The Great Central Road

I am looking at doing the Great Central Road when the border is open. Has anybody done this road recently. Who can give me information on road conditions, how long it would take to do, fuel availability and the pros and cons of doing the track.
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 13:35

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 13:35
Have you had a look at the Related Page that your post has generated? Heaps of info there.

FrankP

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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 14:11

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 14:11
It is definitely a "road" these days, not a "track".
The western end is geologically interesting, the rest less so.
Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: Dusta - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 14:33

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 14:33
I heard google is a fantastic resource
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Follow Up By: kerbarb9 - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 14:38

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 14:38
Obviously doing that but experience of individuals is usually more reliable. Thought I would cover all resources
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Follow Up By: Craig H4 - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 22:18

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 22:18
I heard this website is a fantastic resource, I got here via google!
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Reply By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 15:02

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 15:02
kerbarb9, fuel is plentiful along the road and available at all the community road houses. If you need ULP expect to get Opal. Best to phone ahead as things do happen. On one trip we did the browser at Warakurna had broken down so depending on what direction you were travelling it was either Docker River or Warburton for a fill up.

Last year in early July it was like a highway and in excellent condition so much so that we traveled from Warakurna to Laverton easily in the day.

If you are not bothered about the "rock" an alternative route is via the Sandy Blight Junction Road and the Gary Junction Rd (Kintor Rd) into or out of Alice Springs and this is an excellent drive and easily done in a couple of days.
Dunc
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Reply By: Zippo - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 16:04

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 16:04
I doubt anyone here (except Greg maybe) has travelled it recently enough to give you a meaningful road conditions report, particularly as the border opening is some time away.

When the BORDER opens, and when PERMITS are being issued, may well be separate dates.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 18:16

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 18:16
Ha - only did the first ~50 km the other day (from Laverton and return) so don't have any recent info on the whole length. Have however done the whole crossing twice before and at the risk of getting verbally chastised will state (to illustrate how good the road can be) I did Laverton to Yulara in one day back in 1994 (was on a mission). If it hasn't been raining, easy drive with usual outback preparations required. Second time a few years ago took 3 or 4 days. It is a very nice drive.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 19:11

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 19:11
I just noticed today's WA travel restrictions update says the following:

From Friday 29 May 2020 regional travel restrictions will be lifted, excluding travel to biosecurity zones within the Kimberley region, parts of Shire of East Pilbara and the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku and remote Aboriginal communities. Restrictions on entering 274 remote Aboriginal communities will remain in place. For more details see regional travel information.

So the Great Central Rd being in the Ngaanyatjarraku shire is unlikely to be open anytime soon.
Michelle Martin
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I.T. Beyond Pty Ltd / ExplorOz

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 19:48

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 19:48
Did the entire GCR July '19, from Winton to Laverton, then up to Wiluna. Took 5 full days, sitting on 80-90 clicks, & quicker on the black stuff. Camped first night about 50kms west of Tobermorey, then Erldunda Roadhouse, WA-NT border, between Tjukayirla & Laverton & final night at Gunbarrel Laager, just east of Wiluna.

Used 2 jerrycans at Harts Range, then fuelled up in The Alice, Warakurna, Leonarra & Wiluna. Road was variable, bit corrugated here 'n there, graders working near Sandy Blight turn off & 2 reasonably new bitumen sections between Warburton & Tjukayirla.

It's a great drive, but not one to do in a hurry if you carry a camera. Some of the scenery is spectacular. There's phone service at Harts Range, Erldunda, Yulara, Docker River, Warakurna, Yarla Kutjarra rest stop & Warburton. No big deal to some, but handy when you're travelling by yourself, & keeping friends 'n rellies full of envy as you post photos regularly.

Bob

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

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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 12:04

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 12:04
Hi kerbarb9, my 2 cents worth after our Sep 2018 trip going E to W from Uluru to Warburton
1. Permit was online and easy as to get. Girl at Uluru entry did not even look at it! I just said we were going thru to WA.
2. Two vehicles had destroyed all spare tyres so were in the doodle. A long days wait for wife and kids while hubby got lift 140 km back to Uluru.
3. 50 km west of Olgas a rock came out of nowhere on a sandy section and smashed tailgate glass. Covered it up with used winecask boxes - among other cardboard LOL.
4. This bit's totally non PC. Since tourists not wanted in remote communities, then if you stick to the GCR what would be the problem? COVID or not I don't particularly want to go in them anyway. Tons of bush camping in scenic spots.............W
Warrie

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Follow Up By: Zippo - Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 00:16

Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 00:16
On the GCR you ARE at risk of mingling with the "locals" at both Warakurna and Warburton (store/fuel/refreshments). If they are even half-serious about these biosecurity regions/zones then those two pose a problem.
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Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 13:57

Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 13:57
50 km west of Olgas a rock came out of nowhere on a sandy section and smashed tailgate glass. Covered it up with used winecask boxes - among other cardboard LOL

Presume this means alchol was consumed on the GCR refer to link from warburton road house below:

https://warburtonroadhouse.com.au/faq.php
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 14:06

Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 14:06
No, Dean. You were just doing the environmentally sensitive thing and had been carrying those empties until you could get home to a proper recycling centre. Do try to keep up ;-)
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Reply By: Member - Dublediff - Monday, Jun 01, 2020 at 21:25

Monday, Jun 01, 2020 at 21:25
We did the GCR in September last year. Towing a 3.5 tonne off roster. Fuel is no problem. Road is just that, not a track, but it is hard on the car and van with the lengthy sections of corrugations. If you are towing you simply should not drive to make the corrugations smooth out in your car, in your van at that speed everything is being hammered. There is simply no caravan suspension as good as your car, unless you are still driving the fb Holden, lol. It is a desert crossing, but not like the Simpson, this one has trees, shrubs etc. It really is a fantastic trip that should be enjoyed for the starry, starry nights, the solitude and the scenery.
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