Inexperienced 4wders - bungle bungles, tunnel creek and windjana gorge

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 16:57
ThreadID: 99967 Views:3172 Replies:9 FollowUps:12
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Hi Everyone,
I have been reading though the forums and blogs in relation to the places above and I have a couple of questions. We are travelling to the Kimberly in April and would like to see the three places above provided te roads are open. We have a semi off road van so we will leave that and just take the 4wd but we have never done a creek/ river crossing or any hard core 4wding so I was wondering do these places require experience or are they reasonably easy? Any other tips would be appreciated also.

Thanks in advance
SVD
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 17:14

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 17:14
Neither Tunnel Creek or Windjana need specialised 4wd to get there - the semi off road van could get through.

Can't speak for the Bungle Bungle, but I don't think the track in there is too difficult.
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Follow Up By: Sherron V - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 17:17

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 17:17
Thank you for your help.
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Follow Up By: Isuzumu - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 17:29

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 17:29
From my resource, going to be around that area in May, I would not be take the van into the Bungle Bungles. There is a caravan park just off the highway to leave your van. We have a serious off road camper and are still thinking about going into BB's.
Cheers Bruce
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:02

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:02
hi theres uaully a bit of water in a couple of the xings but if the track gets wet the ranger will close it til it drys out otherwise the bulldust hole areas get to damaged and cut up
as far as the van goes leave it at turkey creek and camp while at the b/b's
cheers
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Follow Up By: DiscoTourer - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:11

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:11
Signage states no caravans to enter the Bungles. Last time I was there the ranger spat the dummy at an owner of a 200 towing a Bushwacker. The owner took 4 hours to get in having trouble getting out of some of the more difficult creek exits. He had to winch on a couple of occasions. I gather he thought the signage was not applicable to him....but he told me that he did not see the sign...not really sure how though.
Towing a decent offroad trailer was easy enough.
Park not far from the entrance would be the place to keep your caravan.
Brett.....
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Follow Up By: Sherron V - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:13

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:13
Thanks. We will defiantly be leaving the van outside the Bungles.
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 20:40

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 20:40
I might be wrong here, but I thought caravans were ok as long as they were not dual-axle? Bit of a difference between taking a Bushtracker (probably dual and 3 ton?) or a small Trackmaster/Supreme Getaway?

We have a single axle van with plenty of clearance and Control Rider chassis and suspension but will probably leave the van at the entrance.

The other question is: it's a bit of an ordeal to make a day trip of it so what's the go? Take a swag/small tent?
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Follow Up By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 21:20

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 21:20
Hi Steve

You used to be able to take a single axle van in. Just had a look at the DEC website and they might have changed the wording since I looked last. Might be best to send them an email to clarify the position.

We spent 4 days in there and could have spent longer. A tent would be the go if you can't take the van. Wood was supplied when we were there but only for cooking. Fire Ban was lifted on May 15th, this might vary with the conditions.

We stayed at Kurrajong Campsite as the helicopters fly out near Walardi and we were told it can get a bit noisy.
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 14:26

Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 14:26
hi Rowdy,

thanks for the heads up re: choppers.


from a guide to the Bungles:

"strictly 4wd and single-axle offroad caravans and trailers only - dual axle and standard vans/trailers are not allowed"

.........probably best check with authorities though. I think we might be inclined to leave the van at the entrance, anyway. I'll monitor peoples' experiences regarding the road in. If it was just an overnight do, I'd tent it - but if you reckon a few days I might be tempted to take it in.......?????? Will montor developments.

cheers
Stevo
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 17:28

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 17:28
Just go.
The Bungles road may have some water to get through, but if the road is open, you will be fine.
Leave the van at Turkey Creek.

Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:11

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:11
As others have said, you will have no trouble getting to Windjana where you could leave the van and do a day trip to Tunnel Creek. In April there could still be some water in the creeks on the track into the Bungles. They are not wide creeks and they have a solid rocky base. The main thing is to take each crossing SLOWLY. If you have taken heed of the signs at the start of the track you will be 4WD high range anyway, just slow down or better still stop before entering the water and then just go slowly and steadily across. Stop for a few moments at the other side to let the water drain out then go on your way

It would be a sensible precaution to fit diff breathers before you leave. An even better precaution would be to do a 4WD course so that you can really enjoy what the Kimberley has to offer.

Cheers,

Val.
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Follow Up By: Sherron V - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:18

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:18
Thank you. We are planning on heading into the NT so I was thinking of heading to Fitzroy crossing and back tracking to Tunnel creek and Windjana gorge based on the idea of not taking the van down the tracks. Any thoughts on that idea?
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 19:41

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 19:41
Yes thats quite do-able. The road in from near Fitzroy Crossing can be a bit corrugated but it is a very scenic drive so well worth the effort. Just drop your tyre pressures a bit and take it slowly and you will have a very enjoyable day. Need a good torch each and suitable footwear for walking through water to do Tunnel Creek.

Cheers,

Val
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Reply By: Hopper-51 - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:15

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:15
We were up that way in August. You are permitted to take a camper trailer into the Bungle Bungles and camp there but not a caravan. There are 2 options - you can leave the van at the caravan park just after the turn off into the park for $20/day or you can do as we did and leave your van at the free camp just opposite the turn off. We camped there for 2 nights and most people staying there are doing a day trip into the park.
The road from the Fitzroy Crossing end into Tunnel creek and Windjana gorge was in quite good condition - a few creek crossings and a few rocks on the road in places but after we drove it we wished we hadn't left our van at Fitzroy Crossing which would have meant we could have driven along the Derby end of the GRR.
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Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:40

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 18:40
Sherron,
Last year we went into the Bungles just before dawn, about 20mins of complete darkness then dawn breaking. I don't like others dust.

This is what we we were told. Horror track and very difficult. You will take 2 and a 1/2 hours to get there.

Well we took 1 and a 1/4 hours and had no panic stops for crossings or anything else + at that time you had to be watchful for cattle and wildlife. No 4wd or low range with a few creek crossings max depth 300mm.

Now things can change so try to get some good info of the locals as to what you should look out for and what depths the creeks are.

Have a good trip,
RA.




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Follow Up By: The Bunyip - Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 15:57

Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 15:57
We read the same about this track. For us it was nowhere near as demanding as the picture some painted. There was the occasional spot where common sense dictated you slowed down & took your time, but on the whole I found it fine to drive on.
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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 19:04

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 19:04
As others have said, this was the worst crossing to the Bungle Bungles and it was not far in when we went there in June 2011. It looked worse then it was. You will have no problems, even the backpacker vans go in! Kevin

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Reply By: Mick O - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 19:41

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 19:41
Sherron,

the tracks have been covered in previous responses. You'll have no worries. Could I also recommend that on the trip such as this, quarantine some $$$$ and take the helicopter trip over he Bungles. It is so worth it!.

Enjoy.

Mick


''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Reply By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 20:40

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 20:40
Hi

We were at the Bungles in 2010.

The road in had only been opened the day before, May 27th, and the Walardi camp ground and that end of the park was still closed due to the wet conditions. 39 degrees on the first day.

The road in was a bit damp in places but still ok. There is always someone who wants to travel at an excessive speed for the conditions. We had one near miss and we were told it was an ongoing problem.

The creek crossings had water but were ok and we were towing a single axle off road van. This was allowed at the time, not sure if this has changed.

The only thing I would add is that if there is water in the creeks to make sure your front number plate is secure. We were lucky enough to retrieve ours after it came off but we were told that the Ranger decorates his barbie with all the lost plates.

1hr 47min on the way out with an early start to avoid the traffic.

Regards
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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 10:21

Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 10:21
Hi Sherron, another two bobs worth. Going in April means mega HEAT and besides, the NP may not even be open. The track is 53 km from the highway into the park. You will lose your newby status regarding 4WDing by the time you have driven the track. When we did it in Sept '05 it was as corrugated as #$%. Yes it is curvy and scenic and has fun creek crossings but you'll be lucky to do 30 or 40kmh if towing. Stop to give yourselves a rest from the pounding and to let your shocks cool down. Run tyres at 25 psi.
If you are like us then tenting is not an option. The park lets in single axle vans and thats where all your comforts are so thats what you camp in. The link here to Great Northern Hw & Purnululu NP Access has some pix. The no caravans sign is obviously out of date. You will love the place with Echidna Chasm and Cathedral Gorge easily walked . Longer trips such as Piccaninny Gorge will be a days walk. Enjoy... W
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Follow Up By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 10:38

Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 10:38
The link here to Great Northern Hwy & Purnululu NP Access now has the y in Hwy so should link... W
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