Fitzroy Crossing to Derby via Tunnel Creek

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 11:16
ThreadID: 70077 Views:2993 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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Given that I am aware of the variability of road conditions on unsealed roads, my questionis:

Would it be possible and reasonable to tow a tandem on road caravan from Fitzroy Crossing to Derby via Tunnel creek and Windjana Gorge without casuing damage to the caravan? Obviously all due care and appropriate speed for the conditions is implied in the question.

Tom
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Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 11:53

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 11:53
Interesting, we have been putting the finishing touches to this trek note which will be released in this week's newsletter. Generally the track is not as rough as the Gibb River Road. I would probably rate it similar to the Oodnadatta Track.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 13:02

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 13:02
Hi D & M

Early June last year this road was more corrugated than most of the GRR, but we were lucky that the western end of the GRR had been graded. The Wyndham end was rough and they had the grader out.

Mh
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Reply By: Travelling Pixie - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 12:42

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 12:42
when we travelled it last year that track, the part between GRR and Windjana (especially between tunnel creek and Windjana) , was as bad as any of the GRR parts and Iwould not recommend an on-road van

that was twelve months ago though
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Follow Up By:- Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:26

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:26
Pixie,
Your comments are noted.

Thanks
Tom
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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 12:58

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 12:58
Hi Tom, Like Pixie, we were there 12 months ago, and went from Derby to Fitzroy on the bitumen, then back to the Leopold Downs road for Tunnel Creek and Windjana. We then continued NE along the GRR so did not do the bit towards Derby.

It was getting dark when we left Fitzroy, so didn't stop to let tyres down when we turned onto the Leopold Downs Road as it was only 10 kms to our camp. We lost a spotlight Fell out of its case), and cordial escaped out of a new bottle and somehow found its way out of the cupboard and all over the caravan floor, together with stuff we had left on the seats. It tooks me several full floor washes to get rid of the sticky mess.

I don't know what type of on-road van you have, but would recommend leaving it in Derby and taking a tent.

The whole trip through the Kimberley was wonderful. I hope you can take a tent and do the whole of the GRR.

Motherhen


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Follow Up By:- Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:25

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:25
Motherhen,
Thanks for the info and believe me your advice will be heeded. One concern I had was just how wide the road is but from my additional research (Google Earth) its certainly wide enough.

Obviously the major factor is the roughness and based on what you are saying I'm going to pull my head in and ditch the van to do these sites. I tow a tandem Regent so theres no way I'm going to wreck it by trying to be too brave. I know you tow a Bushtracker which is the right horse for that course. As I'm coming south from Kununurra my thinking now is to park the van at Fitzroy Crossing, visit Geikie Gorge, then next day, do a long day getting from Fitzroy Crossing to Tunnel Ck and Windjana Gorge and back before moving on to Derby the following day.

Regrettably the Gibb River road is not an option for us due to the type of van.


Thanks
Tom
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:19

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2009 at 15:19
We found it quite good in 06 and not an issue in my view for careful use with an on road van - but as others have said above, it all depends on traffic volumes, weather and maintenance cycles. The eastern half of the Gibb was quite good in 08 - smooth as silk in places - at worst, sandy corrugations in the main with smaller gravel. And as you say, lower speeds (and softer tyres) can make a huge difference to such travel....... Pic or two of the Gibb surfaces on my site.......http://users.picknowl.com.au/~darian/
AnswerID: 371508

Reply By: Out and About - Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 00:48

Thursday, Jun 25, 2009 at 00:48
We did the trip out from Derby to Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge a few weeks ago. The Gibb River road section was extremely smooth - no corrugations at all. The roads out to the Tunnel Creek and Winjana Gorge were a bit rougher but not too bad.

We did not do the section from Fitzroy Crossing but were told it was rougher with some dry creek crossings.
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