Canning Stock Route August 2013

Photos and trip reports from my travels

Re: Canning Stock Route August 2013

Postby Big Red » Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:29 am

Sue made it to Halls Creek ok then drove down the street to get her wokka wokka wokka valve looked at and the Defender went into "Limp Mode" so she spent the afternoon yesterday getting the EGR valve dismantled and repaired before a reset of the computer had her back on the road again.
You could see the smile on her face from across the caravan park so we knew she had had it fixed
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Re: Canning Stock Route August 2013

Postby Big Red » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:26 pm

Thursday 8th August

Today was the day we had all been waiting for, the main reason for the trip and the start of the adventure, to drive the Canning Stock Route!!

Sue had managed to get her Defenders EGR valve repaired and taken out of limp mode so she was ready to go.

All remaining vehicles met in the main street of Halls Creek to get last minute supplies of cash and foodstuffs as Paul and Damien had left early to visit Wolfe Creek Crater on the way to Bililuna where they would meet up with the rest of us, unfortunately Paul had a leaking fuel tank so had to return to Halls Creek for repairs and Damien kept him company.

We topped up with fuel at the Fuel station although mine would not take any fuel due to the way the fill hose curves down then up again around the chassis, it looks like it will have to be a lot emptier to get the fuel to start the flow, I had plenty anyway and continued on.

We drove through the flat country seeing plenty of evidence that a little rain would make it impassable.
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We stopped at the abandoned Well 51
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then continued on past Well 50.
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We spotted the burnt out remains of a dual cab Hilux
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The Wildflowers were very colourful
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We then stopped at the restored Well 49 to allow everyone to catch up again and to check out the water and nearby grave of Jack Smith.
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Jeff was having problem so when we checked it out we found both rear Bilsteins had blown the seals leaving him with no choice but to head back to Halls Creek to order in some replacements while the rest of us dropped our travel duration times to allow him to catch up if possible.

We passed the burnt out remains of a Ford Explorer beside the track.

We made for the Breaden Valley and camped near Breadon Pool and were all amazed at the picturesque scenery as the sun dipped low lighting up the stunning hill tops on the drive in.
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Breaden Pool
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Camped
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Re: Canning Stock Route August 2013

Postby Big Red » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:37 pm

Friday 9th August.

With plenty of time to spare we had a look at Breadon Pool with its uninviting water
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We then walked around the top of the escarpment until we found the track to Godfreys Tank which ended up starting at the opposite end of the campsite from Breadon Pool track.

Godfreys Tank was a much better spot and slightly nicer water with Aboriginal Carvings, old engravings, petrified remains in the slab rock etc
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You can scramble down to the water at the bottom and watch the finches come in to drink.

Dale had both fuel tanks leaking in his GQ and had destroyed the shocker bushes on the left rear so repairs were made during the morning
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we toddled off to look at Well 48
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We then made our way to Well 47 stopping at a small lookout along the way.
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The track made its way in to dune country and we enjoyed the drive up and over the dunes as the track meandered all over the place on the interdunal flats.

Arriving at the restored Well 46 we found over a dozen vehicles camped there so moved to the far end to set up and replenish our supplies with the excellent water there.

We heard from Paul and Damien that they were heading down the Canning again and heard the Jeff had shocks arriving sat morn so we opted to stay at Well 46 to allow the others to catch up with us.
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Re: Canning Stock Route August 2013

Postby Big Red » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:44 pm

Saturday 10th August.

We sat around camp chatting, catching up on washing etc and checking over the vehicles for the day, a very relaxing day with a bit of time to set up a new business :D
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Mid afternoon saw the arrival of Paul and Damien and then just before sunset Jeff arrived so we had the whole crew together to celebrate Phil’s birthday with a good night around the campfire.
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Re: Canning Stock Route August 2013

Postby Big Red » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:49 pm

Sunday 11th August.

Once everyone had packed up we moved off and spotted the burnt out remains of a Jeep beside the track.
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Not long after we stopped at Well 45.
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We spotted the remains of a canopy off a Ute that looked like it had been rolled.
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We crossed Gravity Lakes.
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We came across Scott and Tom who were riding push bikes from South to North up the Canning.
They had waited on top of a dune for a mob of Camels to move off the track and were glad we came along to scare them off.
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They were doing it a bit tough due to being a bit unwell but were determined to make it.

We moved on again and regrouped at Well 44
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We travelled past some colourful wildflowers through the dunes.
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We started to spread out and formed into two groups by Well 43 which had a native well beside it but no sign of water.
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A short while after we heard Sue on the UHF saying her Defender had blown something as there was a large bang and fluid had sprayed on her and was all over the side steps and was dripping from under her car.
We checked high and low to find the source and discovered that she had “Blown a Bourbon” … she was a bit sad and relieved at the same time but it was better that she had only lost a can of Bourbon and Coke that had somehow ended up behind her seat rather than something else.
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Well 42 had some surface water in a couple of places and some birdlife around.
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We moved on through the wildflowers to Well 41 which has been restored some time previously.
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The water was rather cloudy but ok for washing and with a filter was probably drinkable.

The second group had stopped about 30 Kms behind us so we collected some wood and set up camp, did some washing, had showers etc then chatted around the campfire as we watched the sun go down and watched the birds and wildlife come in for a drink at the two troughs with water in them.
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Re: Canning Stock Route August 2013

Postby Big Red » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:37 am

Monday 12th August.

We had a very lazy start to the day washing, drying clothes etc as we waited for the others to join us.
After about 4 hours we headed off and called them from the top of a dune to check if they were all right.

We decided to split into two groups due to the difference in travelling speed and duration, some of us also had less time available before other obligations meaning they needed to finish the CSR earlier.

The fast group were usually up before dawn taking pics and preferred to see the sights in the early morning golden light and late afternoon light so tended to travel a fair bit further each day.

In the heat of the day some of the dunes were quite soft and hard going so we dropped tyre pressures a bit more to around 24 [cold] . the dunes on the down side were more often than not chewed up so we rock and rolled slowly down them, at least travelling North to South up the steep side was fairly smooth.
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Tobins Grave was a few hundred metres past Well 40, apparently he was part of Cannings party and had been speared by the natives.
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We left and crossed Tobin Lake a huge expanse of salt bush and white salt with numerous deep ruts where people had been very badly stuck, not fun a kilometre from the shore line.

We sailed across on the hard packed ground and stopped at Well 39 which showed a small amount of water in one corner of the dirt filled structure which the birds were making good use of.
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We came across a small rocky outcrop near a trig point which was stunningly beautiful as the dark red escarpment complemented the lime green of the surrounding flat ground.
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We stopped up in the dunes a short time later under a shady tree and had some lunch then took the left turn at FT92, the track going straight ahead has almost completely disappeared.

Well 38 had water in a shallow cave in one of the only creek beds we had seen in days, it was studded with lots of small caves filled with numerous Aboriginal spear rub marks and a few early explorer carvings, very interesting.
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Not far on we came across a rocky outcrop with a large cave in it, the roof had recently collapsed and it was hard to find any rock art left inside.
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We found a nice stand of Desert Oaks and decided to make camp very early in case the other group caught up, we had a pleasant few hours sitting around the unlit campfire chatting before the sun went down.
Apparently Desert Oaks do not "Branch" until the tap root hits water.

I must say that my Lamb Shanks on a bed of Cooked Rice went down very well indeed!
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Re: Canning Stock Route August 2013

Postby Big Red » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:58 pm

Tuesday 13th August.

Leaving camp at about 8am we crossed a couple of dunes and found Well 37 not realising we were so close.
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Close by we found the graves of 4 people with one of them an Aboriginal man named “Chinaman”.

On the way to the next Well we spotted the burnt out remains of a motorcycle then pulled up at Well 36
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There had been a Python inhabiting the well recently but we could see no sign of it.

Well 35 was pretty hard to find as it was in the middle of a maze of tracks and campsites in thick scrub.
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The corrugations really made there presence known on the run down to the turn off to Well 34 and we were all quite glad to make the side trip out there.
Some one had dug out the Well so there was a small amount of dirty water showing.
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We hit the CSR again and endured the Corrugations to Well 33 which not only had a well but also a Windmill and Water Tank with good drinking water so we topped up our supplies before the short drive to the store at Kunawarritji.
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We only had to wait around half an hour before the store opened and I topped up with a bit over $600.00 worth of fuel.
At $3.40 per litre and taking 177 litres it doesn’t take long to add up!
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We had a shower and grabbed some fruit, drinks and supplies then had a hot pie and iced coffee
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We hit the corrugations to Well 32
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I took the side trip out to a Native Well but there was nothing there so we again hit the corrugations to Well 31 where we made camp.
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I checked the Ute over and found the Fuel Filter glass bowl had a 10mm layer of dirt and water but as I had only recently hit the sub tank the fuel could have come from Halls Creek or Kunnawarritji or even Alice Springs, luckily I have a few spare fuel filters but with all the other vehicles having direct injection it will be a worrying time for the rest of the trip.
It turned out it must have been from before we hit the Canning as no one else had a problem and when I used the sub tank filled with Kunnawarritji fuel it was clean.
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Re: Canning Stock Route August 2013

Postby Big Red » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:27 pm

Wednesday 14th.
We drove down to Well 30
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We then took a side trip out to Mujingerra Cave which is a natural hole in the ground and includes a water filled cave system, sadly the cave has collapsed and is just a deep depression now.
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We backtracked to well 30 then drove through the dune country to Thring Rock which stands out quite noticeably on the flats between the dunes.
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We climbed the crumbly rocks to the top for the views then headed off to Well 29.
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Well 28 had a steel box on the ground which looks like it may have been above a Sydney water meter at one stage, inside was a few sticks and a couple of “Lolly Snakes” so the others were reticent to open it after I told them over the UHF that there were a couple of Snakes inside … luckily there was nothing for them to throw at me after they managed to get it open.
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Paul found a Thorny Devil so we took the opportunity to grab a few pics then continued on to Well 27
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We then drove through some low hills to Well 26 which has been fully restored with excellent water and even a toilet so we made camp there.
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We actually had some cloud for the sunset for a change.
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Re: Canning Stock Route August 2013

Postby Big Red » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:36 am

Thursday 15th August.

We woke to a great sunrise as the cloud was still hanging around.
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Not long after leaving camp we came across a string of water filled lakes which seemed really out of place in the middle of the desert.
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Well 25 still had some original Poles but the well had collapsed, the road from there had some of the worst corrugations so we rattled our way across the plains to the dune country again.
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We stopped to photograph a large mob of Camels that didn't seem too worried about us being there.
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As we drove up on top of a small hill I noticed a gorge to the side of the road with an unusual formation, the top layers of rock was Red and the bottom layer of rocks were White.
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We passed the Talawana Track and not long after dropped in to Well 24 which was at the base of a small range of rocky hills.
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Well 23 was at the turn off to the Capricorn Fuel Dump so we had a look out there as well.
Several drums were full of Diesel and there was a couple of drum pumps on site as well.
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Georgia Bore had a hand pump for the excellent water as well as a toilet but it was a bit crowded for our liking.
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We spotted a burnt out Prado beside the track with very little aluminium left that wasn’t melted.
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We continued on to Well 22 where we found Diesel dripping out of Sues Defender and traced the leak to somewhere on the inside long range tank.
with no access to the tank we started draining the tank but our hose wasn't long enough to empty it so we drained what we could into her main tank and put 40 litres into my tank which seemed to stop it leaking.
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Well 21 had water in it but most of the ground around it had collapsed around the woodwork.
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The track crossed a number of salt lakes with some water beside the hard packed track in the middle, the track skirted the edge of Lake Disappointment until we turned off towards the side track out to Well 20 to camp the night.
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We had a better look at Sues Defender to try and find the source of the noises it was making and found both rear Brake backing plates cracked badly so we removed them.
She was happy to finally find the source of the noise and find it was nothing major.
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I checked over my Ute and found the left rear shock had an oil stain but was still working so left it on for now.
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Re: Canning Stock Route August 2013

Postby Big Red » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:01 pm

Friday 16th August.

We headed off from camp and stopped at Lake Disappointment for a good look, Jeff walked out for a pic but on the way back sunk through the top layer into the gooey black salt mud, lucky he was only wearing Shorts and Crocs so he was able to wash them off when we got to Savory Creek inlet.
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we saw a very large group of camels as we followed the shoreline
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We came upon Savory Creek Inlet
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We followed the creek up to the crossing and crossed the shallow salt water without problems then drove on to Well 19 which only had a small hole showing some water.
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We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn a short time later then headed out to Onegunyah Rockhole passing a burnt out Pajero along the way.
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Well 18 had been revamped many years ago but has fallen into disrepair again.
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We kept going passing a burnt out camper trailer and then headed in to try and find Well 17
We drove in to Killagarra Gorge for a look where i spotted a small section of trough at the end of a rough and bumpy track up at the end of the steep sided gorge.
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The others had turned back so I returned down the track and we made our way to Durba Springs and lucked out with an awesome campsite right beside the water on the grassy bank.
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I went for a walk up the Durba gorge a short way amazed at the formations then scaled the cliff and walked back along the top of the escarpment to camp.
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