Best route to the dig tree

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 15, 2023 at 22:34
ThreadID: 145335 Views:3351 Replies:8 FollowUps:21
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We are considering the best way to head to the Burke and Wills dig tree, looking at Port Augusta to Lyndhurst and on to Innamincka or go in from Longreach down to Windorah then to Innamincka, I will be towing a small caravan, on other sites I’m getting a lot of conflicting information on road conditions, won’t be heading there till mid July I reckon.
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 at 07:45

Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 at 07:45
Hi Jindivick,

The condition of outback roads can change very quickly, so what it is like now will be very different to what it is like in 5 month time, so impossible to answer your question specifically.

How well built is your small caravan? Does it have good suspension?

I have travelled to Innamincka from both the directions you have stated, towing an 18’ full off road 2.6 Tonne caravan. Each direction has its challenges including narrow rutted tracks, and large trucks.

You may get some better information regarding the road conditions if you contact the Innamincka Hotel closer to your travel time.

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Reply By: qldcamper - Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 at 08:56

Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 at 08:56
It really depends where you are leaving from, pointless driving half way round australia just to avoid a few kilometres of track where you have to slow down and maybe walk through now and then.
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Reply By: jindivik - Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 at 10:19

Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 at 10:19
We are travelling past Port Augusta and we will also be in longreach later in the trip, so only concern is which entry road is best suited for my out fit, I know it’s early days still but I hope someone can advise if one road is generally better than the other
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Reply By: Member - DOZER - Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 at 10:32

Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 at 10:32
The best all whether road in is via Cunnamulla-Durham, over the bourke and wills bridge. Your decision should include how much time you have to traverse to Innamincka from PA, road and whether conditions, and ground clearance of van. Its beautiful country, but roads can get corregated, washed out etc. When last there the road from Innamincka to the dig tree was dirt and all corregated, worst road of all we were on, (old Streslecky was better)
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 at 23:43

Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 at 23:43
Innamincka to either Charleville or Cunnamulla is all sealed.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Feb 20, 2023 at 11:20

Monday, Feb 20, 2023 at 11:20
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Yep, so the 'Black Top' has finally reached Innamincka. Watched it crawl there over the years. The place will be full of Winnebagos now!!!
The bitumen is also processing along the Strzelecki. Much of it is sealed. The Old Strzelecki section is untouched of course but may not be good for some caravans.
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 at 12:30

Thursday, Feb 16, 2023 at 12:30
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If going through Port Augusta I would definitely travel to Innamincka via Lyndhurst and up the Strzelecki Track. This track is maintained in a very good condition for the benefit of freight to the Moomba gas & oil fields. I travelled on it recently and found that about a third of it is now bitumen. Of the remainder, some is in preparation to be sealed and the rest is in very good condition even though unsealed.
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Reply By: Member - Wooly - Sunday, Feb 19, 2023 at 22:10

Sunday, Feb 19, 2023 at 22:10
A lot can change in the time frame you are looking at but I was at the dig tree 3 days ago and the road in was a reasonable gravel road, you would have had no troubles on it towing at 40 - 50 KPH

Strezleki is good, plenty of tar being applied, won't be long and it will be sealed all the way. (a year or 2?)

The old Strez between Merty Merty and the Moomba road would be ok even with an off road van right now. Not sure what it will be like by the time you get there.

The top of the old Strez which is in the regional reserve would be problematic for towing however, so probably best avoided.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Feb 20, 2023 at 09:09

Monday, Feb 20, 2023 at 09:09
On the way to the Dig Tree in 1997.
It is very different now.

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Follow Up By: Phil G - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 18:04

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 18:04
Yeah, I remember the Cooper Creek crossing towards Nappa Merrie.
We did it back in 1989 before the Burke and Wills Bridge was built.
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Follow Up By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 18:19

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 18:19
You can still go that way, it’s their shortcut to Innamincka.

We first did it that way over 30 years ago.

When we went in last time and camped, the old chap that checked you entry permit said we could go out that way the next day, which we did.
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 18:22

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 18:22
Stephen, my recollection was that the crossing was fairly close to the Dig Tree. Was that where you were allowed to cross the creek?
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Follow Up By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 18:52

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 18:52
Hi Phil,

When we left the Dig Tree where we camped, rather than going out the way you come in, we were told to follow the track that follows the creek and then yes, go through that crossing then it is 5 or so kilometres out to the bitumen.

I have a track file if you are interested.
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 19:00

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 19:00
OK, sounds like where we went back then. Nothing happening with Innamincka this year, so don't worry about the track file, but thankyou for the offer.
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Follow Up By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 19:22

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 19:22
Hope this gives you an idea.
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Reply By: qldcamper - Monday, Feb 20, 2023 at 16:08

Monday, Feb 20, 2023 at 16:08
Dont forget your fly vales, worst fly population I have ever seen.
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Monday, Feb 20, 2023 at 20:27

Monday, Feb 20, 2023 at 20:27
He's going mid July. Flies usually OK by then.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023 at 07:44

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023 at 07:44
Hi Phil,

Don’t bet on it.

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Follow Up By: qldcamper - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023 at 07:56

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023 at 07:56
I was there in july, just means the flys dont come out till about 10am then go to bed around 4pm, mid day they still start swarming around your car when you pull up waiting for you to get out.
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023 at 09:11

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023 at 09:11
Been passing through Innamincka for 45 years now and I've been there most months.
Sure there will always be a few flies because its cattle country, but I can't remember needing a fly net in the middle of the year. I remember April/May and Sept-December as being bad
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Follow Up By: qldcamper - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023 at 09:58

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023 at 09:58
Apparently they do vary due to moisture conditions, can only offer advice based on the time we were there, mid winter and they were as bad as I have ever seen anywhere, that trip they were much worse at the dig tree than at Innamincka.
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023 at 11:03

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023 at 11:03
Yes, I guess one experience can potentially skew things. I remember a few years back the flies were worse than normal and like you say it may have been a wet year - may have been 2018 - and we were doing a Simpson Desert trip and stayed at Mt Dare for a night. And a prominent South African Youtuber was shooting a video of his trip across the middle of Australia. And when I watched it later he actually pulled out of his trip at that point and went back to Perth because the flies were "so bad". He's not been back there. But to us the flies weren't too bad at all.
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Follow Up By: Member - DOZER - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 10:21

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 10:21
When i read this post, it instantly brought back memories of the dig tree! Twice ive been, both times i was covered in bush flies, first time i swam in the cooper (may 1999) second time june 2017 the river was dry.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 11:06

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2023 at 11:06
Or to put it succinctly, you are out in the channel country. Anywhere out there, just be prepared to get a few flies somewhere on your trip.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Feb 23, 2023 at 06:40

Thursday, Feb 23, 2023 at 06:40
No flies in Winton this year!

We’ve been getting rain every other week this year, feed is green & thick, in most places, and there’s literally no flies. We haven’t a day over 40° this month, and the nights are cool & pleasant. If this is global warming, I’d like more of it!

Can’t guarantee there’s no flies at the Dig Tree though?

Bob



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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Feb 23, 2023 at 07:23

Thursday, Feb 23, 2023 at 07:23
Bob Y,

Once it stops raining up that way, and the water subsides a bit, the flies will be in “plague proportions”. Then they will very quickly migrate south along the channel country. Seems to happen every time.

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Follow Up By: Phil G - Thursday, Feb 23, 2023 at 09:44

Thursday, Feb 23, 2023 at 09:44
Perhaps we need to ask a scientist about the flies?
They are blaming the poor hapless Dung Beetle during periods of drought
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-28/fly-numbers-in-outback-queensland-worst-in-decades/5351974

I think in Bob's case sounds like all the flies got swatted by the tourists last year
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Feb 23, 2023 at 15:24

Thursday, Feb 23, 2023 at 15:24
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Never was any flies on Bob.

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