Great Central Road

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 18:51
ThreadID: 24940 Views:2413 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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Has anyone travelled the Great Central Road recently? Am planning a trip from Perth leaving Aug 1st in Pajero DiD and Coromal offroad caravan. Wondering what the latest road conditions are and general info re camping spots, things we shouldn't miss, things to be wary of, fuel supplies etc. Any info greatly appreciated. I have all the permits.
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Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 19:58

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 19:58
Havent travelled that road for 4 years. But a week ago I was talking to the grader driver on the NT side via the radio. He was rained in as I was. (but I was 400K north of him) So I'd guess the track could be "rutty" and corregated in places.
AnswerID: 121500

Reply By: Cracka - Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 21:27

Thursday, Jul 21, 2005 at 21:27
Gidday ThomasJ,
Popeye has just graded the Territory side, it's pretty good at the moment. From Docker River through to Warburton is lightly corrogated. West of Warburton is absolutely awfull till the Heather Highway turnoff. After that I don't know till the GCR meets with the Hunt Oil Road. The road west from there is in very good condition as far as Laverton. Between the Heather turnoff and the Hunt I can't tell you. As for campsites, well get out of sight of the road and you are sweet. Docker River has a ripper campground, flush toilets and water piped in. All set in a stand of beautiful Desert Oaks. Warburton Roadhouse has a campground behind 12 foot barbed wire if you are the Stalag 13 type.
Quebec 4104
AnswerID: 121511

Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 02:23

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 02:23

I've just returned from a trip that started by heading across the GCR three weeks ago. I was in a loaded Landcruiser HJ61 towing nothing.

It's a long drive. Lots of heavy corrugations. If others say Docker River to Yulara has just been graded, that'd be good, cos three weeks ago it was the worst of the whole stretch - continual heavy corr for the whole distance especially around Lasseters Cave area.

I got some relief by driving with one set of wheels in the gutter where there were no corr, but this is more risky with a van.
We saw one camper trailer broken down out of Warburton with a broken axle. they'd set up camp under a tarp off the road and looked very forlorn. The other trailers were towed by drivers who looked stressed. Maybe I did too!

It has rained since I went so that might make it better, or worse if there are more washouts. Around docker river has been closed due to flooding across the creek crossings.

Yes the camp at Docker is nice and flushing toilets a welcome change from the shovel. Must collect own firewood prior to campsite - it is not provided as mentioned in the trek notes on this site. And it is nice and peaceful, tho decidely nippy, to get up before dawn and walk to the top of a nearby dune and watch the dawn sun hit the ranges.

We found Euro Rockhole, as per trek notes on this site, but couldn't locate the others. I'll recheck my GPS coordinates with the website then let David know. We managed to find a nice campsite instead of rockhole 2 at the GPS coords, and guess the rockhole is not far from there.

First night Kalgoorlie. Fixed water pump and rear main gearbox seal in half a day and got to 50kms west of Laverton for a bush camp off the bitumen road.
Night three was near rockhole 2, night four was at Docker, night five at Yulara. We were pushed for time and would have preferred to travel slower and have one more night on the road to ease the pressure a bit.

Council offices at Warburton are nice and new and have displays and original artworks. Roadhouses well stocked and friendly. Paid $1.60l for diesel at Warburton, $1.50 at Yulara. Plenty diesel available at all roadhouses.

Plenty of wedgetail eagles pairs around - they take off slowly - need to avoid hitting them for their benefit and yours. Camels a plenty, not many roos. Few emus.

Desert oaks are magnificent approaching Giles near the Gunbarrel Highway intersections.

My memories now are mostly pleasant of the trip, but immediately after we got to Yulara I declared I wouldn't be choosing to do THAT trip again soon. I'd let my tyres down to 35psi and also found travelling in 4WD was better than 2WD, seemed to ride over the corro's better. Road also has stony sections of limestone that are annoyingly rough to ride over.

Hope this helps and you don't break anything important.

AnswerID: 121700

Follow Up By: ThomasJ - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 11:16

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 11:16
Footloose, Cracka and TimHJ61 - thanks for the response, it's the sort of info I was hoping for, but could have done without the corrugations! Even though it's an off-road van the corrugations take their toll. Have been on the Gibb R road at it's worst and that was a painful experience, although we survived trouble free, but also passed destroyed trailers. So will think long and hard about it. Cheers.
FollowupID: 376896

Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 14:31

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 14:31
Couple of other things I thought of.

Shade cloth is fantastic as a ground cover outside the tent/van whatever, and also to put down on the ground when you unpack your treasures so they don't get sad, mud or prickles on them.

The other thing is I suffered from dry and cracking hands big time. Maybe I didn't drink enough moving from the humid coastal climes into the drier air in the centre, but it was also the cold nights, using wet ones to wipe sticky hands, washing in cold water etc. Bit hard to sign Visa slips when fingers and thumb is cracked open.

Solution was given to me by the good souls at Kings Creek station near Kings Canyon. They call it tit cream and use it all the time. I guess it's got a heavy lanolin base, but it's also got extra goodies in to heal over cracked udders on cows. Worked on my hands a treat, but I had to wear gloves to stop it greasing everthing else up that I touched until it soaked in.

Re the corro's. In short stretches, I could handle the GCR corro's, but given the distance is over 1000k's, it gets very wearing on vehicle and occupants. Mereenie Loop road from Kings Canyon towards Hermannsberg was rougher, but shorter. Caravans are definately not recommended for that section. We came across one couple who had snapped a spring hanger and the campervan had flipped onto it's roof, still partially attached to the drawbar by some majorly twisted Aframe. Nasty.

All the best
AnswerID: 121745

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