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  #11  
Unread 7th May 2015, 10:52 AM
zippo zippo is offline
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Back in 72 a mate and I did Alice To Perth via part of the Great Central Road, deviating after Docker River via the Blackstone Mining Camp (Wingellina) and rejoining at Warburton. That was in a Fiat 125.

SWMBO & I did the GCR last year in the Foz, and going that way again as I absolutely HATE going across the Nullarboring. Besides, anywhere up into SA virtually means Pt Augusta and then doing a hard left backtrack. GCR is much better, less chance of nodding off.
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  #12  
Unread 5th August 2015, 07:36 PM
ateday ateday is offline
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Location: Happy Valley (not the loony bin)
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G`Day Zip,
How is/did your trip go?
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  #13  
Unread 6th August 2015, 05:14 AM
zippo zippo is offline
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Ah, not exactly to plan. Last things first, used Miner's Mate in Mt Isa for an oil/filter job. Pretty happy with the job, being fitted in at short notice at a time to suit us, and the price (~$120) considering the stealership alternative.

Plan was to go up the GCR to Yulara, Erldunda and then down the Stuart to do the Oodnadatta and Birdsville tracks and then to other places of interest in SW Qld. When we left Perth on 8 June, unseasonal rain in the previous couple of days had crossed from Pt Hedland area across to northern SA and into the back-blocks of NSW. Both tracks were closed to all traffic, as was the GCR east of Warakurna/Giles (i.e. the rough-as-guts NT bit). Fortunately the NT-GCR was "open with cautions" when we needed to traverse that bit. Meanwhile, people down in William Creek were "trapped" for a week and whinging loudly via the ABC that they were faced with pub food as their only option. Sheesh.

Now recall that we are not camping/towing but using existing facilities (hotels/motels/dongas/whatever) along the way, so forward bookings are essential in low-capacity places such as along the tracks, and this sort of ties you to a timetable. Headed down the Stuart, having been watching as the tracks were being progressively opened to classes of vehicles. Yay, looking good.

Nope, more unseasonal rain - this time down from SW Qld - washed out those hopes as we reached Marla, our planned point of departure from the highway. Bummer. Made a horde of apologetic phone calls to Oodnadatta, William Creek, Marree, Mungerannie and Birdsville (may have left someone out, working from memory), all of which were taken in an understanding way by the establishments - I guess they had captives overstaying anyway.

If you look at the northern half of SA and remove those two tracks, you'll quickly realise there are bugger-all other roads to get from Marla to SW Qld. So we had to go down to Pt Augusta and across through Broken Hill to get to Qld. The tracks remain on our to-do list.

Rest of the trip was relatively uneventful. Did a tyre on the Leopold Downs road (from GNHwy to Tunnel Creek) which we had to traverse twice as there was a creek in flood with >60cms depth - up to the top of the wheel arch on a Toyota traytop. I'm not fitted out for aquatic stuff like Nachaluva so I baulked at that. Later in Derby we discovered a fast leak and that proved to be a cut through the tread. Local Bridgie dealer had a replacement in the right size, all good there.

Also the rain on last Thursday and Friday caused all unsealed roads in the Sandstone shire to be closed (which only leaves the east-west Magnet-Leinster road!) and GNHwy had about a dozen sections under significant water south of Magnet late Saturday - a guy in an F-truck lost his HID's to water coming through there. Sunday there were some sections that had lost a bit of seal, with standing water still covering half the road in a number of places both east and south of Magnet, while the "dip" at Magnet (100m east of the main junction) had lost half the road completely.

Overall 17,000 kms. Vehicle ran like clockwork, and fuel consumption for the trip was 8.37 L/100.

Last edited by zippo; 6th August 2015 at 05:32 AM. Reason: added para
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  #14  
Unread 6th August 2015, 06:11 AM
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Ratbag Ratbag is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Bayside, Melbourne, Vic
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Sounds fantastic, Zip .
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  #15  
Unread 6th August 2015, 09:56 PM
ateday ateday is offline
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Join Date: May 2014
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Good one Zip.
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