mereenie loop/ chambers pillar

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:20
ThreadID: 67703 Views:3221 Replies:6 FollowUps:9
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hi all can you tell me wether the mereenie loop NT is suitable to travel with nissan xtrail towing trak shak camper during june/july also would the road to chambers pillar from alice springs and back be suitable as well . last time i travelled to these was in trusty hilux 20 yrs ago i now have young family and want to show them some of these sights
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Reply By: get outmore - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:22

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:22
unless its changed the loop road is just a normal dirt road except fairly corragated
AnswerID: 358911

Follow Up By: dthomas - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:50

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:50
thanks for info also would you recommend booking any campsites/caravanpark during june/july
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Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:28

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:28
You have to take into consideration that the Xtrail does not have great ground clearance. So care will have to be taken on the Mereenie Loop road.

There are a number of soft dunes to cross into Chambers Pillar and the road to Maryvale Station from Alice isn't all that flash but the Xtrail should be OK

Drop your tyre pressures on your Xtrail and van so that you don't shake the bodies to bits on the corrugations
AnswerID: 358912

Follow Up By: dthomas - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 09:11

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 09:11
willem

thanks for your info any other suggestions of places to visit while in nt we plan to travel to ayers rock, olgas, kings canyon, alice springs then back down to coober pedy etc home to adelaide hills
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 09:31

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 09:31
dthomas

Well there is Owen Srings Reserve, Rainbow Valley, Western Macdonnels, Eastern Macdonnells and Arltunga, Ndhala Gorge and so on


Cheers
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Reply By: dthomas - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:44

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 08:44
thanks i will take any info/tips into consideration and also ask about rd conditions before i make decision wether to travel the loop and to the pillar
AnswerID: 358915

Reply By: Member - Mick O (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 09:26

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 09:26
The road south from Alice to Chambers sees a lot of traffic so whilst a good road, it is often very corrugated. They were doing a lot of work on it in July of last year but the raffic from the Finke 500 usually puts paid to that. The Meerenie Loop is similar again. Good road but quite corrugated due to the amount of traffic it gets. Just a matter of backing it off and having the low tyre pressures to assist the shockers in doing their job.Ormiston Gorge is a great place to have a wander and has a good camping area. Gosses bluff is a must see up that way as well.
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Follow Up By: dthomas - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 10:10

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 10:10
hi Mick O is apermit required out to gosse bluff etc
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 10:13

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 10:13
yes a permit is required for the whole loop road and was available for a small fee and includes a small guide booklet from the alice TB as well as hermensburg - absalutly no hassel to obtain
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Follow Up By: HGMonaro - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:03

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:03
when we were there 2 years ago, you had to obtain the Meereenie loop permit the day of travel. Couldn't buy it the night before! May or may not effect your travel plans.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:09

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:09
Hi HG Monaro

We found some flexibility with the Pass but left it to purchase at St Helens on the way through. They allowed us a date range of a full week, as we were going to spend a few days at Palm Valley. I think it was a flat $3.30 per car (specifying passengers by name). People who purchased at Kings Canyon Resort were charged a rate PER DAY, and it was $5.50 - may have even been per person. Voyages must have a mark up on the sale.

Mh

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Follow Up By: HGMonaro - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:57

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:57
interesting, and a much more sensible solution.

We bought it at Kings Canyon (we were heading to Glen Helen) but it was $2.20 (total, not per person). Can't remember having to name all passengers but probably did!

Cheers, Nige
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 19:24

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 19:24
Hi Nige

Yes, it probably was $2.20 we paid. Sorry about the mis-quote. Also for mis-naming Glen Helen. I thought St Helen sounded wrong but couldn't remember the correct name! The permit showed names. The people we met along the road who had paid $5.50 per day (and i think per person) were mighty annoyed when we compared costs. It was in September last year.

Mh
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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:03

Thursday, Apr 09, 2009 at 14:03
We travelled both last year. Is it an 'off road' mode camper? I would not take an regular model camper of any sort on any of these roads.

On the Mereenie Loop we helped a couple who's camper trailer had broken a spring. It was just another corrugated inland road. The people at the Alice Springs Tourism office strongly advice travellers not to take the Mereenie Loop. Clearance for your vehicle not an issue. Worst section of Mereenie is the section near Hermannsberg. Pass can be obtained at St Helen's, Hermannsberg or Kings Canyon Resort. People paid more when purchasing at Kings Canyon Resort. Gosse Bluff well worth a visit. Good road - virtually all bitumised to Gosse Bluff from the West MacDonnells. The track in was a bit rough, but is only a few kms long.

Chambers Pillar from Maryvale was probably the worst track we went on. To start off with there are areas of loose sand. We got through them OK with our F250 towing the caravan, but wouldn't have done it when we towed with the Patrol. Corrugations on the rest of it no different to any other tracks we went on. Crossing the Charlotte Range shouldn't be a problem for your outfit. The dunes have been 'capped' with limestone, so easy to cross, but track is narrow with nowhere to pull off so you need to announce on UHF - channel specified on gate. The Finke road from Alice Springs was corrugated all the way down, except for a patch where a road re-alignment had just been done.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Member - Bucky, the "Mexican"- Friday, Apr 10, 2009 at 06:24

Friday, Apr 10, 2009 at 06:24
dthomas

The "Jump up", on the way into Chambers Pillar may be a bit rough on the X Trail, if it's towing a TrakShak, but if you take your time and the "chicken route", to the right on the way down, you should be OK.
We had a Subaru Forester follow us in, back in 06. It was a bit overloaded, and very very low to the ground. But with a bit of gentle coaxing, we managed to get the family in and out, safely.

Cheers
Bucky
AnswerID: 359046

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