Cattlewater Pass

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 11:03
ThreadID: 56459 Views:1643 Replies:8 FollowUps:9
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Does anyone have an opinion on whether this track is best done North to South or South to North? We are planning to do it as a day trip from Alice Springs soon so are free to travel either direction.
Thanks, Karen
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Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 11:14

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 11:14
I haven't done it for sometime, but I would think either way is fine. Adding it will be a long day trip, especially if you want to visit some of the Gorges in the East MacDonalds. Try and make it an overnighter as there is plent to see in the region.

Enjoy
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Follow Up By: doctorI - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 14:30

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 14:30
Thanks Landy,
We are prepared for a long day - with the main focus being Cattlewater Pass. The beauty of living in Alice Springs is that we don't need to explore every nook and cranny in one trip. We have done the Gorges on various occasions but not the Pass. And we missed out on the local 4WD club trip there last year due to work commitments.
Karen
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 13:24

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 13:24
Fair enough, I didn't realise you lived there. The East Macdonalds is a great area!
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Reply By: Member - David P (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 13:00

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 13:00
Keep the sun behind you and go down hill...... (TIC)...silverback
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Follow Up By: doctorI - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 14:44

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 14:44
Hi David.
Not sure about keepng the sun behind me but as the Front Seat Passenger (and pretend navigator) on such a trip perhaps I need to work out how to best avoid having the sun on my side for the whole trip (LOL)
Karen
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Reply By: mfewster - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 13:51

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 13:51
I think it does make a difference. Going north to south later in the afternoon, the sun on the views looks great, especially if the wild flowers are out. I would rather be looking at this through my front windscreen than looking back over my shoulder (It may vary somewhat at different times of the year. I've done it a few times around Sep/October) Good camping spot around 23.08.08 S 134.33.94E At the base of a big red rock face which gives lots of shelter and backdrop for the photos.
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Follow Up By: doctorI - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 15:29

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 15:29
Catching the late afternoon colour is a good point - and one disadvantage of the single day trip. Not expecting many wild flowers though. Average rainfall Springs for Feb and Mar is 49mm. This year we have had 6.2mm in that time and Arltunga has received even less.
Karen
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Reply By: Trevor W(Brisbane) - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 15:15

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 15:15
We drove through 5 years ago so it may have changed but there was a sudden Jump up around a right and then hard left turn towards the Intersection with the Plenty. We came from Ruby Gap, but if you were going South ,this would be a quick drop off that might catch you out if you were going a little quick.Have a good trip and I wish I was out there with you.Loved Ruby Gap and the isolation of the Gorge.
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Follow Up By: doctorI - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 15:31

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 15:31
Fore warned is fore armed. Thanks Trevor
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Reply By: mfewster - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 15:51

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 15:51
Trying to get the late afternoon sun and do it in one day would be a problem. I'd suggest 2 days, spending early part of day 1 around Gemtree and Ruby Gap, or just leave Alice later. Camp at the spot I suggested perhaps and give yourself time the next moring to wander around Arltunga. The museum and ruins are well worth some time and then you can pick up some of the other East Mac sights on the way back in the afternoon (if you haven't already done them.) Ross River hometead (if now open again), Ndhala Gorge (with some interesting indigenous art), Trephina Gorge and Jacks Water hole all worth checking.
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Reply By: Anthony (Vic) - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 16:59

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 16:59
Last December we travelled from Ross River to Gemtree but did not go via Catlewater Pass on advise from Ross River Resort.

Instead we took the track a bit further to the West of Cattlewater Pass (but can't recall the name) which was ment to be a bit less rough. It still took 4 hours to get to Gemtree going the way we did.

Maybe you could call Ross River Resort and ask them what the condition of Cattlewater Pass is like?

cheers Anthony
AnswerID: 297604

Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 19:26

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 19:26
Gday,
Id say the road you took was the Pinacle road?

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Anthony (Vic) - Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 21:59

Wednesday, Apr 09, 2008 at 21:59
Thanks Hairy for the memory jog .... Pinnacle track was the one.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 08:29

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 at 08:29
Gday Karen,
From your exploroz name, I'm guessing you work at the hospital. I met my wife at Alice Springs Hospital in 1979, when I was a medical student, and went travelling on weekend day trips too. Had a quick look at the hospital last year on the way through.

We've done cattlewater pass twice from the south in recent years. Nothing spectacular, but a nice piece of country through Harts Range. As mentioned, theres a short steeper section that none of us ever had trouble with. I don't think it matters which direction you come from, but if you come from the south, you might want to come back via the pinnacle track, time permitting. We've camped at the clearing at cattlewater pass itself on both occasions.

Cheers
phil
AnswerID: 297718

Follow Up By: doctorI - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 12:30

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 12:30
G' Phil

Right conclusion but with the wrong logic.
I am the Doctor and I am Karen's hubby. I have a PhD in applied physics but don't work anywhere near the hospital. However, Karen does work at the Hospital (Pharmacist). So you are both right and wrong. -- Lesson -- Don't trust assumptions.

Anyway, we drove the loop anticlockwise from Alice on Thursday with a bit of a look around Arltunga on the way through and a lunch stop half way up the pass (going South to North). The scenery is just magic like most of the scenery around here. I did not need to lock the centre diff or use low range at all so it was a pretty easy track, it just has many sections with lots of friendly vegetation.
All up we had a good day except our 7yo daughter who refused to take a quell (motion sickness preventing tablet) and was subsequently car sick twice.

Doctor I
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 14:53

Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 14:53
Doctor I,
Thanks for the feedback. Glad you had a good drive through Harts Range - Central Aus is certainly full of great places.

Cheers
phil
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Reply By: Member - Jock M (SA) - Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 09:40

Friday, Apr 11, 2008 at 09:40
Karen
Ask Jol Fleming www.directfourwheeldrive.com.au or Denis Bratling at Opposite Lock Alice Springs phone 89533988

Regards Jock
AnswerID: 297954

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