What is the best way to go?

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 20, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 855 Views:2124 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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Two MALS(middle aged ladies again!)are leaving in June from Sunshine Coast to "the Centre". We want to have a beer at the Birdsville Pub but would like to know the best way to Arkaroola-via the Birdsville Track or Cordillo Downs road and Strezlecki Track? We plan to go from Marree to William Creek and Oodnadatta-any problems? From there to Coober Pedy and up the highway to Uluru and Kings Canyon then on to Alice via the Merennie Loop. We would like advice on campgrounds/bush camp sites on the road as well as reasonably priced campgrounds in Alice. As we only have 4 weeks for this trip we plan to come home via the Plenty Highway(which looks quicker). Is fuel available along the Plenty? How long should it take to Boulia?
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Reply By: Trev - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2002 at 01:00
Hello Chris - We did part of your trip over the last two years. Found the alternate, to the Pink, garage in Oodnadatta was cheaper, tidier and cleaner. Make sure you do the walk around the top of Kings Canyon.
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Follow Up By: Chris - Monday, Mar 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Mar 25, 2002 at 01:00
Will 3 nights/2days be enough for Kings Canyon?
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Reply By: Bob - Wednesday, Mar 20, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2002 at 01:00
the best starting points would be either the Hema Great Desert map (NE sheet and SE sheet) or the Westprint Maps (eg Plenty Hwy).
See www.westprint.com.au and www.hemamaps.com.au These list fuel spots, camping areas etc.

Once you turn on to the Lasseter Hwy you are limited to the campgrounds at Uluru, Kings Canyon, and the designated ares in the West MacDonnells.There is a reasonable campground at AS on the Eastern side of the Todd River (not in the Todd River ;-) The drive to Boulia can be done in a day but it is a long boring drive and best done in two stages (camp in the bush off the road). Fuel is available at Jervois and Tobermorey. You are unlikely to need it closer to AS. The Georgina is prone to flooding, which might mean a lengthy detour or delay. Boulia has cheap pub where you can stay but the town is pretty rough and ready. There is bush camping out of town but look out for the giant centipedes.

It sounds like a great trip - have fun.
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Follow Up By: Chris - Monday, Mar 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Mar 25, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks Bob. Do we have to drive through rivers eg the Georgina,along the Plenty? I guess the alternative is via TC and Mt.Isa.
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Follow Up By: Bob - Monday, Mar 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Mar 25, 2002 at 01:00
the crossing has been upgraded significanlty and now has a cement base and shouldn't pose too much of a challenge, unless there has been a lot of rain.

Watch the reports and stick to the bitumen if rain is around.


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Reply By: Mal Try - Thursday, Mar 21, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Mar 21, 2002 at 01:00
Chris, from another Mal who travels with a "MAL": When we travel to Birdsville from Brisbane we usually stop in Charleville or Quilpie the first night, preferably Quilpie.(great pie shop) It is then an easy drive to Birdsville the second day. From Birdsville I would suggest Cordillo Downs road and Strzelecki Track to Innaminka. (Interesting historic area and good camping on the Cooper. Great roasts at the pub on Sunday nights.) From Innaminka down the Strez to Mt Hopless turnoff to Arkaroola.(Easy one half day). From there I'd suggest through Flinders Ranges to Hawker. All these roads from Birdsville are usually in good condition except during or after rain when they may be closed. From Hawker up through Lyndhurst to Maree. (great road) The Oodnadatta Track is generally in good condition and has many historical sites (railway and telegraph line.I can suggest some pre-reading if you wish). I wouldn't plan on staying at Oodnadatta. It is then an easy trip to Ayres Rock,Kings Canyon, to Alice Springs. Save some time for the West MacDonalds. In Alice we stay at the MacDonald Ranges Holiday Park - comfortable and reasonably priced. It's south of Heavitree Gap on the eastern side of the river. Let me know if you want more info or want to get in touch. By the way, what are you travelling in? Have a great trip. Mal.
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Follow Up By: Chris - Monday, Mar 25, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Mar 25, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks for your advice Mal-you make it sound easy! We are trying to trade in our Triton Dual Cab ute for a Cruiser or Prado or Pajero. Problem is the trade prices have been shockers. We'll keep looking. Nothing wrong with the Triton but we want a wagon.
Where are the most interesting places in the West MacDonalds?
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Reply By: wendy s - Sunday, Mar 31, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Mar 31, 2002 at 01:00
Chris, is lovely camp ground at Coward Springs, on Oodnadatta Track.We were very disappointed with Oodnadatta - suggest camp by Neales River, to the south. Two campgrounds at Kings Canyon;the resort one is dear but reduces for each day stayed - it is closer to the Canyon, so you save on diesel; the other is to the east and is cheaper. 2 nights minimum - must walk the rim; most people miss a very spectacular walk - out and back for a few km on the western end of the Giles Track. So I suggest 3 nights and do that too.In June you may need to try and book ahead for Alice caravan parks. Palm Valley worth 2 or 3 nights - Nat Park camp area there; several good walks.Suggest a couple of nights at the Gemtree CP on Plenty H/way - go out on one of their topaz or garnet fossicking trips - excellent value. Tobermory HS has camp area - more secure than roadside. Road from NT border to Boulia can be slow going. OK camp ground at Boulia.
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Reply By: Chris Thornton - Friday, Apr 05, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 05, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks Wendy for the advice-good to get it from a woman's perspective. Can hardly wait to hit the road!
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