Birdsville races

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 08, 2011 at 20:12
ThreadID: 88910 Views:2213 Replies:2 FollowUps:11
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How'd the races go?Any comments?
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Reply By: Steven G1 - Thursday, Sep 08, 2011 at 20:34

Thursday, Sep 08, 2011 at 20:34
Hi Justin,
Was up at Birdsville for a few days and really enjoyed myself. Bropheys Tent, the pub, the carnival atmosphere and also of course, yes the races. Broke even, buts it's more for me about ticking it off the bucket list. Cheers
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Follow Up By: bibtracker - Thursday, Sep 08, 2011 at 23:08

Thursday, Sep 08, 2011 at 23:08
Yeah, I thought our national media might have given it a mention (and I'm a retired journo). Not surprised really, most TV news editors would not recognise a news story if it bit them on a sensitive part of their anatomy.
On a more positive note, I hope and plan to be there next year!
Cheers, Tony
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Reply By: eighty matey - Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 11:54

Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 11:54
Hi Justin,

I got back from Birdsville Wednesday morning. It was a really good weekend. The town is so organised and if anyone who didn't have fun shouldn't have been there.

It took us 24 hours driving to get there from the NSW Central Coast, through Bourke and Windorah. We camped near The Lookout on the East side of town. Only a 10 minute walk to the Pub. Showers were available at the caravan park for $5.00. I didn't see many rats but saw evidence of them and mates in swags had a few on the swags at night. A tip I picked up - leave your bonnet open at night to discourage the rats from getting in there to escape the cold at night and chew on wires while they're there.

The wind came up on Saturday but the races, both days, was a great event. I'm pretty sure ABC covered the races and they have a fair bit on their website.
Brophy's tent is a classic and worth every cent. I went two nights and had a chance to talk to Fred, some of the fighters and Cowboy (the legend). All really decent people that put on a great show.

We came home via Innaminka (Cordillo Downs), then Hungerford and Narrabri.
There were heaps of people camped at Innaminka. It had a permanent dust haze for the time we were there and the service station was the most popular place in town.

I met a lot of really good people and enjoyed talking to them, and listening to their travel stories.

Oh, what a feeling driving my 80 series Landcruiser out there. The Old Man Emu suspension, big fuel tanks, everything just made the trip so good. Just after the Bedourie turn off we passed a Subaru Forrestor fully loaded and they were doing about 40 kph. They wouldn't have gotten into Birdsville until after midnight at that rate. I really saw the difference between soft roaders and proper 4wds on that trip. A good set of tyres and suitable suspension can make the difference between having no problems and spending a fortune on getting recovered, or repairs in a remote location.

The Birdsville race weekend was great and I'm going again next year on the way home from our Kimberley trip.

Can't wait.

eight matey

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Follow Up By: Member - Justin O (QLD) - Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 12:22

Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 12:22
Thanks eight matey. We are just about to head out that way on Sunday. via Currawinya, Noccundra, Innamincka and Cordillo Downs. Roads all Ok I suspect. I know what you mean by the soft 4WD's I prefer to call them faux wheel drives. We passed one last year on the Birdsville track at the Tom Brennan memorial. It was heading north and already had two blown tyres. Heavily overloaded and towing a pop top idea! I doubt whether he would have got through the Moongarra Channel, it was still about 7 or 800 deep.

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Follow Up By: eighty matey - Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 12:47

Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 12:47
I feel sorry for the drivers of the X Trails and such because once you're there it must be stressful hoping to get through.

All roads are in good condition, relative to the area. The road from Dig Tree to Innaminka is pretty rough and there are a few bits along the Cordillo Downs that need to be driven with care. It's interesting to see how much water has been through that area in the recent past. Parts of the road north of Innaminka have been bypassed for good.

If you get a chance, stop at the Hungerford Pub. The managers, Moc and Sheree, are the best hosts I have ever come across. We stayed in the park across from the pub for $6.00 a head and had a few beers at the pub. Thoroughly entertaining.

The Noccundra Pub was quiet but good for a cool beer. There were a few people setting up on the Wilson River there.

We talked to some fellas that headed to the Cooper on Durham Downs after the races. They had 4 kilos of yabbie "meat" from one night there. They reckon the water was thick with them. They went from Cordillo Downs to Durham Downs.

Walkers Crossing is still closed until further notice. I heard it won't be open this year, at best.

Have a good trip,

eighty matey
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Follow Up By: Fab72 - Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 12:51

Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 12:51
Steady on tiger regarding the soft roader comments. In my opinion, people are becoming less adventerous and more soft as time goes by.

We went up the Birdsville track the week before the races in a Holden Captiva Diesel...bog stock standard.

Fuelled up in Lyndhurst, sat on about 90-100kmph all the way and got to Birdsville with still a quarter of a tank left (only a 65 litre tank too), no punctures, not a scratch on the car.

The next day we went out and climbed both sides of Nemisis dune, Big Red and Little Red. Despite having to wait for a convoy of proper 4X4's who were having trouble getting over the dunes on their way out to Big Red.

The best accessory you can ever get for a 4X4 is mounted between your ears not under your back side.

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Follow Up By: eighty matey - Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 13:04

Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 13:04
My apologies Fab72.

I shouldn't generaliise but I always feel so secure travelling in my Landcruiser, roof top tent, kitchen in the back, 100 litres of water, everything I need to get there and back.

I saw some people that were genuinely struggling and they were a long way from anywhere. One Nissan had done three tyres and was getting wheels lent to him to get to Birdsville.

The worst thing I saw was the bloke driving a late model Fairlane, towing an A Van. He had about 6 inches clearance at the hitch and stopped whenever someone came up behind him.

I used to run all over the country in a HQ Holden, sleeping bag and an esky. Plenty of flats and fencing wire then.

Good on you and I'm glad you had a good trip. I feel sorry for those that have a trip spoilt by being unprepared for the conditions.

Hoo roo,

eighty matey.
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Follow Up By: Member - Justin O (QLD) - Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 13:32

Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 13:32
Gidday Fab 72, Agreed. I'm sure you can get to the places you can because of your experience and doing your homework. I saw many idiots on Fraser Is in the mid 80's who had absolutely no idea and that's what I'm getting at here-people are taking risks, coupled to a lack of experience in vehicles that may not quite be up to it when the chips are down.
An example of experience - I went to Birdsville in 1978 with my grandfather in a 1970 Kingswood HG wagon towing a caravan. He was a true bushman, worked in the timber milling industry all his life. We took it steady and only had one mishap. Broke a spring on the caravan just outside Beetoota on the return journey. Chopped a piece of mulga, put between the chassis and axle, borrowed some wire from Sigmund at the pub and that got us to Quilpie where we got the spring welded. I reckon he could have got us out of any situation!
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Follow Up By: eighty matey - Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 14:20

Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 14:20
It's great country out there and I encourage everyone to get there at least once in their life. It's the real heart of Australia in many respects. Just be prepared.

Justin, I love the photo you have of the Cooper starting to run. What a great opportunity that was. I shouldn't be jealous, but I am. Next time.

hoo roo,

eighty matey
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Follow Up By: Fab72 - Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 16:16

Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 16:16
No offence taken Eighty Matey :)

Absolutley agree that having a purpose built vehicle does make it easier...without a doubt.

Kingswood in the 70's with a caravan. Now that's bragging rights. The track was nothing like the graded dirt highway we have today back then.

In contrast, not that many years ago there were those tourists that perished in the 75 series troopy because they got bogged and didn't know how to lock their hubs in or any form of basic vehicle recovery.

I guess the knowledge we share and assume as being "common sense" isn't perhaps so common to those with Toorak Tractors that assume invincibility.

Cheers Eighty Matey and Justin O for setting the record straight.
(Now's the time I fess up and tell you the Captiva is the wife's car and I have a Pajero - aka...real 4X4)...hehe


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Follow Up By: aussiedingo. (River Rina) - Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 18:38

Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 18:38
Image Could Not Be FoundImage Could Not Be FoundWe did the trip - Brisbane, Birdsville - the full length of the Birdsville track in 1995 in a stock standard Falcon XC wagon, normal road clearance, standard tyres, it was a goat track then compared with now, not encouraging now but then it was normal. Down to Adelaide wineries, home through Broken Hill, Louth, Brisbane all in 6 days! Great trip!!
"the only thing constant in my life is change"

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Follow Up By: aussiedingo. (River Rina) - Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 18:47

Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 18:47
Image Could Not Be FoundOops! did the trip only once then - wrong pic!! here is the correct one (ol timer's) hoo roo.
"the only thing constant in my life is change"

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Follow Up By: Fab72 - Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 21:19

Friday, Sep 09, 2011 at 21:19
Love the 27Mhz whip antenna.
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