Thanks and feedback on Canning Stock Route, Kidson Track, Talawana Track

Hi @ll,

I would like to say a very big thankyou to everyone on the forum who helped us with their valuable advice for our recent CSR adventure tour. It was a great success, we enjoyed it a lot and did not have any severe problems. We also travelled the Kidson Track / Wapet Road, the Gary Highway to Windy Corner and the Talawana Track from Windy Corner to Newman. I would like to give you a little information what these tracks are like at the moment:

CSR:
Was just great. We had had some very light rainfall, therefore conditions in the dunes have been perfect. Only got bogged once with one of the cars on our way into the Calvert Range (in my view the worst dunes on the CSR are not actually on the CSR but on the track leading to the Calvert Range), but could easily get out using MaxTrax. We did not have to dig at all during our whole CSR experience - unbelievable but true.
Track from start 40 km north of Wiluna up to well 9 is in quite poor condition - numerous washouts, slow going. Definitely only suitable for high clearance 4WDs and nothing where I would tow any sort of trailer (use detour via Glenayle station track). The rest was in reasonable condition, and we really enjoyed it a lot. Make sure to have an UHF radio so as to warn oncoming traffic of your presence. Lots of excellent information on the CSR can be taken on the book "Canning Stock Route" by Eric and Ronele Gard, which has just been re-released and can for instance be purchased via Westprint Maps.
Capricorn Roadhouse are doing fuel orders for fuel dump at well 23 again; price was 2,50 AUD per litre diesel, 200 litre drums only. Fuel price at Kunnawaritji community was 3,20 AUD per litre diesel.

Kidson Track/Wapet Road:
Not recommended at all, except for those of you who are keen to add lots of scratches to their vehicle paint. The track from the beginning near 80 Mile Beach Campground access road is quite good, but after a while it becomes heavily overgrown (mainly from the sides). We had difficulties to actually find the track in this bloody mass of bushes. After pushing through some several hundred meters of bush, the track became better again, but a short way later it became heavily corrugated. Along this track I have seen some of the worst corrugations ever in my Australian driving experience (some very big holes in the track, deeper than one metre). We had to search for detours several times. Other stretches of the track are in reasonable or even good condition. It is a pity that the track becomes overgrown in places, as it is leading through beautiful scenery. Maybe Trackcare can do something about it? If you want to travel this track be aware of the fact that it is extremely isolated and do only travel it in a convoy. Be fully self sufficient and carry all necessary emergency equipment, including advanced first aid kit and communication means (Iridium satphone or HF radio). We travelled the track on 10./11.6.2009.

Gary Highway to Windy Corner:
We travelled from North (Kunnawaritji) to Windy Corner. The track was in good condition except for the occasional washout. There is one heavily corrugated section where we chose to bypass by going cross country. The track is a little bit overgrown in the middle, but spinnifex is cut and low as of 12.6.2009.

Talawana Track from Windy Corner to Newman:
From Windy Corner to the junction with CSR it is in good condition, a little bit overgrown, but spinnifex was cut and low except for two very short stretches as of 12./13.6.2009. At approx. half way there is a suitable camp spot, which is located close to an old windmill and tank, some six kilometres from the main track. This side track is not as good as the main track, but negotiable without problems. The windmill made lots of really frightful noise during the night, but is inoperational, so do not expect to find any water there. The Talawana track joins the CSR from north of well 24 down to Georgia Bore. This section is slower going due to some corrugations. From Georgia Bore it continues as a track for approx. 70 kilometres or so to the Cotton Creek (Parrngurr) community turnoff, but is in good condition except for some stony patches and occasional washouts. From Cotton Creek turnoff it becomes much wider and is a good dirt road. When heading towards Windy Corner don't forget to visit Veever's meteorite crater. We did not visit it this time, but the track leading in there was in good condition last year in October. Whau Whau Bore would make a good camping spot along the Gary Highway.

Cheers from bloody boring Dortmund/Germany (it is sooooo hard being here again, sitting in the office all of the bloody day, I am really missing the beautiful CSR scenery and the nights on the campfire under the Southern Cross),

Juergen
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 22:06

Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 22:06
Jürgen

Thanks for the great track report. We travelled the Kidson a few years ago and loved the beautiful scenery too. I don't worry about the paint on the car anymore :-)

Its reassuring to hear someone from overseas loves our desert country too - I thought it might have just been silly bloody Ozzies who enjoyed it.

I hope you post some of your pictures soon.

Bob
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Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 23:51

Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 at 23:51
That's a valuable report Juergen, thks.

We're planning to do part of that as per a follow-up from the Wiluna gathering next year.

Cheers from bleak freezing Perth.

http://www.seabreeze.com.au/graphs/wa_synoptic.asp?loc=PERT&stateid=0
AnswerID: 372146

Reply By: GQTrav - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 16:37

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 16:37
Interesting to read what you thought of the Kidson track. I drove it in August last year and loved it. I did a loop from 80 mile beach, along the Kidson to the Canning, down the Canning to the Talawana track, and then out to Newman. The worst part track wise was the Canning by a long shot. It was that badly corrigated that it has put me off wanting to go back there. Sure, we did get a few new speed stripes along the Kidson, however we found Navigation easy (using an FX324 running Discover Aus) and loved travelling by ourselves for a few days and not seeing another vehicle. There were quite a few large washouts, so speed had to be kep to a min, however there weren't many corrigations at all.

Going by what you have said, the track must have got a lot worse in the last 10 months, so thanks for the updated info, my parents are on there way up to Start the Kidson in a couple of weeks, so I'll pass on the track conditions.

Trav
AnswerID: 372205

Follow Up By: farmer112 - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 19:23

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 19:23
Hi Trav,

thank you very much for your valuable comment. I am very sorry, I have mixed the expressions "washouts" and "corrugations".

Corrugations ("waves" in the track) were not an issue on the Kidson Track (much worse on the CSR), but there are stretches of severe washouts (large holes in the track) on the Kidson.

The washouts forced us to search for detours in several places. We added lots of scratches to the vehicle because of heavy side growth of bushes into the track (no major problems with growth on the track itself) along other stretches of the track.

I hope that this clarifies my posting. I do not want to discourage people from travelling this track, just wanted to warn of the scratches that will be added to the vehicle. Not everybody likes these on his brandnew forby.

It is definitely beautiful scenery out there, but nothing that I would travel with just one vehicle again (very remote, some comments in the visitor book were more than a week apart from each other). But keep in mind: This is written from the view of a scary Gerry...

Cheers from bloody boring Dortmund/Germany,

Juergen
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Reply By: Member - Glen J (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 16:50

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 16:50
G'day Juergen,

Great information, thanks. We are infact travelling from Alice Springs along the Gary Junction Track then onto the Kidman Track at the end of July. Not sure what to do now as we are travelling on our own, although our Defender is extremeley welll set up, scratches are not an issue. We are open for any ideas, advice for alternate route, bugger, was really looking forward to the Kidman.

Glen
AnswerID: 372207

Follow Up By: Chambo - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 08:43

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 08:43
Hi Glen,
Why aren't you going to do it now? You said that a few scratches don't worry you and yor vehicle is well set up so just go for it. I am coming home down the Kidson in late August with another two couples all towing Ultimates. Not too keen on the scratches but as far as the rest of it is concerned, no dramas. Might have to put the tree loppers in (lol) A few washouts and detours all add to the fun. I think there is enough traffic along there as to not be alone for too long.

Cheers,

Glenn
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Follow Up By: Member - Glen J (VIC) - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 19:52

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 19:52
Well you got me thinking now, We are set up and have the Sat phone and epirb etc, Spoke with our mechanic and have contingencies in place as well as someone to check in with.

Now getting excited again.

Glen
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Follow Up By: farmer112 - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 19:42

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 19:42
Hi Glen,

give it a go! I did not want to discourage you. Just wanted to point out, that you have to be prepared to add some scratches to your vehicle. And that this is a very remote track (some of the entries in the visitor book were quite a few days apart from each other), so that you have to travel well prepared. As you have an extremely well set up vehicle, as well as satphone and EPIRB, I would definitely give it a go. Besides, my comrade and me travelled in a Toyota Troopy with roof tent.

There are no problems with corrugations, sorry for my posting. I confused the expression corrugations ("waves on the track) with washouts.

The washouts will force you to take a detour at several locations, but keep in mind: If the bloody Gerries can do it, an Aussie should have no problem to do it also. ;-)

We had a tyre tube failure along half way of the Kidson, but I am sure you carry enough spare tubes as well as tools to change tyre tubes (tyre levers, beadbreaker). I will try to post some photos.

Enjoy!

Cheers from bloody boring Dortmund/Germany,

Juergen
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Follow Up By: Member - Glen J (VIC) - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 22:13

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 22:13
G'day Juergen,

Thanks for the info, Good to see a bit of German blood tackling our great country. My Heritage is from your country.
Look forward to the photos.

Interested to know what you would think the average distance travelled per day would be for the length of the Kidson. Trying to work out time frames. In saying that however we are not in any rush. And yes will be carrying quite a few tubes.

Glen

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Follow Up By: farmer112 - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 01:24

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 01:24
Hi Glen,

we took two days to travel the Kidson Track, but we travelled at least ten hours per day. But we travelled slowly and took our time (especially around the washouts). I guess that most Aussies would travel a little bit faster. Most people will tell you that it is a two days trip from Eighty Mile Beach to Kunnawaritji and vice versa. Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Juergen

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Follow Up By: Member - Glen J (VIC) - Friday, Jul 03, 2009 at 11:21

Friday, Jul 03, 2009 at 11:21
Thanks Juergen,

I allowed three to four days so will have plenty of time.

Counting down the days.

Glen
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Reply By:- Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 20:06

Sunday, Jun 28, 2009 at 20:06
could you tell us what savoury creek crossing is like
thankyou Richard
AnswerID: 372240

Follow Up By: farmer112 - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 19:50

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 19:50
Hi Richard,

when we travelled through Savory Creek Crossing on 1rst of June, it was dry and easy. Just went through with both vehicles without any problem.

BUT:
- Always check out the crossing first before travelling it (advice from many people who travelled the CSR). It's a good idea to walk it first. I remember reading in a book (I think it was the excellent travel guide "Canning Stock Route" by Eric and Ronele Gard) that the crossing often looks like being dry, but is muddy and boggy under a dry surface. So don't let yourself be deceived by a nice and dry looking surface, always check!
- If you are going with several vehicles, one vehicle should do a reconaissance first before the others follow. If the first vehicle gets bogged, the others can winch it out.
- Travelling south to north, the part which is described to be the most boggy one (if it is wet and boggy) is just in front of the northern shore. Keep your momentum up.

Enjoy!

Cheers from bloody boring Dortmund/Germany (just want to get back to the beautiful outback again :-( ),

Juergen
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FollowupID: 639916

Follow Up By:- Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 23:05

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 23:05
Juergen , thanks for the update on the savoury creek crossing , could you please let me know how the dortmund crossing is ,apart from being bloody boring , will I need to engage 4 wheel drive or should I just put my foot on the accelarator go for it and hope for the best,(ha ha)
Regards Richard
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Follow Up By: farmer112 - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 01:34

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 01:34
Hi Richard,

would be great if you could put your foot on the accelerator in Dortmund, but in fact the main crossing on the way to my working place is just a giant traffic jam. Heaps of people, just a bloody mess. Just stand and wait and listen some nice Aussie music and dream of the next trip to the beautiful lonely Australian outback. Beautiful scenery, where you can engage 4WD and just experience the lonelyness. We don't have this here in this bloody place...

The only way to go a little bit faster in Dortmund is to be a driver with the volunteer fire brigade (as I am). Big fun, going with sirene and emergency lights and chasing other people from the road. ;-)

Cheers,

Juergen
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FollowupID: 639965

Reply By: briancc - Monday, Jul 20, 2009 at 14:31

Monday, Jul 20, 2009 at 14:31
We have just come back from our trek, doing the Kidson from Pardoo from late June. No problems doing this with the camper trailer. Yes, lost a bit of paint off it but that's half the fun. It was a little gooey around Razor Blade bore due to rain the day or so before, but not a problem. Plenty of side tracks around the washouts, a few corrugations but in the 100's of metres rather than 100's of kilometres which was a pleasant surprise. We took three nights, getting to Kunnawarritji on the 4th day, a good pace I thought. Without a trailer things would obviously be quicker.
AnswerID: 375384

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