Gunbarrel Highway

Submitted: Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 15:20
ThreadID: 31478 Views:2406 Replies:9 FollowUps:2
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Hi All,

We are contemplating the Gunbarrel Highway (or Great Central Road as I understand it is now called) from Uluru to Laverton. I only have two references on it at this stage, (a) NRMA "Great Driving Adventures", not dated, which paints a very rough picture, and (b) "Caravanning Outback Australia published September 2000, which describes it as well maintained and suitable for conventional vehicles.

Our rig is a 1990 Prado and a Jayco high clearance Finch. Both have travelled extensively, the last trip along the Tanami Road without any great drama other than someone forgot to lock the fridge door... Tanami dust, Yogurt and green curry powder scaped off the floor goes well in sandwiches!

Has any body done the trip recently and able to provide a report on the condition of the road and any hints on good camping places along the way and the best maps to take?

Regards,

Graham T
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Reply By: Exploder - Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 15:54

Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 15:54
Have you looked at the write up on the site http://www.exploroz.com.au/TrekNotes/WDeserts/Gunbarrel_Highway.asp

Wanted to do the Gunbarrel last year but due to lack of enthusiasm from friends it never happened. :(
AnswerID: 158895

Reply By: Footloose - Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 16:03

Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 16:03
May I suggest that there is sometimes confusion between the Gunbarrel and the Great Central Road ? The latter is suitable for most vehicles in good weather, the same is NOT true of the former. It is highly corregated in places and even well set up expeditioners have shuddered as they shuddered along.
AnswerID: 158897

Reply By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 16:03

Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 16:03
Hi Graham
I have been over that road twice now, but as you would know dirt roads can change like the wind. The WA section is well maintained , if you see Scott in the Grader stop and have a chat, the NT section is not too bad , just drive to conditions, in 2004 i was with a convoy of heavy haulage and they had some problems [little rain] but got through ok [hush hush] second time was alone and not working , i did see off road type caravans , not many,The local ppl ??? cough cough get about in anything that has wheels, you will se many remains scattered along , remains of cars i mean ..you will enjoy the trip no worries, don't miss Giles Met' Station. Ave a good one mate.
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AnswerID: 158898

Reply By: The Explorer - Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 16:38

Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 16:38
Hello - firstly the Gunbarrel Highway is in reality a different road to the Great Central Road - the confusion is obviously widespread but easily clarified if you look at a decent map. The original Gunbarrel connected Carnegie Station in Western Australia to Victory Downs just north of the Northern Territory/South Australia border. This (entire) route is almost never used now as some parts of it are abandoned (i.e. not maintained) or prohibited for tourist vehicles (Aboriginal land requiring a permit).

Some define the Gunbarrel today as the road that runs from Wiluna to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park which includes part of the Great Central Road, the Heather Highway and the connecting road from Wiluna, West of Carnegie Station.

Anyway with respect to Great Central Road (and surrounds)
Best Maps are Hemas Great Desert Tracks
South West and South Central Maps

and Westprints Gunbarrel Highway Map which includes the Great Central Road as well (up to WA Border ie does not show Uluru)

Cheers
Greg

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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AnswerID: 158910

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew W (SA) - Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 19:13

Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 19:13
ummm.

I think Len Beadell defined the gunbarrel highway.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 19:26

Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 19:26
Yes he did - heres some blurb on it

Len Beadell

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Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: lizard - Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 19:18

Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 19:18
You are driving from Uluru to Laverton , so that is the Great Central Rd , you will have n problems with your rig - is the Prado a diesel ? There was no supply of ULP on Gt Central Rd for a few years , but I think there is two places now that stock it.
AnswerID: 158939

Reply By: Warrie - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 21:23

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 21:23
Out of date maps ( my Feb 2005 Camps 3!)say there is 815 km without ULP ie diesel only is available between Tjukayrla Roadhouse and Yulara. But in late 2005 the Fed govt announced that Opal unleaded would be available to be sold in that section.Maybe it is by now. Also you'll need a permit to traverse Aboriginal land - available in The Alice and Perth. Good luck, we had the permit but time constraints meant we tar hugged the Nullabor instead in Sept 05.
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AnswerID: 159188

Reply By: Member- Rox (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 23:43

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 23:43
Know of some one out there @ present no problems to date.
AnswerID: 159238

Reply By: Richard Kovac - Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 01:43

Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 01:43
Member - Graham T (VIC)

This is why people get confused

Gunbarrel Highway

Richard
AnswerID: 159248

Reply By: bevnles - Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 12:32

Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 12:32
We did this trip August last year in a Nissan X-Trail towing a Cub with transcontinental pack. Not officially an off-road rig. Road was rough but ok, fuel Opal unleaded (available at all roadhouses) and overnight at the roadhouses. Take time to stop and admire the scenery. Desert oaks are spectacular and country around Docker River magnificent. A lot of road work was being done west Warburton. May be finished by now. Camels on roads the biggest obstacle. Details on Post 27471.
Enjoy
bevnles
AnswerID: 159303

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