120 klm THROUGH TRACKLESS DUNE COUNTRY .

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 13:39
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Any adventurers out there ? My mate and I have booked on a Murchison Safaris trip into the the Great Sandy Desert and the Gibson Desert from May 29 to June 22 .

The highlight of the trip will be heading off WNW from the Warri & Yatunga site to the Calvert Ranges via a number of ranges and rock holes . This trip has been done before , but it is no cakewalk and it is about 120 klm with bugger all marked tracks and no mapped tracks .

Cars will be required to take a min of 210 litres of diesel and a bit more for petrol .

Murchison say that the three cars already booked will be not enough for the trip to go ahead , so I am trying to get two more cars for the trip . I have been on their trips the last two years running - his encyclopedic knowledge of things aboriginal , wildlife and plants makes these trips very special .

These trips are leisurely affairs and often we will stay for two or three nights in one interesting spot . The aboriginal art on this trip is absolutely spectacular .

THIS IS NOT AN ADVERT. FROM MURCHISON , IT IS A PLEA FROM A DESPERATE MAN WHO DOES NOT WANT TO SEE THE TRIP CANCELLED . So please don't come on with that crap about free ads etc .

If you are interested , Google Murchison Safaris for the info , or answer this and I will give you some background on them and on other trips we have done .

Thanks ,

Willie .

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Reply By: equinox - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 17:07

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 17:07
I can't come Willie but would be interested in your GPS track log of the route in or written directions. I have heard that there is a track from Warri site to the Calverts via Constance Headland which is as you say, unmapped but not sure of tracks to other ranges / rockholes.

Have you read the book "Last of the Nomads"??

Good Luck

Eq

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Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 20:56

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 20:56
That's why he is probably having trouble filling his trip his last dozen or so customers are logging his trip and all his hard planning so some can just follow a GPS.

All the best
Eric
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 13:57

Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 13:57
Eric ,

That can be a problem ( and he recognises that ) but he has a very loyal following . I for instance , have never divulged any details about a trip we have done with him , and yet I have had a GPS on all three trips .
I have never discussed past trips on EO .

One trick he has up his sleeve is that many of his trips need permission to enter cattle stations . Because he has known the owners for many years , he gets this , where an individual would not .

Cheers ,

Willie .

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Follow Up By: equinox - Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 14:21

Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 14:21
With respect for your opinions guys - I don't agree with your sentiments.

It's like saying "I went on a great 4WD trip, saw this and that place, but I can't tell you how to get there because it's a secret".

I've seen the prices these type of operators charge - HEAPS!! and their hard research is probably really just gained from previous trips in which they probably had somebody else paying for their trip anyway. ie someone with not enough confidence to do a trip like that on their own.

Phil's already said further down that there is no track there anyway - but if there was and I passed the turnoff and thought "Oh theres that track that Willie probably went down with that tour group" I would have absolutely no hesitation to post the co-ords here or give them away freely if somebody asked me.

Mind you- the tour operator might ask you to sign something "not to divulge etc etc" and that would be different. Do they??

My opinion only.

Regards

Equinox


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Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 16:16

Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 16:16
Equinox
It's like saying "I went on a great 4WD trip, saw this and that place, but I can't tell you how to get there because it's a secret".

Well they arnt a secret but I am sure you have a special place you don't tell all a sundries about.
When you get to your special place and It is crowded you are disappointed.

I've seen the prices these type of operators charge

I am not quite sure what you are implying about these type of operators.
If you still go to work do you get paid just as I do when I do a tour.
Not every one likes travelling alone or can get a group of freinds together. We have some very novice people away with us and they learn about camping and bush skills on tour. Then they can venture of into the wilderness with new learned skills.

and their hard research is probably really just gained from previous trips in which they probably had somebody else paying for their trip anyway. I someone with not enough confidence to do a trip like that on their own.

Please Explain what you mean.

To the last bit I don't get people to sign anything like that.

All the best
Eric

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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 16:31

Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 16:31
"I went on a great 4WD trip, saw this and that place, but I can't tell you how to get there because it's a secret".

But equinox , I did not say that . I have never mentioned a Murchison trip on this forum before I asked for people to go on this trip . I think you are getting excited about nothing .

I agree with Eric's sentiments . Would you like tour operators to work for nothiong ? Do you ? Most tour operators do it because they like the lifestyle , the money is nothing flash , believe me .

If I was a tour operator I would try to protect myself by asking my clients not to advertise the info on the trips . If you build up a business , you really should try to protect your assets .

I find your attitude very odd .

Cheers ,

Willie .
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Follow Up By: equinox - Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 17:31

Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 17:31
Guys,

Yes I have my secret spots.
I was just asking for details on the track from Warri Site to the Calverts, not all the secret spots near the route.

If the tour operator spent months researching the proposed trip in town, then spent 2 months and $10000 in the field researching and then asked his/her clients to keep quiet about it then I understand. I find it hard to believe that this is the case.

If the tour operator got:
the details off the web or
the details from a friend or
the details just cruising around in the area,
then I can't understand why his clients wouldn't want to share the knowledge, though I can understand why the operator wont.

For instance-just to make a point.
When I was at Kings Canyon I discovered a track that no one I have talked to knows about. It certainly is not on any maps. If you head west along the Mereenie for about 20 kilometres the track is on your left just before a yellow veer left sign. I have followed this reasonably good track for about 100 kilometres and it is heading in the general direction of Docker River. Although I cannot say for sure I believe that it is a road that directly connects Docker River to Kings Canyon. How many Kms would that save on a trip from Perth to Alice?
I have no problems telling anyone that infomation as all I was doing was going for a Sunday afternoon drive.

I understand sometimes that it is good to keep knowledge to yourself. For instance if I set off to go and have another look for Patience Well (Gibson desert) it would be silly to reveal my research prior to going but I would have no dramas releasing that infomation when I got back.

At the end of the day I knew I was going to hitting a brick wall with this topic as soon as I posted but I don't mind. It's going to be in the next 4Wdriver mag anyway. I just like cruising around seeing as much of the country as I can - it just is easier when you have as much information as possible.

Regards

Equinox

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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 18:13

Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 18:13
If a guy gets his livelihood from his tagalong trips , and he has spent many years building up his knowledge and contacts in the WA deserts , why would he give all this away to you Equinox .

If he was a commercial fisherman , and you were an amateur fisherman and you asked him for his best spots , what would the pro tell you to do Equinox . And yes , that pro got all his knowledge just " just cruising around in the area ".

I would be happy to give anyone track info of trips I have done by myself .

Cheers ,

Willie .
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Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Saturday, Feb 25, 2006 at 08:20

Saturday, Feb 25, 2006 at 08:20
Equinox
If the tour operator got:
the details off the web or
the details from a friend or
the details just cruising around in the area,
then I can't understand why his clients wouldn't want to share the knowledge, though I can understand why the operator wont.

We share our knowledge on every trip that's why people come with us.
The web hasn't been around that long, before "THE WEB" and gps we used things like paper maps and a compass.

Peters parents own 100,000 acres in a particular part of the cape. A well known mag gave details for this and gps coordinates for parts of it.
This was a top idea so people could wonder in and out as they liked remember is private property.
Some clowns came in and shot stock horses cattle and damaged the home site. Even now people come on and move into the shack for a period of time leave rubbish around and eat emergency food.

Many of our clients share there new found knowledge with there freinds then there freinds come along with us.

People these days don't have as much time on there hands any more and don't have time to plan Trip's as you know it can many many many hours to plan a trip to new place. In this new modern era people don't have that time that's why they book on tag along or even over seas trips.

All the best
Eric

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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Saturday, Feb 25, 2006 at 18:40

Saturday, Feb 25, 2006 at 18:40
Eric do you think the growing availability of info affects tourguide business? with extensive tripnotes available on the web (Here) and in books such as the Discover Oz book (I think the one with cathy savadge and the landy) for all popular destinations like the cape and Simpson etc.
.If so how do you get around it? by offering more "Services" or concentrating on places away from the norm/areas requiring PP access.
Genuine question not having a go - just interestd
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Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 09:15

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 09:15
Dave our CyC tag along started in 1992 for the next 9 years we were doing approx 8 trips to the cape a year and that was 25 days and 28 day trips.

Then the world of gps and the internet appeared the trips slowly dropping off.
But the amount of people, say in the cape got more.

These days you can do just about any trip you want from a book or lap top or similar.

Also in those early days the mags would do readers choice trips with us we did about 8 all up then got a good spread in the mag about the trip.
We also did a few with a leading suspension company.

But these days they become cds with all gps points etc the mags do them on there own backs.

Also people don't have the available time to do the longer trips so we only do 18 days now in the cape.

Another thing that happened Peter And I both have our own families and it was harder to be away from home for 3 months of the year.

What we try to give our groups is knowledge of the area and we have Peters family property, we try to give a good overview of the cape and give novices confidence in there 4wd .

We decided to mainly to advertise on the internet and use word of mouth and a few other things to promote ourselves.
We only do one cape trip each a year now which suits us fine and peter does a canning and or Kimberley's trip mainly by invitation.

I hope this wasn't to long winded.

All the best
Eric

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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 10:04

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 10:04
Thanks
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Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 10:20

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 10:20
Davoe I gave a very long reply and all I got was thanks are you scared to ask another question in case you get another long winded answer.
LOL

If you do want to know anything don't hesitate to ask.
I will try and give shorter answers LOL.

All the best
Eric
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 11:01

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 11:01
The long answer was appreciated as it answered my question. it sounds like the Tag Along business is pretty tough nowadays. A few that I know and also including fishing charters do it part time coz it is hard to fill regular charter/tours
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Follow Up By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 13:26

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 13:26
Equinox,

Obviously I've got too much time on my hands, but I checked Oziexplorer 250K maps of the area West and North of Kings Canyon and 1, you're right about there not being/showing a track 20ks west of KC. But there IS one heading NW after you go over the pass/lookout that ends up in Kintore, which is a long walk from Docker :-)

Not sure how this relates to this thread, but I guess it supports the tag alongs that do their own research and don't rely on what looks possible on Oziexplorer.

Tim

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Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 15:53

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 15:53
Davoe I was only talking to Peter about this on Wednesday.
We both have the same thinking that our trips to the cape are limited.
May be another 3-5 years.

All the best
Eric
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FollowupID: 411381

Reply By: lindsay - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 18:19

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 18:19
I know a bloke who tried it and turned around one day in because of staked tyres. Apparently previous fires had burnt bush and the roots, hidden by sand staked tyres and he got sick of mending them. I have his plotted track somewhere.
AnswerID: 156706

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 18:50

Thursday, Feb 23, 2006 at 18:50
Willie

I will be at Warri around the end of June, so will look out for your tracks and maybe take shortcut to the Calvert Ranges.

Cheers
AnswerID: 156715

Reply By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 08:51

Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 08:51
Hi Guys
We did the trip last September. There isn't a track at all, although we found faint wheel marks here and there, it’s cross country. We had a great time and also had about 15 punctures in 4 vehicles in two days, take lots of plugs.
We followed as closely as possible the route taken by Peasley when he searched for Warri and Yatungka.
The aboriginal art was awesome at Yowyanga Gorge and Calvert Range.
I encourage anyone remotely interested to take the trip.
I believe Western 4wheel Driver magazine will publish a story about this trip in the autumn edition.

Cheers
Phil
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‘Human Being’ and ‘Being Human’.





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AnswerID: 156810

Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 14:06

Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 14:06
Phil ,

The rugged country and the isolation mean that I could never take a trip like this outside of a tagalong - I just do not have the mechanical skills required .

I am really looking forward to that section , but we are more likely to take 3 or 4 days because we have a good look at everything along the way and take it pretty slow to avoid staking too many tyres .

Murchison have made it all possible . They do not do trips like " DO THE CSR " or "DO THE SIMPSON" or " DO CAPE YORK " , they do out of the way , interesting places , and if they do get onto the CSR it is only because they need to to get to an interesting spot along it somewhere .

Cheers ,

Willie .
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Reply By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 17:21

Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 17:21
Hi Willie
I agree with you its not travel on your own country - too isloated.

I am aware of the excellent reputation of Murchision Tours and Alick and Willemenia the hosts. We bumped into them at the Calvert Range in 2004. His whole party were having a ball.

Hopefully the info I've provided might help someone to put their hand up and get the tour happening.

By the way I have submitted a Trek Note, plt & wpts for Exploroz to publish. Michelle is flat out at the moment - they get to it soon.

cheers Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 21:34

Friday, Feb 24, 2006 at 21:34
Hi Phil ,
I was with them at the Calverts in 2004 so we have met ! That was abrilliant trip . So much great rock art .
Thanks for your help .
Willie .

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