2015 Blog 4 Our long awaited trip to Rudall River NP

Wednesday, Jul 15, 2015 at 21:33

Navigator 1 (NSW)

June 9th – June 16th
After 2 nights at Well 33 with MOG 500 we continued west and they continued north on the Canning.
To this point we had travelled 5,542km and now we were finally close to our goal for this trip – Rudall River NP – the most remote NP in Western Australia.





The impressive Lake Dora came into view and we knew we were close to Punmu Community. At this point, back in 2009, we had a real adventure and travelled the WAPET Track to the coastal town of 80 Mile Beach. Back then, mining operations were not active along this track and no permit was required. It was very isolated and our only companions were two camels who were lost. We camped out for two nights and thankfully, made it through safely.

With diesel prices $3.40/L at Kunawarritji Community, 4km fromWell 33, we opted to refuel at Punmu where diesel was $3.00/L – CASH only. Fresh water, from the large filtration plant was freely available. Big John, the CEO, was a delightful man with the interests of the community at heart. He is very interested in the well-being of community residents – women and children came first and the children must go to school.
Two km out of the community, beside the sand dune, an area was set up for visitors, dongers and camping with power and hot showers. A walk to the top of the dune showed the small community on the shores of Lake Dora. (Chicka told a little girl that Lake Dora was discovered by Dora the Explorer. She was so excited and said that would be her news when she got back to school)
Sunset that night was magnificent!

The turn off to Rudall River was ahead of us but I found a short cut which cut off kms. Don’t you just love the GPS! It brought us out close to the Telfer Gold Mine where it was made very clear that we could not proceed into the mine. A large sign indicated that we had to make a sharp right turn to continue into the park.
It was absolutely amazing the way the terrain changed. The low mountain ranges were very impressive and the colours outstanding. We should have stopped for better pictures but as usual, my photos were taken ‘on the hop’.
After crossing Coolbro Creek we followed a side track which led us to the cliff where we could overlook the beautiful Creek. It was peaceful and colourful, so much so, we spent two nights. Out came ‘Oink,’ the Ozpig, to cook a baked dinner. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was always by the fire.






Still not in the Park we continued on to the Northern Hand Pump turn off. We had been warned that the water had been fouled by an animal falling in so we continued on.
Next, the much awaited Queen Desert Baths.
Not too far along we were clearing the track of harsh desert shrubs. (I’m sure their branches and leaves are made of steel). After 3 sections of this we decided to turn around. We were just too wide and we are not prepared to trash the truck. Don’t get me wrong, we are well and truly scratched up but, there is a limit! Great disappointment as you can imagine!





We continued down the main N/S track to the Hanging Rock turn off. It was never our intention to go the whole way to Hanging Rock, but Pool 11 and Tjingkula Pool (T Pool for short) had come highly recommended.

With great enthusiasm we proceeded. We stopped after making the turn off and had our morning coffee.
It wasn’t too far along the track that once again we encountered several sections of the track that needed trimming. We could have tried going around some of these areas but the risk of staking a tyre was too great, so turn around once again, we did.






Now we were really getting disappointed but hey, there was still Graphite Valley.
It was getting into mid afternoon so we took a track just south of Rudall River hoping to find a camp spot. Lirrpi Soak camp up on the GPS and bingo, we were in. We camped on the sand and swam in the Soak. Good clean, flowing water and beautiful sunshine!

After two nights on the soak we were off for our adventure into Graphite Valley.
You guessed it, once again we turned back. We will never tow a little car but, towing a quad bike is looking good. Mick O, you have the right idea!
Once we reached the Southern Hand Pump we were out of the park. It was all over! Sometimes you just shouldn't look forward to things so much!

There was a great camping ground at the pump but, it had either been decommissioned or vandalised. Without water it did not have appeal so we continued to the turnoff onto Talawanna Track which would lead us westward.







WikiCamps indicated a rest stop at a water tank and pump – this one was operational. Although we have our own shower on board, it is always fun to have a shower at a hand pump.
From here it was westward to the main North/South road. A lot of recent rain was evident by the puddles on and by the roadside and civilization was evident by the commencement of property fences and huge high tension cables carrying electricity.

We were just north of Newman when we pulled over on a track near Ophthalmia Dam. Tomorrow, Newman.
The outback calls
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