Goog's Track - Goog's Lake & Yumbarra Conservation Park SA

Tuesday, Apr 11, 2006 at 00:00

Mick O

Tuesday 11th April 2006
Goog’s Lake
Yumbarra Conservation Park S.A.

First breakdown of the trip this morning. Thankfully minor. After packing, we were about to hitch the trailer when Amanda noticed a lot of water dripping from the stone protector around the water tank. I crawled under to have a look and when I pulled the edge of the metal sheet down, quite a bit of water appeared to have pooled there. Not seeing any hose leaking, my worst fear was that a stone had worked its way in between the tank and the protector and holed it. Thus I had to crawl under and remove the tank. It was still fairly full of water so it could only have been a small leak.

Once removed, I found that it was in fact the tank connection for the hose to the pump. It appeared to have been screwed in without any flashing tape and even then was still loose. Judicious use of tape and silicone solved the problem and I then had it back in and filled by the time Amanda returned from exploring down the street.

On leaving the park at midday, my first port of call was the National Parks office. As fate would have it…closed for lunch. Back at 1.30 p.m. (long lunch breaks here in SA!). I fuelled up and then sought a bit of info via the mobile speaking with the duty ranger re track conditions and the trailer etc. By 1:30 p.m. we were 25 km north of Ceduna and at the dog fence, the start of googs track. Because of the sand, I have lowered tyre pressures all-round. Front tyres to 25 psi, back to 30 (due to load) and trailer to 25 psi also.

The track winds through Mallee and spinifex scrub incredibly similar to that in which I grew up around Mildura and Hattah. Same loose red sand. The hills are blown out on their northern edges and quite often drop off sharply. Several had huge blowouts necessitating a sudden turn. The secret is in getting enough momentum up as you approach to enable you to bleed your speed on the uphill side, hoping to be at you slowest when you crest and having sufficient momentum to carry you across. To much speed at the crest and you risk getting the front end airborne and nose-diving. Not good with eight hundred kilos of trailer following you. As you can't see the other side until the nose drops over the crest, you also run the risk of finding yourself in the bush pretty quick smart. I can see why they recommend you travel north on the track. The trip south would be more difficult. I only needed to slip into 4 wheel drive on a couple of accessions, one of those due to a halt for a vehicle bogged on a hilltop while coming the other way. Lucky I saw him from the crest of a hill one back from his location.

We took a short detour to see the waterholes just south of the Goog’s lake turnoff. Very interesting to see a solid slab of granite in the middle of sand dunes. The rock holes held a considerable amount of brackish water and the largest pools appeared quite deep. Just how and when they formed would be an interesting thing to know. The march flies were in plague proportion throwing our lunch plans into disarray.

A short distance (some nine kilometres) on is the track into Goog’s Lake. Only a couple of hundred metres off the track are two well tended and maintained memorials to Goog Denton and his son Dinger who both pioneered the track back in the early 70’s. It’s only a short sandy and winding track of 4km to a large salt lake also named in Goog Debtons honour. We are camped by its shores overlooking the lake itself. The march flies are in tragic proportions and seemed totally immune to Aeroguard. I had a lot of fun waging war on them killing hundreds which were then fed to the local ant colony. Very much a boy thing to do!

The lake is quite expansive with some shallow water on its surface in the distance. A large Kopi island adds to the illusion of the lake and bay like setting. I walked through the sand hills around the lake edge finding many animal tracks including a dingo. No doubt he’ll be visiting the camp tonight so all food scraps will be locked in the back of the car.

An interesting day in all. Love the driving although the conditions have taken a toll on my neck and left shoulder. Should be fun as we head towards Mount Finke tomorrow.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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