Flinders Ranges, Birdsville Track, Big Red, Innaminka, Cameron's Corner and Outb

Submitted: Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 14:04
ThreadID: 88431 Views:4851 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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Hi All

just wanted to post a brief thread as we've just come back from two weeks where we got both perfect weather and driving conditions! We in the front were travelling in a Hilux with our parents in their early model Forrester that had no problems (although lucky we all went out to Big Red in the Hilux).

Some brief travel notes I wanted to share with others:
- climbed St Mary's peak (second time now) which was still a challenge and doing the loop track to 7 1/2 hours. The beer back at Wilpena Pound tasted amazing!
- Clayton's campsite was wonderful (in terms of spa) although there are a lot of mice there at the moment
- the ferry at Cooper's crossing was a memorable event, and the ferry operators wanted people to know that you can get your camper trailer across too (I'm not sure if there's a fee for service as it gets loaded on a little truck that goes over separately. Also the ferry has been recently expanded to accommodate length of over 9m check SA roads for details)
- the detour road to Big Red was an experience in itself! we counted 12 sizeable sand dunes which were rough and steep in parts. Even if going for the day highly recommend a flag in case of oncoming traffic. this was the only technical driving we did all trip
- we took the long way around from Birdsville to Innaminka and it was very scenic, roads were in good condition
- we also took some smaller roads from Innaminka to Cameron's corner skirting around East and staying in Queensland. These were all lovely roads and again very picturesque.
- the only bad thing to report was our time staying at Cameron's Corner. We decided to go for the camping near the camp kitchen and got woken up well after 10pm with very loud music. Turned out it was the managers (I think) who were playing a movie. Normally I hate complaining, but this time I waited for ages thinking they might turn it down but no luck. I got a very unpleasant reaction when I asked them to turn it down and was made to feel very unwelcome. The good thing is they donate camping fees to Royal Flying Doctor Service but I would recommend either the bush camping away from their living area or Fort Grey in NSW national park where we ended up having breakfast. A very lovely spot and close to a beautiful lake full of water at the moment and we had a great chat with the park rangers. we took the middle road which was scenic and mostly in very good condition.
From Cameron's Corner we ended up having a long day to Broken Hill as Packsaddles didn't really have viable camping options. From Broken Hill we came back east stopping at a cute little cafe and second hand bookshop in Wilcannia. Great talking to the owners who were telling us a lot about the town and its revival.

from there we headed up and camped two nights in the Paroo Darling national park on the Darling river road to Bourke. It was really special - a great time to relax and enjoy not driving. Then through Parkes and sadly back to cold Canberra!

We saw heaps of wildlife - huge contrast to October last year doing the Oodnadatta Track and Lake Eyre where we saw hardly any.

All in all over 5000km and the Forrester had no problems except as I understand it not as comfortable a ride on the corrugations as we were enjoying!!

Except for the sour experience at Cameron's Corner everyone we met was absolutely lovely and my parents are now hooked and looking at upgrading the car and getting a camper trailer. This was the first test of our oz-tent RV4 and we absolutely loved it. Weather was perfect the whole time and thanks to all the little places we stopped and people we chatted to for making the experience so memorable.
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Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 16:41

Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 16:41
Hi Altrason,

Thanks for your very informative thread. We have also just returned to near Canberra from a similar trip. Wonderful.

We are looking forward to going to the places you went but we missed in the near future. I will print your thread for future reference.

We love the outback but one part of the trip closer to home that I really enjoyed was the beautiful country on Lachlan Valley Way between Cowra and the Hume Hwy.

AnswerID: 462430

Reply By: Member - Alan D - Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 18:39

Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 18:39
Thanks for the story. We are doing a similar trip from Kangaroo Island to Flinders RAnges to Innaminka then Cameron's Corner back to Newcastle in late September. We have a Prado towing an Off road camper trailer by Complete Campsite.

Is there a reason you went to Broken Hill rather than straight to Bourke from Cameron's Corner?

I have read about a campsite called the Yellow Bus. Did you consider it instead of Cameron's Corner?
AnswerID: 462443

Follow Up By: DesF - Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 19:44

Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 19:44
Hi, If you are refering to the old yellow Double decker bus on the road between Camerons Corner and Merty merty, I dont think it is much of a campsite,
Maily just the old bus ( shot full of holes) that was a musterers camp, in the middle of bare earth, A couple of spindly trees,
Would not be one of my choices, have been there half a dozen times going past , usually in the middle of the day, lunch stop.
But you never know,
Cheers Des.
FollowupID: 736255

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 20:38

Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 20:38
Yep, the yellow bus, went past there a week ago. It's just a roadside stop between Cameron's Cornere and Strezleckie Track on the Merty Merty, I guess a few may camp there, not my ideal spot.


As for Cameron's, I wouldn't stop there either.
FollowupID: 736262

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 20:40

Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 20:40
FollowupID: 736263

Reply By: happytravelers - Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 19:22

Friday, Aug 12, 2011 at 19:22
Thanks for that interesting report. We did a very similar trip to you over four weeks during June/July including Oodnatta and Lake Eyre. We would have camped at many of the places you camped. Sorry to hear of your bad experience at Cameron Corner, we had a very enjoyable stay there and found the staff most welcoming.

AnswerID: 462447

Reply By: Sigmund - Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 at 10:41

Sunday, Aug 14, 2011 at 10:41
Get a lightish CT and you don't need to upgrade the Forester. Just put an alloy sump guard on and some decent AT treads.

We've done the Mereenie Loop, Ood Tk and shorter tracks with our setup. The CT is 500kg tare.
AnswerID: 462553

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