Sept 2017 - Vic deserts and SA trip report

Tell us about your trip plans. Share your trip reports.

Sept 2017 - Vic deserts and SA trip report

Postby El_Freddo » Thu May 03, 2018 8:40 pm

September 2017 trip: How time's flown!

During the 3rd term school holidays I met up with Venom and we headed off to the Murray Sunset NP, entering from the west through Hattah. The plan was to hit up Pheeny's track and camp in what looked like the most remote camp of any in Vic...

So to start off, we had a little detour to the Mt Kooyoora State Park which gave us the first photo pic of the two vehicles:

Image

Venom's running in a mildly lifted Gen4 H6 outback with all the trimming. I think the rims are Method rims from the states. Very nice and apparently light too.

Once we'd commuted a few more hours north westish we collected some firewood in the form of old railway sleepers - the little broken bits:

Image

We then needed to enter the NP via someone's private property following signs like this one - about a 15km drive across their small patch:

Image

Image

Entering the park we started out on Last Hope Track:

Image

This section of track was a little dull, much like most of the property commute. Last time we were in this area we came from the park back to the highway and this section really felt like a wasteland where no living creature should be. It's a very salty landscape and at the time barely had a blade of grass. This time there was quite a good lot of pasture grass, and water in the salt lakes.

On our way to the first camp of the trip at Mopoke Hut we buzzed up a dune that was the tallest thing in the area for a look around and for something fun to really kick the trip off:

Image

Image

Both the Outback and the L lapped it up easy :D

Shortly after this and some sand touring we arrived at Mopoke Hut. Here's the twilight after dinner:

Image

The silence between the light breeze through the sheoak trees is amazing, something that needs to be experienced to understand!

The next morning we packed up after a lazy breakfast, with Mopoke Hut built in the 60's for grazing purposes in the background:

Image

Our aim was Pheeny's Track for the day to end up at Pheeny Track camp for the night - get in early and kick back for a few hours before sunset. First off we visited Rocket Lake - still dry with plenty of shrubs on the lake bed, just not a cold as last time. This place get get up a wickedly cold westerly breeze that saps the heat out of you if you're not prepared properly!

We enjoyed some fun twisty sand 4wd'n between short flat clay pans in this area that really built up our excitement and expectations for what was to come...

Once we made it to Pheeny's track it became pretty obvious that this was a desert highway as such. You could drive a commodore along here easy - we passed two trucks dropping beehives out here for their honey production!!

Image

Average speed was about 40kmph and we covered plenty of terrain quickly. We passed two north/south tracks with signs indicating that they were 4wd only. This has peaked my interest to do a future trip involving these two tracks...

We stopped for lunch at a survey marker that was on a high point in the area - lucky if it was 30m above the track we were following:

Image

Image

A little further down the track we came across Pheeny's camp. It was about 2pm at this point and the camp didn't have much of a remote feel to it due to the easy track nor was it very aesthetically pleasing as such after looking at so many Mallee trees all day.

So we continued East, found this little fella on the side of the road before crossing the boarder into SA:

Image

^ Shingleback ;)

We headed to Pinaroo, fueled up then headed back into Vic aiming near the middle of the Big Desert State Park, which we made just before sunset:

Image

Twilight after dinner, again similar atmosphere to Mopoke Hut, but with Emus in the area:

Image

We went for a night drive in the Outback to do some dune climbing and play around with some of the functions of the auto, working out what setting gives the best traction etc. After a few attempts on a particular climb we literally burnt 1/6th of a tank of fuel! That 6 can be thirsty!!

The next day it was pretty cold in the morning before the sun came up, a good night's rest in the swag was had followed by bacon and egg muffins for breakfast :D

First stop was a dune we like to visit, I was surprised that Ruby Scoo made it up the top. Venom coming up the peak of this complex:

Image

Image

One of the best things about visiting this area in the spring is a- the awesome pocket of warm weather we typically "run into" on these trips before that last cold snap mid October; and b- there are many flowers that pop out at this time adding some colour to the area:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I have no idea about their names etc, but I know the last one is some sort of bush pea.

Other, smaller dunes were climbed, some more challenging than others through a combination of soft sand and deep ruts with no side option/room to move out of them:

Image

We cruised around some old haunts and came across this mess:

Image

^^ This sort of treatment of the bush is criminal. How hard is it to take out what your bring in, really... not difficult at all! This boils my blood and next trip I'm aiming to clean up this sort mess when I come across it - just need to work out how it's going to happen/fit on the vehicle.

On a better note, Ruby Scoo looking fine:

Image

^ Spot the sign post in that pic!

Venom's Outback and Ruby Scoo same location before heading back west to the big dune:

Image

I don't know what happened to pics of this area at the big dune. Venom had a couple of goes at it but it was too flogged out up the top to make a successful ascent. He was a bit wary of his fuel useage too as we were in the middle of the park and still had another day's drive planned before our next fuel stop. All fuel cans were still full though so that was comforting.

From here we headed off to Pigeon Springs and camped the night. The evening cloud cover was extraordinary with several cloud layers separated by a great deal of altitude that added to the effect. Unfortunately it didn't eventuate into a speccy sunset but it was still speccy in its own right:

Image

The next day was our last on the sand for this trip. We hit up Milmed Rock track, visiting Milmed Rock. Someone's stolen the guest book so no message left or chance to look for Sven's latest addition to the pages, I've heard he's traveling further up north now anyway:

Image

^ On this track it was like carving up first tracks on a fresh drop of powder. We saw one vehicle that was solo, we kept leap frogging each other until we ended up losing them before Round Swamp. On our way out we saw a few interesting vehicles headed the other way - a lifted 4wd toyota commuter van decked out as a camper was an interesting one, as was an F150. It was the most traffic we'd seen since Pinaroo.

We aired up on the dirt track - and found out I had a flat. I thought I had sand between the bead but I later found out that I pierced the side wall, so there's a perfectly dead tyre with plenty of tread left. Not happy Jan!

Image

From here we commuted on the black top together for a little bit before we split and turned our sights on SA. We were already halfway there and had our zoo membership in hand to use interstate - also to visit family (didn't happen) and some friends (happened!).

We filled up in Nhill and arrived in Radelaide after nightfall. We had a bit of trouble getting a hotel due to some festival or big celebration in town that weekend.

From here we visited the Adelaide Zoo. It's worse than what the Melbourne Zoo was in the early '90s... and is falling apart under a major landing approach path. It wasn't a pleasant experience. But we did find out that our Vic Zoo membership allowed us into the Monarto Open plain zoo.

We met up with some mates, and another old mate from our Hotham days - it felt like yesterday since we'd all seen eachother. We ended up crashing with our Hotham friend in the southern suburbs. The next day we visited one of the SA parts yards, picked up some electric windows as a future project for the brumby. It would've been great to grab the two PS kits for the MYs to clean up and sell on back at home.

Image

After this we tracked down some new front brake pads, had to head back into Adelaide for this. We then took off for Monarto Zoo and spent the arvo up there. Top place and has one over Werribee Open Plain Zoo, I'd definitely recommend this place - we plan to visit again and do a few more things we missed out on.

Image

Returning to the southern suburbs we cut through the hills, avoiding the main freeway. Another spectacular drive:

Image

Once in the hills they were tight and twisty, still enjoyable in the lifted L. The snorkel roar at 4000+ rpm WOT didn't get old on this trip! We made a quick stop over to visit another forum member (Silverbullet on ausubi) who's doing a ground up rebuild on his family's one family owned MY wagon. I collected a few more bits from him then headed to our friend's for dinner. From here we did a night drive down the Fluerieu Peninsula to a cheap campsite at Rapid Bay. The drive through the hills was fun while babying the brakes... and moving through a dark campground with a noisy exhaust on grandfinal weekend finished off the night's fun activities...

Had a good night sleep and awoke to some pretty awesome views of the hills meeting the sea. After breakfast this task was taken on:

Image

Bedding in brakes while mainly travelling up hill isn't a fun experience - but I needed them ready for the down hill descent that ended with a stop sign...

We headed into Yankalilla for their local agricultural show. It was a classic wholesome small town show that had most of the town in attendance, very enjoyable. There were SES and RFS (rural fire service) displays cutting up rolled cars, classic cars and tractors, horse competitions, the usual CWA creative contests and small number of carnival rides. Here we managed to catch up with another forum mate, Phizinza (offroadingsubarus.com). Had a good, long overdue catch up.

The plan from this point was to leg it home, arriving late in the night. We took the scenic route through Victor Harbour and managed to stalk their steam train all the way to Goolwa. There's a wood fired pizza store in the main street that's worth a visit if you're ever in town ;)

Crossing the Murray River downstream from Tailem Bend at Wellington is always a fun experience:

Image

We had a snag in bread at Tintanara in a community park using their bbq while watching some of the big trucks passing through town. Then it was back on the road again aiming for another favourite camp site off the main highway near Dimboola - I felt that at this point there was no logic to push for home when it was already lateish and I knew I couldn't do that huge drive after the town's show activites. We arrived here at about 2am - had a pretty clean run other than all the traffic from the Crows fans returning home disappointed!

Camp in the morning, top spot right on the Wimmera River:

Image

And that's basically it for this trip. We had a good run home and began the unpacking.

I can't believe it's taken me this long to get it all written up but it's all done now! I hope you enjoyed it!

Cheers

Bennie
El_Freddo
fire trailer
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:01 pm
Location: Bendigo

Re: Sept 2017 - Vic deserts and SA trip report

Postby beaujest4 » Fri May 04, 2018 11:35 pm

Awesome trip Bennie, thanks for sharing
Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PpzveeXLO8
User avatar
beaujest4
fire trailer
 
Posts: 10839
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 12:56 pm
Location: Coffs Harbour


Return to Travel / Trip Reports

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest