Gary Junction Road

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 10:09
ThreadID: 6719 Views:2102 Replies:3 FollowUps:1
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Just back from a trip to the west.

Went from Marree to Boulia, road good, then the Plenty Hwy, or should I say fire trail to Alice, bad & stony. Lots of road trains pulling out stock and the road is wrecked. Met graders just east of Hart's Range headin towards Jervois.

The Gary Junction Road through Papunya & Kintore is pretty rotten, fuel at Kintore was $1.25 (no petrol) and what a sad, sad, place. We struck graders at the NT -WA border and the road was great to where it intersects with the Canning. We paid $1.80 for diesel at the community near Well 33. Cost $160 to fill up, nearly had a heart attack when I was asked to pay.

I did four tyres, two almost brand new & two not so new, bloody trouble is you don't realise they are down and until the tyre is completely deflated & the road noise changes pitch. Of course by then it is too late and, bingo, one buggered tyre.

If I ever do this trip again I'll invest in 8 or 10 ply tyres. The Michelen tyres that came with my Disco are OK for good roads and Europe, but on some of our bush tracks, no way!

Coming back along the Stuart Hwy it is obvious that the NT govt doesn't want people camping in their road side rest areas. They are making them very compact and close to the road, so there is little chance of getting back off the road and away from the traffic. One place we overnighted in was like an NSW coastal caravan park at Xmas. SA thank goodness hasn't gone this way (yet) & lots of places exist to pull off and camp overnight.

But gee we went through some pretty country, particularly in the western MacDonnell's and The Great Sandy Desert.

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Reply By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 10:49

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 10:49

I am travelling the Plenty Hwy in September. Did you see any unleaded petrol prices/availablity at Tobermorey, Jervois, Atitjere, Gemtree?

Any tyre problems on the Plenty? Was there much water? How was the scenery?

CheersJust Do It!

AnswerID: 28595

Reply By: dickwho - Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 16:59

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 16:59

I got diesel at Jervois and paid $1.25, two bucks for a hot shower. They also have a small caravan park.

The country east of Jervois is pretty ordinary, mostly low scrub, however on the Qld. side it opens out a fair bit and you can see a fair way.

We went into Tobermoray and then drove out as we had enough fuel to get to Jervois & the place was closed, though they opebned the shop and we got an ice cream. They have a small caravan park which looked pretty good. Fuel as I recall was in the $1.30 range, though a more recent visitor may assist.

That place near Hart's Range cop shop was also closed, we were there on a Saturday and the joint was deserted. Didn't stop at Gemtree.

I did two tyres between Boulia & the bitumen just west of Gemtree, one picked up a a drill chuck (yes, true) and stuffed one really good tyre, not much of a swap really, my first spare said goodbye about 100 km east of Jervois after a stone cut into the tyre wall, so I had the pleasure, I don't think, of travelling to Alice Springs with a real dodgy second spare. I pulled a moderately loaded camper trailer & my vehicle was not overloaded, though there were three of us.

There are places where the road is really rough, I was told low pressure works & the opposite about high pressure. My advice is get 8 or 10 ply tyres, at least on the back, as that seems to be the problem axle, and run at about 30 PSI.

Plenty of places to camp as there are not many roadside fences, though, we were visited by the 'cocky' but we bribed him with some coldies & we got to camp for free!!!!! The Georgina River crossing looked promising as a place to stay as there was water in the river, though that was the only water we saw until we got near Marble Bar and camped on the Ashburton.

Anyway, if I can give any other help talk to me.


AnswerID: 28617

Follow Up By: albert - Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 23:39

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 23:39
I'm a bit surprised you saying you met some graders in the NT. We came through to Alice from the border at Docker River about 2 weeks back and the road is a goat track. I didn't think they had any graders!

regards, Albert.

FollowupID: 19935

Reply By: Williewags- Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 19:00

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 19:00

Sounds like you had a great time. Yes, the NT Goverments of both political persuasions have been steadily making it harder for travellers to camp on the roadside. The caravan parks association puts pressure on the government so that travellers are 'forced' to use their facilities. This has been happenening since the mid 90's. But there are lots of places to camp including Telstra Towers and old WW2 airfields or station tracks.

Could you please tell me what the distance is between Alice and the community at Well 33. Is there petrol available at the community? I would like to do that trip but will have to carry a hell of a lot of petrol.

Fitzmaurice River NT
AnswerID: 28630

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