Camper Trailer along Goog's Track

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 13:08
ThreadID: 91155 Views:4641 Replies:10 FollowUps:8
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Hi all,

Heading off to Ceduna from Melbourne in about 6 weeks for a holiday with the camper trailer (CT). Haven't been that way before and was thinking of visiting Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay, Squeaky Beach and doing Goog's Track. I read on the Trek Questions forum that it's better to do Goog's Track north to south with the CT because of the dunes. Has anyone taken a CT along Goog's in either direction and what challenges can I expect to experience? I've only taken the CT on bitumen so far a few times but its an off-road variant and more than capable of doing Simpson Desert etc. I'm am an experienced 4WD and done many trips to places like Frazer Island, Simpson Desert, Victorian High Country etc. Just haven't done any trips with the CT yet.

Some advise on track conditions, what to expect, things to see along the way etc. would be appreciated as I undertake my trip research.

Thanks in anticipation of some great feedback.

Rob K
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Reply By: Lloyd M - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 13:30

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 13:30
We took our Aussie swag through a couple of years ago. We went south to north. We had no real problems in the cooler times of the day, however afterlunch the sand dunes became more airated and as a result harder to get over. Our companions snatched us over a couple of dunes on the northern end in the hotter times. We got a permit to enter the Woomera Rocket Range and continued north through the stations to Coober Pedy. This is an isolated area, you need to be well prepared, as we didn't see any traffic for atleast 2 days. There is a good camping area at the salt lake.

Lloyd M

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Follow Up By: Member - Rob K (VIC) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 14:59

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 14:59
Thanks for the info Lloyd M, appreciate it.

FollowupID: 749623

Reply By: True Blue - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 15:06

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 15:06
We did it north to south in 2009 after accepting Stephen L (Clare) 's suggestion we include the Buckleboo Stock Route (Gawler Ranges) in our trip.

To include this we went north through the Gawler ranges from Kimba and then back down north to south along Goog's Track.

In my opinion doing it from this direction was very easy in our Prado (16-18psi)
and it certainly appeared that it would have been far choppier going the otherway (south to north).

UHF channel 18 from memory is the station to be monitored and we were constantly alerting other goog's track travellers that we were on the road. Over the length of the track we saw 2 other vehicles.

From my experience I would certainly recommend going this way if it fits in with your travel plans.

We were there in October and the wildflowers were spectacular PLUS we encountered sturt desert pea in full bloom. Oh yeah!

Our little group (8) loved the track so much we could have turned around and done it again, albeit not as smooth.


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Follow Up By: Member - Rob K (VIC) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 15:59

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 15:59
Thanks for that Wayne, haven't decided which way to do the track but appreciate your feedback.

FollowupID: 749625

Follow Up By: jdpatrol - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 17:43

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 17:43
I'm with Wayne here. We've done Googs twice and the recommended direction (south to north) means dunes on south side are always more cut up. We have a light camper (ulti) but got stuck on one dune basically cos I was busy yacking and not concentrating. Best thing about going south is the track repair you do, specially with a camper i.e. 6 wheels smoothing the track, filling in the holes etc. Other good thing is chat with folks going north (majority). Otherwise though, it's a pretty tame track if you're experienced and a very enjoyable trip if you take your time. Like Wayne, if going south, be sure to let people know on the UHF that you're heading south, say every half hour. Cheers
FollowupID: 749638

Follow Up By: True Blue - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 21:25

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 21:25

I neglected to mention in my initial response was that we were towing a Cub Supamatic off roader C/T.
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 17:20

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 17:20
Doesn't sound like much has changed since we did it about 10 years back, north to south. Towing a HD offroad trailer - as I recall, there were only 3 modest dunes at the upper end that required some tactics on our part (we were not experienced sandy people at that stage). After that, the going was strait forward along sandy tracks and minor dunes. We camped at the Mt Finke and Goog's lake camping areas - quite good (no facilities but). Mt Finke worth the climb (early cairn on the southern tip). Goog's is one of the Treks on this site.... tab above.
AnswerID: 474677

Reply By: Member - Graham N (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 18:12

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 18:12
Hi Rob,
we have taken our T-Van from north to south twice in the last two years, there was no problems other than I left my tires at 28 psi last year to test some gear on a sand dune after testing We aired down to 20psi and had no problems from then on.You will enjoy it and as mentioned a great camp spot near Goog's Lake. The first year we also had a couple with us towing a Cub camper once again no problems.

AnswerID: 474678

Reply By: Mick O - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 18:29

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 18:29
Rob did it a few years back south to north. Was towing a Tambo Cooper trailer behind the Navara. A few sticky spots here and there but with tyres aired down, you should be OK. Blogged the experience as follows;

Googs Track - Day 1

Googs Track - Day 2

Cheers Mick

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: Member - Rob K (VIC) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 21:06

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 21:06
Thanks Mick, the video footage was great - gave me a sense of what to expect. Appreciate your info.

FollowupID: 749652

Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 18:35

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 18:35
Rob I think a man of your experience with a capable vehicle & sturdy trailer will wonder what all the fuss is with Googs track after it's done. There is nothing as remotely challenging when compared with the Simpson & should cause no problem to any high clearance 4x4 (not overloaded) with correct tyre pressure. If looking for a comparison then the Mallee scrub along the SA Border Track has sand conditions much the same.
Have fun which ever way you decide to go.
Cheers Craig.........
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob K (VIC) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 20:56

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 20:56
Thanks Crackles, I've done the Border Track a couple of time now as well as Murray Sunset and Little Desert/Big Desert. If it's similar to these areas I'm OK with taking the CT.

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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 20:26

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 20:26
Done Googs track a few times - last was in 2010 when we spent 2 weeks on it doing volunteer work. From watching the many vehicles and trailers go over the dunes, I'd estimate 80% of vehicles do it a lot harder than they should. Listening in to the radio conversations, a lot of people do a fair bit of damage. The southern faces of the dunes are chopped up and way too many people think you need a head of steam to get over them. But if you lower your pressures to around the 15-18psi mark (including your trailer) you can walk the vehicle at slow pace over the ruts and your vehicle and trailer will arrive in one piece. Smooths out the corrugations as well.

On our first Googs trip we were travelling with someone who took a strong offroad trailer and they had the joy of watching a trailer wheel overtake them and head off into the bush - they'd broken an axle - we spent the afternoon welding it up.

The DENR people recommend you do it from the south - lots of the track is thick low mallee - single lane only, so its safer to go from the south.

Enjoy your trip
AnswerID: 474686

Follow Up By: Member - Rob K (VIC) - Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 20:58

Wednesday, Jan 11, 2012 at 20:58
Thanks Phil, appreciate the feedback.

FollowupID: 749651

Reply By: 158 - Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 at 00:41

Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 at 00:41
Hi Rob

We traveled south to north in Nov 2011 it was a good trip, we towed a Assie Track & trail CP. We got bogged 3 times all my fault...... steep learning curve.

But it would be better traveled (as fare as I'm concerned) north to south as all the approaches from the south are a mess, chopped out and you can not keep a good speed to maintain momentum with out leaving the ground.

Power was not a problem as I drive a 4.2 TD troopy, but it is a good trip and I will travel it again but this time from north to south (it probably would have changed by then).

PS track are pretty straight so easy to back down if you don't make it first time :-)

AnswerID: 474702

Follow Up By: Member - Rob K (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 at 08:40

Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 at 08:40
Thanks for that info 158, looks like a north to south trip might be the easier one to take (with some regular comms on the radio).

Thanks all for the responses, they've been great.


Rob K
FollowupID: 749669

Reply By: Priscilla G - Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 at 16:25

Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 at 16:25
Just make sure you travel when it,s cooler. Feb/march can still be a heatwave there.
AnswerID: 474743

Reply By: RobAck - Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 at 16:42

Thursday, Jan 12, 2012 at 16:42
You should have no problems South to North, with the right tyre pressures. We tow an Ultimate through there a lot and run 16 psi in the Prado and 12 psi on the Ulti and use first gear high range and centre diff locked and walk every dune. Never got above 1500 RPM for the trip on any climb.

You need to appreciate that this track is one lane and to get off it to allow someone coming from the opposite direction to pass, is almost a guarantee of pushing a lot of scrub, bush pin stripes and a possible puncture. You may get lucky and meet where there is some space but then again you may not

Sand flag and Ch18 as recommended. Do a regular channel call. But that doesn't mean anyone will have a radio or be listening as we have experienced on several trips

Do not drive on Googs Lake, there's plenty of decent campsites but sadly lots of them getting chopped up and more rubbish each time we visit. Good camping near Mt Finke so no need to make a new one

Take wood as there's not a lot around that's easy to find

Apart from that enjoy the trip and drop in at the Kingoonya pub if they are open



AnswerID: 474745

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