The Old Ghan Track

Submitted: Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 21:08
ThreadID: 97836 Views:2039 Replies:6 FollowUps:16
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My Wife and I are heading from Tamworth to Alice, going Via Adelaide, and up the Old Ghan leaving on the 2/10/12, I am having trouble finding out if we will need any permits in South Australia. We are planning on heading from Adelaide to Woomera then up to the Oodnadatta, then up the old road to Alice, but I cannot find any info that says we will need a permit for this trip. Can any one please shed some light on this for me. I have looked at the http://www.waru.org/resources site but I cannot make any sense as to whether we will need a permit for the areas we are going. I was under the impression you no longer need a permit for Finke. All advice and comments are welcome.

Nathan

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 22:11

Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 22:11
Hi Nathan

The trip that you are planning is all permit free, including Finke. The only permit that you may consider is if you wish to have a side trip and have a swim and stay at Dalhousie, before heading further north.

By that time of the year the temperatures will be on the rise, so make sure that you carry extra water.


Have a great time.



Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 22:15

Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 22:15
Hi Nathan

I made one slight boo boo.......if you intent to visit the mound springs in the Wabma Kadarbu Conservation Park, then a permit is required.



Cheers


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Reply By: BUSH CAMPER - Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 22:37

Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 22:37
You don't need any permits, the weather will be warm so be prepared for that. We did the trip about 16 weeks ago with an Elite off road caravan and had no trouble.
Go to dalhousie springs if you get a chance, nice spot, spring water is 38 degrees.
The Ghan section was pretty good, just let your tyres down to about 30 PSI and drive to the conditions, don't overload.
Chambers Pillar is also a nice little spot to spend a night..
have fun,
Hugh
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Follow Up By: Member - Kevin S (QLD) - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 05:14

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 05:14
Hi bush camper. Where you able to take your van into chambers pillar?
Cheers
Kevin
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 09:04

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 09:04
Hi Nathan

We were there a week back. We don't tow but I would suggest nothing less than a good off road van or CT. A bit rough and not maintained in the most part. CT's and the like should be okay. There were a few Kimberley Kamper types there when we went in. Same for the Lambert Center. Not much at Finke and no camping there.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 09:25

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 09:25
G'day Bushcamper,
You are correct in saying that a permit is not required for the trip the OP is planning but you DO need a permit to visit Dalhousie Springs.
The ranger was checking them when we were there & someone got pinged for not having one.

Cheers
Stu
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 10:14

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 10:14
Dalhousie (Witjira) NP is covered by the SA Desert Parks Pass. At $150 I am not surprised that someone wanting to visit just Dalhousie NP for the day doesn't get a pass.

I didn't see one but it would be nice to have a day visit pass or something that could allow one to visit there and maybe camp for just one night and then back out. I do understand that the desert parks and others need funds and am not criticising that.

Personally if it was us just visiting Dalhouse and backing out instead of driving through to the Simpson, as we did last month, then we would still, without a second thought, pay because it's a damned long way back and it really is not a lot in the scheme of things considering food, fuel and maintenance costs on the car.

Phil
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Follow Up By: BUSH CAMPER - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 14:02

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 14:02
We didn't get a permit to go into dalhousie springs however we went looking for the ranger, but was told that he would be there in a couple of days, but we left before he arrived. plenty of people said " give us the money and they would pass it on"
And yes we took our off road van into Chambers pillars, people there said how did you get that in but we didn't have any trouble, just drive carefully.
The Elite van has good high clearance with cooper ATR tyres and as it's 17 ' long, the departure angles were Ok.
Hope this helps
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 14:18

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 14:18
Nice to get a freebie now & again!
Knowing my luck if I don't get a permit it's the day for spot checks & I get done for it.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 18:26

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 18:26
Bushie

I hope you get got one day.

At least I pay my way. Nothing wrong with a freebie provided its legal mate.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 18:33

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 18:33
Bush Camper

I do not know your van. My judgement was made using as a guide the three "supposedly" off-road vans we met broken down on ths Oodnadatta track a few weeks back. Supposedly off road. Bits were being shaken off them. They were not what I would call offroad. Neither were they CT's to even KK's ot T-vans. Just ordinary dual wheel vans. The Oodnadatta track was in better nick than the road to Chambers. It is hard to advise on vans because there are so many variations. Good on you but if I had one (which I wouldn't) I would not have taken it in.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 21:37

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 21:37
You DO needa permit for Dalhousie Springs & there is no excuse for not having one as you can get them from either the Pink Roadhouse at Oodnadatta or at Mt Dare.

At $9.00 entry & $17.00 per night camping isn't a lot considering the total cost of a trip anywhere, so there is no real reason for not purchasing a day permit at least.

We also get the occasional caravan that drops in stays the night & leaves in the morning without paying their camping fees, we had some a couple of months ago come to think of it!

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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 09:23

Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 09:23
Morning Jeff

Cheap as chips. Thought so. Having to pay $150 for a Desert Pass I though was rough.

Back next year mate hopefully with two sons & family in their cars.

Phil and Sue

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Reply By: BUSH CAMPER - Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 22:37

Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 22:37
You don't need any permits, the weather will be warm so be prepared for that. We did the trip about 16 weeks ago with an Elite off road caravan and had no trouble.
Go to dalhousie springs if you get a chance, nice spot, spring water is 38 degrees.
The Ghan section was pretty good, just let your tyres down to about 30 PSI and drive to the conditions, don't overload.
Chambers Pillar is also a nice little spot to spend a night..
have fun,
Hugh
AnswerID: 494272

Reply By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 11:34

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 11:34
Nathan,
You have planned a most enjoyable trip. The diversions to Lambert centre, Dalhousie andChambers pillar are worth while time permitting.
AnswerID: 494288

Follow Up By: Charlie B2 - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 13:25

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 13:25
Hi Michael,

Please excuse my warped sense of humour, but that's a pretty rough "Old Gran" you've got there! :-)

Mine was shorter and cuddlier.

Yeah, I know you've got dyslexic fingers - so've I - but all seriousness aside, that's a great photo!

Again, my apologies.

Regards,


Charlie
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 13:52

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 13:52
Never been up the old Ghan (or Gran Track either) Track, but had heard you have to watch out for the odd railway spike.

No wonder!!! Didn't realise you also had to negotiate a lot of "wooden corrugations" as well?

Yeah, top photo, Micheal. If you've any more like this, you should put them in your profile page.

Bob.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Kneedraggin - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 19:53

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 19:53
Michael P, Thanks heaps for the Picture, getting more and more excited

Nathan

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Follow Up By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 11:11

Thursday, Sep 06, 2012 at 11:11
Hi Guys,
Thanks for the compliment, (Photo).

Bob, deciding which photo's to leave out is the hardest part of adding to the profile page.

Mike.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 11:49

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 11:49
A few pics in this slideshow from 2007.



Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: Member - Kneedraggin - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 20:01

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 20:01
Thanks heaps to everyone for the input, I have just gone online and purchased the desert parks pass, and will be an expensive and I hope rewarding swim in the springs. Chambers Pillar and Lamberts center were already on the list, we won't be towing anything and will be spending the nights tucked up in our swags. I just wish we could of got the time off in September so we could be doing it now. Is fire wood readily available or are we going to be relying on Gas for cooking?

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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 21:44

Wednesday, Sep 05, 2012 at 21:44
Kneedraggin,

Make the most of your Desert Parks pass now that you have it by staying for a couple of days at most of the places it covers, you also get to return & do a Simpson Desert crossing between now & this time next year if you wish to.

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