Strzelecki in a Forester?

Submitted: Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 15:55
ThreadID: 55867 Views:4576 Replies:14 FollowUps:4
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Hi all - first post, but longtime lurker on the site (so be reasonably nice ;) )...

A couple of years ago we camped for a while in the Flinders, and loved the place. One of the day trips we did was through to Mt Chambers. I was not only amazed at the great condition of the tracks out there, but the country side sucked me in big time.

We're now thinking about doing another trek, using the Forester and towing a Camper Trailer (nothing flash, but good quality) - wanting to do from Sydney to Menindee up to Cameron Corner, Old Strzelecki Track to Innamincka, down Strzelecki and turning off to head south to Mt Chambers then across to Wilpena (take breath now!).Google Map of planned route Also looking at doing Mungo National Park on the way back home!

The distance doesn't faze me - I am wondering whether I'm pushing my luck though with the Forester. Am thinking I should put better tyres on (any ideas?) - not sure about anything else I really should do.

So - what do you reckon? Is it do-able in the Subby? Any other pointers?

Also, am likely to be at Innamincka the weekend of the Annual Gathering - do you guys with real 4wd's eat 'soft-roaders' for breakfast, or will you be nice? ;)

Thanks all - looking forward to more trips, and sharing with you all some that I've already done.
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Reply By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 16:04

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 16:04
Mate....the Forester will Pith it in, could do thay in a Commodore,...not the one in my little Pic though

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AnswerID: 294419

Follow Up By: Louie the fly - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 19:11

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 19:11
I drove to Santos at Moomba to visit some customers in 2001 in an AU Falcon sedan. Did the trip easy. Had to slow down in parts due to corrugations, but an easy trip never the less. The Falcon was never the same. Mind you, I drove back to Yunta and on to Broken Hill. When I arrived the car needed some respite at the local (Ford dealer).
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Reply By: Kev & Darkie - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 16:10

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 16:10
We will accept anyone to the Gathering, well we had little choice with Kiwi telling us she was comming. But seeing as you asked so nicely, I am sure we would all love to meet you out there ;)

Cheers Kev
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He was presented with a difficult decision: push on into the stretching deserts, or return home to his wife.

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AnswerID: 294423

Reply By: Member - Paul C (NSW) - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 16:16

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 16:16
Leon, or is it Amanda
The fact that you are out there and enjoying it is good to see. There is always discussion on what is the best 4WD and no one will ever win this arguement.
Can't help with any trip advice cause in it's on my "to do list " one day.
Let us know how it goes.

AnswerID: 294424

Reply By: Crackles - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 16:50

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 16:50
The Subie will do the trip fine. Cutting through the Sturt National park & past Cameron's Cnr the road does cut up rough with corrugations but taken at a steady pace you'll be OK. Having owned an early model Subie I'd suggest packing as light as possible. Tyres are a hard call & depends how much of this type of driving you intend to do. An all purpose road tyre would do the job if it has 75% or better tread possibly with an extra spare. We ran rally tyres on ours which had a tougher sidewall & would be ideal. Carry a few additional spares & tools specific to the Forrester as it's unlikely many out there will have them. Check weather & road conditions prior to leaving Broken Hill.
Cheers Craig..........
AnswerID: 294434

Reply By: Keith_A (Qld) - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 17:36

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 17:36
Hi L/A - we were out at Coongie Lakes, west of Innaminca, when the Cooper was in flood in 2006, and along the track came - a Forrester - driven by two elderly statesman (around 80yo).

They were not towing, but the cardinal rule is - take it easy.
Take a good air pump, so you can drop tyre pressure if you need to traverse very soft sand, and you should have no trouble . (If it rains, there are some clay sections that could prove interesting).

We drove from Brisbane into Camerons Corner via Thargominda & Bulloo Downs, Sturt National park & Fort Gray (a MUST stopover).
We had planned to refuel at Camerons corner - but they had run out - of all fuel - so carry extra and plan for such unexpected adventures.

We run Bridgestones on our Forrester (but Toyo Muds on the Patrol).
Brilliant country (Get off and stop for the roadtrains) - ...Keith
AnswerID: 294446

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 17:55

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 17:55
Yep - the Forester should be as happy as any car on those roads (our friends took one up the Finke Gorge in 06). With the usual spares and maybe a second spare wheel (some sections of those roads, while flat, can be very stony), it should be a winner.
AnswerID: 294454

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 18:32

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 18:32
No problems with a bit of common sense.

Came across a subaru impreza on the Strezleki, and my friend in a 63 rambler ute has done it with a standard van on the back.
AnswerID: 294464

Follow Up By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 18:33

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 18:33
PS - forgot to add, now if it is wet, another story :o0
FollowupID: 560339

Reply By: Oldman - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 18:38

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 18:38
Hi I went from Coober Pedy - Williams Creek - Marre - Flinders last year in 2003 Forester towing a Cub offroad Camper (around 700 unloaded)

I had Cooper tyres - onroad ones.

I did not drop tyre pressure at all (I had no problems but would drop them next time ) I did get a puncture driving on the bitumen earlier though.

Main problem I broke a back window - bounced off the camper.

The road was interesting and mostly drivable. This was not long after the heavy rains last year so the road had lots of ruts and some soft spots. Saw a Land Cruiser dragging his camper out of the mud - he was driving to fast and - well thats another story.

But overall it was doable in the Subie- but ask the locals and the various agencies before you go - it would be or could be a nightmare if wet.

AnswerID: 294467

Follow Up By: On Patrol (East Coast) - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 19:55

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 19:55
I agree with Oldman, I did that area in my then Subie Outback fitted with Cooper Lifelines. Great trip. I never would go out there with just one spare however, I blew one tyre near Innaminka in such a way as to render it useless (my own fault, I cut a corner and gashed the sidewall) and had I not carried an extra spare would have been worried for the rest of the trip, carrying no more backup tyres.

The vehicle is great for such a trip. Heed the advice given here and you will be comming back for more.

I love it so much that I bit the bullit and went for a larger 4wd so as to get further out into the back blocks.
FollowupID: 560361

Reply By: John R (SA) - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 18:47

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 18:47
A few years ago I took a commodore ute from Broken Hill through to Longreach, via the Dig Tree.

Took an extra tyre for luck, and was part of a small group.

The tracks were mostly good wide graded dirt with no real dramas. With the exception of one small navigational error which took us down a road made mostly from hockey ball sized rocks.
They formed a large ridge in the center of the road. Scrubbed out most of the inside of the tyres negoitating that one! Fortunately I'd fitted a bit of checker plate as a sump guard which also helped!

Anywho, can't see you having too many dramas per se.
Take it easy (and a few spares!)
AnswerID: 294468

Reply By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 19:35

Monday, Mar 24, 2008 at 19:35
You'll have a blast! We had a subie forrester loaded come with us nearly 2 yrs ago...tob - innamincka via cameron corner, birdsville, even went up Big Red with an L plater driving, up and over to Alice, down Oddnadatta....

Its did endup needing new shocks as they had hte water on the same side everyday behind the passenger seat...sat a little lop sided!!

Have All terrain typre tyre, carry lots of water and lower your tyres, can be very sandy at the best of places....give your self some confidence and safety and put on a sand flag too.

Hope to see you at the Gathering....(im the Kiwi that Kev was talking about....he's right, if I can go....anyone can...!!LOL!!!)

AnswerID: 294476

Reply By: Andrew - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 09:34

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 09:34
Hi Guys
Have had my '98 Forester through Oodnadatta track, across the short cut to Ayers rock and around Kings canyon and Larapinta drive, Cooper Pedy, Litchfield, Marree, Leigh creek, Fraser Island. Mostly overloaded (3 blokes) and travelling quickly, I'll learn one day.
Eventually replaced self levelling rear shocks with pedders as they couldn't handle the continuous corrugations and wore out.
Use bridgestone 693's for all my outback driving. Kept puncturing the HT tyre with stones punched through the tread. The 693 AT's track better in the soft stuff and last longer and haven't punctured one yet. Don't carry a second spare due to lack of room but do carry repair gear to get out of trouble. varying tyre pressures depending on surface makes a big difference to comfort. Carry a compressor. You can get away with lower pressures in the subie because the vehicle is light relative to the tyre size, very useful on the dirt. Typically run 36-40 psi on bitumen and 25psi on corrugations or down to 20 psi if corrugations are real bad and the speed is kept below 70.

Great vehicle, Go enjoy.


AnswerID: 294554

Reply By: The Landy - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 12:18

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 12:18
Most have covered this off very well. However, the question often comes up about which vehicles should be taken where. I'm a great believer that most will go anywhere, but preparation is key.

To put some context on this route you are talking about, people used this route, in what we would call vintage vehicles these days to get to shearing jobs at properties that dot this track. Some even travelled as far north as Cordillo Downs on bicycles.

The key to any outback travel is preparation. Enjoy your trip!
AnswerID: 294581

Reply By: Member - Sheepie (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 12:29

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 12:29
Thanks all so much for the great feedback - very impressive :)

I've put our name down for the meet at Innimincka - if this trip gets off the ground (and at this stage I can't see why it wouldn't) then we'll be there that weekend anyway, so I'd better say hello now you've all made me feel so welcome!

I've also changed the name that appears in the forums so it's a bit clearer who you're talking to - real name's Leon, and I'm another Kiwi ;) I know at least Aussiechef from elsewhere, maybe a few others.

And I've created my first bog entry if anyone's interested - it gives some details of the Flinders Trip I mentioned above.

Again, thanks for the advice - keep it coming :)
AnswerID: 294584

Reply By: Holden4th - Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 20:12

Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008 at 20:12
Your only problem is clearance and if it doesn't rain you should be fine but expect to possibly scrape the bottom of your Subie in some of the sandy sections. Apart from that, no problems with sensible driving but do take a 6th tyre just in case. I' of out there in 10 days. It's fantastic country with local people to match!
AnswerID: 294704

Follow Up By: Member - Brian B (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 17:14

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 17:14
I have just found this thread and wondering if we are talking of the old track from Merty Merty, and if the old track is possible after if reaches the road east from Moomba after it enters the Regional reserve. And if so is a pass required to do it. Would like to know as we will be in the area in four weeks.
FollowupID: 563651

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