Big Desert/Wyperfield track conditions

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 15:06
ThreadID: 15115 Views:2934 Replies:5 FollowUps:9
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Considering a weekend trek to the Big Desert areas on the SA/Vic border, and I'm wondering if anyone knows how much rain there has been down that way and what the track conditions are like. Would particularly like to know about any rutted sections or steep creek crossings, etc as my vehicle ('99 Subaru Outback) has rather ordinary clearance.

Proposed route is Ngarkat CP (Bucks Camp - Southern Boundary), Big Desert WP (Red Bluff) and Wyperfield NP (Murrayville Track - Chinaman Flat - Milmed Rock) before heading back via Thomson Peaks, although I will obviously consider advice anyone here is kind enough to give.

Thanks in advance.

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Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 16:51

Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 16:51
Ring Murrayville pub.... They are in the know of the weather....
AnswerID: 70231

Reply By: Des Lexic - Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 17:24

Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 17:24
Was down that way a couple of years ago and I don't think you will get a standard Subby through the sand although the Marrayville track won't present any problems.
Haven't had a lot of rain up a bit further north although Lamaroo had 20mm last weekend. Ring the Ranger at Lameroo on 08 8576 3690 for better info.
We have an Outback too but I am not allowed to take it on a dirt road cos I might get it dirty.
AnswerID: 70237

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Victoria) - Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 17:53

Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 17:53
Hey Des, They go real well in the sand, what do you think the problem would be.
FollowupID: 330452

Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 22:10

Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 22:10
The Outbacks have a flat floor pan and only just 200mm clearance.
Their other disadvantage is the very poor arrival and departure angles.
The problem with the sand is the depth of the wheel ruts and the front scoop is rather large.
No argument on their ability on loose surfaces. Exceptional
A lift kit and normal!! profile tyres would help too.
They are a very capable vehicle.
If SWMBO was aware of some of my unsupervised exploits, I'd be in deep mire. LOL
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Follow Up By: HSpirit - Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 11:41

Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 11:41
Thanks for the reply, Des - I appreciate your honest assessment of the Suby's capabilities.

I keep telling myself I will install a lift kit on it someday; just not prepared to forego the superb road handling of my Suby just yet :)
FollowupID: 330581

Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 21:03

Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 21:03
My biggest problem with the subie is that it belongs to SWMBO and I'm not allowed to test it out very often.
Since I have a Cruiser I can say Bugga
FollowupID: 330681

Reply By: Member - Mark- Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 21:04

Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 21:04
A couple of weekends ago we travelled down the Border fence from Pinnaroo to Telopea. The track south of Red Bluff was wet and had a lot of deep wheel tracks. All of these had detours around them.

Murrayville track should be okay other than where water lays. There hasn't been any considerable rainfall this week.

Chinamans & Milmed Rock tracks should be okay.

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AnswerID: 70296

Reply By: Crackles - Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 21:58

Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 21:58
After the recent rain the sand on the border track becomes easier although with your low clearance you'll bottom out a fair bit. All the big bog holes have detours so shouldn't be a problem. The Murrayville rd is very slippery for several days after rain and should be detoured (via Pella track) if for no other reason than to avoid rutting the clay top for the locals. Milmed rock track has several rutted sections full of water that may catch a Subie although they are on the Parks list to repair this season. Cheers Craig.............
AnswerID: 70322

Follow Up By: HSpirit - Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 11:44

Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 11:44
Thanks, Craig (and also Mark) - that's exactly the kind of assessment I needed.

Will avoid Wyperfield and leave that to another day (and possibly a lifted Suby).
FollowupID: 330583

Follow Up By: Crackles - Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 17:12

Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 17:12
Damon. As an Alternative a nice drive for avoiding the wet spots could be around the back of lake Albacutya, to the Wonga campground. Then north from the Eastern lookout up to Pine Plains & the Snow drift dune.
Skirt around the Wirregren plain up to Underbool & the Pink lakes. There are a maze of tracks south of Cowangie that lead to another great camp at Big Billy Bore. All these tracks would be OK for the Subie
(I used to own one) & there is plenty of top views, history, flora & fauna
along the way . Cheers Craig.................
FollowupID: 330643

Follow Up By: HSpirit - Saturday, Jul 31, 2004 at 08:44

Saturday, Jul 31, 2004 at 08:44
Craig - thanks for your further comments. My map (Victoria's Deserts - Meridian) shows two direct routes from Wonga Campground to Pine Plains, but both of these tracks ('Meridian' and 'Freeway' tracks) are marked 'Management Vehicles Only'. Is this the case? And so you would recommend the 'North South' and 'Eagle' tracks?
FollowupID: 330726

Follow Up By: Crackles - Saturday, Jul 31, 2004 at 16:56

Saturday, Jul 31, 2004 at 16:56
That's right. (the 'North South' and 'Eagle' tracks?) They closed the others 20 odd years ago. Craig........
FollowupID: 330777

Reply By: pshowell - Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 20:09

Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 20:09
Hey Damon

I live up that way in renmark. Have travelled most some o0f those tracks you are talking but not quiet sure were Thomson Peaks are. Even in your outback you should be able to get though, but it just depends how much you love you suby. Ground clearance may be an issue and lygments (bushes that over grow tracks around the river) may scratch the paint work, but other wise you should be fine. Their are also some nice areas up around lindsay area. Beautiful camping and good fishing. Overall the tracks are fine around the river flats it can get a bit dicey if you get more than an an inch of rain. Any more questions just ask

Cheers Patrick

AnswerID: 70480

Follow Up By: HSpirit - Saturday, Jul 31, 2004 at 08:53

Saturday, Jul 31, 2004 at 08:53

Thanks for your comments. I do love my Suby, believe me, but I love it for where it can take me as well as its handling ;) It's done over 200,000 km now so it's probably with me for life now, for better or for worse!

It's been up to Paralana Hot Springs in the Gammons (that's where I learnt that big ruts can create an issue) and most of the way through Chambers Gorge in the Flinders (before a steep creek crossing turned me back) - as well as tamer trips through Glass Gorge and to the shores of Lake Frome - and have only bottomed it out once or twice. So I figure as long as I'm mindful of the limitations of the vehicle, ask for advice before proceeding, and (perhaps most importantly) remain prepared to turn back if required, our relationship will prosper :)
FollowupID: 330729

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