Gear list for the Gunbarrel HWY?

Hi guys. I am heading out with another 4WD from Perth to Ayers Rock via the Gunbarrel then up to the Kimberley.

I have some 4WD experience, mainly out-bush and sandy driving but neither of us have been on multi-day drives like this.

i have a 2005 dual cab hilux and my mate drives a 2007 Hummer.

Both of these cars are stock and we would like to know what each of us need for this trip.

We will be taking a camper trailer so shelter and such is not an issue but spares, tools and gadgets are, we just dont know what we need or what to take.

Any tips would be greatly apprecieated.


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Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 23:44

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 23:44
Simon, people camped next to us at Palm Valley did in three tyres near Warburton on their Cruiser with tray back camper. We had no tyre troubles. Every break down you or others may have on this or any road whatsoever will be different. A good basic 'get you out of trouble' mechanical knowledge would be about the best thing! Hopefully this trip will be as uneventful mechanically as any other drive you take.

Will you be going to the Kimberley via the Tanami?

After travelling on corrugated roads, each night check anything that can come loose or unscrewed.

We travel with a good supply of tools to be self sufficient, and alway carry two jacks on longer trips. We have ended up helping others out as well as ourselves, as have others stopped to help us.


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Follow Up By: kassysimon - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 23:52

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 23:52
Hi Mothernhen.

we might be going up the Tanami but our plans havn't reached that far yet.

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 00:04

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 00:04
We did Kimberley and NT in reverse to your plan last year, getting to the Gibb River Road in June, before the hoards and while there is plenty of water. We spent June along the Gibb River Road and surrounds including Kalumburu, July and into August Kununurra, Purnululu, Keep River NP in the NT, Duncan Road, Halls Creek, before heading through the Tanami, getting to Alice mid August. From there we toured the East and West McDonnells, Chambers Pillar and Rainbow Valley, Palm Valley, Kings Canyon, Uluru and Kata Tjuta before heading home to WA. We were away for a bit more than four months.


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Reply By: kassysimon - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 23:57

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 23:57
Hi guys.

i found the check list located on this site and is very useful though i have my first question regarding the recover check list.

I have a tow bar on my 2005 Hilux and two front recovery points but i dont have any rear recovery points. Since I cant use the tow bar as a recovery point where is it best to connect to or can i have one installed?

Thanks again.

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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 00:26

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 00:26
If your towbar is a Hayman Reece type, you can buy an insert with a tow hook or with an HD shackle. I am not sure, but at a pinch, with a normal one you could undo the ball and put on a HD shackle in it's place.

Have a great trip,

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Reply By: equinox - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 23:58

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 23:58
Hi Simon,

If you have never been on a multiday drive before, why don't you start off with just doing an easier run to the rock, like the Great Central Road. If you have never experienced the desert, there's not much difference between being amazed and being absolutely amazed.

If you choose to go out on a limb and do the Gunbarrel Highway from Carnegie onwards, remembering that shortly after Giles you are actually back on the Great Central Road anyway, just take plenty of water with you. There's plenty of traffic in season, and if you do get into trouble you could probably last for a few weeks anyway without food. However, if you go out of season, you may have to wait longer than a few weeks for help.

Alan (9th Generation Aussie)

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Follow Up By: kassysimon - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 00:05

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 00:05
Thanks Alan. We have considerd the Great Central Road as a means to getting to Ayres Rock faster.

Is The Great Central Road much quicker than the Gunbarrel?
Will we save much time?

We have only 17 days to go from Perth to Ayers Rock, up to the Kimberley and then back home.....

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Follow Up By: equinox - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 00:18

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 00:18
17 days is a long time, so you will have plenty of time to see many places.

The Central is a bit quicker as it is fairly easy drive, and the road is always being upgraded, graded. It's is a bit closer too as it starts at Laverton, via Leonora and the Gunbarrel starts at Carnegie via Wiluna. There's a lot more flushing toilets on the Central as well :)

There is more to see on the Central too as far a sites go, but the Gunbarrel is more exciting...Danger=Excitement haha..

17 days, wow, you might as well take in a bit of the Goldfields as well...

At least you're going to have a go, good on you!!!!!


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Reply By: PatrolSTL04 - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 01:20

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 01:20
Dont forget your permits.

Have fun.

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Reply By: Member - Wim (Qld) - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 10:44

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 10:44

We did the Gunbarrel last season. A really great drive and a must do.

My best advice as to what to take,,,,, take plenty of time, or you will break something.
A trip as long as your indicates you may be some what loaded down with gear. The suspension in the vehicles and camper will be worked hard.

Regards and have a great trip.
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July 2012 - Hay River & Binns track
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Reply By: DIO - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 11:24

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 11:24
Hope you're not planning to go until the summer temperatures abate and the 'wet season' departs. Any decision to do otherwise might see you stranded or worse still in a very 'unhealthy' situation.
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Reply By: Smudger - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 14:23

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 14:23
Don't be too daunted by the concept of being out there for extended time. The one thing that aways amazes me is the lack of attention some people pay to their vehicle while they're touring outback. They get it serviced & checked by a mechanic before they leave, then forget about it. Met one bloke who'd been on the track for 3 months and had not lifted the bonnet of his Prado once.
Very often big trouble can be avoided by doing 2 daily checks under the lid.
For fear of telling you how to suck eggs ..
At end of day's travel, pop the top and check for fresh signs of any fluids that might be escaping. (I do this with motor running, listening for any odd noises. Don't take the cap off the radiator !!)
Before starting up in the morning, have another look ..this when you check the radiator level. Also look for anything out of place ..dangling wires or tubes, look for puddles of red or green on the ground under the motor. (Green is coolant, Red is brake/clutch/power steering fluid) Check oil and other fluid levels daily.
Simple routine, so simple that many don't do it, but it's saved my ass a few times.
AnswerID: 346568

Reply By: offroad Bob - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 19:37

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 19:37
Hi Kassysimon
I have done the Gunbarrel a few years ago. The advise you are getting is good. To add to this.

Ensure your trailer is not the slipper spring type. There are plenty of abandon slipper spring trailers out there with smashed springs. Only proper double eyelets or better like independent suspension.

At night it can be so dark that if you step out of your camper for a quick toilet break without a light on you can get lost. We traveled in overcast conditions - so dark you could not see your hand.

It was so cold in June any water left out was frozen in the morning. Take thermal beanies and thermal gloves and extra jackets.

We had a small generator with enough watts to run the power tools we took. Check this. Tools - drill & bits & tek bits, 4" grinder & cutting & grinding blades. Also a small 300mm chainsaw as most proper campsites are devoid of any firewood. We would stop a few kms out chainsaw some decent wood and then go into camps.

Tube of metal cement. One of the vehicles sprung a leak in the radiator core that no radiator quick fix gunk would stop. We removed his radiator, pinched the core shut and plugged it with metal cement. Lasted for another year. In the NT my wife shafted her fuel tank - plugged it with metal cement - no problems.

Stainless steel welding rods & welding helmet or at least the welding glass. (you can cut a cardboard box around the glass.) Extra jumper leads and 3 vice grips. At least 2 or 3 spare batteries. My friend tore the front leaf spring mount out of his chassis rail. Arc welded it back together - still there today. Another on the trip snapped a front main leaf spring - pulled the entire leaf spring out and welded it back together - got them to Adelaide before changing it. Of course you need to know how to weld.

Must have a car compressor as some sand dunes might give you trouble - though most are easy. Still the compressor is great for topping up after patching flat tyres or clearing fuel lines.

Must have at least 2 spares for each vehicle and at least one for trailer. I set my trailer up with the same rims and tyres as the car. Also get some tubeless plugs - they're quick and easy - learn how to use one - I broke the insertion tool first time I used one.

Take spare wheel studs and nuts. On the rough tracks my trailer studs came loose - totally stuffed the rim and studs. Had to knock out all the studs on the side of the road and put on a new rim. My friend heard a knock slowing down one day only to find his rear wheel studs had loosened off. Again stuffed the rim and studs.

Take spare wheel bearings, grease, seals, clean up rags, and appropriate tools. I have smashed so many bearings - mostly on trailers - sometimes my fault for not repacking grease before I left - sometimes rough tracks or too many river crossings - lived in the Northern Territory for years.

Of course there is more - but I should let others put their piece in.


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Follow Up By: Welldone WA - Friday, Jan 30, 2009 at 01:47

Friday, Jan 30, 2009 at 01:47
Offroad Bob Is right on the money in regards to the winter "desert cold", it can be BITTER , so pack a hot water bottle for every member in your vehicle.
Take a spare of every filter/hose/fanbelt and a correct sized/volume container of every fluid the your 4WD requires
Practice at home changing and repairing a flat tire using only the equipment you carry in your car.
A small tarp to use as a ground sheet because sand and car parts is not a good mix.
Obtain the proper workshop manual for your vehicle, it will take the "mystery" out of most mechanical problems with step by step instructions and the proper torque wrench settings....Oh , and a torque wrench!
FollowupID: 614710

Reply By: Bushed-Tracker - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 21:01

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 21:01
Taking 17 days to do the Perth/Ayer Rock/Kimberley/Perth is a huge distance in such little time - what are you hoping to see? The daily push to go the distance will become a grind.

I would rather do a shorter trip - see more and relax and enjoy -smaell the roses etc....... but maybe you are into marathon driving.

More time = less breakage and much less stress

AnswerID: 346636

Reply By: x - Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 17:40

Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 17:40

Keep it simple.

Corrugations on the GBH are severe. So you will need spare amalgam and a small 12V dental kit.

Seriously, focus on tyres and cooling system.

At least two spares each and better your trailer wheels match the tow vehicle. Plugs and compressor. I like tyre temp and pressure monitors to avert catastrophic tyre failure.

U Need it, hoses, clamps, tape etc for coolant repairs.

Stainless steel wire and pliers for major mechanical repairs.

Keep speed way down to prevent vehicle dying in the dirt. Snatch strap so dead vehicle can be towed out.

UHF in each car.

Go for it. Have a great time


AnswerID: 347099

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