camping at n'dhala gorge and ruby gap, east mcdonnell ranges.

Submitted: Friday, May 20, 2005 at 21:07
ThreadID: 23163 Views:5510 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
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Hi All
Another question
Has anybody ever taken a camping trailer into N'dahla gorge or Ruby Gap in the East McDonnell ranges. We have a Pajero, but our camping trailer is not an off road model. However it has done alot of off road and survived O.K. thus far.
Looking forward to some feedback
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Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Friday, May 20, 2005 at 21:14

Friday, May 20, 2005 at 21:14
goodday kate
we did ruby gap about 3 yrs ago as a day trip some of it wasnt to bad but you spend a bit of time driving along the river bed which was pretty sandy and at that time some of the tracks were pretty corrugated

AnswerID: 112131

Reply By: Wombat - Friday, May 20, 2005 at 21:37

Friday, May 20, 2005 at 21:37
If the Ross River is low you will get into N'Dhala Gorge without a problem but the track into Ruby Gap would really knock a standard trailer around.
AnswerID: 112134

Reply By: Skinnydog - Friday, May 20, 2005 at 21:38

Friday, May 20, 2005 at 21:38
Not sure about N,dahla,but it looks a bit wider than Ruby Gap. I would'nt recommend going to far into Ruby gap though, as it has some boulder sections to contend with
that might hang your camper up. I would suggest setting up at the earlier section and taking a walk as it is a very nice place to stay for a few days.
AnswerID: 112135

Reply By: warthog - Friday, May 20, 2005 at 22:28

Friday, May 20, 2005 at 22:28
We towed our Kanga camper in to Ruby Gap nature park about 6 weeks back. The road to Arltunga bush hotel is sometimes quite corrugated but was ok when we went in as it has just been graded. The 40k's frm Arltunga to the entrance to ruby gap park is just a track though and took us 2.5 hrs. I like to be easy on the gear so I don't mind taking a bit longer, lovely drive anyway. When you get to the entrance to the park though, you head down into the sandy river bed and the sand is quite loose. Our camper has the same wheel track as the Patrol and weighs around 1000kg. The patrol has lsd rear end that is still tight and diff lock in the front, the tyre pressures were at 26psi when we hit the sand, (reduced for the dirt), this was not low enough and we ground to a halt. Dropped all 6 tyres to 16 psi and drove on with no probs. If your camper has a different wheel track to your pajero, it weighs heaps or you don't have a compressor then I wouldn't recommend Ruby gap, otherwise go for it, it's a beautiful place.
AnswerID: 112145

Follow Up By: Bundy - Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 00:13

Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 00:13

We're heading out that way in August via the Plenty and Cattlewater Pass. We are trying to decide whether we should base ourselves at one place for four or five days (ie Trephina Gorge) and do day trips to N'Dahla, Ruby gap etc from there.

Did you travel Cattlewater Pass?
What would you recommend re: base camp Vs staying at each place?
Which camping area did you find best?

Any other suggestions?

We have five weeks out in the centre. Any favourite spots you may have found?


FollowupID: 368513

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 03:06

Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 03:06
Would recomend a couple of days at each I was there this time 03 and at trephnia gorge camped at john hayes rockhole with the campsite to my self and the next day was out to ruby gorge following the track as far as I could. There was only one other person out there and he was camped about 5 k away. In regards to camper trailors i would say no worries just take it easy and let tyres right down when driving along the mc hale river as the river sand is soft but not overly trecherous
FollowupID: 368518

Follow Up By: warthog - Sunday, May 22, 2005 at 22:36

Sunday, May 22, 2005 at 22:36
Sorry mate I haven't heard of cattlewater pass so no I don't think I've travelled it unless it goes by a another name. Places we like to camp are two mile water hole across the road from Glen Helen (west macs). Birthday Gap water hole in the owen springs reserve, info on parks and wildlife or conservation comission or what ever it is called these days web site (no water at the moment though). Policemans waterhole in the davenport ranges 400 odd k's to the north e of a/s is also good.
FollowupID: 368635

Reply By: Patsy - Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 07:54

Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 07:54
We travelled into both Ruby Gap and N'Dahlia 4 years ago with a travelling companion who did it in a Suzuki Vitara towing a standard camp trailer. He did it with ease and no damage.
AnswerID: 112161

Reply By: ian - Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 17:19

Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 17:19
the road in should be no problem.
Once in the gorge it gets progressively rougher, with good campsites near the start.
Stop when you have had enough. Ruby G is a great place, maybe my favourite in the Centre, but keep it a secret.
AnswerID: 112210

Reply By: Tony J - Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 20:45

Saturday, May 21, 2005 at 20:45
Yep, went to Ruby Gap back in 2000 with our camper trailer. Travelled across the Donohue and Plenty hwy and down Cattlewater Pass. Cattlewater took a 'bit' longer than we thought but a magic trip! Bouncey then, not corrugated. We crossed the sandy river bed (was very soft) and camped under a river gum with a broken off hollowed out limb that had a couple of budgies nesting in it. Funny how such thing can be the source of great memories and amuzement! These two budgies were at it all day every day!! Red cliff behind us and another across the river bank. Took some great sunset and sunrise photos. Anyway, I'm off the point. Yep, can be done, just take your time, don't rush, check out your trailer suspension thoroughly before you travel, take some spares and have a great trip. One of my favourite spots. Trouble is, with so many places to visit there is so little opportunity to get back to the favourites!
Tony J
AnswerID: 112236

Reply By: Graham & Ann - Sunday, May 22, 2005 at 23:26

Sunday, May 22, 2005 at 23:26
Cattlewater Pass track should be ok for camper trailer, but was too overgrown for our van, so we went down the next track (can't remember the name of it but about 20km further west along the Plenty and 8km east of Gemtree) it's much easier track than Cattlewater Pass. Arltunga Bush Pub (pub not operating just campgbround) is top camping ground with toilets hot showers and a good base to do that end of the Eastern Macs. We did day trip in to Ruby/Glen Annie Gorges. Track into Ruby Gorge area would be ok for camper trailer but you'd probably not want to tow it far up the creekbed, most seem to camp at/near entrance to the creekbed.
AnswerID: 112378

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