Christmas Party – November
This year we choose a small park to have our Christmas party. It had toilets and we brought our BBQ, tables, chairs and a shade tent. It worked out well as no one had to get up at the crack of dawn and try to reserve a spot at one of the larger reserves.
We had plenty of food, with desserts aplenty. We sadly said goodbye to a couple of people who were moving interstate, but we also welcomed in a few new people.
See newsletter #36, January 2022 for the full trip details
Toolangi State Forest – May
We started the trip at Healesville. Most people started with a morning coffee before we headed up Myers Creek Road to Monda Road. We stopped at Monda dugout. This is an old concrete fire refuge built into the side of the hill.
We along roads lined with towering gums. We stopped for a walk to the Kalatha Tree. This is one of the states oldest trees at 400 years old, standing 65m tall and a girth of 14m. From Kalatha Road, we joined up with Aeroplane Track and KK Link Track. This has a fair descent, but nice views.
We followed Martins Track and had lunch besides Lukes Creek. After lunch we did a few more tracks. We finished with afternoon tea at the Cascades picnic ground.
See newsletter #30, June 2021 for the full trip details
Simpson Desert – June/July
This was a trip that was delayed by COVID and then further impacted by COVID and by a very wet winter up north. The plan was to go through NSW to Cameron’s Corner and then Hadden’s Corner, Birdsville and onto Mt Dare. But boarder restrictions had other ideas
The Trip started at Mildura. With various boarder restrictions, we played the safe bet and headed into S.A. while we could. Here we stayed until we returned home 3 weeks later. From Mildura we went and stayed a couple of nights at Burra and camped behind the Bon Accord Hotel.
The next stop was Farina. The road had very good views of the Flinders Rangers. The Farina bakery was high on everyone’s list.
The next stop was Maree. The hotel has some wonderful stained-glass panels and a museum that is worth a look. Then we hit the Birdsville track. This is now a wide well graded track. We camped at Mungerarie Station. This was the last fuel before Mt Dare.
We turned off onto the Warburton Track and headed into the Simpson Desert. The track varied from smooth to corrugated to very corrugated. We traverse a large salt lake and traveled north until we met the French Line, then headed in a westerly direction.
We had a late lunch at Poeppel Corner. Everyone made quick trips to Northern Territory, Queensland and back to South Australia!
During the day we enjoyed the sand dunes, the variety of vegetation, the wildflowers and views of dunes and clay pans. The sand was deeper in places and some of the dunes had steep drop offs or were rutted and chewed up on the east side, but no one had any difficulties.
Travel along the French Line was slow due to the amount of traffic coming towards us, at times in large groups. We decided to turn off onto Knolls Track which was significantly quieter. The track was very rough in places as the rocks had become exposed in section that made for a slow rough trip. The Knoll was climbed, and the views enjoyed but we opted to keep travelling as the dusty and windy car park was not a very inviting place for lunch.
We turned onto the Rig Road and finally found a place to camp for the night.
after a cold night on the Rig Road, we woke to a brilliant sunrise and the promise of another day of clear skies. Traveling today provided to be much easier and we made good progress. Still had lots of sand dunes to cross, some with very rough descents and the track was very rough in places. We stopped at an airstrip for lunch and the memorial site of Mr Peck.
We turned off the Rig Road onto the French Line and passed the sign that said we had left the Simpson Desert just before Purnie Bore.
The next day we woke to the coldest morning yet, minus 4°C. The road conditions varied from sandy, rocky, corrugated, very corrugated and also some very good sections of road as the graders were out working.
We made use of the rubbish dump just before Dalhousie. It was good that we could separate rubbish and recyclables. Dalhousie Springs was busy, and it didn’t take our group long to change and enjoy the warm waters of the spring. We left Dalhousie about 2.30pm and travelled over the worst roads so far. Very corrugated and also very rocky. We were all rather relieved to arrive at Mt Dare late afternoon after the hard drive from Dalhousie.
The next day it was down to Oodnadatta. The highlight of the afternoon was finding large patches of Sturt Desert Peas.
See newsletter #32 and #33, August and September 2021 for the full trip report
Murry Sunset National Park – Easter 2021
This was the second club trip to be run over Easter break of 2021. A few of us went up to Murry Sunset National Park and camped at Rocket Lake. Through out the week we drove over a 1,000km. It was a reminder of just how massive this National Park is.
It was abnormally hot up there (about 12 degrees above average), with temperatures in the mid 30’s. The flies were abundant and unrelenting. A fly net was not an option. In the evenings it is easy to see where the park gets it’s name from. The sunsets were just glorious.
We did a few of the main tracks, heading down to Pink Lakes. Doing the loop of Rocket track, Mopoke track, Mt Jess track, Mt Crozier track and Underbool track. We went across to the Shearer’s quarters, and up to Lake Walla Walla near the very northern border of the park.
We found a good track that we have not been on before. It is unnamed, but marked on the map. It runs south off Pheenys track and joins Last Hope track. To me, this track provided the best sense of how isolated this park is and why it is no longer used for farming.
We drove to Hattah lakes in search of water, but both the main lakes were dry. We did find water at Lake Cullulleraine, where one of our group may have accidentally fell in the lake to cool off.
We were brave and crossed the border into NSW. We wanted to check out the tracks along the Murry River. They were in general uninteresting and forgettable. We went to an area marked Murry Cliffs State Forest. This is, as we found out largely private land. The land owner had leased some parts back to Parks NSW, but Parks NSW have largely not done anything with it. There are new sign posts but no signs. We did come across the big red gum tree (pictured above). One of the largest in Australia. Here we sat and had lunch along the Murry River.
See newsletter #29, May 2021 for the complete trip report.
Painted Silos of North East Victoria – April
This was a weekend away to walk around Benalla to view the street art, drive through the Winton Wetlands and do the silo art trail. The weather was lovely and on the Saturday morning we had a good stroll through the streets of Benalla. We had lunch at the rose gardens.
After lunch we did a drive through the Winton Wetlands, the old Lake Mokoan. We had afternoon tea at the Wetland cafe. Dinner that night was at the Goorambat Pub.
The following day we followed the silo art trail.
See newsletter #29, May 2021 for the full trip report
Victorian/South Australia Boarder Track – April
We all met up in Rainbow the night before. The first day we headed off to Lake Albacutya. It was a warm day and the sand was dry and deep. This proved to be a challenge for a few. We then proceeded to Wyperfield National Park and had lunch at the Wonga campground. After lunch we had more sand driving and more digging. We finally arrived at Underbool where we could refuel. We camped at Lake Crosbie which was quite full.
In the morning we took a short detour to the historic salt mines that could be found on the eastern shore of the lake. We stopped at Murrayville for morning tea and coffee.
Everyone aired down at Scorpion Springs Camp and the intrepid party set off on a narrow sandy road that would accompany us all for the rest of the day. The boarder track claimed a a couple more scalps, with a bit of digging and recovery to be done. The night saw us camped at Doggers Hut.
The following day was better progress, with people generally getting used to the sand driving. This night we camped at a new campground at the Chinaman Well turnoff. The next day we finished off with a drive down Milmed Track, and yes, the mighty rock was climbed!
See newsletter #28, April 2021 for the full trip report
South Gippsland – March
This was a slightly frustrating trip. We stayed at White Women’s Waterhole in Won Wron. In years past we have stayed here a lot, but now it seems to be full of feral’s that seem to think letting their 10 year kids ride their motor bikes throughout the campsite is acceptable. From speaking to the local police, this seems to be a regular occurrence. It is probably best to avoid this campsite at all costs.
We did a trip to Morwell National Park. The walks through there are very nice, and well worth a visit. There are some nice easy 4WD track around the Won Wron State forest. Suitable for a beginners, or someone getting to know their vehicle.
We also did a drive to McLoughlins Beach. There is a bridge across the inlet that leads to the beach, and from there, there is a walk to the heads which is very good. This is the actual start of the Ninety Mile Beach.
There was no trip report provided for a newsletter
Beachport – Robe: Australia Day, January
A few of us managed to slip in between COVID lock downs and border closures and head into S.A for the Australia Day long weekend. The first day started well with a combination of inner tracks and beach driving. The beach was very soft and stopping was sometimes problematic if you wanted to get going again. By the end of the day everyone had to dig their vehicle out at least once.
The second day was a stinker – around 40 degrees. We decided to get some lobster, fish and chips and head to long beach where we stayed for most of the afternoon.
The third day we headed to Canunda National Park. The scenery here was simply stunning. On the beach we came across a Prado that was digging to China. We tried to dig them out, but they were well and truly stuck. While we were discussing how to pull them out, another 4WD club came along and winched them out.
In the afternoon it started to rain quite heavily and much of the view was obscured. However that did not stop us having fun on the dunes.
See newsletter #26, February 2021 for the complete trip report.