Canning stock route

Submitted: Monday, Oct 01, 2012 at 22:03
ThreadID: 98354 Views:2523 Replies:6 FollowUps:5
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Is it best to travel north/south or south/north along CSR. We are coming from Melbourne but haven't totally planned our route yet.
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Reply By: rocco2010 - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 02:05

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 02:05

The dunes are said to be easier to climb heading north to south but as with all these things you will probably get a debate on that.

in two separate trips I travelled both ways and found driving into the sun (ie heading north) a bit tiresome day after day.

AnswerID: 496030

Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 06:32

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 06:32
Travelled the CSR in two different vehicles, and both times came down from the north. I feel it is a better direction to travel as the south side of the dunes are as rough as, so is easier to go down them as slow as possible.
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Reply By: Member - hopbush - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 07:23

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 07:23
Travelled the CSR in June this year from the north and whilst fairly chopped up in places from vehicles towing campers etc. it looked a lot worse on the southern faces of the dunes, and quite frankly I was pleased I was not coming from the south. Either way an awesome trip and a great adventure.
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 08:04

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 08:04
"whilst fairly chopped up in places from vehicles towing campers etc"

Why's that Tony.
I would suggest the major reason is people with incorrect/high tyre pressures, then older IFS open differential 4wd's, then those traversing the dunes with incorrect speed (fast or slow) and getting stuck, then the few of those also towing a trailer.
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Follow Up By: Member - hopbush - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 08:32

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 08:32
Fair comment Andrew, it is a combination of many factors and I respect and agree in principle with your view, but I have crossed the Simpson in particular numerous times and been stuck behind or have had to wait while vehicles with trailers or campers have been hopelessly bogged and recovered and seen the mess left behind. It's a no win argument as old as 4WD desert travel itself and nothing will change, but I still believe that the main culprit or instigator of dune damage is the 4WD and camper in extreme conditions in inexperienced hands; although they have as much right to be there as any of us and we just have to live with it.
FollowupID: 771648

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 08:55

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 08:55
I agree with Tony.

I got this from the ANFWDC (4WD AUSTRALIA) site (ANFWDC (4WD AUSTRALIA)) who now manage the permits for the CSR.

Plan to use your swag or tent and leave your camper trailers at home. More than the usual wear and tear caused by travellers towing trailers is of great concern to our fraternity and the locals. Part of the attraction of this route is the challenge of driving through such a vast wild natural area. The track is not maintained and for the few who drive it each year this great experience is being lessened by track and roadside damage caused during attempts to haul trailers over dunes in particular. Nobody wants a highway through this area but it does need suitably set up vehicles to traverse its challenges. With improved durability in camper trailer design, the track is now the weak link rather than the equipment. The damage caused by towing trailers highlights that these are not appropriate for this route.

You will see that trailers are NOT banned but it is preferred that they are not taken. Apparently in general vehicles with trailers in tow do more damage than vehicles without trailer. Thus the track will be usable for more of us if people do as suggested. I will be dead soon and I could also tow a trailer but out of respect for those in the years to come I won't. What is so damned hard about that. Gotta take the double bed mattress, tele and sauna do we!! I think you get my meaning.

We even struck the same problem last month in the Simpson. Fair dinkum some people couldn't even drive their way out of a wet paper bag. Just sat there digging in, camper in tow, and moving slowly. Then their mate backed up, hooked up a snatch strap and without any "inertia loop" drove off digging the track up as well and they finally got, I should say DUG their way, over the top. Ignorant lot. Wouldn't listen to our suggestions. Boy was I happy to be able to overtake them. AAAAAGGGGHHHH. Damage from both but the holes the trailer bloke left were worse.

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 19:37

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 19:37
Yep, and I see the same with non towing 4wd's...sitting there waiting for them to eventually extract themselves, and I flick the lockers on, nice low tyre pressures, 2nd low and walk my 5 ton rig over the track carnage.

It isn't mostly trailer towers doing the damage. It is the inexperienced and the SUV types.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 19:52

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 19:52

I think you made those comment to me.

Are you suggesting that only the experienced one go. Quote" "It is the inexperienced and the SUV types" And who are they. Would you let me for example. You do not know my skills nor the car nor my history, age etc. So how do you pick who is experienced and who is not. Do we start having exams with the application (people would cheat) or do we get the Government to endorse our licences. Ridiculous.

So again we have the position that a few stuffed it up for us all. Those who went before now and ripped the road up are the ones that you should be jumping on. Not those who respect their land and do not want any more damage.

I think that you totally missed my point. The locals do not want trailers and vans there just as I do not want smokers in my house. I gather that you would go regardless of the locals request.

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Reply By: Member - RobnJane(VIC) - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 21:06

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 21:06
Hi Kendall,
A couple of thoughts here, and some already touched on. We travelled part of the CSR last year and chose north to south mainly as we were towing and the approaches to dunes encountered were relatively straight forward, and as we were advised of the matter of driving into the sun all day if we drove south to north.
As it happened we were really pleased we chose n to s for reasons noted above and even more importantly due to the condition on the approaches to dunes on the southern side, and there were some extremes of long approach runs as well.
Depending on other places you want to include in your itinerary I can recommend the following as a great trip - via Uluru to GCR through to Docker River, then north along Sandy Blight Junction Rd to the Gary Junction Hwy. Then west to CSR at Well 33, then south.
In our case we left the CSR for a side trip to Rudall River Ntl Park then back to CSR.
All in all a really fantastic trip, and I certainly believe north to south to be less a chore for driver, car and track, all of which are important. In addition the stock route was established as a north to south 'trek' originally.
The other matter being debated, re trailers is very important and needs to discussed very pragmatically in public forums. I think there will be any number of examples of people, whether towing or not, doing the wrong thing and causing unnecessary damage to the track and surrounds, and it is simply too simplistic to say trailers do 'the' damage.
This discussion could consider how all well equipped and experienced travellers can enjoy the CSR experience, and it may be as 'simple' as the permit system directing a percentage of travellers to either s to n (no towing in this group) and others (and all who want to tow) in the n to s group.
Either way a fantastic experience and we look forward to our next CSR trip, and just to finish with my soapbox, one of the major concerns we experienced was people not relaying their progress via uhf to other travellers, so you need to be conscious of all those who might be around, travelling in either direction.
Hope this is of use to you.

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AnswerID: 496069

Reply By: Member - Michael John T (VIC) - Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 22:05

Tuesday, Oct 02, 2012 at 22:05
Hi Kendall,

You post certainly provoked a lot of discussion much of it off your original request. We travelled N to S back in 2005 and after much discussion among the three vehicles we all agreed that the colours you experienced heading south were far more vivid, for eg the sand much redder than yellow etc. Re the track well the southern sides of the dunes seemed rougher then but since that time how many thousands of vehicles have travelled this icon?

Which ever direction you travel enjoy, it is a great trip. Yes please use the radio to let oncoming traffic know your position, its a safety issue.

AnswerID: 496073

Reply By: Member - Bucky - Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 03:48

Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 at 03:48
We did the Canning in 2009, from the South (Well 5 entry, as we had trilers) and got to Well 33, and headed out through Carowine Gorge, the Pilbra, to Marble Bar.
Then went on to Broome, Via the 80 mile Beach, and th eGreat Nthern Highway.

We then did the Kimberley, but if you do not have the time then swing to Halls Creek, Wolf Creek Crater, and back to Billiluna, and the Start of the CSR from the Northern end, heading South.

Basically a figure of 8

Dunes are relative easy out there with 12-15 psi tyre pressure, and a little momentum.
No need for speed, it only damages things.

Check out some of my old posts, and you will get more hints

AnswerID: 496123

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