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September 9, 2013

Well we are inviting you to have a quick trip up the Birdsville Track (dirt highway) with us over the next couple of days until we reach Birdsville.
After I had a wander around the main street of Marree then filling up with fuel we headed off by 9am.
This is the large area at the back of the Marree pub.

Main street of Marree, looking west and a couple of the murals on local walls.

Did not ask how much would buy this engine. the building next to it is the Marree Yacht Club. Look closely , there are actually boats stored under the building.

After filling the fuel at $2.05 we were on the way. Tyres already down from the trip up the Borefield Road.

I do not know why these outback roads are still called “tracks” as the major ones are usually very good roads. There are patches of minor corrugation, the gravel is good even if some of the stones could be inviting punctures. Up this way the dirt is mainly grey to white.

By the map I think this is probably Lake Harris in the distance. A part of the dog fence below.

All the cattle we have seen are in good condition- there are still green pickings everywhere but gradually getting drier. This little fellow did not want to move- made sure that he did not think that my leg might be a tree.

Lesley & Erich bringing up the rear, but keeping well enough back to keep out of our dust. This grids have
to be approached slowly as they could do major damage to vehicle, the approaches not the best.

to be

Certainly did not expect to see a WATER OVER THE ROAD sign.
This is at the entrance to Dulkaninna Homestead.

Road continues to be corrugated.

A few mums & their poddys, all in good condition, even the cows with calves. The cattle appear to be very quiet & I assume that that is from being hand fed at times.

Could not tell if that is a person’s head in the side car but it looks as though there are 2 folding chairs on the front of the car!

Still have about 50 ks to the Mungerannie Pub & roadhouse where we will stop for lunch. The country changes so quickly.

The countryside is for ever changing, in color as well as geographically. Really dry now with not a lot of greenery.

This dingo just wandered over in front of us- noticed a dead calf in the drain so that is the reason for him not running away- his meals for a few days.

We only met 2 of these cattle trucks but too dusty to see what they were carrying!

Filled up with fuel here.

This is not the dearest we have paid but bad enough.
A few photos from in the pub where I also asked if the Inside Track was open & the condition of the road. Yes, it is open & in good condition! Like all these outback pubs there are all manner of items hanging from walls & ceilings.

There are a couple of Tom Kruse’s old vehicles parked in the yard as well- he was the Birdsville mailman & his last truck is now in the National Motor museum in Birdwood SA. We saw it when we were there.

After leaving here the country changed again, now coming into breakaway type country. This is the second truck we met.

The main Birdsville track continued to be reasonably good, patches of corrugation, sand but a vey wide road to move away from on coming traffic. There did not appear to be a lot of traffic around but realized that many were going in the same direction as us, north, and not a lot going south.

We were soon up at Camp #388 camps 7 where we were going to spend the night as there was still over 200 ks to travel . Had done enough fro one day anyway. When we got there, there was only one other couple changing a tyre. Apart from the flat tyre he also has to replace the van rim. After getting the flat, because of the independent suspension that wheel just went down & was running on the rim- it took a piece out of the rim about the size of a saucer! Their van was a HARLEN VAN, BATHURST SERIES. We have never heard of that brand. Bruce, as Bruce does, got talking. They also have a composting toilet which does not need emptying!!!!
They were going south so could not comment on the Inside track, however, we noticed a vehicle coming down that way so I ran out to the road to ask them about the track. Reply was that it was good, grader was working but to be careful on a few sandy corners. All good so we decided to go that way to cut off 40ks.
Took a sunset & sunrise photo but nothing brilliant – no clouds. By the way it was 36 degrees in the van at 6pm! Fortunately there was a good breeze blowing.

Oh, almost forgot. Bruce decided to check a van tyre which looked a little low- only 20 instead of 30. Was about to pump it up when he noticed another PK screw sticking out. Of all the stones we have driven over, both flats have been from these screws. Changed the wheel for one of the spares & we were off again.

Well, it narrowed to half the width of the main road but that would not be a problem but was very corrugated.

Still no sign of the grader & just commented on the remark that the guys had made the night before. Ugh!

A little further up the track we came around a bend where a vehicle was parked- it was the same 2 guys. Asked if they had a problem, as well as when the good road started, and fortunately it was not too far ahead. They were only bird watching & neither were Australian. The photo caption below should read “between” Diamantina Rv & Eyre Ck, not “beside”.

Big improvement in the road now- can quite easily travel at 72 where as before we were under 60 most of the time. Not that there was any hurry to get anywhere!

Also there are more sanddunes along the road. Because we are travelling north & the dunes run N/S so far we have not had to worry about getting over any!

We approached the first one we would have to cross & soon realised that there is clay surface otherwise the crossing would not have been easy – if not impossible with vans behind.

Even in this short distance the dirt/sand changes color.
Not far to Birdsville now.

6.2ks to go. Even though we like this kind of travel it is always good to see the destination.

Looking at the Birdsville Pub on left & Brophy’s Boxing tent on the right.
We decided to go straight through town to find a spot for the night. Not a lot of vehicles here as yet so there were plenty to choose from, but for only one night we were not too fussy.
Unhooked the vans then into town (only about a klm) to the Bakery for lunch. Was going to try the Camel pie which I did not do last time but once again chickened out. We had another variety which was OK. Then had a wander around the stalls- a few more this year- and to the pub to ask whether the BBQ was on to-night. No, it was last night but meals start at 6pm and it is first in first served until the meals run out!.

Parked beside the pub!

The beautiful “Black & White Cavair” (his name) is a Carnival Great Dane.

This form of dress will be everywhere on race day!

Had a chat to this friendly couple whom we saw wandering the street.

Kenny the Plumber is also here.

AS it was our last night with Lesley & Erich we all went to the local for dinner.

The country here is so dry & rather a change to what we have been travelling through until just south of Marree- the whole trip has been through “green” countryside which has made the travelling feel that much better.

This is the end of our Birdsville Track journey- another wonderful part of our big country crossed off the “to do” list.


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  1. Firefly permalink

    Some amazing shots there mate. Birdsville is special isn’t it. 🙂

    • It is so dry out that way- in 2009 everything was rather green which was much nicer. The track is now off the bucket list. Cheers

  2. thank you, magic photos and very desciptive !!!

  3. dazren permalink

    Thank You I enjoyed the journey ?? as I will not be able to do that trip myself, as my vehicle is a 2011 Holden Colarado Factory fitted Duel/Fuel It is the High ride Like the 4WD but it is only 2 wd Fine for dirt roads and tracks along the rivers, but NOT the vehicle to tackle a trip like that, Hence i appreciate you showing me the places I dare not venture,

    • Hi Daryl It is now crossed off the bucket list as certainly will not be doing that trip again. It was rather boring actually & sooooooooo dry. Cheers

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