Camping near Docker River on Great Central Road

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 20:56
ThreadID: 92373 Views:4852 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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Hello everyone,
I am trying to find out if over night camping is still viable/desirable adjacent to Docker River on the Great Central Road. From what information I can gather there is or used to be a honour system paid camping area maintained? by the local Docker River community. It has been suggested that this has become very run down. Camps Australia don't mention this one but list a paid camping area at Kaltukatjara Roadhouse at Docker River. Are these actually the same camping area? Anyone got any suggestions on the best camping options in the area. We will be totally self contained in a full off road van.
Cheers,
Al-one
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Reply By: Mick O - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 21:43

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 21:43
Badly run down. Don't expect water or firewood and the fire pits will be full of ash. A sad state of affairs.

Docker River & the campground disappointment

Unless things have changed in the last 9 months (which I doubt), you are better off finding a spot a little off the road and well away from a community.


Cheers Mick


''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 22:09

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 22:09
Yes, it's a shame, but I agree.

We were there in October last year. There were so many things that could have been good, even excellent.

A number of flushing toilets, none working, all filled with dried c**p.

Taps at every other campsite, none working.

Fireplaces overflowing with rubbish and ashes.

A bore with a solar powered pump to supply the toilets and taps, wires disconnected, reconnected in wrong polarity, disconnected again, not working.

A sign asking (requiring?) visitors to pay (nowhere to pay) for the provided facilities - except that they don't exist due to neglect.

I would have been happy to seek out how to pay had the facilities been there, but I'm damned if I'll pay for facilities that are not there. We bush camped (Left No Trace - self contained).

A shame, because the campground is in a beautiful area and could be so good, providing an income stream to the community.

Mick, I think your blog hints at the unexpressed frustrations that we both feel.

Cheers
FrankP

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Follow Up By: Member - Blaze - Friday, Mar 09, 2012 at 23:54

Friday, Mar 09, 2012 at 23:54
Totally agree Mick,

Unless I needed to be in Docker River for Breakfast (can't think why I would), I would be camping quite a few K's East/West or North of Docker.

Cheers
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Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 22:17

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 22:17
Hi Al-one

The camp ground near Kaltukatjara settlement at Docker River is in a grove of desert oaks with hills of the Petermann Range surrounding it, and the local community has set up honesty box camping with flush toilets and cold showers in tin sheds at each camp. However it has a history of vandalism. When we arrived we found the water supply no longer worked and the honesty box was smashed. This seems a common story. Our visit was in 2009 and we did not stay, although the location is lovely.

The settlement (and i presume the roadhouse is within the settlement) is a little way in from and not visible from the road. The campground was i recall about four kilometres west of the settlement access road and easily seen when passing on the GCR.

We were travelling east to west and continued on to Warakurna in WA as we had plenty of time, and wanted to stay at Warakurna overnight to do the Giles Weather Station tour in the morning.

For the next two nights we readily found good bush camping spots.

I have a blog of our GCR trip from 2008 in My Blogs.

Motherhen

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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 22:56

Wednesday, Mar 07, 2012 at 22:56
In a word...........Yuk!

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Allan

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Reply By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Thursday, Mar 08, 2012 at 01:15

Thursday, Mar 08, 2012 at 01:15
Do as a lot do including myself ---camp well off the track and enjoy the piece and quiet with the camels.
AnswerID: 479833

Reply By: Bush Wanderer - Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 12:03

Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 12:03
A lovely campsite wrecked by vandals.

I could not imagine though people traveling the GCR would be like that...but there must be the odd loser or three.
AnswerID: 480040

Reply By: bgreeni - Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 16:45

Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 16:45
Stopped there in January this year. As above toilets were unusable, no water etc.

There was a large tour group camping there so I did stay the night but left as soon as light enough to drive.

AnswerID: 480057

Reply By: get outmore - Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 19:50

Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 19:50
Classic example of local jobs going begging through a lack of effort and too much gvt money
AnswerID: 480060

Follow Up By: get outmore - Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 19:54

Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 19:54
To elaborate that place could be a must stop with its fantastic views of the petermans in the morning. It could empty a campground host with locals selling art along with guided petermsn ranges tours

Instead on a national forum the message is

STAY AWAY
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