Trip Advice - Flinders, Lake Eyre, Birdsville, Innamincka, Melbourne

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 14:15
ThreadID: 87816 Views:4685 Replies:9 FollowUps:2
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Hi All,
We are fairly new to 4X4. After years of waiting and other things taking place (house, etc) we finally got our first 4x4. 1996 Holden Jackaroo. We have completed a 4x4 training course and spent a fair amount of time in the Vic Big and Little Desert as we have family up that way.

We are planning a trip last week of Sept and 1st week of Oct taking in the following:

Melbourne - Flinders Ranges
Flinders - Arkaroola
Arkaroola - Halligan Bay
Halligan Bay - Birdsville and Big Red
Birdsville - Innamincka
Innamincka - Cameron Corner
Cameron Corner - Melbourne

Vehicle set-up includes Cooper ST, Poly air-bags, snorkel, roof rack, UHF, air compressor and other recovery gear including hand winch (yet to have one on the front), shovel, water, fridge, dual battery, self sufficient camping, etc etc.

Basically we would like any advice on:

Can we do this with a dog?
Anything to see that isn't on the main routes or others experiences worth noting?
Any required mods to the vehicle we would require that others wish they had / did have on this kind of trip?
Is it best just to get desert passes when we are there for day trips or given the itinery should we get a 12 month pass (Dog could be issue here I suspect)?
We should be around the Marree, William Creek area for the AFL Grand Final, which place would be best to see this game?


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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 14:45

Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 14:45

Looks like your vehicle is well prepared. Make sure tyres are better than 50% otherwise you may have tyre problems.

Think you may be taking on more than you could comfortably achieve. eg Halligan Bay -Birdsville/Big Red, thats over 700 clicks, and even with the track being in good order, would be a big day, that's if you wanted to see anything along the way.

We recently did a trip from Winton Q to Marree/Level Post Bay and back to Birdsville in 4.5 days. Were a bit pushed for time as had to back in Birdsville for a meeting, and really only had time for a few Kodak moments each day. Also cheesed off that we ran out of time to go to Halligan Bay too.

Must admit we were slow starters each day, so would have gained more time getting packed up earlier.

Hope you have a top trip, and are able to see all that you want too.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 461064

Follow Up By: Dicko1979 - Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 15:06

Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 15:06
Thanks Bob,
The itinery listed is a guide, not expecting to those trips in 1 day, (Halligan Bay to Birdsville over 2 - 3 days, 1 day out to Big red, next day head off to Innamincka, etc) basically stops along the way, however the list above is more regarding the major stops and things to see.
Tyres would be around 70% only 12k done on them.
FollowupID: 734746

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 16:08

Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 16:08
G'day Dicko, very wise choice of vehicle..but I'm a bit biased. You seem well set up for what you want to do, a bit more time would be good. You cant camp in National Parks with a dog as far as I know. Check the web for Desert Pass details, actually the
info may be on this site too. Check your fuel range so not to run short anywhere.
Dont forget your sense of humour & you will have a ball..cheers.....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 461072

Follow Up By: susan l - Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 17:43

Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 17:43
Phillip Bay at the world's most spectacular natural harbor city of Melbourne, is not only a vibrant international metropolis, is the capital of Victoria Island and the cultural center and has the charm of the tourist city. No matter where you come from the world, you can find interesting things to do.

FollowupID: 734763

Reply By: Member - Hillel K (VIC) - Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 16:52

Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 16:52
Hi there -Just back from some of those areas Flinders Wilpena no dogs allowed in National Parks areas and Halligan Bay is at least 1.5 hours to travel the 60km's from the turn off as it was rather corrugated when there.
AnswerID: 461077

Reply By: gq89 - Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 18:27

Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 at 18:27
no dogs at Arkaroola either. Make sure you have capacity to carry wood, it is very cold out here.
AnswerID: 461085

Reply By: Member - Graham Watson (SA) - Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 at 00:11

Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 at 00:11
We've just gotten back from Innaminka and Cameron Corner. I believe dogs are allowed if camping on the Innaminka Common, but not elsewhere in the innaminka regional reserve. The Desert Parks pass does not cover camping on the Common. It is a reasonably full days drive from Innaminka to Cameron Corner.
We spent 10 days as follows:
Adelaide to Appalina Springs (late start so didn't get as far as planned)
Appalina Springs to Lyndhurst (Stopped early because of rain and uncertain about condition of Strezlecki track)
Lyndhurst to Montecollina Bore (on Strezlecki Track)
MonteCollina Bore to Cullymurra Waterhole (Near Innaminka)
Two days relaxing along Cooper Creek and one day visiting sites associated with Burke and Wills
Cullynurra Waterhole to Fort Grey (In Sturt National Park past Cameron Corner)
One day exploring Sturt National Park
Fort Grey to Broken Hill
Broken Hill to Adelaide.
You could easily spend a week just in the Flinders ranges and another at Innaminka, so I think you are trying to fit too much into two weeks.
Graham Watson

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AnswerID: 461116

Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 at 10:13

Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 at 10:13
Hi Dicko,

I would suggest you include sand flags to your kit. There is a long detour from just outside Birdsville to Big Red because of road damage (it may be okay by the time you get there) which means negotiating several sand dunes before you get there. We actually turned back after three or four because we did not have sand flags and were really scared that someone would come flying over the top of the dune on to us.

We will definitely get some sand flags as they can also be useful on single lane roads.

Available from EO shop.

Get a mud map of the detour from the visitor centre.

Enjoy your trip.

AnswerID: 461136

Reply By: Travelling Tojo - Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 at 12:58

Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 at 12:58
We have done the this trip quite easily in two weeks. Agree with the sand flag comments. You don't want a close encounter. Cheers Tojo
AnswerID: 461146

Reply By: Dicko1979 - Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 at 19:09

Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 at 19:09
Thanks everyone for your comments.
Yes we already have a sand flag which we attach to a CB ariel that came with the Car. Gives us about 3 metres from the ground

The roof rack is yet to come, but will carry additional fuel when required and plenty of room for firewood.


AnswerID: 461179

Reply By: Fatso - Friday, Jul 29, 2011 at 11:29

Friday, Jul 29, 2011 at 11:29
If you are inexperienced the best bit of advice you can get is to slow down & not drive fast.
Dirt roads are unpredictable & you have to drive for the unexpected.
80 k is generally my safe top speed & sometimes you can come unstuck at that speed.
I was doing 80 kph near Bamaga some years ago on a beautiful graded road & came around a sweeping corner to a washed out road. Me the wife & 2 kids. The most precious things in the world instantly faced with trauma. I will brag that my cool hands got us through without rolling. But I will also admit that my stupidity got us into a very dangerous situation.
I couldn't brake heavily on the corner. That would have surely meant a loss of control. All I could do is wash off some speed, stop braking, hold her straight & hope to stay upright. The grey matter was going at a million miles per hour & 15 years on I can still see a big Iron Bark that I was determined to miss.
Another time South of William Creek. Once again it was a beautiful piece of dirt road. We were towing a well made lightly sprung & lightly loaded trailer of camping gear behind our Patrol wagon doing 80 kph. The dips in the road had all been smooth & going through most of them never required slowing down. Then the odd one pops up where once again my family's lives are tinkering on the edge & all that is left is my disaster management skills. A disaster, once again, that I created.
I jammed on the brakes & realising I wouldn't pull up decided to try & just keep control & try & stay upright. At about 60 kph I reckon I bottomed out all 6 wheels & then got them all air born straight after.
That was 10 years ago & it still haunts me.
They are the most dangerous situations that I have put my family in & both times they jumped up without warning while driving on smooth roads at what some would call slow.
Hundreds of more times I have averted these situations by slowing down for everything & leaving nothing to chance.
Overloading your car, which it sounds like you will do & putting stuff on a roof rack will make your car much more unstable. It might not feel to bad, but when the situation gets a bit sideways on the gravel or you hit a few wheel ruts in the road at speed & over correct it can very easily come unstuck.
So throw out half the stuff you pack (you will still have more than you need & less than you want) & slow down.
Also ditch the mutt. He'll be trouble.
Remember "it's supposed to be a holiday, not the Dakar"
AnswerID: 461227

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