4WD from Adelaide to Alice Springs

Submitted: Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 00:39
ThreadID: 64717 Views:3347 Replies:5 FollowUps:6
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Hi Guyz

We are planning a trip to Australia and are planning to travel during the third week of April from Adelaide to Alice Springs with a 4WD vehicle through some outback tracks.

We have already found a lot of information on this great website (many thanks by the way), but were wondering whether the trip we envisage is not too difficult. We are two rather unexpirienced 4WD drivers (comming from Belgium we drive these vehicles mostly on paved roads in 2WD mode).

Please find hereunder the places we would like to visit (I know the itiniraire still needs some work). We would basicaly use the Oodnadata track but use also the side roads to visit the painted desert and lake eyre. Reading the story about the tourists that got stuck on their way to lake Eyre got us kinda worried. So we would like to know whether this trip is too difficult or not. We would envisage to rent a 4WD Safari from Britz.

1. Adelaide - Wilpena Pound
2. Wilpena Pount - Mulloorina
3. Mullooeina - Coward Springs
4. Coward Springs - Lake Eyre
5. Lake Eyre - Coober Pedy
6. Coober Pedy - Oodnadata
7. Oodnadata - Dalhousie Springs - (Mt Dare)
8. (Mt Dare) - Dalhousie - Blood Creek - Finke
9. Finke - Ayers Rock
10. King's Canyon - Alice Springs

Any feedback is helpfull.

Many thanks in advance

Gert & Emmelie
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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 05:32

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 05:32
Hi guys. That trip is quite do able , even for novices. A couple of pieces of advice, if I may.

1. Remember to stay on the correct side of the track.
2. Make sure that you know how to change a tyre, and where the gear to do this is located in your hire vehicle.
3. Travel to conditions. On bush tracks 80km/h is plenty, not 120!
4. Take extra water.
5. Make sure that you have some form of communications on board, just in case things do go pear shaped.
6. Don't rush it. Bring a sense of humour and enjoy yourselves.
AnswerID: 342170

Follow Up By: Member - Tony B (QLD) - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 07:30

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 07:30
Footy has good advice. I would also carry a good tyre pump and make sure when you are on sandy tracks to let your tyres down. 18 psi should do the job (Carry a tyre gauge), drive a bit slower when you do this. Also Carry a small spade/Shovel just in case you get bogged. Have funh and enjoy the country, its great. Cheers Tony
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Follow Up By: DIO - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 10:43

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 10:43
By referring to 'gear' to change a tyre doesn't mean it can be done automatically. Gear is a 'slang' word in Australia for equipment. So make sure you know where the equipment (wheel brace/spanner and jack) are located in case you need them. I would also suggest that you make sure that you have an E.P.I.R.B. (Emergency Positon Indicating Radio Beacon - sends signal to satellite when activated and summons help in event of emergency)l These are often available from vehicle hire companies such as Britz.
Finally and this is another thing many overseas tourists fail to accomplish, that is to know how to activate 4 wheel drive and or low range if required for difficult terrain. Find out from the vehicle hire company.
The reference to things 'going pear shaped' is another Australian slang word meaning 'when things go wrong'.
You may hear other such words (slang) when in Australia and they don't always mean what you might initially think. Ask for a 'translation'.

Happy and safe travelling.
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Follow Up By: Gert & Emmelie - Saturday, Jan 03, 2009 at 22:37

Saturday, Jan 03, 2009 at 22:37
Hey Guyz

Many thanks for your helpfull feedback, it is very usefull.

We have one additional question though. Do you have advice about buying a cheap tyre pump (and tyre gauge). We have checked with the rental company (Britz) and this is not included nor do they separately rent them.

We have noticed that there are already different threads on this forum about compressors, etc, but we would be looking to buy a cheap one that would just do the trick in case when we would got stuck. We would only use them on this trip (or maybe later trips to Australia).

Already many thanks for your feedback.

Gert & Emmelie




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Reply By: Member - John - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 07:28

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 07:28
Gert & Emmelie, On the way from Kings Canyon to Alice, call into Rainbow Valley, on the right after the camel farm. Also a good over night trip from Alice is a visit to Chambers Pillar.

The only other thing I would say, if you don't all ready know, is learn about tyre pressures suitable for outback tracks etc, makes it much easier on the tyres and the vehicle.

Have a great trip.
John

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (SA) - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 08:18

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 08:18
Gert
From Mount Dare, travel to Finke via Old Andado and the Old Andado Track. This is a very under rated track in Central Australia and takes in all types of driving. It should be high on your list. We have travelled it 4 times and will do it again.

Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 08:28

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 08:28
Hi Gert and Emmelle,

As Footie has said, this sounds a great trip and is not too challenging. You will see some very attractive country.

A few thoughts -

(you might care to have a look at our "Destination Kimberley" blog on this site for some information on our recent trip through some of the areas you're planning on.) Shopping - there isn't much opportunity to buy food away from the "major" towns. Around Adelaide, Alice Springs and Yulara no problem, also Coober Pedy and Leigh Creek, but options are pretty limited elsewhere.

When are you planning on coming to Australia? Not in summer (November to February) when it's very hot in central Australia?

A good place to stop for the night is Farina (an historic abandoned town) - great for rough inexpensive hospitality.

Another good overnight option is in the painted desert - we stayed some years ago at Copper Hills, and there are other stations there who welcome visitors too. Very spectacular country and the warmth of the hospitality is something special.

Dalhousie Springs is a must. Very special place and expect to spend some time in the water. Mount Dare is an essential fuel stop and a chance to buy an ice cream, or even a meal or to sleep in a bed!

From Mt Dare, you might consider travelling to Alice via Old Andado, rather than the more obvious track through Fink. (The Fink track which will take you more directly to Ayes Rock.) Suggest ask the folk at Mt Dare about the condition of the Old Andado track; the southern part was very heavy going (rutted and lots of bulldust) when we were there 6 months ago. Travelling by Old Andado will give you a small taste of the red sand dunes of the Simpson Desert. If you did travel this way it might be worth travelling with another vehicle (it's not unusual to team up with someone else for the more lonely stretches. It's good for both groups to have the security of the second vehicle). Overnight at Old Andado to meet other travellers and enjoy a hot shower (there aren't a lot of these out there!)

As you leave Coober Pedy heading north, do a loop around through the Breakaways. this is a minor detour through some awe inspiring country. (Get details from the local tourist bureau people.)

Allow time to explore the country to the east and west of Alice.

Just a final comment - Footie has mentioned the need to carry water. Carry lots, enough for a week is good practice, though you will probably not need it. Communications - mobile phones do not work away from the bigger towns. A cheap handheld UHF radio will allow you to talk to other travellers over a few kilometres. Possibly your hire vehicle will already have one fitted. The other options are well covered on this site, though hiring a satellite phone (expensive) is probably the obvious option for a visitor. You will be spending some of your time in fairly remote areas, so please make yourself aware of the safety issues which are dealt with very well on this site and numerous other places.

And above all - have a great trip.

John


J and V
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 11:39

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 11:39
"When are you planning on coming to Australia? "

"We are planning a trip to Australia and are planning to travel during the third week of April from Adelaide to Alice Springs with a 4WD vehicle through some outback tracks. "
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 12:19

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 12:19
Thanks Hairy - marvelous how I can miss the obvious. I had this vision of our friends arriving in the heat of summer and suffering. In fact their timing is excellent.

Cheers

John
J and V
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 12:26

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 12:26
Yeah mate...I think its an automatic assumption. LOL
Cheers
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Reply By: Member - Mal and Di (SA) - Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 21:48

Friday, Jan 02, 2009 at 21:48
In June of last year we went to Alice Springs via the Oodnadatta Track. An invaluable booklet is "Oodnadatta Track - The Outback Travellers Guide" which I bought through this site. It was all fairly easy but take note of the advice given here ref tyre pressures, speed etc and have a great time. Look forward to your report after it is done.
M.
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