Andamooka to Lake Torrens

Submitted: Monday, May 28, 2012 at 23:48
ThreadID: 95873 Views:2388 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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Hoping to leave the caravan at Andamooka and go west to Lake Torrens in the 2wd trayback ute, in August. Want to camp a couple of nights near the lake.

I've been out there in the Commodore wagon, five years ago. As I remember it, the road was graded as far as Chimney Hole Dam but after that it got a bit rough with a couple of small creek crossings.

There have been a couple of significant rain events out that way in the intervening time so I wonder if anybody's been out that way lately.

Will a 2wd ute handle it?

On one of my trips out there, the Missus dropped me and the quadbike off at Chimney Hole Dam and picked me up a couple of days later.

Nearly out to the lake there's an old fence that goes south for miles. It also goes north and crosses to top of the lake.

I followed this fence south for 17km till it crossed an arm of Lake Torrens at Sketching Pile.

Certainly wont be doing that in the ute though.
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 07:43

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 07:43
When I went a few years ago the road was fine. Just a bit sandy after the gate through the fence.

I think I have seen somewhere that the road has been closed off recently due to mining. Not absolutely sure but may be worth a check before going out there.

Alan
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Follow Up By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:00

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 10:00
Sorry for any inconvenience.

I misread the post as Lake Frome instead of Lake Torrens

Alan
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Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 15:02

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 15:02
That's fine, Alan.

I often imagine Edward John Eyre standing in disappointment on Mount Hopeless, surveying the sight before him. Lake Frome, Lake Eyre South and Lake Torrens, thinking it was the one, impenetrable, muddy, horseshoe salt lake and calling the whole thing Lake Torrens.
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Reply By: Member - John N (SA) - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 09:45

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 09:45
For the latest info, suggest you ring Margot Duke at the Andamooka Bottle House motel (08 8672 7007). We intended visiting there Easter time and was advised that the track had not been maintained for a couple of years and had many washouts due to rains. Her suggestion was to give it a miss, particularly as we were on our own. Apparently there is no fee to access the track now.

Cheers

John
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Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 15:25

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 15:25
Thanks, John!

"Apparently there is no fee to access the track now. "

Maybe you are referring to the track around the top of Lake Torrens. I just want to go west to the lake. It's about thirty kms.





Thanks,
Laurie.
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Reply By: Gossy - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 15:40

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 15:40
Best to ring the pubs (there is 2 in town). Get the latest info.
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Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 23:19

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 23:19
Thanks Gossy!

If I can't get reliable info from you blokes, I can afford to play it by ear. There's plenty else do out that way.

I reckon we may make Andamooka our base for a week or two. Hope to leave the little van in the park or some such and camp in the tent a few nights.
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Reply By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 22:24

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 22:24
Hi. There was a way out to the lake via White Dam which followed the sand dunes for part of the way. Have a look at google maps and you may be able to pick it out. From memory no 4wd was needed but some clearance would be necessary. There is also an amphitheatre in the dunes along that track which contains many stone cutting implements. It is a nice run out there over the gibber rocks, but slow going. Cheers, Leigh
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Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 23:12

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 23:12
Thanks, Leigh!

Yes, I know that track. Been that way a couple of times on the quadbike.

The first time out there I couldn't get through the gate for a chain heavy enough to tie up the Queen Mary and a padlock to match.

So I followed the fence west and eventually found an unlocked gate. Wandering along, trying to follow some faint wheel tracks through the salt bush of the swathe between the dunes, I eventually came on a reasonable track which took me over a few dunes and headed south.

Late afternoon I saw a good storm approaching. I new little of the country so had no idea what to expect.

Heading for a safe spot, half way up a sand dune, I got a rope between a myall tree and the bike with a tarp over it and got the tent up in the lulls between squalls.

Got a feed of spagetti and a cuppa on a little gas stove, huddled under the tarp between the tent and the bike.

Coming on dark, the storm was gone to my great relief so I spent a quiet night.

The track took me out to the track you refer to, near Yarloo Bank, and I followed your track out to the lake and camped a couple of nights.

But this time with the Missus and a good, 2wd ute, I'm looking for an easier track. The track I'm hoping to follow, you go straight down the main drag of Andamooka, out past the cemetery and the rubbish tip and keep to the the main track.

It will be a disappointment if we can't get out to the lake, but there's so much to see and photograph, even within walking distance of the end of the bitumen, at Andamooka.

Thanks,
Laurie.
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