Would YOU tow a Boat to Kalumburu

Submitted: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 20:50
ThreadID: 58069 Views:5001 Replies:9 FollowUps:2
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I have a large 'tinnie' and tow it to Booroloola and Cairns each alternate year from Sydney. Thinking of going west this year in July - August and maybe talking to boat to Broome and beyond.

Is the Gibb river road and Kalumburu out of the question?

The 5.8m aluminium boat on a tandem axel trailer.

Any knowlegable comment welcome.

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Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 21:12

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 21:12
HI Rog,
We have a 580 Quintrex Freedom Cruiser (also a big tinnie) on a single axle trailer. Whilst we do tow it to Ningaloo Station (Sth Lefory Bay area) there is only about a 2hr dirt road section and some sand driving on final approach and setup, we would not tow it to Kalumburu. That said however, last time we went to Kalumburu we said we'd never go back without our own boat. The area does indeed to be enjoyed by boat however the damage to your boat is not worth it and for our money, we'd opt to hire a boat from the "locals" or at least far for a fishing tour, as we did last time. Of course, there's nothing like enjoying a trip with your own boat, but the GRR and the Kal Rd is a huge trip to tow a boat along. Just our opinion - hope it sheds a useful point of consideration.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!

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AnswerID: 306194

Reply By: Member - andrew B (Kununurra) - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 21:56

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 21:56


The above (if it works, if not its in my rig pics) got out there a couple of years back with the only damage being to the mudguard mounts - who hasn't brocken them!

I don't know what tyres you run (or can run with the tandem), but my theory was the biggest tyres I could easily get under the boat (265/75 r16, same as car), and ran them at about 18 pound from memory. I was willing to sacrifice a tyre or 2 for the sake of them taking most of the vibrations and corrigations etc. Not a problem with them for the trip. We also went slower than most, although past a number of people who over took us when they were changing tyres/fixing stuff etc!

Well worth having a big boat up there, when we were there the only other boats were rooftoppers, they went after bream in close due to the wind chop. we could go where we liked and got some nice cod and red emperour.

A better option may be the barge for your boat transport - you will save fuel and wear and wear and tear, and may also be able to take a lot of your own fuel at wyndham prices rather than community prices.

In the end it is up to you, but well worth the effort IMO. Crack a can, take it easy and you wont have a problem!

Cheers Andrew

PS I know a couple of not so secret spots if you want a bit of info...
AnswerID: 306206

Follow Up By: Member - andrew B (Kununurra) - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 22:00

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 22:00
Bugger, this might work, took this when we got back...
Image Could Not Be Found
FollowupID: 572217

Reply By: andoman - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 22:05

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 22:05
Mate we were up at kalumbaru last year in july and there a couple of boats that big out there the road from king edward river to kalumbaru was ok the road before that was pretty bad you will need a good stone gaurd and equally good suspension it will be a slow trip mate but the rewards of the fishing are awsome we stayed at mcgowan bay and camp was great and the caretaker is a good bloke he was talking about spending some money on the joint and if he does what he had planned to do it will be very comfortable good luck mate .
AnswerID: 306209

Follow Up By: Grandma June - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 21:47

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 21:47
In 2006 we stayed at McGowan's. Great spot but fishing at the time wasn't that awesome even if you had a boat. The caretaker took my husband and 1 other as paying clients for 1/2 day which was an OK catch, but kept postponing any further trips. Just didn't seem interested in going out too much. If it's still the same caretaker he was talking about doing the place up then. We found oyster collecting more rewarding than fishing in the end. Otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable camp.
FollowupID: 572382

Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 22:09

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 22:09
I've got a mate from Shep who purpose built an off road trailer for their Stessl Edgetracker 385HD for just that purpose.

Parabolic springs, off road rims & tyres to match the 4wd & under boat storage. The boat sits up quite high on the trailer.

They've towed it to Kalumburu at least 4 times and up to Nhulumboy (?spelling) once.

The fish they've caught at Kalumburu defy belief. Big jewys by the half dozen, spanish mackeral and every type of reef fish.

Hope to join them on a trip some time.

I wouldn't say that the travel hasn't been hard on the boat, but I'd say it definately has them hooked.

AnswerID: 306211

Reply By: PhilD - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 23:55

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 23:55
I have towed a 5m side console to Kalumburu twice in the last 3 years. It rides on a custom built Belco trailer with independent suspension, shocks and L/C tyres. It rides very well but still the trailer takes a bit of a beating on the road from the turnoff to Kalumburu. Fishing is superb and worth the effort. Just go prepared to fix things if necessary and have a very strong trailer with adequate rollers, etc. Make sure your motor is supported sufficiently. Go once and you will want to return! There is so much fun to be had up there.
AnswerID: 306228

Reply By: Cape York Connections - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 06:20

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 06:20
Take a boat then you will have somthing to do.

All the best
AnswerID: 306236

Reply By: Oldsquizzy (Kununurra) - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 07:43

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 07:43
Is that something fishing or welding...grin...
A lot of people during the year tow boats up there, most make it with out a problem..Of the others we have to retrieve a fair few.
One of the main things you notice is the ones you retrieve have a common factor..low or no maintenance, rusted springs and ubolts, water in bearings, rusted frames or just not suited to off road.
Long twin shackle springs, At least a slim line bearing axle for extra strength. Long wooden slides with teflon runners so boat is supported for most of its length and tied down well. and if you have the space load the engine into the boat not on it.
Then it comes down to common sense...That seems to be the hard one. Other than that have fun.
AnswerID: 306244

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 07:44

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 07:44
G'day Rognet,

Certainly don't think it is out of the question. We have taken a camper trailer there and I feel that taking a well preparred trailer of any sort should be OK. A boat there is just superb and we fished out wide in out tinnie for some great fish.

I think though that comparing that trip to going to Cairns and Booraloola would be wrong as there is a lot more dirt and corrugations involved. The track from Drysdale to Kalumburru was very corrugated when we went.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 306245

Reply By: Rognet - Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 09:44

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 09:44
Thank you all for your input.

The comments are generally positive as long I have done a 'BIT' of preparation. I will see what I can do about fitting shocks to a Dunbier trailer and supporting the Honda150 better on the transom. I don't leave for a couple of weeks. So I think we will have a go as they say.

Thank you All

Rog & Net
AnswerID: 306264

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