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 The Outback Way

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andyk
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PostSubject: The Outback Way   Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:44 pm

Hi there,
just thought I'd drop you a line while we have internet access.

We're currently in Laverton, Western Australia waiting til tomorrow to start The Outback way, billed as Australia's longest shortcut from Laverton to Winton across Australia's red centre. Its 2700 kms long along mainly dirt roads.

I've just finished checking all of the oil levels etc and greasing the nipples on Bluey our 110 Defender. We've fuelled up(130 lts) and filled our water tanks (120lts) and we've got food stored everywhere.

So if all goes well in a few days we should be at Ayres Rock which is almost half way, talk to you yhen

Andy, Rosy and Abby
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roamingman
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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:48 pm

Wish we were thier, sounds like a great drive. clinking teacups
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:08 am

"Australia's longest shortcut @1678 miles" ... excellent!

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andyk
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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:13 am

Hi there,
well we made it!!

we're now in Alice Springs in a caravan park trying to get clean!!

We crossed two deserts and drove around 1200kms of rough corrugated road - the Central Highway, it was absolutely brilliant. We bush camped for the first and third nights and camped at the Warakurna Roadhouse for the second night. Warakurna is where the Giles Meteorogical Station is situated - Australia's remotest weather station.

There we had a look round the weather station's exhibits which included for me the highlight of the trip - the actual grader used by Len Beadell's Gunbarrel Highway Construction Party- a real bit of Aussie outback history. We also got to drive on parts of his roads and visit some of his roadside plaques. The plaques have the co ordinates stamped on them which Len calculated by taking star sightings (this was done in the 1950's) - we checked them using our GPS - they were spot on!!

We also met a camel culling crew at WaraKurna, the camels are a real pest in the outback where they are busy destroying Aboringinal lands and sites so Mac and his crew are culling them - they shot 12,000 in November and so far this month they've shot 3,000! They were a lovely bunch of blokes - the helicopter pilot even let Abby our 4yr old daughter sit in the pilots seat - she loved it!

So at the end of the dirt road there were the Olgas and of course Ayres Rock, both really beautiful, we stayed at Curtain Springs cattle station for the night which is opposite Mt Conner, another wonder!!

Unfortunately it was there that I noticed a coolant leak from the bottom of the radiator and a hissing noise from the intercooler - the constant vibration has worn holes in both so we had to bypass Kings Canyon and drive the 200kms to Alice Springs to get repairs done (on Monday) then we'll head back down but by a different route.

So we'll spend a couple of weeks or so in the Red Centre of Australia before starting the second half of the Outback Way to Winton in Queensland.

Andy, Rosy and Abby
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roamingman
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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:37 am


Sounds like a great drive, any pics. clinking teacups
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maadmaan10
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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:18 am

Tom Mc wrote:
"Australia's longest shortcut @1678 miles" ... excellent!


Has to be more fun than the Mojave Freeway! Did that back in the 70's and ran out of gas due to a pinhole in the tank. 18 yrs old - scary or what!
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:35 pm

A terrific drive by the sound of it, well, apart from the corrugated roads that is. I've driven on corrugations in West Africa and it's hardly surprising your Landy started complaining. I don't think there can be a vehicle around that can stand them, they are atrocious!

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andyk
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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:59 pm

Hi there,
yes the lady in the information centre said we're definitely not the first car to limp into Alice for repairs after doing the Central Highway - some comfort!!

The road conditions varied from freshly graded (near the start) to badly corrugated to very rocky to soft sand to completely washed out (the road in the Northern Territory had only recently been reopened after rains a couple of weeks ago) - and that could all be in the space of a couple of hundred kms.

The width of the road varied alot too, from wide enough to get 3 or 4 lanes in to wide enough for one vehicle only - and this could happen over the crest of a hill! I always drive on the smoothest part of the road no matter which side that was on. I tried to drive in the middle as far as possible to avoid slides into the ditches either side in WA or into soft sand in NT. Obviously at crests I went over to the left side.

I also find it funny how I'm slowly getting used to the distances involved in getting anywhere in Oz, a 100km drive is "just around the block" and a drive of 300/400kms is an easy drive out!

Anyway i've posted some photos of the Outback Way on my FB page, hope the link works - I'll have to have another go at posting photos on the forum again!

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.316272728433536.74076.100001524354305&type=1

Andy, Rosy and Abby
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chally2
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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:02 pm

Andy
The link didn't work. Shame as I was really interested to see how you were getting on.
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andyk
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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:42 pm

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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:31 am

Classic ... laughing pound




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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:17 am

Excellent Photo's! Looks like your having a great time.

On those dirt covered roads, what's the traction like? Does the rain affect those roads badly to drive on?

Keep having Fun!

TJ


& Im not much of a Land Rover Fan but I do Like your Defender, looks like a clean unit and purposeful! thumbsup

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andyk
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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:53 pm

Hi there,
well in the Northern Territory because they just bulldoze a road through the roads are concave so when it rains they collect water so are consequently closed after rain - you'd need a boat to travel down them. This also means if you stray too far towards the edges you can break through the hard 3"/4" crust into a boggy morass below so I was told to travel in the middle of the road where the road is hard packed.

In Western Australia they cap the roads with gravel so their roads are convex so after rain you can slide off the crown into the ditches either side and end up rolling so after rains they require great care to drive. I was told to be very careful if I saw showers up ahead.

Thanks for the compliment. Bluey has attracted alot of admirers here in Oz. I was very pleased with my efforts when you see the well equipped 4WDs over here.

On a sad note Bluey was getting his radiator repaired today and the news was not good. The leak was from the "weld" where the reservoirs join the core so was easily repaired, unfortunately the heat and vibrations have severely weakened the core.I put a new radiator in when I rebuilt Bluey 6 years ago, the quality was obviously poor. The guy has recommended replacing the core but couldn't get a replacement til the end of the week and we need to crack on as our trip budget is nearly exhausted. It also means no more Outback Way as the road would kill our radiator and possibly us as a result! So we will have to drive 500kms north to get onto a sealed road which heads east!! The only good news was that the intercooler was fine.

So we've planned our route stopping off at free campsites to extend our budget as much as possible until we get to Toowoomba and Brisbane where we are stopping with relatives.

Andy, Rosy and Abby
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: The Outback Way   Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:37 am

Good ol' relatives, they come in handy at times. thumbsup

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