Road Conditions
Mt Dare Hotel
Mt Dare Hotel
Road and track conditions

Saturday 17th June 2017 (updated monthly, or when track conditions change).

If there has been rain in the area please check for temporary road closures on the SA website  http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/OutbackRoads 
and the NT website 
http://www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/roadreport/obstructions-byregion.jsp 



THE SIMPSON DESERT & CONSERVATION RESERVES ARE OPEN




Information contained in this notice is a general view of what to expect, track conditions change due to weather or deterioration by vehicle numbers.  The Simpson becomes rougher as the year goes on due to vehicles with incorrect tyre pressure and/or towing trailers.

Use UHF repeaters, (duplex) to contact locals ie; Pink Roadhouse ch7 Dup or Mt Dare Hotel ch6 (2 or 4) Dup or ch 40 if close to the hotel, when necessary. Not for vehicle to vehicle communication.  UHF repeater channels are 1-8 and 31-38 and are there for your safety not for chit-chat. Channel 10 UHF is for use in the Simpson Desert to check for oncoming  traffic, choose an unallocated channel for "chit chat".

Really do use caution and reduced tyre pressures will help if it's muddy. Sand pressures are best if it's really wet.  

Drive carefully on all Outback roads even if they have been graded.


NOTE:
Drop your tyre pressure by at least 20% (from highway pressure) for travel on these outback tracks (or reduce pressure until they bulge a little), the risk of tyre damage is greatly reduced, you will have a smoother ride and better traction.  As a guide - below 30psi on the dirt/gravel and below 20psi in the sand. N.B. Keep speeds down on low sand tyre pressures.

Please leave ALL gates as you found them. In a convoy make this is clear to the last vehicle through the gate. Slow down and move over for oncoming traffic or when being overtaken, in the interest of safety and to avoid a broken windscreen.

Trailers that are not purpose built for tough off road conditions are definitely NOT recommended. Leave the 6'x4' garden trailer home and hire a decent one! Check out www.mtdare.com.au vehicle preparation for more tips.  Otherwise be prepared to visit our workshop for repairs.

DRIVING TIP
Slowdown in rutted sections (caused by a vehicle’s wheels after rain), this is the cause of many roll overs. Avoid driving at night as animals, sharp corners and road damage are hard to see. Slow down when driving through puddles and creeks, excess speed is of no benefit and can cause water to enter the air intake of the engine resulting a costly repair.



ROAD CONDITIONS


KULGERA – FINKE OPEN 4wd


A good run on a well graded road.  Watch out for dips and some washouts at flood ways and creeks.

(2 hr 150 km)



LAMBERT CENTRE OPEN, 4wd only

The 12km drive is slow, a bit sandy and has many washouts; allow at least an hour to return to the Kulgera – Finke rd. There’s a flag pole that looks like it belongs in Canberra and marks the geographical centre of Aus, and a long drop toilet, this should stop the toilet paper confetti from decorating the bush.  This track is not maintained and is passable by 4x4 only.

1 hr, 24 km


ALICE – FINKE (OLD GHAN TRACK) OPEN, 4wd

 
The Finke Desert Race was held on the Queens Birthday Weekend and the road has taken a hiding. Avoid it if you can till the grader gets over it. I think it will be in the  next couple of weeks.  Slow and undulating whoops along the old road now the “Finke Desert Race Track”, this section is not maintained.  Beware of washouts along the railway line/road; watch out at creeks and dips. 
Use caution at the Finke River crossing, soft sand may require lower tyre pressures.  Beware of oncoming traffic; beware of abandoned cars, severe washouts & rutting. 4x4 is necessary.

Fuel and other supplies are available at Maryvale Station Store.

4 hr, 220 km


ALICE – OLD ANDADO OPEN, 4wd

Now also known as the Binns track. An easy run from the Airport to Alambi Station on a well graded road.  The drive through the Rodinga Range is quite spectacular in the morning or afternoon. This is definitely a worthwhile alternative way to go south (or north) and the Mac Clark reserve is only a short detour to see the Waddy trees, (Australia's rarest tree). Watch out for possible bulldust sections or washouts, high clearance 4x4 recommended. Beware of Bulldust.
Add 1 hr if visiting the Waddy trees.

5 hr, 320 km


OLD ANDADO – MT DARE OPEN. Drive with caution

Molly Clark has passed away, but you are still welcome to have a look around or to camp at Old Andado. The old homestead is like a living museum, so please treat it with respect and leave all items as they were found. Please respect the hard work that Molly has put into preserving a piece of Outback cattle station history for all of us to enjoy.  Look after the place and don't leave any rubbish, there is no rubbish disposal there. If you are interested in caretaking, look at the website.

Please leave a donation in the jar in the kitchen and look at www.oldandado.com.au  for more info and details of the Bash.

Mt Dare is the start of the Old Andado track that is now also known as the Binns track, this is one of the Outback’s picturesque drives through the Finke River flood out and the Binns Track continues past Alice Springs to meander through the Territory and finish at Timber Creek, a great 2 week journey. 

Watch out for Cattle. Some track re-alignment has been done allowing more room for larger vehicles and caravans, so ignore the GPS and follow the track.  Beware at Cattle yards as the track can be hard to see.  There is extensive bulldust throughout the Finke floodout, take care.  There are many gates, leave them as you find them, this section is not maintained, high clearance 4x4 is essential.
Beware of bulldust.

2 hr, 100 km


FINKE – MT DARE  -OPEN

 Watch out for whoa buoys (raised mounds to deter water from flowing along the track) at Charlotte waters. Slow down for oncoming traffic. There are no services or fuel available for the public at New Crown Station. Watch out for cattle and leave gates as you find them. UHF repeater channel 6 covers this area, use this only to contact the Pub.
The roads around the hotel have been graded and raised so hopefully they will be less affected by short term flooding.

  1 1/2 hr, 100 km

Finke is an alcohol free Aboriginal community; there is no campground or toilets and no services for travellers except for the Finke community store which has limited hours.

Mt Dare Hotel has fuel and is licensed, take away alcohol is available, fuel & supplies are also available at Maryvale Stn Store.


MT DARE – DALHOUSIE SPRINGS   -OPEN
4wd

The short cut starting 10 km from Mt Dare is mostly gibber rock and fairly rough. The longer route through Blood's creek is much smoother and only 14 km longer - perhaps a better option if towing or on two wheels. There are no shops or fuel available at Dalhousie Springs; but there are cold showers and two dumps for your rubbish.   Dalhousie Pass (self-registration at Dalhousie), or Desert Parks Pass are needed for this area, you can purchase Desert Parks Passes at the Mt Dare Hotel. UHF repeater channel 6 & 2 covers some of this area, use this only to contact the Pub.

1 1/2 hr 70 km


FIREWOOD COLLECTION OR WOOD FIRES ARE NO LONGER PERMITTED IN WITJIRA NATIONAL PARK AT ALL.  (This does not include the Simpson Desert Conservation Park or Regional Reserves.)  Camp fires are still permitted at Mt Dare, collect fire wood before entering the Park and arriving at Mt Dare.


MT DARE – HAMILTON Stn – OODNADATTA (via Eringa Waterhole)  - OPEN

The graders have been through and the road is in good condition. Beware of cattle & on-coming traffic traveling over the Sand hills just south of Hamilton Homestead.    Eringa Waterhole is a nice spot for a rest, but please take all your rubbish with you when you leave.  Look after this area as it is a privilege to use it, watch out for cattle.  This was Kidman's first ever property.   No pass needed for this track. UHF repeater channel 6 covers some of this area, use this only to contact the Pub.  



4 hr, 250 km


DALHOUSIE – HAMILTON Stn (via Pedirka ruins)
 
Take care and slowdown in rutted sections as this track is the cause of many roll overs and broken trailers, Dalhousie Pass or a Desert Parks Pass is needed for this area. 4x4 ONLY.  Camping at Pedirka Ruins is prohibited.



2 hr, 85 km



SIMPSON DESERT


THE SIMPSON DESERT & CONSERVATION RESERVES ARE OPEN

Dalhousie Springs & the Witjira National Parks are OPEN 4wd

Sand flags are now compulsory for 4wd's doing the Simpson Desert crossing.  Flags must be 3.5m from the ground and be mounted from the Bulbar or Bumper at the front of the 4wd, or at least 2m high mounted to the front of a roof rack.  Motorcycles are exempt but must travel with their headlight on.

If salt lakes are wet, stay STRICTLY to the wheel tracks in the centre (I mean it), maintain a steady moderate pace about 15 - 25k/hr and DON"T use excessive speed, it won't help; 2nd low range is fine.  If you become bogged ensure your tyres are reduced (14-16psi is good) and have another vehicle enter behind you and "snatch" you out.  MaxTrax are great if you're on your own.  There are detours to the North around most Salt Lakes if required.  A Desert Parks Pass is needed for the Simpson Desert.


DALHOUSIE SPRINGS – PURNI BORE, OPEN 4wd

S
till rough in places, with some corrugations and sandy in patches also, use caution.

2 hr, 70 km


ROCKS ROAD – OODNADATTA CLOSED

PERMANENTLY CLOSED don’t use this track at all unless you have permission from the Oodnadatta Police. 8670 7805


FRENCH LINE, PURNI – POEPPEL CORNER, OPEN
 
The French Line is the most demanding track in the Simpson, it has very soft sand and is slow going all the way (15–20 km/h), it has been getting rougher over the years; reduced tyre pressures are essential. 
Scalloping is contributed to mostly by vehicles with incorrect tyre pressure along with towing trailers, or driving in 2wd.Trailers of any kind are NOT recommended on the French Line (use the Rig rd). It’s very important to CHECK YOUR TYRE PRESSURE (15 – 20 psi). This is the most demanding and difficult track in the Simpson.West to East is a bit easier though. DEFINITELY USE 4x4.

16 hr, 195 km


RIG ROAD & K1, PURNI – POEPPEL CORNER, OPEN

This track is the least demanding but has been deteriorating over the years and becoming quite rough; with many sand drifts and with its clay capping slowly breaking up, travel is becoming more difficult.  Care must be taken when cresting sand dunes; this track has corrugations, deep washouts & rutting. Sand dunes between the Knolls track and the K-1 Line are more difficult to cross especially from the west, single vehicle travel or trailers are not recommended in this section.  The K-1 line may be difficult to navigate along as it is seldom used.

16 hr, 399 km


WARBURTON TRACK

 
The track has dried up and open again. Call the Mungerannie Hotel and say g'day to Phil for more info 08 8675 8317.


WAA LINE & KNOLLS TRACK, PURNI – POEPPEL CORNER, OPEN

This has the same soft and sandy conditions as the French Line but with smaller dunes and very picturesque after rain. While in this area take a look at the Lone Gum and the Knolls; this is a scenic but fragile part of the Simpson, please stay on the track. USE 4x4.

16 hr, 237 km


QAA LINE, POEPPEL CORNER – BIRDSVILLE, OPEN

Travel is much like the French Line only the sand dunes get bigger and further apart, with the biggest dune being BIG RED, it is very rough and corrugated on the western approaches. There is a detour around this giant dune if you can’t get over it, (don’t kill yourself trying) you can also cross over at Little Red only 2km further south.  Take care at salt lakes as they can be a bit wet; drive in existing wheel tracks only. USE 4x4.

6 ½ hr, 170 km
 

NOTE:
The Simpson Desert is a dangerous place if you are not well prepared. It is recommended to have a Sat-phone or HF radio as well as a UHF, extra water, fuel and supplies, a sand flag is now compulsory.

Towing trailers across the Simpson is strongly discouraged, it's very difficult, it's hard on the vehicle and trailer resulting in frequent bogging.  Exceptional skill and a powerful vehicle with lower tyre pressures are necessary, possibly as low as 14PSI.  Having to dig or be towed out of a bog is a certainty, testing friendships with the burden.  Some people still persist with towing their trailer and the result can be costly if it goes wrong, take this advice and leave the trailer at Birdsville or Mt Dare if you are not very experienced. 

Towing a camper trailer with any dual-cab Ute can have dire consequences resulting a bent, or cracked chassis.


You should allow at least 3-4 full days to cross the Simpson; the desert has no respect for itineraries so plan for the unexpected.  Make sure you have a Desert Parks Pass, a flag that can be seen, at least 2.5 m high above the bull bar and a UHF radio on channel 10.  Sat Phones can be hired from or dropped off at the Mt Dare Hotel and the Birdsville info centre. PLEASE TAKE RUBBISH WITH YOU AND BURN ALL TOILET PAPER, so it doesn’t blow around in the wind. It may be necessary to pick up someone else’s rubbish. You can deposit rubbish in the dumps at the Dalhousie Springs or Birdsville.

Desert tracks are not maintained so take care, conditions can change rapidly, especially when it's windy or when there has been rain. CHECK YOUR TYRE PRESSURE we understand that you have a lot of weight but start at 20 psi in the rear & 18 psi in the front, “hot” and reduce further if you have difficulty, maybe as low as 15psi in some cases.  You have a 4X4 use it, this is a 4WD track, select 4wd.  For advice on how much fuel to take or any other questions about Outback travel just look at the vehicle preparation page, or call, or E-mail Mt Dare Hotel, advice is free, recovery is not.

Go to www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/visitorinformation/latest/index.htm and click on the link for more information about Desert Parks SA. More info about QLD Parks at http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/simpson-desert/about.html

WEATHER

Lovely Autumn days with daytime temperatures in the 20's. Nights are getting pretty cool now.

EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO ENSURE THE ACCURACY OF THIS INFORMATION BULLETIN, CONDITIONS CAN CHANGE RAPIDLY SO USE COMMON SENSE AND TAKE CARE. Travel times are only a guide, drive according to the conditions at all times.

This Bulletin is prepared by the Mt Dare Hotel, with information gathered from many sources, including tourist feedback, care and common sense should always be used. Further information is available by contacting MT DARE HOTEL:

Enjoy your trip and have a safe one.


Ph- 08 8670 7835
Web: www.mtdare.com.au
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mail: PMB 267, Alice Springs NT 0872




Location

Contact

Phone:
Within Australia: (08) 8670 7835
International: 61-8-8670 7835

Postal:
PMB 267
Alice Springs
NT 0872

Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.