Perth to Coober Pedy Day 2 - Coolgardie to Yemarna Ruins

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2002 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

The Coolgardie Motel wasn't too flash, but it beats a wet tent. Leah loved the "little house" and slept for the very first time in a regular bed (again, all the bedding stayed up on the roof in the canvas bag getting thoroughly drenched by rain).

Day 4 - Tuesday 4/6/02
Start - Coolgardie
Stop - Yemarna Ruins
Trip Odometer - 533.4 km
Stopped time - 02:50:00 hr
Moving average - 81.6 km/hr
Moving time - 06:32:04 hr
Max speed - 102.2 km/hr

It's roughly 40km from Coolgardie to Kalgoorlie but we stopped in "Kal" to fuel up and calculate our current fuel consumption. The trip across the Anne Beadell is the longest distance of any trek in Australia where no fuel supplies can be arranged. Even on the Canning Stock Route the distances between supply points are closer than on the AB. Our long range fuel tank is extra long range (150L), giving us a total of 260L without jerry cans. The weight of carrying this load plus our 70L of water and fully loaded truck makes the fuel consumption rather poor, although we calculated 14.5L/100km on the bitumen. Our worst consumption has been 15.98L/100km, so for the 1340km distance of Anne Beadell, we anticipated using about 240L. Our tank capacity is a total of 240L but as a safety margin we decided to carry 3 jerry cans providing 300L.

Leonora didn't appeal to us as a stopping point today but we found a lookout with views just out of town, however the rain put a short end to our stop. We stopped again at Laverton to make the final fuel-up and check of supplies etc. Both the Great Central Road and Anne Beadell track start from Laverton so although it is mostly a small aboriginal township, it is well equipped to suit the needs of travellers. In fact, we found it to be quite a friendly town.

At Laverton, the bitumen finally ends and regardless of what conditions lay ahead we always reduce our tyre pressures when turning onto the dirt. (We have learnt this from the Coopers Tyre importer, who recommends running 4-6psi lower than your bitumen pressure for any dirt roads. This rule has worked for us to the point of not yet having a flat tyre or blowout since adopting this method.

The track began very easily, with a flat, red, firm sand base allowing fast travelling speeds. The track became quite narrow however, and there was lots of scrub growth - spinifex, gidgee and various flowers growing in the track gutters where rain has recently ponded. Options for bush camping in this section are scarce, with claypans surrounding the track on all sides in most places. We noticed faint wheel tracks of only one vehicle and spent most the afternoon trying to work out if the vehicle was ahead of us going the same direction or had driven the other way.

We had hoped to make it to a camp at the crossroads of the Point Sunday track and the AB, on the edge of Yeo Conservation Park, but it was nearing sunset and the sky was dark and stormy when we came across the ruins of the abandoned Yamarna station. We pulled a hasty camp in the driest patch of claypan we could find. We had to search for dry wood but made a good meal before the heavens broke above us just after we had eaten.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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