Thursday, 14 June 2018

Trip Planning–Overview

Our oldest grandson has written to advise he and his girlfriend will arrive in Perth on 8 August.  This provides us with a start date for the planned trip around some of the western half of the continent.  The route will take us north to Meekatharra and then east to Wiluna.  Halfway between Meekatharra and Wiluna we will leave the bitumen and won’t see any again until we reach Ularu (Ayers Rock) in the ‘Red Centre’. 

The Gunbarrel Highway starts at Wiluna and end in Ularu (1350km).  Wiluna Shire runs a grader over the first 180km once every couple of years, but after that there’s been no maintenance since it was first constructed in 1958.

From Ularu we will again leave the bitumen heading roughly north-east visiting Kings Canyon and Ormiston Gorge before arriving at Alice Springs for a rest, vehicle maintenance/repairs and restocking of supply.  Then we will head north-west along the Tanami Track to Halls Creek stopping at Wolfe Creek Crater for a look.  The Tanami is notorious for its ‘Bull Dust’,  A very fine red dust which manages to find its way into everything.  My brother has very recently returned from a trip in that part of Australia and now can’t open the rear doors of his Toyota Landcruiser.  The Bulldust has managed to work it’s way behind the rubber pinch seals of the doors forcing them to expand to the point where they have frozen the door closed.  It’s almost as if the doors has been welded shut.

From Halls Creek we will be back on bitumen and heading west to Broome where Monique wants to do the sunset camel ride on beautiful Cable Beach.  After that it’s south on the coast road with stops at Port Hedland and Karratha before pressing on to Monkey Mia where we will see the dolphins and possibly swim with them.

The final stretch will be to Cevantes where we hope to sample their world renown crayfish (lobster) and visit the ‘Pinnacles’.

As you will see from the map below, we are covering less than a quarter of the country.  However I estimate we will travel almost 10,000km using in excess of 1000 litres of fuel.


Bulldust is just one of the many hazards we will need to manage.  Others include huge road trains on the Tanami Track and Goldfield Highway.  Then there is the remoteness of the Gunbarrel.  We may not see another vehicle during this part of the trip.  Some of the wildlife is potentially hazardous from a vehicle accident perspective (camels, kangaroos, wombats, cattle).  Then there are the snakes (Australia has the six most deadliest in the world), crocodiles and jellyfish.  That’s before considering the billions of flies, ants and mozzies!

Should be fun!

1 comment :

Ade said...

Good work Tom like it.
I guess blogging will be difficult for a lot of that.