Outback trek advice opinions / alternatives

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:22
ThreadID: 75940 Views:3977 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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Hi all well we have sat down an plotted a draft route for our first outback trip.
I Have done plenty of 4wding in mountain terrain such as Vic High Country, Blue mountains, Barrington tops etc but never in the outback.

Iam after advice from people in the know about what the Roads are like on the route that I have planned (Link to Map HERE)as well as options for camping and fuel availability In particular from Bourke to Birdsville and then Birdsville to Broken Hill.

We will be leaving from Bathurst and travelling in a 80 series landcruiser, PETROL (fitted) with Long range tank that can carry 270ltrs of fuel on board. From leaving bathurst we have about 7-10days to follow the route to Broken Hill (would ths be suffcient??).

We may be travelling on our own and wonder what the "traffic" or lack of is like out on the planned roads/tracks . For safety we have a SATPhone, Epirb and UHF.

sorry for the long thread, but thought the better the picture/info I provide the better the advice I'll recieve :) thanks all
cheers Aaron
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:40

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:40
That route should be no real issue at all Aaron - plenty of fuel stops along it , buy fuel in Birdsville - cheaper than following stops .

Generally those back roads are pretty easy with hardly any 4wding.

The dessert areas - which I note you are not going into - are also not much of a 4wd challenge compared to Vic high country tracks.

Its more about the common sense of dropping your tyre pressures and speed accordingly, and carrying water - plenty of traffic.

There are a couple of side off shoots along there where you can play if interested , and I guess you will be visiting Big Red as well.







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Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:55

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:55
Aaron

More than 50% of your route is bitumen and would be reasonably busy in places especially as far as Thargominda.

Outback gravel roads vary but the Birdsville Track is a great big wide graded gravel road and the roads through the Flinders Ranges are in good condition too. You should not need to engage 4wd on your proposed route. As always, drive to the conditions.

Your communications are good and that is basically all you need. Your 10 day time line is OK

As far as camping goes I tend to look around to see what's available as far as free bush camping goes if it is only for one night. I avoid caravan parks but there are plenty along your route.

Petrol is readily available along your proposed route and at a quick glance there shouldn't be a greater distance than 400km between fuel top ups.

Alway carry sufficient water with you.

Cheers



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Reply By: Mick O - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:02

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 08:02
Aaron,

it looks like a great trip and the roads should not present too much of an issue to you. I gather you’re not towing a trailer or similar. Are you travelling with other vehicles? If anyone is towing, make sure they have protection across their back windscreen as you are travelling across some rocky country that is notorious for claiming back windscreens. Even a stone deflector on a trailer is of only limited advantage.

You have plenty of fuel stops along the way, the only thing that will hurt will be price LOL. Make sure you leave enough time to spend a day or three by the Cooper Creek at Innamincka. It’s a great place. Any of the camp spots at Nappamerrie (Dig Tree) or the grave sites are great but just pick up some timber before you go in. It’s pretty scarce once you’re there. All of the roads are well travelled (which means corrugations here and there) so you will encounter plenty of like minded souls travelling.

The back route through Cordillo is a rocky trip but easily managed. Make sure you adjust your tyres accordingly. Too higher pressures on these roads will cost a tyre here and there. The Birdsville track is a superhighway these days affected only by weather. The Flinders is a fantastic place and I can’t believe you’re not driving through it. I’d head from Arkaroola down to Blinman through Glass Gorge and into it that way. Then left near Wilpena and out through the hills and onto the back road to Yunta again It’d be a shame to miss it. It’s a day drive if you want it to be. (I always liked Acraman camp ground at the base of the ranges. Again bring in your own firewood).

Gammon Ranges

Bullah Bullah Waterhole (Dig Tree)

Dig Tree to Birdsville (Via Cordillo)

Have fun.

Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Reply By: Member - Aaron L (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 09:13

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 09:13
Hi all, thanks for the quick responses and advice. We are travelling by ourselves at this stage, but may have a couple of friends in a Patrol tagging along. We wont be towing a camper, just using the good ole Swags. The 80series is quite well equipped with rear wheel carriers 2 spares as well as 100trs of water in SS water tank, plus other usual fruit.

Mick, we are actually doing the Flinders Ranges while out there. However the route I plotted in the post was the bit we are going to do solo before joining a big 4wd charity drive, which will take us from Broken Hill, upto Camerons Cnr then to Flinders. So hoping we dont double up too many tracks on our trip before hand :)

This might sound a silly question, But is it safe to take a dip in Creeks / rivers out in those areas ie NO crocs (I dont think there is BUT safe to ask) or other things that can eat ya.!

cheers again Aaron
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 11:15

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 11:15
Only redgum crocs this far down south Aaron. Never dive into a creek though. Always wade in as the water can conceal some nasties like a shallow bank or a log. Creeks are fine for swimming. Summer months may bring the odd snake into the reeds and water. Brown snakes love a dip at the hotter times of the year. Shouldn't be an issue to you though.

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 11:30

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 11:30
Just an added comment to what Mick O says: no, you wont find too many crocs, mainly because you wont find much water, depending on the time of year and also the very intermittent rainfall. But if you feel tempted to dive into a bone dry creek bed, then heed Mick's advice. Seriously, I didn't see a mention of your travel dates, but for much of the year out there, your water tank will be a useful asset, so keep it topped up!!
Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Member - Aaron L (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 11:39

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 11:39
Hi Chris / Mick thks for the Croc Update :) Definately good advice about diving into the creeks esp the dry ones, even though Ive got a thick head. I meant to put the time of travel in but forget, we are planning for October this yr.
cheers Aaron
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Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 11:55

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 11:55
OK Aaron, that's useful extra info. If October, around Birdsville/Flinders it will probably be dry (unless we've had tropical patterns moving down from Qld, (who send us all their rubbish, but not often water!!)) , and it may well be hot (like be prepared for around 40 degrees mid day or more, just in case) and cool at night.
I note that almost everyone is saying carry plenty of water, and refilling is getting harder, not because people are nasty, but because water is so scarce up there. Do yourselves a favour, and get a taste of the desert if you can!
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Reply By: Member - Bucky - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 06:44

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 06:44
Aaron L
You have made a wise move, making your first outback, an easy one.

If things break down, there will be someone along fairly soon, just sit down and wait, as people out there are only too eager to lend a hand to the unfortunate.

Speed and tyre pressures are the main things you will need to take into account, as it looks like you have fuel covered.
You can bush camp virtually anywhere, just get off the road a bit. But at the same time, you may want to use some of the facilities at the good caravan park along the way..

Rain may bugger you up, so keep an eye on the weather, and if you approack a flooded bit of road, you just stop and have a good look at it, the steep approach, if any.. Just use the skills you have gathered from your High Country experience..

Never take anything for granted.

Cheers
Bucky
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