Alice Springs to Broome

Submitted: Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 20:30
ThreadID: 34263 Views:1900 Replies:7 FollowUps:13
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I've been reading the posts on the Gary Junction Road, Telfer Road, Wapet Road, Rudall River etc. We were going to go up and back to the Kimberley via the Tanami but now think that the Gary Junction etc would be an interesting alternative. We're booked in to a cp in Broome and that gives us five days from Alice Springs, getting to Broome on the sixth. Is it realistic to go via the Gary Junction in that time? Is it ok to travel by ourselves or should we wait and travel through that area when we have another vehicle with us?

I'd appreciate any advice and information...

Viv
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Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 20:45

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 20:45
Viv, going flat out I'd anticipate 3-4 days to well 33 from Alice, 2 days on the Kidson and 1/2 day to Broome. That's if you don't have any delays and drive all day. I was out there last year and got stopped by rain. (well and truly).
Even though I'm on those tracks solo shortly, I wouldn't recommend a single vehicle. It's usually quite remote, especially the Kidson. If you do a clutch or radiator....its a long way to anywhere.
Of course if you are used to travelling remote areas by yourselves, forget what I've said, you already know it.
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Follow Up By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:09

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:09
Footloose, I answered you but pressed the wrong button...and put in in reply not follow up...thank you for answering my question ...
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Reply By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:07

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:07
Thanks for that. Seems to me that I might be best advised to do a lot of homework, have a lot more time and find some others to do the trip with. Even though we've done a fair bit of travel off road we haven't been on any of the really remote tracks. That's going to change I think but first best to get better prepared and do a few smaller trips first.

I'm not giving up on doing those things lightly but I don't want to push ourselves or our vehicle and not enjoy what we're doing and seeing.

Thanks, Footloose. I think I was like a kid at the lolly store..I wanted to try everything... The time will come though.

Viv
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:16

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:16
Viv, and when the time comes you'll have a ball.
I guess its like any track, you can find it a dream run, or a nightmare. Now as long as you're dressed for the nightmare, it isn't so bad. But if you're not...well its a long way from nowhere.
And if you're on your pat malone and in a hurry...Murphy is always at your elbow :((
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (QLD) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 04:25

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 04:25
Hi Vivien
The Gary Junction is a good drive, I done 2 runs out there last Sept' to Kiwirrkurra and was lucky as most of it was graded and the reached the WA border on the last trip. you might be a bit early for the grader if he does it same time each year, I escorted Houses out there and I still can't work out why these people all of a sudden need a house to wreck after 50,000 years without one, ....white Do-gooders
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Reply By: Member - Nick (Kununurra) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:16

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:16
We drove it last year as a different track to the Tanami as well.We were in a hurry(but had time if needed)and arrived in Broome on the sixth day.First night just out Glen Helen,then near Kintore,next Jupitor Well,next 1/4 of the way along the Kidson Track,then Sandfire RH and Broome.Now we struck the GJR in smooth as condition,just graded and apart from a few deep sandy sections you could easily sit on 100kph.The Kidson track was a pearler,slow,deep sand,rutted and narrow.There is no way I would do it on my own.We put in some big days but had a ball.
Its a great spot along these roads and I definately want to do them again.
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:23

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:23
Jupiter Well to 1/4 way up the kidson, then to Sandfire ? You must of been in a hurry. Last year I was flat out getting from Alice to the border in a day.
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Follow Up By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:33

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:33
Thanks Nick,

From what you and Footloose have said I can see that we have to find travelling companions and that we should wait for another trip. What I have learned from you two is that it's worthwhile to make the trip out there.

So, this year it will be up and back to the Kimberley via the Tanami. The best thing is that now I've got something to plan for next year!!!!

Viv
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Follow Up By: Member - Nick (Kununurra) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:36

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:36
Jupiter well to well 33 was great track as i said but it was a big day to Sandfire from Razor back bore?? especially as we had to do a weld job on a broken spring half way along the Kidson trk,didnt get into Sandfire until well after dark.
Normally youd want 10 or more days for this to have a good look and leasurly drive but we had to get to Derby to do the GRR and head off home again.Still glad we done it had a ball and carnt wait to get back into the desert.
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:40

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:40
Nick, yes you did well. I usually put in very long days, but I'm not planning on any night driving on the Kidson ! Or anywhere else on this trip.
Just out of curiosity, did you put any pix etc up on the web ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Nick (Kununurra) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:49

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 21:49
Yeah we lost a couple of hours winching the diff back in place and welding the spring up so without that we could have done it in plenty of daylight.
Have a few pics on our puter up here but most are back home locked up.Can send some to you if you dont mind putting up your email addy.
Loved it out there,didnt use a tent from Alice to Sandfire,just a tarp,its something special to wake up in the middle of the night stareing at the stars in the middle of the desert.
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 22:14

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 22:14
Interesting :)) How did you come to have problems ? Pix...yes please. jimshire1ATiprimusDOTcomDOTau will get to me.
Great to get some info on that track :))
Many thanks.
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Reply By: Willem - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 22:40

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 22:40
Vivien

It is an easy run from Alice through to Kunawarritji along the Gary Junction Road. I haven.t done the rest but will do so this year. I suspect the road from Kunawarritji through to Marble Bar will be OK as 2wd's access it regularly.

If you are well set up then it should not be a problem going on your own. Don't listen to the detractors who say that of something goes wrong you will be up the creek without a paddle. Most likely nothing will go wrong and you will have a marvellous time.

Enjoy
AnswerID: 174790

Follow Up By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 23:11

Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 23:11
Thanks for that Willem,

I would really like to go that way but was concerned that maybe it was foolhardy to do it alone. We wouldn't be taking the Wapet Road to Sandfire but, like you were saying come in at Marble Bar.

Now I'm a little confused but will give it more consideration. We leave home July 28th so have time to think about it and make a decision.

We've had our plans in place for ages and then today I started thinking that if the Gary Junction etc was realistic for us it would make our trip much more interesting.
Going up and back the Tanami is ok but would rather not double up.

I appreciate your thoughts and encouragement.

Viv

Viv
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Reply By: Member - Mike H (VIC) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 01:20

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 01:20
G'day Viv,
that will be a great trip trough there and you could do it in 5 - 6 days, provided it doesn't rain.
You didn't say when you want to do it.
A couple of years ago we went that way and didn't meet another vehicle betw. Pupanya and the CSR.

However if you do find yourself in trouble I don't think it would be more than a day before someone else came along, as long as you are not travelling during the hot months.

Just be well prepared and have Emergency Comms. with you.
Of course it would be better to have another car going with you.

I don't think you would have time to spent in Rudal River N.P.

Enjoy the trip,
Mike
AnswerID: 174809

Follow Up By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 07:12

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 07:12
Hello Mike,

We're going first week of August. Haven't decided what to do but would really like to go this way. Will give it a lot more study. Maybe we might be able to find some travelling companions!

All the best

Viv
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Reply By: Member - Andy A (WA) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 02:51

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 02:51
Hi Viv

Marble Bar was mentioned in some replies - please note that the shortcut from the Kidson to Marble Bar is heavily overgrown. For travelling to Marble Bar you would have to go all the way to the GNHWY and then heading south.

Cheers
Andy
AnswerID: 174813

Follow Up By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Friday, May 26, 2006 at 07:18

Friday, May 26, 2006 at 07:18
Andy,

I was thinking of going Telfer Road to Rippon Hills Road to Marble Bar. After that through Shay Gap to the highway. We went that way( through Shay Gap, I mean) in 1993, from Marble Bar to 80 Mile Beach. Is it still ok?

Thanks
Viv
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Reply By: Member - Andy A (WA) - Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 23:13

Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 23:13
Viv,

the road has improved a lot since 1993 but the mining town Shay Gap has been abandoned. Last time we have been through was winter 2003. There is more recent info on the road under postid 20817 on this forum.

There is a nice stop at an artesian bore (warm water!) on the left side of the road
(and very close to it) when travellin north. The turn off is approx 5 to 20 km south off the junction with the GNHWY. The distance is rather vague as I cannot find my notes anymore.

Have a pleasant trip
Andy
AnswerID: 175117

Follow Up By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 01:32

Sunday, May 28, 2006 at 01:32
Thanks Andy,
Thanks for the info that you have given me. I'll look up post 20817. Am really looking forward to it all ....

Best wishes

Viv
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