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The Outback Way

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Hello,

I am thinking of doing the Outback Way, from Cairns to Perth, next winter departing sometime in May and June. It is known as Australia's Longest Shortcut being 4,615 km from Cairns to Perth via Winton, Alice, Yulara, Warburton and Laverton.

There is a good website, www.outbackway.org.au if you are curious.

I thought it would be good, and safer, to do it in company with other Kedrons. I was wondering if there is any KOGers out there that might be interested. An alternative would be to join up in Winton and separate in Laverton in WA. That is only 2,720 km.

The country out there is beautiful but it is remote. Looking at the pictures on the website, the roads look good. I think it would be a trip to equal the Cape or the Gibb River Road. You just have to do them before they seal them and while it is still an adventure. You only live once.

Is anyone interested in joining together for a a trip? I will volunteer to be the co-ordinator for planning and permits etc.

Regards

Colin

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Hi Colin

Sounds like a great trip. We'd love to join you, if it works in with our plans. We will be coming up the centre around June next year, so could join the last half.

Will let you know in the next month or so (when we return from NZ).

Cheers

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Great Sue,

Enjoy your time in the shakey isles. It is a beautiful country.

Regards

Colin

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Envious Colin? You bet!

We need lots more "practice" before we work up to a big one like this. But it looks so fabulous!!

It would be great to link up with you guys sometime so we'll watch your travels with interest.

Enjoy your planning and anticipation.

Best regards, Andrew & Sarah.

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Colin this sounds like a wonderful trip and one that we would be interested in joining. We are heading down to Victoria for Easter so our preferred option would be to hook up in Winton depending on when you plan to be there. What timeframe have you allowed for the Winton to Laverton leg?

We think this is a wonderful opportunity for us to get some outback experience in the security of a tag-along.

We look forward to hearing more.

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Dont forget the mint sauce.... following this thread with keen interest!!!!

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Hello Erich & Lesley,

Yes, it would be a good trip and best done in company, I think.

I have not begun the detailed planning as yet but here a a few comments. I think an early June departure from Winton is attractive. Winton is a good gathering point for everyone from the east coast. Winton has a couple of attractions such as the Waltzing Matilda Museum and the dinosaur stampeed. The CP's in Winton are nothing to write home about but there is a free camp area just south of the town. DAY 1 and 2. Winton to Boulia is 358 km, a days drive on a narrow but sealed road. Overnight there. DAY 3. Boulia to Jervois is 467 km on dirt roads. Big day but we could do it. Fuel stop along the way at Tobermorey. DAY 4. Jervios to Gemtree is 219 km on dirt. Then Alice is a further 135 km on a sealed road. That could be done in a day - Jervois to Alice. DAYS 5, 6 and 7. Three days in Alice to rest and have a drive around the West MacDonald Ranges etc. DAY 8. Alice to Yulare is 443 km on a good road. Could be a day. DAYS 9 & 10. Two days in Yulara. DAY 11. Yulara to Warakurna is 325 km. Day 12. Warakurna to Warburton - 225 km. Day 13. Warburton to Tjukayirla - 245 km. Day 14. Tjukayirla to Laverton - 303 km.

So, it could be something like the above. Others who have already made the trip might like to comment. We could disperse in Laverton. Gayleen and I would probably go north through Meekatharra then north to Newman and onto Broome returning to Cairns via the GRR and Savannah Way back to Cairns. What a great trip that will be!

Erich, as I have said I have not done any detailed planning. I am seeking interest and then contributions as to the best time and rest days etc etc. GHope the above helps.

Regards

Colin

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That sounds great as a start, Colin. We would be interested to do some geocaching along the way. Apparently the Outback Way is a well known geocaching route. Not a problem if no one else is interested though as the trip is our focus. We will head down to Victoria for Easter but if this trip takes off, we can be in Winton as required. From Laverton, we would probably head straight to Perth then to Margaret River, Denmark,Albany, Esperance, Norseman and then back to home. A total of six months is the plan at the moment.

Getting quite excited about the whole thing. Who else is up for it?

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Hi Colin, Erich & Lesley

We did the Plenty Hwy last year with relative ease (it being our 1st off road experience) Tobermorey was closed last year, so we took 2x20L diesel in jerries as extra fuel. For safety we put $50 in @ Gem Tree @ $2.10/L.

Our Patrol has 135L capacity for it’s 2 fuel tanks with consumption of about 20L/100km or a bit over.

We got to Jervois mid afternoon from Boulia with a couple of tourist stops along the way. I think Jervois has fuel as well.

Would you consider doing the Merennie Loop to see Kings Canyon?

It is a beautiful place to visit & did the rim walk early morning as it needs a couple of hrs.

We stayed @ Glen Helen van park for 2 nights on the way through to Kings Canyon.

The 1st 45mins was pretty corrugated, but nothing fell apart. The next 1.25 hrs was as smooth as a babies b.. :)

If you consider the Merennie Loop, the permit can be obtained from Glen Helen at just a few $$ (less than $10)

Fuel @ Glen Helen was $2.06/ L.

I can’t comment beyond Yulara, & The Olgas as we headed back to The Alice & then north to Darwin.

Besides the usual spots around the West MacDonnells, we also visited Roma Gorge & Finke Gorge with Palm Valley.

We also took a rough trip out to Rainbow Valley.

If you consider going to the latter, I recommend you get yourselves an insect net to go over your heads / faces. Our backs were covered in little black bush flies.

I hope you all have a wonderful trip.

Cheers

Sue

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Dont forget the mint sauce.... following this thread with keen interest!!!!

Mint sauce and lamb roast and a good red to celebrate in Laverton!

Regards

Colin

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That sounds great as a start, Colin. We would be interested to do some geocaching along the way. Apparently the Outback Way is a well known geocaching route. Not a problem if no one else is interested though as the trip is our focus. We will head down to Victoria for Easter but if this trip takes off, we can be in Winton as required. From Laverton, we would probably head straight to Perth then to Margaret River, Denmark,Albany, Esperance, Norseman and then back to home. A total of six months is the plan at the moment.

Getting quite excited about the whole thing. Who else is up for it?

Enrich, the Outback Way is promoted as the Wold's Longest Geocahe Trail. Apparently there is 36 hidden caches! These are designed to encourage travellers to stop and enjoy the natural wonders of central Australia while searching for caches. You should look at the following link:


/>http://www.outbackway.org.au/2012-08-17-04-07-38/geocache-trail.html

Regards, Colin

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G'day Colin

It's a pity you aren't doing it the other way around, as we would be able to join you. Nevermind, we have done it before and it is an excellent trip. We did it solo, with a long break at the Alice. Looks like you won't have to worry about going solo, though, as you already seem to have a few takers.

Just a couple of things.....

As mentioned before, Tobermorey was closed when we came through, so plan an alternative. Also, don't forget to take out permits to cross the Aboriginal lands between The Rock and Laverton. You can get these on-line and they are free. Camping places along the Great Central Road are few and far between, so don't be tempted to drive past one if the Sun is starting to get low on the horizon. Fuel stops along the Great Central Road are also a bit tricky. There are enough of them, it's just that they operate when they are good and ready, not when you want them to be open.

We found that the last couple of hundred K's of the gravel section of the Plenty Highway were a bit chopped up and actually bounced one of our kitchen drawers onto the floor of the van after its catch broke. The GCR is in pretty good nick, with a corrugated section between the Olgas and the border being the worst section. The road-base that they used on the first couple of hundred K's of the WA side, has a lot of sharp stones in it, so air-down and slow down and you'll be fine.

A satellite phone or HF radio would be a good idea if you end up travelling alone. We hired a sat-phone at Alice Springs to do the Alice to Laverton section, then posted it back to the hirer.

Last suggestion: If it has been a long time between rains, don't leave any sort of water container outside the van. Camels will smell it from 50 K's away and will tear things apart to get to the water!

Cheers

Russ

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Colin

Tobermoery is again offering camping and I think fuel ( My son was there in early Sept 2012)

Would be a noce spot to stop

Suggest that you give them a call re fuel etc

Regards

Jaap

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G'day Colin

It's a pity you aren't doing it the other way around, as we would be able to join you. Nevermind, we have done it before and it is an excellent trip. We did it solo, with a long break at the Alice. Looks like you won't have to worry about going solo, though, as you already seem to have a few takers.

Just a couple of things.....

As mentioned before, Tobermorey was closed when we came through, so plan an alternative. Also, don't forget to take out permits to cross the Aboriginal lands between The Rock and Laverton. You can get these on-line and they are free. Camping places along the Great Central Road are few and far between, so don't be tempted to drive past one if the Sun is starting to get low on the horizon. Fuel stops along the Great Central Road are also a bit tricky. There are enough of them, it's just that they operate when they are good and ready, not when you want them to be open.

We found that the last couple of hundred K's of the gravel section of the Plenty Highway were a bit chopped up and actually bounced one of our kitchen drawers onto the floor of the van after its catch broke. The GCR is in pretty good nick, with a corrugated section between the Olgas and the border being the worst section. The road-base that they used on the first couple of hundred K's of the WA side, has a lot of sharp stones in it, so air-down and slow down and you'll be fine.

A satellite phone or HF radio would be a good idea if you end up travelling alone. We hired a sat-phone at Alice Springs to do the Alice to Laverton section, then posted it back to the hirer.

Last suggestion: If it has been a long time between rains, don't leave any sort of water container outside the van. Camels will smell it from 50 K's away and will tear things apart to get to the water!

Cheers

Russ

Thanks Russ for that good advice. Couldn't you just nick over to Winton and then return home with us?

I am greatly encouraged by the reponse to date and will, after Christmas, start some serious planning. It is a part of the fun! Anything else that come to you mind would be much appreciated. Oh! We have a sat phone that we never leave home without!

Cherie and Moet will keep the camels ay bay!

Regards

Colin

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Hi Colin, Erich & Lesley

We did the Plenty Hwy last year with relative ease (it being our 1st off road experience) Tobermorey was closed last year, so we took 2x20L diesel in jerries as extra fuel. For safety we put $50 in @ Gem Tree @ $2.10/L.

Our Patrol has 135L capacity for it’s 2 fuel tanks with consumption of about 20L/100km or a bit over.

We got to Jervois mid afternoon from Boulia with a couple of tourist stops along the way. I think Jervois has fuel as well.

Would you consider doing the Merennie Loop to see Kings Canyon?

It is a beautiful place to visit & did the rim walk early morning as it needs a couple of hrs.

We stayed @ Glen Helen van park for 2 nights on the way through to Kings Canyon.

The 1st 45mins was pretty corrugated, but nothing fell apart. The next 1.25 hrs was as smooth as a babies b.. :)

If you consider the Merennie Loop, the permit can be obtained from Glen Helen at just a few $$ (less than $10)

Fuel @ Glen Helen was $2.06/ L.

I can’t comment beyond Yulara, & The Olgas as we headed back to The Alice & then north to Darwin.

Besides the usual spots around the West MacDonnells, we also visited Roma Gorge & Finke Gorge with Palm Valley.

We also took a rough trip out to Rainbow Valley.

If you consider going to the latter, I recommend you get yourselves an insect net to go over your heads / faces. Our backs were covered in little black bush flies.

I hope you all have a wonderful trip.

Cheers

Sue

Hello Sue,

My apologies for not reponding sooner.

Thanks for the great advice, comments and recommendations. It's added to my collection. As you will see elsewhere in this thread I am only just at the beginning of this plan so every bit of information from people such as you is valued.

Regards Colin

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Hi Sue

Thanks for those details. How much water did you carry? We look forward to catching up with you both again on the 9th.

Colin, thanks for the link. Erich had already been on the site checking it all out so he's quite keen. I'm yet to be convinced that this is a fun pastime (especially when the blighters elude us! :rolleyes: ) but we do get to some interesting places nonetheless.

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It sounds like this is turning into a Geocaching exercise! How I wish I was coming too!!!!

We have become quite obsessive geocachers now, and most days are out and about getting another one. (If we are driving somewhere we now deviate if there is a cache nearby).

By the way, the West MacDonnell Ranges are really a destination in their own right rather than a day trip from Alice Springs. There are some fabulous camps out there...one or two of them are outside national parks and so can accommodate dogs.

Chris

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Hi Chris....It sounds as though you have more geocaching success than we do! :( We certainly don't intend to hijack Colin's planned trip but, if the opportunity presents itself, we will seize the chance.

Now why aren't you and Val putting up your hands to join us?

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Hi Chris....It sounds as though you have more geocaching success than we do! :( We certainly don't intend to hijack Colin's planned trip but, if the opportunity presents itself, we will seize the chance.

Now why aren't you and Val putting up your hands to join us?

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Colin

Tobermoery is again offering camping and I think fuel ( My son was there in early Sept 2012)

Would be a noce spot to stop

Suggest that you give them a call re fuel etc

Regards

Jaap

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Hello Everyone,

If any Koggers are "umming" and "ahhing" about "will they or will they not" make this or any other trip or activity, I have some unsolicited advice. JUST DO IT!!

Yesterday was not a good day for me. By 8.30am I had been advised of the sudden and very serious medical conditions of four dear friends. Their lives have been dramatically changed, perhaps forever. It makes me determiined to enjoy every day and to become a NIKE. Just Do IT!

Regards

Colin

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Hi Lesley & Erich

I'm really sorry for the s-l-o-w reply. We didn't take any extra H2O apart from the vans full tanks - 180 L I think we have.

The geocaching sounds like a fun way to go to stop at places you'd otherwise pass.

Hi Colin,

You can get some ideas from my blog pics if you have time to look. They're separated into chapters so you don't have to plod your way through too much to find what you need. I don't write too much either & let the pics do the talking.

Am really sorry to hear about your friends. We never know what's around the corner for ourselves or those close to us.

I have to ask as I'm rather uneducated on short hand.... what is a NIKE?

I've always loved the motto "don't put off to tomorrow for what can be done today"

Would love to tag along with you all, as I think it would be fun, but we have plans to go to Canada /Alaska next June / July. Perhaps another time.

Have a great time

Sue

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We travelled the GCR last August from west to east. We did the trip on our own, passing 37 vehicles over three days. It was an experience that was definately worthwhile. The road from Laverton to Warburton was good, there was 10kms of black top. After Warburton the corrugations were really bad. We had no problem with fuel at any of the roadhouses. The most expensive fuel was at Tjukayirla R/H @$2.45lt for diesel. Try and be at Warakurna to coincide a visit to the Giles weather station at 9am or 4pm when they do tours, intersting. Watch out for the camels, they sleep on the road and do not move very fast. We passed one mob of six or seven just lazing in the sun in the middle of the road. We broke a spring on the van just before the Olgas. Our van is ten years old and has travelled on a lot of dirt roads in Australia. I guess things have to break at some stage. This trip we did this year we travelled in excess of 5000kms on dirt. We fixed the spring at Yulara and when we got to Alice Springs replaced the other. We also travelled the Mereenie Loop which was OK. All good memories.

Clive and Sandra

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Hello Sue,

Thank you for your words and advice. I will certainly read your blog.

Nike I referred to is the sports shoe, sports wear brand that has the motto "Just Do It". Not a bad motto for life especially when you get to my age!

Alaska and Canada will be wonderful. Those polar bears will make our camels look timid! Don't sleep out under the stars!!

Regards and thanks,

Colin

Sandra,

thank you for your advice. Much appreciated. The number of vehicles you passed would have surprised me before I started my research. There is an ever increasing number of vehicles using the road and there is a plan to seal the road! Gotta do it before that happens.

Regards

Colin

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Quote

"Nike I referred to is the sports shoe, sports wear brand that has the motto "Just Do It". Not a bad motto for life especially when you get to my age!

Alaska and Canada will be wonderful. Those polar bears will make our camels look timid! Don't sleep out under the stars!!

Regards and thanks,

Colin"

end quote

Thanks Colin

ROTFL re the NIKE... not. Silly me :rolleyes:

I thought it must have been an acronym for something more meaningful to go along with "Just Do It".....

I do hope we see some bears...Brown, Polar, or what ever colour bear that won't matter to me. But we promise not to sleep out under the stars for this trip just in case we have an encounter of the not so desired kind.

Seeing a camel along some of the roads would be special as well & we didn't see any on The Merennie Loop like other folks have :(

Hears hoping for you in seeing some camels.

cheers

Sue

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