Hugh River Stock Route NT

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 18:19
ThreadID: 85165 Views:2137 Replies:4 FollowUps:9
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In June we are hoping ( if tracks are open ) to go Brisbane - Birdsville - Marree -
Mt Dare - Chambers Pillar - Uluru - Kings Canyon - Alice - Plenty Hwy - Boulia - Bedourie - Brisbane .
The Hugh River Stock Route looks like a short cut from Chambers Pillar area to the Stuart Hwy . So i am asking if any one has used it & if it is normally in fair condition ?
Yes i know about the recent rains & not knowing what the next few months will be like.
cheers Bruce
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Reply By: Simon (NT) - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 20:44

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 20:44
Hi Bruce,

I haven't been down that way (on the highway) for a little while, though who knows where my company will send me next. In my job I get to travel to a LOT of remote regions along the really nasty roads that we specialise in out here, only with a bus, or 4wd.

Anyway, next month I'm planning a trip down to Lake Eyre (if the road from Coober Pedy to William Creek is open - which I believe that it is), so perhaps on the way back I can make a detour and check out the road towards Chambers Pillar, I've not travelled that road before but I will endeavour to see what it's like if I get the chance.

The recent rains are at the point where we are LESS than 40mm below our ANNUAL rainfall figures already this year. And we only get about 290mm/annum, needless to say that the dirt roads are REALLY suffering this year.

Love to give you some more ideas on stuff to see and do when you get up to the Centre (not only out at the rock or canyon but also in the Alice area), so stay in touch, or drop me an email - details in my profile. It sounds like a heck of a trip you are planning though.

Cheers,
Simon
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Follow Up By: beergutz - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 22:37

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 22:37
Hi Simon,
thanks for your offer , but we only have 3 weeks for this trip so 3 days each at the rock / olgas & canyon will chew up most spare time. But will look at Henbury Meterorite site , Lamberts centre & Grosse's Bluff ( meterorite site i think ) as we are going to be so close to them.
cheers bruce
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Reply By: Rod - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 20:52

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 20:52
Sorry, can't help with recent conditions, but I'm sure someone else will chime in...

We travelled the HRSR in June last year from W-E. It was reasonably boggy. I was towing a camper trailer. A repair van was bogged on the side of the road. Looks like they slide off to the side and got bogged. Came across a 4WD tour truck that had also gotten bogged. The road was very washed out at water crossings near the train line. Watch out for cattle and camels on the road.

There is a private campground at a place called Oak Valley towards the eastern end. It is basic but has a friendly owner who will go out of his way to help.

We found the HRSR in better condition than the N-S Maryvale road which obvioulsy has more traffic and gets cut up more in the wet.

The Maryvale store is worth a look. Aboriginal artefacts and interesting outback essentials.

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Follow Up By: beergutz - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 22:59

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 22:59
thanks Rod, i think maybe they have had more rain this year than 2010 . we will also be towing the camper trailer . Will have to wait and see , still have 3 months.
cheers Bruce
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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 22:28

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 22:28
Hi Bruce

Back in 2008 following dry weather the road was good, but poorly maintained through the station where in particularly the dips for the creek lines needed caution as some had ruts washed out in them. After crossing the railway line, the road was good. It started to rain as we reached the Stuart Highway end, but we were able to get off it just in time, even if i did get rather wet opening the last gate. Overall, the condition was probably better the the road back to Alice and seems to be a popular choice when leaving Chambers Pillar.

The track from Maryvale Station to Chambers Pillar was probably the worst we encountered that year. My blogs for 2008 include the Central Australia sight seeing.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: beergutz - Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 23:16

Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 at 23:16
Hi Mother Hen,
it sounds like the stock route is the go but with care . will check road conditions closer to departure time but will read your blogs asap,
thankyou .
cheers Bruce
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Follow Up By: Rod - Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 06:50

Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 06:50
In June last year, the road from Maryvale to Chambers Pillar was very good, recently graded. We left our CTs at the Maryvale store when going to the pillar as there is a short/sharp rocky jump up on the Pillar track. It would probably be OK to tow up that with care.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 12:35

Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 12:35
Hi Rod, that is good news. I don't think it had been graded for ever when we went through. Then again it probably gets constant traffic on it. The dunes were well capped so firm and easy to cross. Crossing the Charlotte Range looked a bit scary for taking a tall caravan up, but presented no problems, but I was pleased that my husband was driving not me :). We shared the camp ground with two Kimberley Karavans and a few camper trailers.

Mh
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Follow Up By: beergutz - Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 18:13

Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 18:13
Hi Mother Hen & Rod ,
thanks again, we are / where thinking of camping at the pillar as mt dare - lamberts - pillar will be about 360 km & if the going is a bit rough that may take a while.
cheers b Bruce
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Reply By: Member - The old fellow - Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 17:36

Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 17:36
Hi Bruce Doing virtually the same trip leaving Brisbane 2nd June but continuing from Kings Canyon on to Davenport Ranges and then Darwin arriving on the 20th June. I expect the road conditions will be in the lap of the rain gods !!
Chas
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Follow Up By: beergutz - Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 18:20

Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 18:20
Hey Chas,
i agree about the rain gods,we are leaving on 18th June .
would be appreciated if you could post some info on track conditions if you get a chance.
cheers Bruce
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Follow Up By: nick b - Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 18:25

Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 18:25
Hi treker ; keep in mind in june Queens birthday weekend is finke dersert race they & spectators use the old south road , so you might find it VERY ROUGH after a large number of vehicle if your thinking of using that road . its always rough due to the sand . i would always let tyres down for a softer ride .
We used the hugh route in the 70s ( no gps or signs just a track ) got lost down there once, bit of a funny story that !!
Cheers Nick b

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Follow Up By: beergutz - Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 22:17

Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011 at 22:17
Nick B , had not even thought about the race but will be there after it , still at work that week . Thanks for the warning / advice.
cheers Bruce
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