Gunbarrel Highway WA in a corolla

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 18:38
ThreadID: 46624 Views:2989 Replies:15 FollowUps:8
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HI also does anyone know if you could do the Gunbarrel in a 88 corolla, its a fine dirt road is it not??
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Reply By: ZukscooterX90 (Qld) - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 18:44

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 18:44
Why not they did it in horse & buggies.:)
AnswerID: 246625

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:21

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:21
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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY (VIC) - Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 12:42

Friday, Jun 15, 2007 at 12:42
Gday Willem
I wish that you wouldn't ask hard questions
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Reply By: kimprado - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 18:53

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 18:53
Here's the recipe: Take one perfectly good Corolla and....

I'm thinking about doing it on a Vespa next time around!


AnswerID: 246627

Follow Up By: Trev50 - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 02:27

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 02:27
Hey Kim,
It's been done on a Vespa.
A gentleman from the WA BMW Motorcycle Club did it in the 80's on his way to the (now defunct) Centre Rally at the Alice.
I've seen a photo of it in the bar at the Giles Weather Station.
The poor thing had broken in two, and the front half was at one end of the bar, with the back end at the other.
It was welded back together and finished the trip.
Personally, I think you'd be better off carrying it on your back than riding it.


FollowupID: 507504

Reply By: troyza - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:01

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:01
So i take it irs easy then! shes an old girl though, corrigation might pull her apart!
AnswerID: 246631

Follow Up By: kimprado - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:12

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:12
Piece of cake mate. Just attach a bucket to the front end and iron out those corrugations.

There'll be a few knockers on this site, but don't take any notice (providing the Corolla is the right colour).



FollowupID: 507432

Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:02

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:02
Hahahahaha...and its not the Friday Funnies yet!!!

Yeah mate. You can do the Gunbarrell in your Corolla. But I doubt if there will be much of it left when you reach the other end as the corrugations are severe.
In places there are 4 to 5 tracks where people have made new tracks to stay off the corrugations...but they are all corrugated.

You will
A. Most likely lose the exhaust and muffler
B. Lose the fuel tank or put a hole in it
C. Bugger all of the tyres and the three spares you will have to carry
D. The bumpers might fall off
E. The engine might fall out
F. Worse things may

The Gunbarrel Hwy was built in the 1950's and has not been graded since. Graded road might start 100km out from Carnegie Station but the loose rocks on that road might shred your little car.

Not a good idea.

AnswerID: 246633

Follow Up By: Member - Mal B - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:47

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:47
put it in a boxed trailer and tow it with a proper 4x4 that way all the bits that drop off wont cause any damage to others good luck mal b
FollowupID: 507443

Follow Up By: Member - Luke (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 21:44

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 21:44
A) You dont need an exhuast and muffler out there, car doesnt need to be quiet.
B) mmmmm fuel tank might be a problem. Stone gaurd will fix that.
C) What if he let the tyres down to about 25psi, would that make a nicer ride?
D) Tie the bumpers on or just leave them behind.
E) He might be walkin
F) Refer back to E.

lol :)

Cheers Luke
FollowupID: 507473

Reply By: MintabiePete (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:51

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:51
I have not been out there for a few years , but I went from the Alice to Warakurna to see my youngest son when he was working there in a little 1976 model Mini minor with no problems and went back and forward from the Alice to Mintabie Opal fields for a long time in that little rocket and never had too many problems with it , and that would have been around about the late 80's . Just bear in mind that your little Corolla is not really suited for that kind of travel and treat it accordingly and be kind to it , and you will get through . I have seen many of our indigenous brethren travel in the same sort of car as yours right through the anangu pitjantjatjara lands and a lot of times they got though , but they usually took their time , and if they never , well they just walked away , and left their vehicle :)
AnswerID: 246644

Reply By: Member - Jack - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:51

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:51
Willem ...

Yeah .. but apart from that?????

The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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AnswerID: 246645

Reply By: Peter 2 - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:52

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 19:52
It is not a good dirt road, definately 4wd territory and plenty of them succumb, fearsome corrugations and long sandy sections.
The Great Central Road would be ok but would still knock the corolla around but the Gunbarrel definately not for a 2wd.
Mind you the 'locals' do ok in Valiants, Falcons and old Holdens but they don't have to worry about getting home ;-))
AnswerID: 246646

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 20:06

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 20:06
Inspired by Jeff Carter's "Great Book of the Australian Outdoors" and Jack Absalom, and the Leylands, in 1977 to 1980, I did the following trips and dirt tracks in a 1969 Corolla Wagon:

- Syd to Perth - including Pinnacles track at Cervantes, and a heap of sand tracks
- Central Aus: Tibooburra to Merty Merty, Old Strez, Dig Tree Rd, Cordillo Downs road, Birdsville Track, North Flinders and Arkaroola, Oodnadatta track, William Ck to Coober Pedy, Coober Pedy to Erldunda and along the Corrugated Rd to Ayers Rock and Olgas; Kings Canyon Rd and 4wd track to reedy's rockhole, west and east MacDonell Ranges,
- through floods in Nth Qld and Atherton Tableland
- western Qld
- Another Central Aus trip taking in all the usual sites

The Corolla had a sump guard, bullbar, and a tropical roof. Had a 27MHz radio for emergency comms. I destroyed a few tyres, and repaired a heap of others using a scissor jack as a beadbreaker. I had an extra leaf in the rear springs, lost the oil out of a front strut, and a bunch of other minor mechanical probs. Fuel tank was protected by the spare tyre. Carried spares for carby, fuel pump and distributor, bars leaks, epoxy etc etc etc

So, what about your 19 year old front wheel drive Corolla??? Is it as good as the 7-10 year old KE16 I had??? I don't know.
These days I'm not young and stupid, so my advice is don't bother. But the chances are that you'll make it, but theres a fair risk that you'll trash the suspension on the car, and might be dependant on passing travellers for help. The corrugations on the Gunbarrell are amongst the best :-)))

AnswerID: 246651

Reply By: macy - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 20:24

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 20:24
are you asking about the Gunbarrel Highway or the Great Central Road?

Gunbarrel Highway Not likely!!!!!!!!!
Great Central Road with extreme care!!!!!!!!
AnswerID: 246656

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Nullagine) - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 20:59

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 20:59
I suspect like many he is mistaking the GCR for the Gunbarrel and for the GCR the answer is yes. I used to have an 89 camry and it would have done a far better job on the GCR then my leaf sprung 4 by
AnswerID: 246661

Follow Up By: MintabiePete (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 22:36

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 22:36
Yeah well years ago we used to reckon the Gunbarrel Highway started around about where they built the roadhouse at Eldunda at the turnoff to Ayres Rock , this is a bit of what I googled , there was a bit more dirt around then and the tourists were just starting to come especially when they finished sealing the Stuart Highway

The original Gunbarrel connected Carnegie Station in Western Australia to Victory Downs just north of the Northern Territory/South Australia border. This route is almost never used since some parts of it are abandoned or prohibited for tourist vehicles. The Gunbarrel as it is loosely defined nowadays runs from Wiluna to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and includes part of the Great Central Road, the Heather Highway and the connecting road from Wiluna, West of Carnegie Station. This is how it will be described in this article. The trip can be made in both directions, but we will travel from west to east.
FollowupID: 507480

Reply By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 23:07

Wednesday, Jun 13, 2007 at 23:07
The only way you could do the G B Hwy in a Corolla is if you hired one, you wouldn't do it in your own.LOL

Cheers Steve.
AnswerID: 246681

Reply By: Member - Ian S (NT) - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 00:53

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 00:53
Hey Couzin,

my bruddas couzin he did it in a falcon but it TOO big so corolla GOOD. be sure to roll car over every 200 k so you can rub its belly (like they do) but you be right.
See ya Wiluna
Ian@Mt Dare
AnswerID: 246690

Reply By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 07:34

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 07:34
Why not it's a TOYOTA isn't it?
Apparently they can go anywhere, (must be tue because I saw it in an add)
AnswerID: 246698

Reply By: Des Lexic - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 08:22

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 08:22
A couple of years ago, we were travelling the Gunbarrel and we met 3 old Chev's. A 35, a 36 and a new one. (Well it was new in 56 when it was built)
They had been on a rally and were heading for the Alice.
One was towing a camper trailer and the new one was towing a caravan albeit VERY slowly.
I had to tow the one with the camper up a bit of a hill cos it had a minor problem.
Well only a little bit minor cos the tailshaft had broken and they then took one car and the tailshaft to Warburton for repairs.
Actually, the amount of repairs that they had to do on the trip would have made most people back but they were afterv adventure
AnswerID: 246710

Follow Up By: Member - Greydemon (WA) - Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 18:05

Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 18:05
Amazing what some people will try. I saw a caravan on the Great Central Road having a lot of problems and that is a Freeway compared to the Gunbarrel.

I am surprised that the good folk at Carnegie Station didn't talk them out of it. There are a few dead trailers along the Gunbarrel but I have yet to see a live one.
FollowupID: 507623

Reply By: ozwasp - Sunday, Jun 17, 2007 at 03:01

Sunday, Jun 17, 2007 at 03:01
Depends if you mean the Gunbarrel Hwy or Great Central Road. They both start at the Ayers Rock and head west to Warburton where the great central road heads south west towards laverton and kalgoorlie, while the gunbarrel hwy goes west towards wiluna.
I went west to east 2 years ago on the Great Central Road from Laverton to Ayers Rock and found the road to be very easy that a Porsche could have done it with ease. It is a little bit corrugated on the NT side, however does get graded during the tourist season (May - October). You should check on road conditions with the local police before you set off and obtain a free permit online as it aborginal land- Try the Yulara or Alice Springs Police on the east side and the Laverton Police on the West Side... Most of it is on the west.
Car wise... Ask yourself what you would do if it broke down??? An 88 Corolla is probably worth less than $2000 which is what it would cost for a tow from somewhere remote, so have a plan of what you'd do.... Just make sure you carry Oil, radiator hose tape (for repairs), plenty of distalled water(its drinkable), 2 x CHEMIWELD (to fix any head gasket problems), a second spare tyre and check you oil water and tyres every day before you set off. There are a few people on the road so you won't die, but don't expect a lift from everyone.
Not sure about the Gunbarrel Hwy - Most people confuse the 2 so I'm guessing you mean the Great Central Road.
Also buy a few 20Litre Jerry cans as there aren't too many places to get unleaded fuel out there and its about $2 a litre anyway.. so the jerrys will pay for themselves.... Its about 1400km from Laverton to Yulara and I think Warburton would be the only fuel stop.
Use your common sense and don't put yourself at risk as your about half a days travel from the nearest hospital (by plane) so a small incident can result in death.
Heed the warnings everyone will tell you - DON'T DRIVE AT NIGHT - KANGAROOS!!
Have a nice drive,
Cheers, Will.
AnswerID: 247357

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