Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Day 8 – Made it to Warburton and a touch of civilization

One of the first morning tasks was to check our bush repairs.  Everything looked OK and we commenced heading towards the community of Warburton on the Great Central Road.  If we could make it to the junction then we’d likely see traffic and in a worse case scenario, have the trailer recovered.


Packed and ready to move

Another 50km of ruts and corrugation before reaching the junction of the Heather Highway and the Great Central Road.


Looking east.  Warburton is another 40km.  The road is wide and maintained.  But it’s still corrugated, although not as badly as the Gunbarrel and Heather Highways!


The junction of the Heather and Great Central.


Wiluna…… 800km that way!  We’ve completed the section of the trip that has the highest risk (I hope) and when we reach Yulara in a couple of days I’ll be able to send the rental satellite phone back to Perth. 

We experimented with the speed identifying 90kmh as the optimal speed to smoothly travel over the corrugations.  We also put a little more air into the bottoms of the tyres.

The Warburton Roadhouse was our next stop.  Apparently it’s famous for it’s excellent hamburgers which obviously meant we had to try them.  Delicious after my cooking!  It was apparent the roadhouse had experienced numerous attempts at burglary because it was built like Fort Knox.  The attached camping ground was surrounded by a high sheet steel fence with coils of razor wire on top with a large pair of steel clad entry gates.  All the roadhouse windows and doors were fitted with heavy steel shutters.

Warburton Roadhouse might also be infamous for the price of diesel.  At $2.60ltr it was the most expensive we experienced on the trip.  Fortunately we had been carrying four jerricans and therefore only needed to top up the tank rather than fill it.

Many of the local cars here being driven by aborigines from the Warburton comminuty and a number of them (the cars) were fitted with aboriginal air conditioning.  Yes, they were missing the front and rear windows!  I was fascinated by the sight of one vehicle’s rear panels being peppered with bullet holes.

The roadhouse staff gave us directions to the local mechanical workshop in the adjacent community.


Warburton Roadhouse

Regrettably it was closed with no indication when it would reopen.  We again examined our rudimentary repairs and decided to press on another 630km to Yulara in the hope of finding suitable bolts there.  We weren’t going to reach Yulara before dusk so we’d have to freedom camp somewhere beside the road.

Some 300km east of Warburton is a turn off to Lasseters Cave.  You can read about Lasseter and his predicament in the 3rd photo down.  Rumour has it Lasseter found a gold seam before his camels abandoned him.  However no one has ever found it.


The cave

Camping is forbidden at Lasseter’s Cave and we pressed on looking for somewhere to stop for the night.  But not too close to the road as there is noisy traffic at night which also raised plenty of dust.

Eventually we noticed a radio transmission tower 100 metres south of the road and followed the access track to it.  An excellent campsite.

Tomorrow we head for The Olga’s, Uluru (Ayres Rock) and Yulara (the town).


Mike Griffin said...

Another excellent edition - the information plate was good, men were men in those days...shame people take the plates for keepsakes. OK! what do you 3 get to talk about during the driving periods?, and what precautions do you take against snakes etc whilst camping?. Once again excellent blog, an area of the world not really covered on TV.

Halfie said...

Forgive me if you've already explained, Tom, but what causes the corrugations?

Tom and Jan said...

Gosh Halfie I'd forgotten the average Brit drives on bitumen. I'll explain how they are created in a future post