Navigating Innamincka to Birdsville via Walkers Crossing - how difficult?

Submitted: Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 10:53
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I take off from the GC on April 4th on a Birdsville and back trek with a couple of mates. We're taking it slowly and won't be in Innamincka until the 8th. From here we can go to Birdsville via Cordillo Downs (been there, done that more than once) or go via Walker's Crossing onto the Birdsville Track. The latter is the shorter route (though not necessarily as far as time goes but I suspect it is).

I remember reading on a couple of websites that you can get lost in this area if you're not careful so I'm not sure if this is necessarily a wise option. I've crossed the Simpson, transversed the country, through the middle, from west to east etc so I'm not afraid of a challenge. My vehicle is well equipped.

Any advice, previous experience, GPS way points etc you could give me would be helpful. I have a Tevion GPS navigator but it doesn't do GPS waypoints and I don't know if it would take any of the outback maps you can get on an SD card. I can get a very basic GPS navigator (waypoints and route only in black and white - it's a very old Garmin) from work and wonder if I can utilise this. It worked a treat in the Simpson in telling us, in waypoint code, where we were, how high we were, etc.

All help, advice and previous experience would be appreciated. The other thing at the back of my mind is that the recent rains may eventually take Walker's Crossing out of the equation anyway.

Cheers

Holden4th
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Reply By: Footloose - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 11:07

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 11:07
I suspect that you could be correct about the rains.
A good plan is to use an old laptop with a GPS and grab a copy of Oziexplorer and then use Natmaps or similar.
These 'moving maps' are of far greater value in the bush than just a GPS. Mind you, as you know, any GPS is better than none. When I did the Simpson there weren't any GPS invented :))
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 11:27

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 11:27
Have a look here:
http://www.exploroz.com/TrekNotes/Deserts/Walkers_Crossing.aspx

Main issue is that many of the SANTOS roads are mistaken for the main route because they are a lot better.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 15:43

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 15:43
We did Walkers Crossing last July. Its quite an interesting, easy drive but navigation through the Santos roads could be a bit tricky, but straightforward if you are running OziExplorer. Often the WC track looks like a minor road compared to some of the well maintained by restricted access Santos roads. You need to keep a careful eye on the signposts.
Definitely a dry weather track so if the floodwaters have reached the Cooper by then it would be a no go. Watch the approaches to the grids as some have worn out pretty badly.
Although its remote, in some places there is the sound of machinery running constantly from the oil and gas installations.
We found a good campsite to overnight at Gidgealpa Waterhole. It was clear that we were not the first to have camped there, though I have since read somewhere that there is supposed to be no camping on the WC track.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 23:22

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 23:22
Val,
Walkers Crossing track is a PAR. As such you are allowed to camp within a stone's throw of the track.
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Reply By: Harry - Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 21:09

Monday, Jan 28, 2008 at 21:09
G'day,
Did Walkers in 06 and it can be pretty confusing around Moomba, but..... turn into the Moomba road for the complex and head straight on in towards the buildings and such, when you get to where you think you might be in the wrong spot, there is a track which veers around the south of the main entrance and it continues westward.
A few k's out there is a track to the north and there is a sign which says Birdsville from memory, someone could correct me if wrong. There is a left turn further on which still says Birdsville.
Now it becomes a track and slow down as there is one particular grid I went airborne and speed was only about 40k's.
Once over the Creek the gibber allows for faster travelling, but it's still a fair trek into Birdsville.
There is a faster way out from Innaminka to Walkers, but you are coming in from south.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 20:27

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 20:27
Pretty confusing??? You're always confused :-))

40 K's yeah right, I was there remember, more like 140 for you :-) anything less than a Troopy and it would have broken in half.
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Reply By: Holden4th - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 19:41

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 19:41
I'm not sure what you meant by "You're coming in from the south'? If you could elaborate it would add to the info I've gathered so far.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 20:34

Wednesday, Jan 30, 2008 at 20:34
He means coming in from the south off the Strezleki Track heading north towards the Moomba Plant Front gate.
Then turn left when you hit the gate and go around to the west of the plant.
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