Mereenie Loop Feedback

Hi, I've just returned from a trip and drove this road. FYI the permit cost is now $5.50; just go into the road house and they write down your name and rego on the permit form, and you hand them the money. The process takes 1 minute.

There is quite a long, steep climb (if you are heading from Kings Canyon towards Alice), or descent if you come from the North towards KK, this should not be an issue, but be aware of it if you know such things cause you grief.

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Reply By: Mark S (cns) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 12:06

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 12:06
Hi Tim
What's the general road condition like?
did you see many campers or caravans on it?

AnswerID: 460342

Follow Up By: Tim123 - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 12:26

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 12:26
Hi Mark,

The general condition was excellent. A smooth surface without corrugations, no washouts, no pot holes of note. We don't tow, but I don't think there would be any issues, remembering that it is a dirt road.

We didn't see many vehicles at all, but we drove it quite early in the morning so people coming from Alice would not have had time to get there. I don't think we saw anyone towing (just some day trippers).

I deflated the tyres a little, and didn't exceed 80Km/h, but I'm sure many people probably go a lot faster !

After the loop we drove into Palm Valley, then back tracked to Gosse Bluff and Larapinta Drive to Alice. Most of the road north from Gosse Bluff to Alice is bitumen now.


FollowupID: 734012

Reply By: MarkSom - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 17:46

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 17:46
Hi all, Mark from Ballina, just got home from Central Oz, done Mereenie loop road 2 weeks ago, from Glen Helen to Kings Canyon, had Ford Territory towing Jayco Dove Outback, saw heaps of caravans & campers & even a bus towing 4wd, road was generally excellent, couple of rough corros, just go slow for these bits, generally stuck way left to get smooth stuff, some road was 110 km & smooth as babys bum, we droppd tyres by 3 psi, was expecting slow average speed but pleasant surprise.....had a great time!
AnswerID: 460357

Follow Up By: Tim123 - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:36

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:36

I don't want to sound like a preacher, but this is one of my "special issues". So I'm just stating this as a reminder to anyone who reads it.

Most of us are under some kind of time pressure when we travel, but you need to take care of your self, your family and other road users.

Although one can travel fast I really wouldn't recommend it. High speed and hard tyres only server to create corrugations on an otherwise good road damaging it for others. When you do hit a rough patch at speed you can quickly get into trouble.

When you approach an oncoming vehicle, slow down and pull to the side. Its horrible when a vehicle flies past kicking up rocks and showering you with debris. If you see a road train there is usually a total white out behind it, so pull over, STOP and check that your lights are on, only proceed when you can see again. Road trains don't stop and can't swerve, so you need to get out of their way.

End of sermon. Drive safely.

FollowupID: 734072

Reply By: p_marns - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 18:32

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 18:32
hey Tim, What about the road into palm valley, is it good enough to tow a camper in?
AnswerID: 460360

Follow Up By: Member - Ian and Cheryl (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 18:58

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2011 at 18:58
We were there 10 days ago - a guy had towed in a 20' Bushtracker with a LC200. As an ex BT owner I wouldn't have done that as there is some softish sand even getting to the campground. A campertrailer should not be an problem. The drive from the camp ground to Palm Valley (6ks I think) is vehicle only - the sign as you start the 26k drive to Palm Valley says allow three hours - that would be the return trip taking it easy.
Great spot!

FollowupID: 734033

Follow Up By: Tim123 - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:23

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:23
Hi, I agree with Ian's comments. There were several people with trailers, even a caravan in the camp area. To get in you need to cross the Finke river several times, its shallow (20 cm ?) with a firm base - no issues at all; but there are a few patches of sand along the way, once again I suggest lowering tyre pressure and going slowly.

You will reach the camp area, and a day use picnic area before getting to the main Palm Valley walk itself. If you intend on camping, then I suggest setting up on your way in, if you are doing a day trip, leave your trailer in the picnic area.

The first 20km (or so) to the camp /picnic area is really quite easy and quick, but from the picnic ground the last 4 km or so is very slow and a bit rough; and once you get to the end you will need to park and turn around, so I would recommend leaving the trailer.

Well worth the trip.

FollowupID: 734071

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