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nissan
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Discussion Starter #1
My well seasoned travellers,
I have made the decision to spend 4 weeks travelling from Brisbane to Uluru and back but plan on getting the most out of the trip by spending the majority of this time exploring the area from South Australia to the bottom of the Northern Territory.

I have a rough idea of a round trip heading from Brisbane to western NSW, then to South Australia then Northern Territory then up and across Queensland and back down again.

Definitely want to see out through Broken Hill and Silverton (Mad Max Museum). Cameron Corner, maybe touch on some of the desert area around there.

The usual haunts near Uluru, devils marbles, kings canyon etc.

Highlights I have thought off heading across Queensland so far is the Dinosaur Museum, I think it's in Longreach.

I really want to get the most out of this trip and see as much as I can along the way. Will be travelling with the Missus and 2 kids and The inlaws in another vehicle. Both of us will be towing and don't want to spend more that 6 hours a day driving.

So, my questions are really is 4 weeks enough?
What are some of the "must sees" and for people who have done a similar trip to aid in my planning what is a good route through the S.A/N.T area of the journey?

Appreciate all and any feedback.
 

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nissan
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So, my questions are really is 4 weeks enough?
Four weeks is enough time to touch on what you said but 6 weeks would be better. What are you towing and how "offroad" is it? A lot of things to see are self evident and you have mentioned a few but I'll add a few more.

I won't say too much about NSW or the Flinders Ranges because it's a while since I've been there.

Broken Hill; don't miss Bell's Milk Bar.
Flinders Ranges; Walk to the cottage at Wilpena Pound. Have a Feral Grill at Parachilna and a beer at the Blinman pub. Some nice camping in Parachilna Gorge.
The rocket park and museum at Woomera are worth a look.
Coober Pedy; Mad Max, Crocodile Harry's, various underground buildings.

The folowing is some info I wrote out for someoe else but have just modified because I just got back from central Australia a week ago.

My list for things to do and see in Alice.

1. Desert Wildlife Park (Do NOT miss the Birds of Prey flying display)
2. Telegraph station and "The Springs"
3. Flying Doctor
4. School of the Air
5. RSL War Museum
6. Kangaroo Sanctuary
7. Reptile Museum
8. Road Transport Hall of Fame
9. Aviation Museum (& attached cultural precinct)

McDonnell and Charles Ranges

1. Emily & Jessie Gaps
2. Ellery Ck Bighole
3. Ormiston Gorge
4. All the other gorges and gaps.
5. Palm Valley
6. Finke Gorge NP track to Kings Canyon.
7. Kings Canyon (do the walk)
8. Ruby Gap (caution soft sand)
9. Rainbow Valley

Ayer's Rock

1. Climb the Rock.
2. Sunset photos of the Rock and the Olgas
3. Valley of the Winds walk
4. Mt Connor Lookout

There are a number of cultural type things to do in and around Alice Springs with the best being the Sounds of Starlight theater. If you don't mind walking, the climb up Mt Gillen is worthwhile. There are a bunch of general touristy things to do like scenic flights, camel riding and hot air ballooning but are all pretty expensive and can be done anywhere. There a few other museums that I haven't seen like the Pioneer Women's Museum, Adelaide House Museum and Old Ghan Railway museum but could help fill in the days if you are in town for a while.

Heading north from Alice to Queensland is a long drive with not much of interest along the bitumen except for the Devil's Marbles and Tenant Creek/Maryanne Dam. There is a detour you can take in to the Davenport Ranges which is worthwhile and quite gorgeous if done in the late afternoon sun. If you stop at Murray Downs on the way in and buy a few litres of their exorbitantly priced fuel you should ask about the road that heads north from Epenarra Homestead to the Barkly Highway. This road is a shortcut that saves over 300km and is marked as a private road on most maps. The young woman looking after the fuel at Murray Downs homestead is the daughter of the owners of Epenarra homestead and said that we would be fine to use the road and we should just drop into the homestead to let them know we were on it. We didn't get to meet the parents because they were out mustering but it's clear they are obliging to people who ask for permission. The Old Police Station Waterhole in the Davenports is a great camp site and adjacent is the Frew River Track which is a slow crawl track of 17km that takes about 2hrs and has some spectacular scenery. A loop road then takes you back to the same waterhole.

There are two very popular free camps on the way back into Qld which I prefer to avoid because they are so busy. The first is the bank of the Georgina River at Camooweal and the other is Corella Lake half way between Mt Isa and Cloncurry. Both would be great places if there weren't already dozens and dozens of others there.

There are a few things of interest in Mt Isa that I might make mention of later.

Appreciate all and any feedback.
You're welcome,
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Overboard,
We are both towing offroad campers. I have dragged ours around Cape York with out issue but the FIL will be new to it!

The section from Cameron's corner to the Northern Territory has got me thinking the most. Silverton up to Cameron's corner seems to run along the dog fence but I have no idea on track conditions or wether there is anything to see or do we head back and go up through the flinders area and take the Strzelecki track? Again, track conditions and suitability of towing?

From here I wanted to take the Ooodnadatta track through Coward Springs and into Coober Pedy (FIL wants to see) then unsure from there.

4 weeks is all we can put together as we will be taking the kids out of school for 2 weeks and using the mid year holidays.
 

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nissan
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From Cameron Corner I'd head straight down the Silver City Highway to Broken Hill and then over the Barrier Highway to the Flinders Ranges. From there I'd have to decide how much I wanted to see Woomera because it presents quite a detour. The trip back to Port Augusta, up past Woomera and Roxby to the Oodnadata track adds about 400k of road to the distance you would normally take north from the Flinders Ranges to Maree and then on to the Oodnadatta track. Fortunately the extra stuff is all good bitumen road.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not sue where Woomera came into into it Overboard :) but was hoping we could do some of the Strzelecki and lake eyre.......not sure if this is too much of an ask or what travels times would be like on that track.

Only options into and out of Cameron corner seems to be silver city highway or out to the Strzelecki..........or come in from Bourke then down to Broken Hill. Aahh, decisions, decisions!!
 

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should be a fun trip for you mate. take lots of pics and vid's!
 

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Not sue where Woomera came into into it Overboard :) but was hoping we could do some of the Strzelecki and lake eyre.......
Woomera is one of the iconic destinations for anyone travelling through outback SA. The British nuclear tests and a heap of yankee rockets were all launched from there. If it can be fitted in it should not be missed.

Lake Eyre is hard to miss from the Oodnadatta Track, well Lake Eyre South is anyway. If you want a better look then just before you turn left at William Ck to head to Coober Pedy, take the Halligan Bay track to the right which will give you the best public access available to Lake Eyre. Head off to Coober Pedy after that.

The Strzelecki doesn't fit in if you want to visit Broken Hill. If you were dead keen on doing it I would travel the following route including the Strzelecki, Birdsville and Oodnadatta Tracks; Brisbane, Broken Hill, Flinders Ranges, Innaminca, Cameron Corner, Haddon Corner, Birdsville, Maree, William Ck, Coober Pedy. Personally I think that is just too much corrugated dirt road that doesn't get you very far. I'd skip the Strzelecki.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks overboard, appreciate the feedback. This is awesome info. I have no idea what track conditions or trip times i will find but this is great information.


Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter #9
should be a fun trip for you mate. take lots of pics and vid's!
Thanks, will be heaps of pics for sure. Huge trip and lots of planning to do but will be a great experience for us and the kids. Already excited.......only a 12 months til we leave lol
 
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Don't make a big detour for Woomera - the last 2 times I passed through everything was closed.
 

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Agree with ACMPatrol. Freecamped tonight at Pimba roadhouse 6km from Woomera. Been to Andamooka and back and called into Woomera info centre, some good photos and history but only about 100 population mostly employed running the town, but it's a bit like a tidy ghost town. Fuel at Pimba 10c a litre dearer (diesel $1.64) than Roxby Downs and Andamooka, no fuel at Woomera that I could see. Good supplies hardware/fuel etc at Roxby.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So this trip was put back and we are now going this year. The FIL has bailed on it so we are travelling solo.

Some friends of ours are doing the simpson during the time we are out there and the group they were travelling with has bailed on them!!.

They have asked us if we'd be interested in joining them. We were already thinking about including Birdsville and just heading out to do Big Red more so for "done it" kind of thing.

We have upgraded our camper trailer and the new one is quite a bit heavier. I have read conflicting reports regarding towing across the simpson and with no real seat time towing this one i'm a little reluctant.

We are now going for 5 weeks and getting the dates right would be tricky given we leave 2 weeks before them but before i contemplate our itinerary is it even wise to consider this? I'm really in 2 minds. The missus is keen which i never thought she would be considering her opinion was it was sand hill after sand hill.......nothing really to see so i'm keen to take advantage of that but there are alot of unknowns for me regarding fuel useage and how the patrol will go towing a 1.5T trailer.

Anyone with experience have any thoughts on this?
 

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Just Do It !!!!!!
 

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Pm Andrew Lockwood on Facebook mate.

They were with me when we did our Uluru trip.

But then because of all the issues we had on trip one. They went back for a Simpson desert specific trip.
 

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With all the recent reports of bent or broken chassis with dual cab Utes (even Patrol utes) and people towing campertrailers through the Simpson, they don't recommend travelling the Simpson with trailers. Is there anywhere you could consider leaving the trailer (secured of course) and pick it up after finishing the simmo?
 

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So this trip was put back and we are now going this year. The FIL has bailed on it so we are travelling solo.

Some friends of ours are doing the simpson during the time we are out there and the group they were travelling with has bailed on them!!.

They have asked us if we'd be interested in joining them. We were already thinking about including Birdsville and just heading out to do Big Red more so for "done it" kind of thing.

We have upgraded our camper trailer and the new one is quite a bit heavier. I have read conflicting reports regarding towing across the simpson and with no real seat time towing this one i'm a little reluctant.

We are now going for 5 weeks and getting the dates right would be tricky given we leave 2 weeks before them but before i contemplate our itinerary is it even wise to consider this? I'm really in 2 minds. The missus is keen which i never thought she would be considering her opinion was it was sand hill after sand hill.......nothing really to see so i'm keen to take advantage of that but there are alot of unknowns for me regarding fuel useage and how the patrol will go towing a 1.5T trailer.

Anyone with experience have any thoughts on this?
Towing across the Simpson isn't recommended , and at 1.5 tonne you are really getting up there in terms of weight. As you would be aware there are 3 routes across, all start and finish on the French line. The rig road is the easiest if your going to tow but it's also the longest. The WAA would rank 2nd and the French line be the hardest by a margin due to the amount of corrugations and chopped up run ups.

I've done all 3 and the WAA twice. If it's been raining or it's been in flood forget it, as you have to cross numerous salt pans that will stop a diff locked vehicle.

It's doable if it's dry but I'd only do the rig road if your towing a trailer. You can expect to use the highest fuel figures you've ever done. You'll obviously need to carry all of your fuel and do your trip calculations.

You will need to have a very capable vehicle and travel with a equally capable vehicle. I would have at least 3 to 4 new HD snatch straps and bomb proof recovery points, also use an equalizer strap to spread the loads.

It's doable if you are well prepared, take your time, drop your pressures accordingly and think out your recoveries when needed. Travel west to east as its easier and have fun.

Sent from my A1601 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Smeagol,
That pretty much backs up how i am feeling. I really haven't prepared for a Simpson crossing and will be travelling with someone who i have never traveled with previously so that is another unknown for me.

I think i'll stick to the original plan and have a nice relaxing trip :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This trip is really proving difficult to plan. So we have ruled out the simpson but would really like to see Birdsville and do big Red. I am now thinking about leaving broken Hill out and heading west from Brisbane through Charleville to Windorah then onto the Birdsville Develpoment rd. From what i have read this would be easy enough towing a trailer.

From Birdsville south through Maree and into the Flinders for a a few days then back up to Alice. Again, hoping that the Birdsville Track is quite good and suitable for a camper trailer.

Is there a better way i could do this??

Planning the Cape trip was easy but this one is doing my head in on the various ways it could be done

Are we better to come home via the Plenty Highway if there is not much to see going through Mt Isa etc?

As always, appreciate the feedback from those who have travelled this part of the country :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
And still need to fit Cameron Corner in somewhere......aaarrrggh lol
 
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