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  #1  
Old 23rd April 2018, 03:31 AM
Cammo Cammo is offline
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Year: 2006
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Default Big Desert/Wyperfeld

Hi,

I've been a member for a while but never introduced myself or my manual 2006 Forester.

I'm finally getting some time off work so I'm formulating a trip to the Big Desert/Wyperfeld area of Victoria.
My car has a SubieLiftOz 2" lift kit, Subxtreme front bash plate and Yokohama A/T tyres and, being old and manual, has the low range gearing.

The intended route was to enter via Patchewollock and would most likely encompass all or some of the following tracks:
Wirregren Trk
Millers Trk
Gunners Trk
Firebreak Trk
Border Trk (in a southerly direction)
Red Bluff Trk
Murrayville-Nhill Trk
Milmed Rock Trk
Pella Trk

It will be just my car but I'll have a mate as a passenger and as for recovery gear we will carry;
- snatch and equaliser straps and shackles
- 2 sets of plastic recovery tracks
- 12 volt compressor
- (probably) a high lift jack
- shovel, axe, saw
- 10 litres spare fuel
About the only thing I won't be carrying is a winch.

I've previously traversed Gunners Trk and the Murrayville-Nhill track and the Foz handled it with aplomb, but I've never attempted such distances over sandy terrain so I am a little hesitant.
I'll be airing down for the sand but am I attempting something outside the ability of the Foz ?
I'm keen to hear from anybody who has any tips, warnings, recommendations, places to avoid/not to miss.
Basically anything regarding the tracks, sand hills, camp grounds, sight seeing opportunities, driving skill, equipment or anything I may not have considered.

Regards
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  #2  
Old 23rd April 2018, 04:27 AM
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El_Freddo El_Freddo is offline
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Location: Bendigo, Vic
Year: 1988
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Transmission: Locking Centre Diff 5spd Manual 4.111:1 diff ratio with 1.59:1 low range and a front OBX LSD ;)
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Your foz's setup sounds like it'd do the trip easy.

I'd recommend carrying more fuel. Your service station options are Ouyen, Rainbow, Nhill, Bordertown (SA), and Pinaroo (SA). No fuel available at Murrayville or Underbool anymore. Any entry into SA = dumping all fresh fruit and veg due to quarantine.

If going solo you'll want a winch.

If you're after sand driving don't be tempted to head into the Murray sunset NP, its no where near as good as the wyperfeld and big desert

Others will chime in. Last September all tracks were pretty easy in both areas.

Cheers

Bennie
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  #3  
Old 23rd April 2018, 06:57 AM
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havachat havachat is offline
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Location: near Healesville Victoria Australia
Year: 2002
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The Big Desert is one of my favourite 4 wheel drive destinations. As Bennie says your vehicle should be fine. I did several trips there in my Foz before I modified the diffs and gear box. The Big Desert/ Wyperfeld is high range high speed driving.
There are some sections of very deep soft sand which can catch the unwary.

Make sure you you have a base plate for your jack. Make sure you have a UHF radio as there is no mobile reception. I usually take 40 litres of fuel as there is no fuel nearby. Also take plenty of water.

The Border Track is different territory with big sand hills and you tend to use low range. It is recommended by the Parks service that you do not do the Border Track unless you are with at least another vehicle. A lot of the sand hills are difficult because large 4x4s with mud terrains have dug into them.

I would stick to the Big Desert / Wyperfeld. Chinamans Well Track is also worth doing.

And lastly if you do a crap dig a deep hole and burn your toilet paper!
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Old 23rd April 2018, 08:22 PM
Venom Venom is offline
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It's really just supplies and tyre pressures. I experimented on my last trip there and ran my tyres on 16 psi the whole trip with no issues. Pretty sure I was even on 12 for a day. Plan your trip around fuel stops. Schutlzes beach is a nice spot on your way in. Snowdrift camp is nice. Big desert is better in the northern sections, just explore as its all very scenic.
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Old 24th April 2018, 02:37 AM
Cammo Cammo is offline
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Thanks for the tips guys.

I wasn't sure about a winch - I was looking at the Tirfor style winches but decided even the smallest model was too heavy and space consuming and awkwardly shaped. Also that in the sandy scrub there may be a lack of anchor points for attaching the rope.

I really want to give the Border Track a crack though !
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Old 24th April 2018, 07:33 AM
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Ben Up North Ben Up North is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cammo View Post
Also that in the sandy scrub there may be a lack of anchor points for attaching the rope.
A snatch strap and someone else with you is the go.
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Old 27th April 2018, 03:43 AM
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Dulagarl Dulagarl is offline
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@Cammo


How many days are you planning? that's a fair whack of driving on sand. I'd say at least 4 nights out from Patchewollock, unless you don't plan on beer o'clock at all.
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  #8  
Old 27th April 2018, 05:09 AM
Cammo Cammo is offline
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I was thinking five nights or more. I want to take in the sights and enjoy the country without going at break-neck pace.

Yes I love beer o'clock - I know there's a pub at Pinnaroo that I might have to visit!

BTW How do you more seasoned travelers carry your fresh supplies ? Do you use an electric fridge/freezer like a Waeco or just an insulated cooler with block ice ? I probably need to invest in a bigger cooler, maybe 40 or 50 litres.
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  #9  
Old 27th April 2018, 11:38 AM
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El_Freddo El_Freddo is offline
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40ish litre engle with a dual battery setup works for me.

Fuel and water I feel are my limiting factors :/

Cheers

Bennie
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  #10  
Old 28th April 2018, 09:44 AM
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havachat havachat is offline
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Ice boxes only really work for that length of time if you get a block of ice. Bags of ice are useless. The BP at Dimboola used to supply blocks of ice. I now days use a Waeco with deep cycle battery, dc to dc charger and solar panels when at camp.
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