Strzelecki Track

Submitted: Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 10:56
ThreadID: 140980 Views:1611 Replies:7 FollowUps:14
Back in 2003/4 we travelled down from Longreach down to Tibooburra via the Dig Tree, Innamincka and the Bore Track. Back then it was a Hilux with a tent.

This time we are thinking of heading north into Qld from Leigh Creek to Innamincka via the Strzelecki track. Then head up the SA/Qld border through Windorah, Jundah and beyond with a side trip to Hadden's Corner. The bit from Innamincka north we have done before.

Now have a Landcruiser and a good off road trailer.

Can anyone give us some advice on the Strzelecki track conditions Arkaroola to Innamincka.
Thanks
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Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 12:37

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 12:37
When are you planning to go?

Have a look through this Caravaners Forum thread
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Follow Up By: mepvic - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 13:24

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 13:24
Thanks Rod. Good info in the caravan forum.
Thinking of March or April. Depends on the Covid issue.
Don’t want to leave if our dear leader in Victoria won’t let us come back in.
Maybe by the time we are able to travel without COVID issues, the Strzelecki Track will be sealed and a four lane highway.
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Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 13:20

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 13:20
The old “what’s this road like “ question.
One person will say it’s ok and another will say it’s shit. Perception ! Roads change all the time and can do so quickly. Could rain tomorrow and then the graders will be along sometime.
On tyres , the best tyres are the most reliable. But if you are happy to take a bit more risk wear the old ones out . I would. I can change and repair my own.
Can you get one off and on a rim yourself? If you can then take spares not on rims to save weight.
Safe travels!
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Follow Up By: mepvic - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 13:34

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 13:34
Thanks Shane. Certainly understand that road conditions can change with rain. No concerns with changing/repairing tyres either. .
Tend not to take tyre carcus’s any more though. Getting too old to break beads and have done enough in my lifetime.
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 13:21

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 13:21
.
TheStrzelecki Track is usually in fair condition as a constructed but unsealed road as it is regularly maintained for the industrial traffic to the Moomba gas installation. It can be a little loose, a few stones and a few sandy spots but is quite reasonable for a Landcruiser.
Of course, hopeless if wet.

Be aware that the Bore Track is no longer accessible in the southern section through Bollards Lagoon Station.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: mepvic - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 13:40

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 13:40
Thanks Allan. Agree it’s most important to drive to the conditions and not to even think about it in the wet. Can always be caught out though if it rains while you are half way along.
Yes. Aware that the bore track is now closed. Pity. It was a good run for us back in 2003.
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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 16:37

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 16:37
Consider the ‘Old Strzelecki Track from Merty Merty up to Innamincka. An easy & pleasant drive without the gas field trucks. If when you say you have been north of Innamincka you did not visit Coongie Lakes go up there for a night or three’s camping, is magnificent. If you go part way around to the lake & camp on the spit you’ll enjoy sunsets over the water with the red dunes as a backdrop. Track up is sandy but not difficult unless there has been a lot of rain, but that applies to most country out that way.

http://cuppa500.com/Blog/2017/09/26/birdsville-to-tibooburra/
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Follow Up By: mepvic - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 17:22

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 17:22
Thanks Cuppa. Did the old Strzelecki with the kids way back in 1983. Coming over the dunes from Cameron’s corner we were amazed to see rabbits with an orange fur. Blended in with the sand. Camped up around Merty Merty.
Haven’t visited Coongie Lakes. Headed north from Innamincka via the Dig Tree and Nappa Merrie. Sounds like a great spot.
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Sunday, Jan 17, 2021 at 21:20

Sunday, Jan 17, 2021 at 21:20
mepevic,
we drove Camerons Corner to Merti Merti back in 1978 - the Big Yellow double decker bus was occupied by rabbiters back then - they drove the dunes in Suzukis and had a big refrigerated van there. I expect the bus was there in 1983.
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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Sunday, Jan 17, 2021 at 21:23

Sunday, Jan 17, 2021 at 21:23
Big yellow bus had gone when we passed that way in 2017.
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Follow Up By: mepvic - Monday, Jan 18, 2021 at 07:57

Monday, Jan 18, 2021 at 07:57
We didn't see it back then either. Pity. The kids would have thought that a hoot.
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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Monday, Jan 18, 2021 at 08:49

Monday, Jan 18, 2021 at 08:49
This link with a little info on the bus may be of interest

https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/dazzlerplus.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/outback-landmark-disappears/amp/

I did see another yellow double decker behind the Betoota pub in 2009. Anyone know if is still there? It had suffered neglect & vandalism back then.

And there was a green one in relatively good condition alongside the pub at Hungerford in 2017 which I expect would still be there. It had an open rear entry point IIRC , same as the one I used to catch to school each morning in the late 60’s /early 70’s back in blighty.
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Monday, Jan 18, 2021 at 09:13

Monday, Jan 18, 2021 at 09:13
Thanks Cuppa,
Yes, I spent many a bus trip in Sydney on one of those.
The Link from Web Urbanist was a great read.
Pity all the photos are more recent and just show a wreck that has been trashed. Might have to go through my old slides from 1978 and see what I can find. There were about 10 people living in it - so the inside was mostly occupied by beds but towards the rear door they left some seats and benches and had a gas stove. They slept by day and shot rabbits by night. The Suzukis were the little 360cc 2-strokes which were indestructible in their day and did not look pretty.
There were many soft dunes between Camerons Corner and the bus so I suspect it got there via Merti Merti. Mind you, we were in a Corolla wagon at the time and with a runup were able to skid across the top caps on the dunes.
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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Monday, Jan 18, 2021 at 09:34

Monday, Jan 18, 2021 at 09:34
Here are a couple of pics of the doubledecker at Hungerford. (2017). My memory of it being all green were incorrect. The 'Eastern National' bus company ones of my childhood were all green. :)
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 17:09

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 17:09
Two short video clips.....
The road to Coongie August 2017.
https://youtu.be/gKTO1PaTYFY

Overtaking a 58 wheeler on the Strezleki Track 2012.
https://youtu.be/XyqmLd_GowQ

The Strz in November 2009 in a serious dust storm and very high temperatures. Not good.

One bad section does not mean it is all bad.

In our experience the "Old Strz" is typically a nicer drive than the main road.
We like the drive from Arkaroola via Balcanoona and Mount Hopeless. It is our most common route, but forget it after a shower of rain.
Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: mepvic - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 17:47

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 17:47
Thanks Peter and Margaret. Great clips. Father Christmas gave me a dash cam. Hope to get some good shots also.
Tracks don’t look too bad. Have travelled on worse corrugations.
Will probably take the Strzelecki from Lyndhurst. Have been to Arkaroola a couple of times. May even try the Cordillo Downs track from Innamincka. We went into Cordillo Downs from Arrabury and up to the Birdsville road but have not travelled on the track up from Innamincka.
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 20:29

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 20:29
If it rains the Strzelecki becomes an impassable mess in some places. If it's dry it's a dirt highway. The road from Arkaroola to the Strzelecki via Mt Hopeless was closed to trailers for quite a long time end of last year so it pays to check the SA outback road conditions website before travelling.
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Follow Up By: mepvic - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 20:54

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 20:54
Thanks Michael. Interesting that the road was closed to trailers last year. Will definitely check outback SA road conditions.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 21:28

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 21:28
https://dpti.sa.gov.au/OutbackRoads
Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: rumpig - Saturday, Jan 16, 2021 at 19:34

Saturday, Jan 16, 2021 at 19:34
Prepare for the surprise of seeing stretches of bitumin along the Strzelecki these days (more so Lyndhurst end)...been 3 years since I last drove most of it, but there was a surprising amount of bitumin to be found along the way then....still plenty of dirt though
Did Arkaroola to the Strzelecki a couple of years ago, started out a rough very stoney drive as you leave Arkaroola, but maybe half an hour later the road became a really nice drive and I really liked it.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jim S1 - Saturday, Jan 16, 2021 at 20:08

Saturday, Jan 16, 2021 at 20:08
Yes , I noticed also. Put in to provide passing/overtaking places. Very welcome by all I'm sure.

Cheers
Jim
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