Kulgera to Perth Day 26 - Walyina to Terhan Rockhole

Friday, Jun 28, 2002 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 26 - Friday 28/6/02
Start - Walyina
Stop - Terhan Rockhole
Trip Odometer - 513.7 km
Stopped time - 2:06 hr
Moving average - 81.7 km/hr
Moving time - 6:17 hr
Max speed - 101.3 km/hr

When we awoke it was the first time we'd seen our campsite in the daylight as it was dark when we arrived last night. We looked around briefly for the bore and found it by the side of the track on the way out, but we didn't explore the large area where we were camped. The terrain was quite different and I suspect there could be rockholes and it possibly might be an area of significance to the aboriginals so we didn't linger around. We were still travelling on SA time so our very late start at 9.50am was really 8.20am on WA time and sun time. Again, we passed more camels - 12 in this mornings group. This last section of road was being graded but I don't know whether the grader would go all the way down to Wingellina.

Our track met up with the corner of the Great Central Road where it takes a big right hand sweep 29km from Warakurna. There is a Len Beadell marker and a large road sign on the corner plus some acacia trees.

We have stopped overnight at Warakurna on a previous trip and done a visit to the Giles Meteorological Station so we didn't linger in the area. I had a quick look inside the roadhouse to see if much had changed and found that although it appears lightly stocked on first glance it is actually quite cleverly stocked with supplies. You can purchase from a small range of fresh vegetables, frozen meat (quite a range), bread, milk, toiletries and fast foods such as ice-creams, softdrinks but very little chocolate!! They also stock a full range of general light hardware, but had sold out of sunglasses. I had lost mine back at Dalhousie Springs and was getting quite desperate.

We continued along the Great Central Road and planned to find a few of the rockholes marked on the Hema GDT maps. We've never been along this road, having previously come through the area to the north along the abandoned section of the Gunbarrell so although we were trying to get home, we also wanted to make the drive worthwhile.

Between Warakurna and Warbuton we passed another 5 camels spread across 2 sightings, bringing today's count up to 17. We we did the Gunbarell we didn't come into Warburton so this was also our first glance at it. Warburton is just a roadhouse, but it fully caters for 4WD travellers. The roadhouse is fully stocked with general hardware and camping supplies plus has long range food for travellers. I was surprised at the quality and range of meat (frozen) and vegetables and fruit. Warbuton also services a continuous stream of aboriginal trade and so there are many frozen pre-prepared meals, lollies, tubs of ice-cream and hot fast food including hot pies and chips. Out the front the bowsers are locked in cages and there are signs on each cage explaining that photos are not to be taken of bowsers and they have no eftpos facilities but do take visa, mastercard and bankcard. Outside the roadhouse is a full set of tyre changing tools and air hoses bolted on chains that is free to use. I've never seen this offered in this way before but its a great idea.

Besides the roadhouse is a large grassed camping area behind a locked gate. The toilets and showers are in a cubicle adjacent to the roadhouse and David even found Sorbolene hand cream in the men's room. Both men's and women's toilets had soap, hot hand dryers and showers.

A new council building adjacent to the roadhouse contains the Tjulyuru Art Gallery, which is uses state-of-the-art technology. The gallery use motion-sensors to turn on lighting for each painting and is not manned. The gallery contains paintings done by local artists, many of them dating back to mission times - the theme of this gallery. A preservation room, complete with independent air conditioning. lighting and sealed boxes for each photograph, which holds a visual history of the Warburton Mission period, 1933-1973.

WA time was 12.45 when we left Tjulyuru making it a 4 ½ hr trip so far. We saw another 5 camels just out of town and then began exploring the numerous tracks leading to rockholes along this section of road. We found every hole marked on the Hema GDT maps and have pinpointed the exact GPS positions of each, including the location of the turnoffs. The turnoffs from the Great Central Road are the hardest to find because the road is regularly graded so you can't very well just pick up tyre tracks. We had plotted waypoints using OziExplorer and the GDT maps for each rockhole and uploaded these to the GPS, we then just headed off the main road at roughly the right point, taking either water run off drains or road digging tips. Some rockholes were up to 2km off the main road and many have not been explored for quite some time.

We explored 4 rockholes during the afternoon and found our campsite on tracks behind Terhan Rockhole just east of Tjukayrila.

David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Travelling fulltime in 2024
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