Coober Pedy to Birdsville

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 28, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1595 Views:4689 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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I'm a bit nervous about a section of a month lond holiday in August. We are traveling for the first time off road from Coober Pedy to William Creek, then down Oodnadatta Track to Marree. Then plan to drive up Birdsville Track to Queensland. We don't have much experience 4WDing. Any hints from anyone? (Eg Tire pressure, are we biteing off more than we can chew????)
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Reply By: ben - Sunday, Jul 28, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Jul 28, 2002 at 00:00
the tracks you are taking are resonably easy, however i would recomend that you take two spare tyres.the tracks can sometimes be tough on tyres. also don't drive too fast as the roads can be slippery and dusty.when passing other travelers you must slow down and wait for the dust to settle as there may be other cars following close behind.
have fun!
AnswerID: 5206

Reply By: Fred - Sunday, Jul 28, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Jul 28, 2002 at 00:00
Liz, The trip you describe could easily be done in a 2wd. You will be safer and more comfortable in a 4wd of course. The only chance of needing to engage 4wd would be if it rained and the track became slippery. I've seen Commodores towing caravans from Marree to William Creek in 2000 when Lake Eyre had water in it. As already said 2 spares are a good idea and a good UHF radio wouldn't go amiss either - most of the 4wdrivers on those roads have UHF. Opinions seem to vary on tyre pressure - I like to use highway pressure or a few pounds less - I think it's harder to puncture a half flat balloon than a really tight one and feel the same principle applies to tyres. Also carry plenty of food and water - it's fairly easy to be stranded - especially if it rains - spent two days this time last year stuck on the side of the Old Strzeleki track because the track turned into a skating rink!!
Good Luck with the trip....
AnswerID: 5207

Follow Up By: Fred - Sunday, Jul 28, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Jul 28, 2002 at 00:00
Liz, visit (I think - but search for South Aus road conditions if it's not) and get current road conditions. They show all of the roads you mention and you can click on all sections for detailed reports. They are all saying no restrictions at present.
FollowupID: 2227

Follow Up By: Exploroz Team - David - Monday, Jul 29, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Jul 29, 2002 at 00:00
Why not look at the ExplorOz national road conditions. We update these on a better than weekly basis and have feedback from not on rely the governent source but many travellers and locals who provide these reports. We put a huge amount of unpaid effort inot our reoad conditons report so please use it.....
FollowupID: 2230

Follow Up By: Crowie - Monday, Aug 05, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Aug 05, 2002 at 00:00
It's dissapointing to hear a 4X4 driver advising and saying that they only drops tyre pressures a couple of pounds on these roads. I have just come back from a trip across the Simpson via Coober Pedy to Birdsville then on to Inaminka and Tiboobora . There were seven vehicles; 3 x Patrols, 1 X Pathfinder, 1 x Disco, 1 x Prado and 1 x Ford Courier. All were carrying the weight of enought extra fuel, food and water to enable them to almost cover the full distance twice, just in case we had to back out or got marooned because of weather. Tyre pressures off road never exceeded 25 pounds and were down to 18 pounds (Cold) for the Simpson itself on all vehicles. When the tyres got hot and the pressures went up we deflated them down to the same temperatures.

RESULT no damaged tyres on any vehicle after 5000 odd km in all conditions and little or no damage to the roads we travelled over. Don't be fooled, softer tyres don't puncture as easly as hard tyres in these conditions. Try puncturing a fully inflated balloon and then a partly filled one and see which punctures the easiest.

All you have to do is watch your speed when running deflated tyres on fast sections to avoid heat build up. Most of the damage on the sand hills is caused by yobbo's driving vehicles with high tyre pressures bouncing over at high speed because the tyres are not giving them grip. The auto Pathfinder (I was a passenger on this trip) in our group easly went over nearly all the Simpson Desert dunes in 4x4 high range second at between 1500 and 2000rpm and about 3mph. It comfortably made it up the western side of Big Red first time with a few more rpm's for the longer climb. .
Don't be a cowboy - Tread Lightly - Take a compressor and deflate your tyres when necessary. It's a more comfortable ride and a chance to smell the flowers

FollowupID: 2333

Reply By: Jim searle - Friday, Aug 02, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Aug 02, 2002 at 00:00
Just come back from the trip you intend to do.
2 Spares. We did 2 tyres on the Birdsville Track this time. It is very dry at present and the stones are being exposed. We thought the road from william Creek to CP was good but others had different opinions!
My advice is to slow down, reduce the pressure in your tyres as above and drive according to how you find the tracks. Also don't overload. You will enjoy the trip as it offers plenty of interesting features.
There is plenty of traffic on your route so if you have any trouble, there should be someone to give you a hand.

AnswerID: 5364

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