2015 Blog 3 Alice-Well 33 on CSR

Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 14:28

Navigator 1 (NSW)

1st June – 8th June

Our intentions were to go to the Finke Desert Races but we decided a week’s wait for the event was a little too much. Had we not explored vast areas of the East MacDonald and West MacDonald Ranges (including Glenn Annie Gorge) back in 2004 we would have had no trouble filling in the week.
So, travel west we did…
To join the Gary Junction Road we headed west on the Larapinta Drive to Hermannsburg, a sealed road.Heaven!
Hermannsburg was established as an Aboriginal mission in 1877 by two Lutheran missionaries of the Hermannsburg Mission from Germany. In 1891, the missionaries left, but the settlement was continued.
The mission land was handed over to traditional ownership in 1982. The Hermannsburg Historic Precinct was included on the Australian National Heritage List in April 2006.

We wandered around the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct – a series of historic German-style buildings, shaded by river red gums and old date palms. The buildings have been restored to their original 19th-century condition and now house the Kata Anga Tea Rooms, a museum and the Namatjira Gallery, which displays original paintings by the artist and works by the acclaimed Hermannsburg Potters.
The road heading west of Hermannsburg, the Merinee Loop, was atrocious and ungraded for a long, long time. It was a relief when we turned right onto the sealed Namatjira Drive and headed north to Tnorala Conservation Reserve (Gosse Bluff) which had picnic tables, toilets, information and walking tracks.
It is a place of great cultural significance to the Western Arrernte Aboriginal people, as well as one of international scientific interest.


Around 142 million years ago an object from space, believed to be a comet about 600 metres across, crashed to earth, blasting a crater some 20km across. Today's the bluff is about 5km in diameter, reduced over time by erosion.
The remnant crater was named Gosse's Range by the explorer Ernest Giles in 1872.
Title for the Reserve was granted to traditional owners and is now jointly managed with the Parks and Wildlife Commission.
Inside Gosse Bluff the colours were amazing and the atmosphere was one of peace and tranquillity!
Where the the Merinee Loop turned east towards the famous West Macdonald gorges, we turned west and headed for Hassts Bluff and then north to Papunya, an aboriginal Community on the Gary Junction Road (mapping now saying Kintore Rd). Hugo posed for a picture at Round Hill and then Hassts Bluff.
We drove through Papunya and then with the impressive Mount Liebit as a backdrop we pulled off the road and made camp. It was a spectacular evening under the stars and a full moon.

In this area we passed two abandoned homes. These homes had been supplied with a full bank of solar panels and transformers, satalite dish for communication and water tank with pumps. Perhaps the residents moved back into the Mount Liebit Community.!!
The next day more corrugations and another Len Beadell marker to read before our next camp in the bush 77km east of Kintore Community. We drove up a grader drain and pulled up onto a clear patch. After setting up camp a wasp kept making passes. He was not going to leave us alone so we move a little. His nest must have been right where we stopped.
A wide, graded road led us into the Kintore Community where we fuelled up at $170.66/L and as in all communities, the fuel bowers were in locked ‘cages’. A Centre Link office is now in all communities so we were able to make a Credit Card payment, check on other banking and to download emails. Without communication for phones and internet in outback area it was extremely handy for us.

Many km on we crossed the NT/WA border and immediately the road conditions improved. Road work was in progress! With camping in mind, we drove up a side track and what do you know, a working hand pump. We were able to do some washing and have a ‘bath’ without worrying about the amount of water used. It’s these special treats that make the trip.
In the outback we always top up with fuel when we can so our next visit to a community was at Kiwirrkurra. The diesel this time was $3.00/L. At the Centre Link Office we were able to make sure that bills had been paid.

It was interesting to meet Peter, an ex chef. He just happened by several week ago and fell into the position of chef. In the communities lunch is provided for the elderly at $5.00 p/p. Something like ‘meals on wheels’ but no wheels!
We couldn’t leave without visiting by Len Beadell’s burnt out ration truck. The truck was brought in off the track many years ago and the community is its custodian

Back out on the Gary Junction Road we stopped by the marker for Len Beadell’s tree and then ventured 400m up the track to take a picture.
From this point it was not too far on to Jupiter Well where for a long time, we had company – three caravans and later a 4WD unit. Sitting around the fire and chatting was a treat!

It was then onto Gary Junction, the intersection of the Gary Highway and the Gary Junction Road. Several 44 gal drums marked the position and on top a ‘visitors’ book’. We searched for our entry back in 2009 but the older book is showing signs of wear. We made our new entry and moved on, this time to the CSR, the Canning Stock Route.
We headed 4km north on the CSR to Well 33 where we once again met the 3 caravans and Mog 500, a huge Unimog. Of course the trucks hit it off and we camped together for several nights with Jim, Julie and the two kids. The mog had a huge slide out and was a very impressive unit built entirely by Jim. If you belong to CMCA and get the Wanderer there is a great article about Mog 500 in the February edition, 2015.

Next Blog: Well 33 through Rudall River NP
The outback calls
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