Undiscovered gem or not worth the bother?

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 08:53
ThreadID: 80089 Views:3213 Replies:8 FollowUps:9
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I couple of weeks ago I posted a question about the Burke Developmental Rd Normanton to Chillagoe Thread 79496 No-one seemed to know much about it.

Which raises an interesting more general question

Take a particular remote spot or road/track - little or no info is available.

Does this mean there is nothing there or it's not worth seeing or does it mean no-one has "discoverd it" because it's out of the way hard to get to, or whatever.

What is mean is, if I had asked about Wilpena pound, or Googs track or Mootwinge or Bloomfield Track or any of hundreds of other places I'd get all the opinions and info in the world.

However over the years I have personally found a few dozen great spots/tracks all over the country that seemed to be all but undiscoverd and unused. Naturally I keep quiet about them :-) I bet quite a few people here would be the same.
Which means there would be 1000's of unknown and little visited places!!!

So there IS hope for those of us who like to get away from the crowds a bit.
Has anyone else had these thoughts?
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Reply By: Member - A J- Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 09:34

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 09:34
GoneTroppo - You could go and stay at Wrotham Park Lodge for a week and tell of your experience.

AnswerID: 424099

Follow Up By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 10:18

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 10:18
I could but they include all the refeshments in the price so I may not remember much.

Besides I have heard a couple of the lodges are about to fall into the river so it may be more of an extreme adventure sport.
FollowupID: 694507

Follow Up By: Member - A J- Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 10:59

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 10:59
GoneTroppo - search for gamboola since 01/01/2010 and it will give you some information - forum members have been in this area. A J
FollowupID: 694511

Follow Up By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 13:47

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 13:47
Thanks A J that's very helpful. I'm getting a much better picture now.
I wouldn't have thought of searchig for Gamboola.

FollowupID: 694533

Reply By: Nic I - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 10:34

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 10:34
Being relatively new to remote long distance travel, I was very dismayed when I heard about large and steady streams of vehicles at places/routes I wanted to go to; so much so that the Simpson, Cape Yorke, and probably the CSR are now no longer on my list, at least until I have the experience and confidence to travel the lesser-known routes of these iconic locations.

However, like you I also visit a few not so well known places to enjoy their peace and solitude, and I'm always trying to find more.

By their nature they are difficult to find, and nobody is going to offer up their own special ones to anyone else !

AnswerID: 424105

Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 11:32

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 11:32
Hi Nic.

We've just returned from a southbound run of the CSR from Well 23 to Well 5.

I reckon we encountered at least 50 vehicles northbound. It wasn't a problem at any stage and we mainly camped away from the wells in total solitude (but even Durba Springs had only one other party camped the night we were there).

The Eagle and eastern Talawana were much less trafficed - only met one other vehicle.

FollowupID: 694513

Follow Up By: Nic I - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 11:42

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 11:42
Hi John,

I've heard stories about Cape Yorke and the main Simpson tracks in peak season carrying 40-vehicle convoys, and the average daylight sightings of a vehicle every 2 minutes.

I suppose one of the underlying factors is the baby boomer retirement numbers, which are apparently running at tens of thousands per month.

However, it sounds like the CSR and surrounds haven't quite got to these numbers yet, which is very good to hear, thanks for the encouragement !

FollowupID: 694514

Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 13:19

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 13:19
Don't suppose I can complain about the BB's, being one myself.

I definitely would recommend the lower Canning - it's a great trip. It's better done N to S tho as the much greater northbound traffic is cutting up the soth side of the dunes. The northern faces are smooth and a delight to drive. Haven't done the upper CSR yey but it's definitely on the list.

Re the traffic, I would guess that apart from the CSR, the GCR, the Carnarvon Range and RR NP, all the other WA desert tracks would only have a few vehicles per day sighted if not none at all on a daily basis, even at this time of the year.

FollowupID: 694527

Reply By: roberttbruce - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 10:46

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 10:46
your right GT, we all have our list of "secret spots" and we are shy of sharing them lest they become less than secret - i havnt been out the way you mentioned but willl keep an eye open...
AnswerID: 424106

Reply By: Andrew & Jen - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 11:35

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 11:35
Gone troppo
You certainly raise a very interesting and broad question.
Hmm ….. Why do some places become popular?
Are they intrinsically “iconic”, that is, they represent an easily identified geographical destination – eg, Cape York; or they connect us to an aspect of our history that we want to experience – eg, CSR; or they are especially scenic – eg, Vic HC?
To what extent do places get a reputation because lots of people go there? (the lemming syndrome)
And do some places/journeys attain the status of a “rite of passage”? Allied to this is the question about the part ego/bragging rights might play for some - maybe with the implied message that you really haven’t "done it" until you have been to ….xxx!
For me, “great spots” are more to do with the immediate surrounds – fauna, flora, geography, time of year and weather; the memories associated with them – maybe shared with a few friends; the solitude (and hence the lack of crowds); and finally, the degree to which I feel comfortable – I don’t mean physically, I mean psychologically – the right vibes if you like.
How do you find these? I find that if I start with only a mud map that is a rough approximation of where I might go, slow down, open up to possibilities, listen to locals, get off the beaten track, am curious, follow my hunches and give myself plenty of time, then there is usually no shortage.
AnswerID: 424109

Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 07:52

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 07:52

I like the point you make here, and I have found personally that whilst some of the places I've recently travelled to have frequent visitors there is still plenty to 'discover' if you scratch under the surface.

Often many interesting things, whether flora, fauna, or historic aspects, are missed in the quest to 'tick' the destination off.

Cheers, The Landy
FollowupID: 694580

Follow Up By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 10:18

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 10:18
Andrew, you raise a good point with the "rite of passage" or "bragging rights"

For some years now I have observed the Cape York phenomenon.

I live near the Bruce Hwy at Mission Beach 1.5 hours south on Cairns.
I would guess 98% of Cape traffic passes here. At this time of year there is a steady stream of vehicles "doing" the cape.

"Doing" is about the only way to describe it too. I have noted many vehicles going up and coming back in as little as a week or ten days. These are outfits that stand out in some way because of vehicle type or the type of trailer that's why I notice them. Appreciate this isn't a scientific observation but nevertheless pretty accurate.

Given that it is about 1200k's to the tip that's one hell of a drive.

I have asked some of them about this when they camp here at Mission or shop here. (It's easy to spot them vehicles are covered in dust and dirt and the people look totally worn out and are normally having an argument)

The most common response is "we just wanted to do the cape"
When you then ask, "what did you see and do", you get a bit of a blank look, then comes the answer....."well the tip of course"
Typically they allow three to four weeks for the return trip out ofMelbourne or Sydney.

Is the Peninsular Dev Rd bus? Yes!
Is the Cape busy and crowded? No apart from a handful of as you call them "iconic" spots".

FollowupID: 694603

Reply By: Member - Jon W (Toowoomba QLD) - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 17:43

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 17:43
Missed your post but I can assure you that the Chillagoe Caves are well worth seeing. The guided tour ones are reasonable value.
Cobbold Gorge to the south near Forsayth is also well worth visiting. You can only see the gorge by guided tour but we thought it was reasonable.
For what its worth.
Jon W
AnswerID: 424134

Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 22:19

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 22:19
Hi GoneTroppo

A place that is under rated it is likely to be quieter to drive on and enjoy. Sounds like the type of place i'd go to.


Red desert dreaming

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AnswerID: 424165

Reply By: get outmore - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 00:06

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 00:06
good post.

there certainly are alot less travelled spots and alot are also alot closer

Most of my driving is between 3 and 600km from perth and im yet to really see any one on these tracks

most of these areas have been written up at least in part by our local 4x4 mag

which has probablly increased their traffick from hardly anyone to maybe a few
AnswerID: 424174

Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 10:16

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 10:16

I have a wellknown EX-Exploroz visitor here with me at the moment who has recently towed his caravan along the Burke Development road from Normanton to Chillagoe and he reports that the road is in good condition having had the graders over it. There are nice campsites at Koolatah and Hughes Crossings on the Mitchell River and other places on the route. They saw lots of bird life including the elusive Sarus Crane which appeared in droves along the plains. Hope this helps with your original question.
AnswerID: 424298

Follow Up By: GoneTroppo Member (FNQ) - Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 19:17

Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 19:17
Thanks Ruth. Much appreciated info, please thank the ex exploroz person also.

We've now put the Burke Development Rd on the itinary.

FollowupID: 694858

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