Sydney to Kimberleys Trip

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 24, 2005 at 19:57
ThreadID: 22333 Views:1855 Replies:4 FollowUps:4
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Wonder if any of you out there can suggest a great trip from Sydney to the Kimberleys...preferrably on dirt roads and with the occassional stop / visit to supermarket..and take away !!!...Planning a July exit for a couple of months and don't want to travel on any road twice !...look forward to your replies ..
Steve
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 00:27

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 00:27
cant offer any specific advice (I live in Kalgoorlie) but whenever I do a trip I plan it to take in as many nat parks as possible as well as stopping off at tourist beurus and visitor info centres to get the maps of the parks and other info - works for me
AnswerID: 108049

Reply By: mattandlana - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 00:45

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 00:45
Hiya,

Much and all as we love to travel by dirt road where possible, I must confess that the bitumen run from Kununurra to Katherine was absolutely spectacular.

Ditto the bitumen section from Whim Creek up to Kununurra.

We have just bought but not tested a book "Explore Australia by 4WD - Adventure Treks" (ISBN 1 74117 068 0) which shows a brilliant-looking outback route from Alice East-North-East to 80 Mile Beach which it says is pretty traversible (even says you can get off-road caravans down it). We plan to explore it as soon as we get a chance but it won't be this year.

Matt
AnswerID: 108053

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 06:04

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 06:04
Steve
Easter 2004 we left bitumen at Marla, turned left across the top of SA, into WA, up the Sandy Blight Junction Track, left at Kintore, then out through Kiwirrkurra, Kunawarritji, along the Wapet Rd to 80 mile beach. Turn right to Broome and the Kimberley (no 'S' - there is only one!)
I am not sure what route is described in the book above, but the Wapet was pretty rough after heavy rains and a proper off road trailer would be the minimum requirement if towing.
Of course you could leave the bitumen closer to Sydney by heading out west to Tibooburra, Cameron Corner, Birdsville. Then cut across to Uluru and out through Docker River and join the SBJT there.
Or go through Alice and head west through Papunya and out to Kintore that way. Or up the Tanami.
AnswerID: 108056

Follow Up By: mattandlana - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 10:26

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 10:26
Steve,

Whoops in my post above I said Whim Creek but meant Halls Creek.

Bob,

Re the track in the book, yes that sounds like the route you took (well, the map goes straight from Alice to Kintore, not via the SBJ road). From Kintore via Kunawarritji then via the Wapet Road to 80 mile beach.

We are just about to take delivery of an off-road caravan. Would you think you could get the van through there? Ie how tight does it get between the occasional stands of trees, how agressive are any creek crossings, how frequent and long are any sandy patches? Our van is supposed to be corrugation-proof and the only way we'll find out is by driving on bad roads, so rough/corrugated doesn't bother me so much.

Matt
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 20:24

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 20:24
Most of the road was pretty good. Within a few hundred k's of 80 mile beach it was badly damaged with long sections completely washed away (meter deep drains where the road was), and diversions off to the side being needed. These diversions are often through dense growths of acacia like saplings. Some of the long sandy sections would require a moderate amount of grunt in the tow vehicle. On balance I think it could be done, but it would need patience and experience, and a second vehicle with a snatch strap for security. There was hardly any lateral water a few weeks after 10 inches of rain.
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Reply By: Member - T-Bone (ACT) - Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 14:22

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005 at 14:22
Depends on how adventurous you want to be.... How about up to Birdsville, across the Simpson, up to Chambers Pillar, across to The Rock, west on The Gunbarrel Hwy, up to the Hammersley Ranges, then hit the coast and head to Broome? Or from Chambers Pillar, head straight to Alice and up the Tanami track? Or even head north up to QLD and pick up the Savannah Way? Shouldn't be more than four or five days between food outlets no matter which way you go.

If you've got a couple of months, the world is your oyster...

T-Bone.
AnswerID: 108421

Follow Up By: Steve - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 22:39

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 22:39
Thanks for that ..would like to know your experiences of this one ..especially from Chambers to teh Rock and up thro the Hammersleys...which tracks are the best to use ?
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Follow Up By: Member - T-Bone (ACT) - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 10:23

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 10:23
1. Chambers Pillar to Uluru
We went via Alice Springs. The road was fairly lumpy & bumpy in bits, but Chambers Pillar is worth the visit. Jump on the tarmac to Uluru. if you want free camping, there's a roadside parking bay about 30km from the town. You can drop behind it to camp. Otherwise, just head for the caravan park for a night or two...

2. Uluru to Carnegie Homestead (Gunbarrel Hwy)
About 1100km long (with only Avgas & diesel available), the gunbarrel Hwy skirts the southern end of the Gibson Desert. It took us about 3 days to cover (we were in a rush, driving 10hr+ days). The 150km either end was well-graded, but the big bit in the middle isn't maintained - lots of corrugations! I highly recommend this part of the trip. Make sure you travel on the Old Gunbarrel Hwy though, not the new one - join it at Warakurna....and you need permits to travel on the Aboriginal land. I think there's a trek note on this site for the Gunbarrel.

3. Hammersley Ranges
Some awesome gorge walks here - well worth the visit. Costs you money to camp in the park itself, but we found an old hippie camp site about 5km to the south of the park entrance & about 2km off the road. Stop off in Newman too and do the mine tour - shows you just how vast the operation is...

T-Bone.
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