Campsites Homesteads open 24x7x365 ?

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 05:49
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Hi
I was wondering if Camp-sites etc, are open all year around? I plan to go down to Oz in Feb/Mar/April in a year or two.
I plan to do a fair bit of driving, mostly on hard top in a campervan, but also in a 4x4 along the Oodnadatta Track, and other tracks in that area.
Will ALL campsites be open at that time of year, bearing in mind it will be out of season.
I'll be travelling alone and don't want to be too far away from available campsites, even if I don't always use them.
Cheers!
Dickyboy
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Reply By: mikehzz - Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 07:50

Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 07:50
Are you from Europe? Camping grounds (caravan parks) are not seasonal here like they are in Europe. There are some places in the north that are closed for the summer wet season but in general you can camp out all year round.... not that it's pleasant all the time. The Oodnadatta track in February is hellishly hot so can be really hard on you and the car. Tourists have died out there due to inexperience and bad preparation. In many areas out there you just free camp on the side of the track.
Have a great visit

Mike
AnswerID: 410287

Reply By: olcoolone - Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:13

Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:13
It depends on where you are exactly traveling.

Different areas are closed at different time either due to extreme heat, wet weather or feral animal and weed control.

Camp site here in Australia can vary between ones with toilets, grassy areas and lots of shade to no toilets, dirt and very little shade.

At most remote camp sites there is no water available.

Camps site can range in distance from 50 kilometers to 400+ kilometers.

The areas you are looking at traveling in and the time of the year can have flash flooding giving no warning stranding people for up to a month or more.

Roads can be closed with no warning.

Water in this area can travel hundered of kilometers quickly with no warning.

Have a look at the current conditions in out back Northern Territory, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.

Wrightair web site has a lot of pictures close to the areas you are traveling in.
AnswerID: 410301

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:25

Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 10:25
Hi Dickyboy,

I agree with Mike. You will not have any problems finding somewhere to camp but the camping conditions will be difficult at best.

If possible organise your trip so that the bit along the Oodnadatta is in April rather than Feb. I don't know if you have ever experienced 45 degrees celcius for days on end but if you are on the Oodnadatta in Feb the possibility of getting that is very real. Remember too that those temps can be accompanied by relaitve humidity of less than 12% and high winds carrying dust. If possible go and visit a facility that can replicate those high temps and low humidity just so you know what it feels like.

Don't get me wrong the country is still beautiful and worth seeing. I have camped out there in those conditions and would do the same again but I know what I am letting myself in for.

Understand your vehicle. Modern 4x4s are all pretty good but I have seen many tourists cought out by simple things. If you can, find out what vehicle you will be using before you get here and learn about it before you leave home. The Oodnadatta Track in Feb or even April is not the place to discover you don't know the hubs need to be locked or how to do it.

Finally in that part of the world at that time of year you will be largley on your own. After Easter it will be frequently visited and most of those visitors will be willing to help you out but most Aussies stay home or at least on the coast during summer. If you do have a problem you could be on your own for a long time, especially if you are not on the main track.

Your have found a great website too help you plan your trip. Keep asking questions, remember there are no stupid ones and you can not over prepare.

Duncs
AnswerID: 410303

Reply By: Bazooka - Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 13:48

Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 13:48
Dick

You should be aware that you will need some sort of special communication device if you are going to the outback (in case of emergency). If you were hoping to rely on your mobile phone the news is not good. Check here for Australia's 'best' coverage - not a pretty sight currently as you will see: http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile/networks/coverage/

Plenty of articles and advice from knowledgeable and experienced people on emergency beacons, satellite phones, etc (menu: Articles>Communications) on Exploroz.

Depending on you experience etc it may be wiser at that time of year to tackle say the Flinders Ranges. Plenty of tracks, plenty to see, plenty of variety, and nowhere near as isolated as Oodnadatta and beyond.

Good luck.
AnswerID: 410333

Reply By: Dickyboy - Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 16:30

Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 16:30
Hi again all !
Thanks everyone for your replies and advice.
It's good to know that Campsites, generally, are open year round, I guess that they will make good contact points, if I get into trouble as well.
I have been on the Oodnadatta Track before, back in March 2008. I wasn't travelling alone though. I was with an outfit called "Heading Bush" I was also in Adelaide during the last week of the heatwave that they had in that year when temp's reached 41c. I was lucky enough to learn about heat and dehydration in the city before I went into the Outback. (I went 40 minutes without a drink, and felt desperate, High winds and very dry air did it for me, and as I didn't sweat, I got no early warning)
I've downloaded a copy of the Grossmuller ?? Inquest. I learned a lot from others mistakes.
I don't plan to rush the Oodnadatta Track, or go off it on my own, just take my time, and never be too far from Marree, William Creek or one of the other small towns along the track. Basically I want to experience the remoteness of the area in as safe a way as possible, and of course taking all precautions. I'm not an explorer, Just someone who likes remoteness.
Cheers!
Dickyboy
AnswerID: 410344

Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 18:24

Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 18:24
Dick,

As others have said - not the best time of year to be in our desert areas.

A word of warning - we travelled with a highly qualified nurse in winter through the area your planning on. She suffered terribly from heat and headaches until we realised her problem - dehydration. Although trained and fully aware of the consequences she hadn't realised that she wasn't taking in enough water. Compounding this, she was a coffee drinker - coffee is a diuretic, makes you urinate, so she wasn't taking in enough water and was losing it faster than necessary. Total cure once she started drinking enough water.

You say that you didn't sweat. Neither did she, or so she thought. In fact, in the very low humidity your sweat evaporates almost instantly so that you seem to stay dry, even though you are losing a lot of water through your skin. Don't underestimate your water requirements and don't rely on finding it in the bush.

How much drinking water do you need? At that time of year in that locality I would carry enough for at least 3 or 4 litres per person per day depending on the level of exertion (NO COFFEE!) and then double it to provide for the unexpected. It is a remote area with little traffic in the heat, so allow some too for the vehicle. We carry half our water in small (3 litre) containers and fill them at every opportunity, regardless of water quality. (If it's not fit to drink, at least it will be ok for the vehicle and other purposes, and in an emergency can be filtered and decontaminated for drinking. Discard bad water only when you can replace it with good. A side benefit of the low humidity is that, since you never stay wet for long enough, bacterial growth on your body is minimal - washing the body isn't such a high priority, saves water!!))

This might sound overly dramatic, but we'd like you to come back again, and not read about another visitor who didn't survive!

Cheers

John
J and V
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Reply By: Dickyboy - Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 21:39

Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 at 21:39
Thanks John
When I went on the "Heading Bush" trip, the trip leader fully ensured that we had, and drank sufficient water. None of us even left the vehicle without a water bottle, even if we were just going to look at something just off the track. We started with a minimum of 2L per day, as well as any other drinks that we might have had, and by the end of the trip he was expecting us to drink up to 6L a day.
I came off the trip at Coober Pedy due to ill health, a chest infection, so didn't have the need to drink that much water. One thing we took with us was tubs of Gaitor Aide, just to add a few salts, if plain water wasn't doing the job by itself, which on occasion it didn't. It's a very good pick me up.
I do have some idea of the heat, and need for water, and how extreme the conditions can be, and plan to go fully prepared. Which is the reason that I asked the initial question about camp sites. Even if I'm out in the sticks, if there's a campsite close by, that means about 100k of course, then I should never be too far from help should I need it.
I'm not a Stuart type, perhaps more like a Burke & Wills type :o)
Dickyboy
AnswerID: 410381

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