Collison Track

Submitted: Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 08:11
ThreadID: 54588 Views:2527 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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Has anyone here driven the Collison track from Home Valley - Oombulgurri - Kalumburu?

Planning a Kimberley trip and would like to know if this is a feasible alternative to following everyone else along the GRR. I don't expect it to be easy, but is it sensible for a party of 3 well equipped 4WD's whose drivers know how to use them?

John
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Reply By: Willem - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 08:26

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 08:26
John

One track I haven't done. I knew some blokes in Darwin who went that way many years ago and had some fearsome ranges to cross with lots of winching.

Not sure about access these days or if the track has been upgraded in any way. Getting a permit might be a bit tricky. Still you never know.

Good luck


Cheers
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Reply By: Member - andrew B (Kununurra) - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 09:19

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 09:19
Gday John

I have been considering a bit of a trip along what I think is the same road. I have made a path on google earth along what I think is the track you are talking about - heads toward Faraway Bay crossing the Berkley river nnot far above where you can get a boat to from the sea?

On google, most of the track to the berkley looks in pretty good nick (haven't checked the date on the photo's) I will be in contact with a 'local' whho has good contacts in the area in about a month, and may be able to give you some more info later.

If you want the track file I have (It is incomplete at this stage) I will be on the computer where it is stored in a couple of weeks (work, but only done on my own time, honest) I can email it to you in kml form, and whatever gps file form you use.

It does look like a good trip, but it depends, some tracks end up a slog with little reward at the end, and some are unassuming and end up at fantastic places.

I'll MM you in a couple of weeks with the info I have......don't be afraid to give me a friendly reminder, brain like a sieve at the moment

Cheers
Andrew

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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 09:47

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 09:47
Hi Willem, Andrew,

Thanks for your comments.

Andrew - I think we are talking about the same track. I'm wrong in calling it the Collison Track, though it seems to pass through the Collison Ranges; I think it's actually called the Carson River Track, Carson River station being at the Kalumburu end. The track shows on the latest Hema Kimberley map, though not earlier ones. Now I have that map I can probably make sense of Google Earth (GE) . This area is very little travelled, but with enough old tracks visible on GE to make it hard to trace a sensible course. Easy enough to get lost sitting in front of a computer - would be serious on the ground! I'll mm you and send you the map image. If you are building a track file, suggest get hold of the latest electronic Kimberly map as a good starting point. I'm doing much the same to make an OzExplorer route. Be happy to swap files, and very interested to hear of anything you learn from your local sources.

Regards

John
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 23:05

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 23:05
John

I have been on part of the Carson River Track. Actually drove fromthe Kalumburu Road to Theda Station to the Carson River Escarpment, then north to Carson River Station and then out across the Drysdale River to King George Falls. Lots if 4x4-ing in a Suzuki. Do not recall a track coming in from the east but this was 1986 so memory is faint. You can read some of this here

Image Could Not Be Found

Image Could Not Be Found



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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 08:41

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 08:41
Willem,

Thank you for that, and the link to your trip report. Fascinating, and how things have changed in 20 years. The GRR is still no highway, but not the challenge you described 20 years ago. Add a gps and remote area travel is totally changed.

The track I'm contemplating won't have changed much though. It follows roughly your route from Carson River station north along the Drysdale, then east to cross the King George about due east of Kalumburu (quite some distance upstream from the falls). It then more or less parallels the coast south to Oombulgurri and Home Valley.

Excellent photo from the top of King George Falls. Unless you have others, it may well be the only one ever taken from there! I'd love to get some more, but prudence may prevail.

Cheers

John
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Reply By: PhilD - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 23:17

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 23:17
Did a little of it in July 2007 at Drysdale end. Was slow going to avoid washouts but passable. However was told by a reliable source (which I cannot recall exactly) that was impassable further up due to big washouts. Suggest you talk to someone in Oombulgurri as CALM told me that the locals use it from time to time to travel to Kalumburu. Also, get 50000:1 digital maps from Greg Harewood 0402 141197 as there are a lot of disused tracks out there and you need really good navigation.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 07:30

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 07:30
Thank you Phil. I'd like to do this track, but it is increasingly sounding as if the ratio of pain to gain isn't favourable! Will discuss it with our party and follow up with Greg.

Regards

John
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Reply By: Dodgin & Weavin - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:00

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:00
Hi John

Drove the track you refer to a few years ago.

Slow, rocky, tricky creek crossings, jump ups, washouts. Very remote. Very little traffic.

Need to be experienced in remote travel (ie more than GRR, Tanami, Cape York etc type stuff), well prepared (including things like tyre repair gear) & not alone. Also need local advise, good maps and be ok with knocking your vehicle around a bit.

Have heard some interesting stories about people in all sorts of trouble trying this track. Be careful.

Need permits to travel through Oombi land and another to travel through Carson River Station. Don't try it without permits. You need to drive through the Oombi Community so you will be spotted. Friendly enough mob but like to know who is roaming around on their land.

Cheers

Dodgin
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 12:28

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 12:28
Hi Dodgin,

Thanks for your comments. Since my original post we've done a fair bit of offline research and spoken to a number of people from the area. The general consensus is it's too hard, so we've decided not to attempt the whole track. If the folk at Carson River are agreeable we might try a sample at the western end, but we've learned that the eastern half (at least) is simply not worth our time and effort. Don't mind a little bit of track building, but spending hours building washed out track so we can move on to the next washout just isn't as appealing as it might once have been!

Thank you everyone for your input. One of the positives to emerge from looking at this option has been the people we've spoken to and come to regard as friends. It's a big country out there, and there are many good people in it.

John
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