2WD around Oz

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 17:25
ThreadID: 97137 Views:2031 Replies:7 FollowUps:19
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Hi,

Sorry and thanks to those who replied to my first thread, i can;t see how to find your previous posts but i would like to thank those who's replies i saw in my email.

I wanted to ask about 2WD'ing around Oz. I drive a falcon wagon. I take it most places a 4WD will go, only limited by clearance normally. Dont imagine it will do much good along places like the Birdsville Track though.

Got 6-7 months off end next year. Want to see as much as i can within reason. Easily traverse the centre up to Darwin and take in Macdonnel Ranges, Uluru etc along the way. But what about out of Darwin (Litchfield Kakadu) and across through the Kimberlies and coastal WA down to Perth? As far as i can tell theres black stuff, but imaging i'd end up frustrated not being able to get off the stuff, is it right? What are the dashed line roads on the map off the black stuff like over there?!

Suppose i could just hire a four-by in Darwin and stuff to do around there.

Anyhow, thoughts suggestions from community most welcome!
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 17:34

Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 17:34
A falcon wagon will have no problems with the Birdsville track or in fact any of the roads like it, these days they are all well graded and maintained except when it is wet you would have no problem driving to the condiitions.
Peter
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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 17:41

Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 17:41
Forgot to add that if it is the Falcon alone (not towing anything) then most of your proposed route will be ok, the Gibb river rid would also be ok these days, pretty much all of Kakadu is 2wd access with only places like Jim Jim the only ones needing 4wd so either hire or go on a tour for the day.
Our indigineous brothers travel all over the outback in Falcons on tracks and roads many 4wd er's would hesitate to travel all the time, never mind the backpackers.
Peter
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Follow Up By: veight - Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 18:22

Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 18:22
I done the Gibb in May this year i would NOT take a falcon on the gibb river road.
The 3 best spots in Kakadu require a 4x4 in my opinion they are Jim Jim, twin falls & Gunlom.
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Follow Up By: lj_eco - Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 20:13

Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 20:13
Thanks Humvee..

Righto, i had heard Birdsville was do-able under certain conditions, but then been warmed off as well (probably by those that saw it under those conditions!?). In that case i'd be expecting a bit like the back road along the darling to Pooncarie - deepish sand, bulldust and the odd deep hole then? If so sounds fun! Obviously checking in local conditions before setting off.

Not a fan of the organised tour, so hire for Kakadu sounds the go. If you can get around most of it except some of the best spots reckon the hire might be worth it.

And yeah the bush mechanics dream of the old falcon.. had forgotten that! Might be good for spare parts around the traps should it come to it!

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Follow Up By: Hairy (WA) - Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 13:53

Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 13:53
Gday,
Sure our "Indigenous brothers " get around in Falcons in places some might hesitate, but have you seen their cars after a couple of months of doing it!
It all depends whether his car is a consumable or something he wants to get home and keep using. Unless hes happy using fencing wire to keep the doors shut, screw drivers for ignition keys and can do without suspension there are quite a few roads out there I woiuldnt advise in a Falcoon! LOL
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Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 18:41

Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 18:41
Hi lj-eco

While there are many roads than you can travel with a 2wd, we choose to go outback. While we don't often need engage 4wd, this has been necessary on several roads, and more often, high clearance has been needed.

There are adventure tour 4wd coaches that cover the Gibb River Road and places such as Jimjim and Twin Falls in Kakadu.

Rural roads in agricultural areas are well maintained for all vehicles, but roads such as the Gibb River Road (in particular depending on the depth of water crossings), and some of long inland dirt road routes in the Northern Territory may have patches you would have difficulty with.

It would be feasible to drive around with your Falcon, and take commercial tours in key locations. When hiring a 4wd for dirt road use, you can expect to be paying higher fees than when the hire agreement is black top only as most are.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: lj_eco - Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 20:31

Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 20:31
Yep, agreed and after looking at the road conditions for some of those places, hire 4WD definitely the go for the special spots. I remember hiring 4WD some years ago on a fly-in fly-out conference up north (only had a half day to cruise around) and they said stay on the black stuff. Did take it off and came back via carwash. What sort of premiums would they charge if you said 'i'm taking this to Jim Jim Falls'!? Just flicked an email to AVIS but their website isn't the best design for customer online inquiries. if i hear back i'll let ya know
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 14:37

Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 14:37
I sometimes winder about the mentality of that...

"We're happy to rent you a 4wd at great expense, however stay on the black stuff..." - one would be tempted to ask what the point of hiring an expensive 4wd is then....?
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Reply By: The Explorer - Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 19:14

Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 19:14
Hi

Your previous tread is here Got 7-8 months - around Oz?

Re: comment "I take it most places a 4WD will go" - please send videos! it will be a great watch :) Just kidding - I think you mean you go places people with 4WD's also go (e.g. shops:), any type of gravel road with a bit of sand and the occasional rock). Lots of places you actually need "4WD" (broad definition), though having said that some people do exagerate degree of difficulty of some tracks/locations so many "4WD" destinations are easy as...good to see some one having a crack at it - thats the main thing. Have fun.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: SDG - Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 19:29

Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 19:29
Did a lot of Kosiosko, and Vic High country in an old LH Torana. Mate that travelled with us was in a HQ station wagon
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Follow Up By: lj_eco - Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 20:40

Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 20:40
Think the roads marked '4WD only'. I go!

I do drive a 4-by for work and have the advanced training that gets some good use out in the high country behind Canberra, so i guess i just use the basic principles, and know the limits of the wagon!

most fun one recently was up one of those rocky dry riverbeds in the northern flinders ranges. Few guys coming the other way stopped to see if i was mad ;-)

Done a bit of bulldust/deep sand, don't mind the sliding around like a 'tinny on the river feeling'. just never been really remote under those conditions.

And yeah, i agree... gotta have fun! But know ya limits! If i had the house paid off and retired (which will hopefullly happen ONE day!) i/'d go and lash out on a decent reliable not too-old truck. But as far as i can see, for under 10-grand ya looking at 90/'s model 4-runners with 400,000 plus k's! Ick
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Reply By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 19:34

Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 19:34
El Questro, off the GRR, has all 4WD tracks with clearance and deep creek crossings the problem.
Not much to see if you don't go on the tracks and the walks.

I went round the block in 2010 - 2011 and took in most sights. Used 4WD for peace of mind mainly. Some sandy tracks were tight and inland WA roads were used by mines so all in good condition.

Bill
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Follow Up By: Member - nick b - Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 20:40

Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 20:40
I think its more to do with good vehicle clearance than 4wd !!!
this may also apply to towing vehicle but there's not a lot of big vehicle in aus that are not 4wd's .

cheers
Cheers Nick b
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Follow Up By: lj_eco - Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 20:44

Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 20:44
Thanks Bill.. yeah had considered inland WA, got some old mates up Newman and Parabadoo way (although they're on fly-in-out shifts so could see em in Perth.. ) But would love to get out to some of those big open place spaces and catch up. hadn't thought of that, if there's mines there'll be good tracks :)

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Reply By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 08:30

Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 08:30
G'day,
We have travelled Australia extensively in a kitted out Hilux. I also own a Falcon Wagon for my interstate work related travel.
There are many roads in the outback that I would take my Falcon on. The outback road conditions change from week to week so you need to get ÚP TO DATE local info when you get to an area you wish to travel in.

I remember one trip on the Gulf road that the road condition was awful. It was washed out with rocks strewn around & the creek crossings were deeply eroded. Midway through the road we came across the road repair crew coming in the opposite direction & after that the road become a gravel hwy due to the recent works.
So it all depends?

Cheers
Stu
AnswerID: 491859

Reply By: lj_eco - Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 18:56

Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 18:56
I guess i'm simply coming to a somewhat better informed version of the idea that i came here to this thread with. Can be done, don't 'need' but better with 4x4. And not just a soft-roader, but something with high clearance.... if you want to get to those few 'best spots'.

Looked at the cost of hiring for a 6-7 day venture into Kakadu, at least $1300 before adding any higher premiums for being on dirt (always baffled me that one about hiring 4x4).

If i hired 3 or 4 times in different places i'd be half way to a beaten up old 4x4 already.. maybe this thread should have been 'if i want to buy a cheap used 4x4 what should i look for'! Assuming diesel is way to go for longevity on that front.

Is a shame, but part of the adventure i guess.. that you can do 90%, but to get to 'those spots' you do need it (high clearance 4x4). That's ok, i do enjoy my work 4 wheeling be nice to have it for the weekends too i suppose!

Thanks for all the thoughts so far all
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Follow Up By: SDG - Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 20:52

Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 20:52
Nothing wrong with the older Landcruisers, or Patrols. I would prefer them anyday over some of the newer ones. Still plenty of good ones around well under 10grand.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 21:07

Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 21:07
There's plenty of petrol 80 series Landcruisers around for under $10,000 at the moment.

My mate averages around 20 litres per 100km fully loaded on big trips, my diesel 80 uses average of 15 litres per 100 km.

Don't worry if it's got 300,000km on the clock because it'll be good for another 200,000 km at least.

It's worth considering.
Steve
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Follow Up By: lj_eco - Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 14:05

Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 14:05
Actually browsing on carsales and have to agree there's some decent old beasts out there. Kind of got me a bit excited to be honest.. i'm presuming the average user would expect 500,000km out of these things!??
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 22:45

Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 22:45
I have a diesel 80 series that has just done 404,000 km and is still going strong.

On Saturday we're heading off with two mates to do a 13,5500 km trip across the Centre to The Kimberley and back.

The other two vehicles are petrol 80 series. One has done over 550,000 kms and the other has about 330,000 km on the clock.

The 550,000 km one has just had the gearbox reconditioned bcause it was running with no oil in it for a while.

These vehicles are prety much bullet proof. We load them up and head off where we don't see anyone else. We don't baby them and they take a lot of punishment.

We've climbed mountains and crosseed rivers over our bonnets, then when we head home down the freeway it's like driving a car, a big car.

My diesel averages about 15 litres per 100 km, the petrol Cruisers average about 20 litres per 100 km. That's cruising at about 100 kph carrying about 3 tonne all up.

It's definitely worth considering an 80 series.

Steve
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 22:50

Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 22:50
Ps,
I should have added;
heaps of room, good clearance and spares can be sorced in remote areas.

Steve
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Reply By: D200Dug- Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 23:06

Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 at 23:06
A: Do you have a limited slip dif yet ?

B: have you considered larger offroad tyres for your trips ?

Just a suggestion :-)
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Follow Up By: lj_eco - Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 14:02

Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 14:02
No LSD. Presuming this to cost between 1-2K to add on? Not offroad tyres but intermediate. Stocks kept popping on shale/slate roads in the mountains so upgraded to overcome that. Haven't needed much more.

Good suggestions though ta!
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Follow Up By: D200Dug- Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 14:13

Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 14:13
I drove a 2wd ute into all sorts of places

Good heavy duty light truck tyres and a LSD were great.

A wrecker may be able to source a used dif for you ??
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Follow Up By: lj_eco - Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 14:20

Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 14:20
yeah having thought more about it I reckon i'm just gonna have to go with a high clearance vehicle, even for only a handful of spots along the way. Otherwise i wish i could just take the falcon with mods as ya say. Sounds fun! Definitely thoughts for future local stuff i take on :)
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Follow Up By: D200Dug- Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 14:33

Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 at 14:33
we tow a van now so have gone to a 4 x4

The old toyota ute got us into and out of some amazing places and got comments like "WOW that must be a good 4 wheel drive to get in here " :-)

I look at the footage of the old Redex round Australia rallies and they were all just beefed up road cars.

Most people driving 4x4s have no idea what they are doing anyway :-)

cheers doug
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