Arkaroola - umberatana - yankaninna - owieandana

Submitted: Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 20:08
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Hi again

Planning has progressed for my trip to Innamincka in May. The route home is now likely turning south from the Strzelecki through the Northern Flinders. We thought we might camp overnight in the Gammon Ranges and a track from Arkaroola that passes by the above homesteads looked particularly interesting. It's shown on the Desert Parks map.

Is anyone familiar with this track?

Is it public or private and if it's private does anyone know who we contact to get permission?

Is it true that there is camping near Owieandana?

Appreciate any advice.

Thanks
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Reply By: Willem - Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 23:17

Friday, Mar 27, 2009 at 23:17
Hmmmmm.....I drove that way around 2002. Came through the Gammon Ranges NP and out again turning north past Yankannina and Umberatana. In those days Umberatana was the only place occupied.

I have a feeling that the track towards Owieandana may be fenced off as a mate got lost out there a couple of years ago and told me about it. I don't think it is an issue driving those tracks as they are connector roads between stations. You could do the reverse to what I did and come from Arkaroola to Umberatana, then Yankannina and back into the NP. There is camping at Grindells Hut as I recall and there are interesting tracks throughout the park. Contact the Gammon Ranges NP HQ at Balcanoona. They should be able to give you updated info.

Whilst travelling that route I did not see any one. So if your trip is out of school holidays you might be lucky

BTW Owie means Water in the local aboriginal languages

Cheers
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Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 00:29

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 00:29
We drove from Arkaroola on station roads through Umberatana and Yankaminna and Owieandana in 2006, . From Arkaroola to the Umberatana homestead, the track had ridges of sharp rocks and hadn't had a lot of use. We were told these are public roads. We had a hand out map from Arkaroola, and tracks were unsigned, so the track we left Arkaroola on wasn't the one we originally intended as we missed that one - it was signed into the Park i recall. We continued on past an old mine and through a gate onto the sharp stony track through Umberatana.

Our intention was to go through the Gammons from this side, and the track was through a gate. We started out on it, and being unsure if it was the right track, and the fact it had a lot of sharp rocks and we were by that stage only carrying one spare tyre, we turned back and continued south to the road that runs to Copley, then west and north back to Arkaroola where we had left the caravan. We thoroughly enjoyed the drive through the stations and got to speak to people on the stations, which was of interest to us as farmers.

No advice on camping spots along the station tracks.

We did the full circuit drive in the Gammons another day, and as it took quite some time, we were glad we didn't try and cross from Yankaminna. We would also have missed on some of the circuit if we'd cut through.


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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 16:07

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 16:07
I just looked up the leaflet - we went out of Arkaroola and past the Wheal Turner Mine ruins.

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Reply By: Member - Mick O (VIC) - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 09:09

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 09:09
I also did thhe track out from the Gammons in 2006 towing the Camper trailer. We left Arkaroola and headed out west past Bolla Bolana Spring and the old mine. We headed down to Umberatana whicxh still had residents and then down to Yankannina and headed back into the park and the 4x4 loop, camping at Grindells Hut. The track was rocky but navigable. The station country is something else entirely different. It must have been hard yakka putting those fences in. They are public roads and providing you remember to comply with instructions and shut gates, you shouldn't have any worries. The camping at Arcoona near Owieadana is still operating (for a fee) as far as I've heard.

Cheers Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 16:12

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 16:12
Hi Mick

A bit about Arcoona in the following lik for HDHunter.

http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/pdfs/BROCHURE_VULKA_GAMMON.PDF

Mh
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Reply By: wendys - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 18:12

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 18:12
2007 did a circuit from Arkaroola, past Bolla Bollana as mentioned above, then Umberatana, Yankaninna, had a look at Arcoona camp area (nice - a bush camp area, no facilities) then on to Mt Serle and back around through Balcanoona. Was quite a long day. We saw no other traffic from Arkaroola to Mt Serle. Had intended to cut through from around Yankaninna into the Gammons and back that way, but the track was closed - got the impression it was permanent. Another day we went into the Gammons from the eastern side and drove the internal circuit drive - that takes a while, too.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 21:51

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 at 21:51
Hi Wendys

We certainly underestimated the time it would take on all our drives in the area. Thanks goodness we turned back from the track to the Gammons near Yankaninna - a trip through the Gammons would have been a bit too much. On the way back to camp at Arkaroola, we raced out to the Sulphur Springs; it was a lovely drive in the late afternoon sun. It took us some hours doing the whole Gammons circuit track another day - i think it was only 23 kms. We could see why part of it was one way only when the track seemed to disappear - we got out to look over the edge and found it taking a very steep drop.

We saw no traffic on the station drive, but got to talk to the crew shearing at Umberatana. When we went through Yankaninna. there were two young men rounding up sheep on motor bikes, and we later got to talk to them at the Owieandana outstation homestead (right by the road) when they came in for lunch. It was a great day for us.

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Follow Up By: wendys - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 22:09

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 22:09
Hi Motherhen,
I remember well that part on the one way section where the track does that sharp turn on the crest. Quite scary. Arkaroola is a favourite of ours - 2007 was our third time there. Did you buy the Ridge Top tour? We do not very often do commercial tours, but that one is well worthwhile for any visitor to Arkaroola. Another day trip not to miss is right out past the Wheal Turner ruins, to the Yudnamatana ruins - a great spot to browse, with a remote and sad little grave yard.
That last trip, the area was so dry and drought affected, but while we were at Arkaroola, had a couple of afternoons of really spectacular storms - huge cloud build ups, lightning and deluges. Got some good photos. The rain in the area was enough to close the Strez and Birdsville Tracks for a week or so.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 22:46

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 22:46
Hi Wendys

Yes, we had to get out and look at which way to drop off the edge! Arkaroola was wonderful, but we didn't do any of their pay tours or drives. We spent three days there and spent long days touring around as it was - we always planned more than we could fit into the day. It was certainly dry in 2006 - the storm would be something special to see.

Mh
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Reply By: HDHunter - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 08:14

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 08:14
Thanks folks. Sounds like it's do-able but will need a bit of time
(which I'm not sure we will have). Much appreciate your input.

HD
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