relief from the persistent battering of the corrugations. In most cases, people have created side tracks around the washouts. And there are huge numbers of side tracks, and side tracks of the side tracks (and side tracks to the side tracks of the side tracks!!!), where drivers have attempted to escape the corrugations.

We camped at the base of Mount Beadell. The ground was a bit rough, but the sunset and sunrise were spectacular. We had a full moon, or close to, so the outline of Mount Beadell against the backdrop of a very light night time sky was quite imposing.

We arose early to climb to the summit of Mount Beadell so that my wife, who is a keen amateur photograph, could get some shots of the sunrise.

To add weight to the 'dog's breakfast' scenario, in the last couple of hours before we reached the junction of the Gunbarrel with the Heather Highway, there were some short sections where we mused about whether they might not have some recent maintenance - even though the mix of hard corrugations and washouts (with side tracks around them) were still dominant.

Not sure this will help your cause, but I hope it is informative.

AnswerID: 625800

Reply By: Candace S. - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 07:05

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 07:05
BTW, I emailed the Ngaanyatjarra Council regarding road conditions along this stretch.
Here's the reply:

"I have not used the road before but I have been told that it is a relatively safe road to travel along. A few bumps here and there but for the most part, the road is pretty good."
AnswerID: 625806

Follow Up By: Member - Ray S - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 09:33

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 09:33
I would go with the Ngaanyatjarra Council response if you need evidence of road quality for the 4WD hire company!!!!

Incidentally, we towed our Rhinomax Scorpion off road camper across the Gunbarrel. It coped very well, but because of the incessant corrugations I have never stopped so many times per day to check a trailer over for signs of anything shaking loose! To state what is probably obvious, tyre pressures and taking it easy were key.

One of the things I have learnt is that the state of any particular road is very much in the eye of the beholder, and I generally listen carefully to all the reports (both negative and positive) that I hear, but I never really know how it will be for me personally until I encounter the road in 'real life'. In the words of the Daryl Somers NT advertising campaign of the 1990s "You never, never know if you never, never go".

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 17:42

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 17:42
Hi Candace

Firstly none of that section of track is maintained, and depending on how much rain they have had, will determine just how much further erosion of tracks has occurred.

The track section from Everard Junction through to Mount Gordon is typical outback tracks, but is usually heavily corrugated as you head south east towards Mt Beadell, and from there will improve the further you head south.

As for the Heather Highway, it is a mixture of deep washdays and corrugations, then turn into a super highway after the junction where it meets the turnoff.

These will give you a better idea of what it is like.



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AnswerID: 625822

Follow Up By: Candace S. - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 05:07

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 05:07
Stephen - Yes, that looks like the kind of place where people have rollovers when they're going too fast!

Thanks for the pics.
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Reply By: Candace S. - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 14:57

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 14:57
LOL, now I got this message from Apollo:

"We have actually just added the Gunbarrel Highway to the list of roads that can be driven in this particular type of vehicle. This will be permitted in our Trailfinder Camper."

I don't know what process they use to evaluate re-evaluate roads. But judging by this latest message, someone there was already looking at this.

While I definitely want to reach Mount Beadell, TBH I haven't figured out of it's really worth going up to Everard Junction!

AnswerID: 625861

Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 18:53

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 18:53
Were do you plan to go from there? If you go North the Gary highway is no better.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 19:43

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 19:43

If you decide to go to Everard Junction, would definitely be worth travelling the few kms north to Charlie’s Knob.Views from on top for almost 360°, and a fairly easy track to the top. Access is from northern side of the Knob.


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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 05:03

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 05:03
Ivan - this would be a out-and-back jaunt from the Great Central Road. I won't be continuing north.
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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 05:14

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 05:14
Bob - I'll consider Charlies Knob, thanks for the suggestion.

Anyone know the history of the trig point on top of Charlies Knob? :) if Len set it up, that's an additional attraction, LOL.

Whether I go there will depend upon how well I am doing time-wise. (And the same could be said about several other destinations!)

While I'm out there doing this particular jaunt, I'll be in the process of making my way to Laverton. Then I will be heading East on the AB. And I'll have to be off the AB before the September Defence exclusion period.
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