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Australia 2006

Around Alice Springs und Alice Springs to Perth

Leg details

Date
July 19 - August 15, 2006
Leg
Alice Springs - Ayers Rock - Kings Canyon - Mereenie Loop - Palm Valley (Finke River NP) - Alice Springs - Ernest Giles Road - Boggy Hole (Finke River NP) - Larapinta Drive - Owen Springs (Lawrence Gorge) - Alice Springs - Garden Road - Pinnacle Track - Cattlewater Pass - Arltunga - Trephina NR - Alice Springs - Rainbow Valley - Hughes River Stock Route - Maryvale - Chambers Pillar - Alice Springs - Coober Pedy - Kingoonya - Wirrulla - Ceduna - Nullarbor - Norseman - Hyden - Perth
PDF




Leg map (click to enlarge in separate window)

Alice Springs

On Wednesday, July 19, we leave Alice Springs on a cloudy day.
We take the Stuart Highway south to Erldunda then turn west on the Lasseter Highway and follow it to the Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara.

We couldn't agree more with the sticker on a mobile home in front of us: VIAGRA = Veterans Ignoring Age Going Round Australia ....
At the resort all are thirsty ....

Guido erects the awning of his Apollo camper and notices that a pole is missing.
Luckily we have 3 poles in our truck can help out.

On Thursday morning it is only 10°C warm and cloudy.
The weather is ideal for hiking, so we drive to the Uluru / Ayers Rock and walk around it.

The hike is pretty and easy ....

.... but certain hikers actually wouldn't mind having a snooze ... isn't it so Judith?

Nature is very colourful.

On Friday, July 12, we visit the second rock formation in the national park, the Olgas (Kata Tjuta).

It is sunny, but not too hot today, so this time we go for the "Valley of the Winds" walk.
When we were here 1995 it was much too hot and we had to turn round already after a few hundred meters.

The hike is much more demanding than the one around the Uluru, but at the same time has much more to offer.
It is very beautiful 7 km roundtrip into the Olgas.

Susi once more is busy exploring the local fauna and besides the well known finds lots of new plants to take pictures off .....

Desert Heath Myrte (Thryptomene
                    maisonneuvii) Round-Leaf Wattle (Acacia strongylophylla), Spearbush (Pandorea
                  doratoxylon)

... an almost perfect Spinifex Grass Ring, Myrte, Wattle, Spear bush and some Peas....

Note to the flower-enthusiast:
Where found the full name and the Latin name are available in the alt-text, move your mouse over the picture to display it.

Rattle pod grevilliea (Grevillea stenobotrya)

The pods of the Rattle Pod Grevillea really sound like a rattle.

Also the animals are present.

Later on we go to the "Sunset-View" close to the Olgas.

As Susi is busy cooking Pizzas on the Cobb grill Guido and Judith take some of the pictures.
Thanks for that!

After the sunset the area vacates very quickly.
The first pizza turn out really good and we enjoy the good meal in this special and peaceful atmosphere.
But unfortunately we cannot eat the second Pizza ... the ranger compliments us out of the park, as it closes at 7 PM, which means in 30 minutes .... and we are 45 km away from the park's exit!
Since the Cobb doesn't get hot on the outside while in use, Susi places it on her knees and we continue cooking on our way back to the campsite.
At the camp the Pizza is just right and despite then long drive it is not burned. Because the Pizza was too big and inhibited the air flow at some time the Cobb had stopped cooking.
All's well that ends well ... especially the Pizza :-) .

Saturday turns out to be a beautiful day. Judith and Guido decide to stay for another day at Ayers Rock, but we move on.
10 km east of Curtin Springs the Mulga Park Road, a wide and corrugated road, branches of in southerly direction.
Following this road will bring us as close as possible to Mt. Conner. The area around the rock is private property and closed to the public.

Back on the Lasseter Highway after another 10 km we reach the Mt. Connor Lookout.
The view to the rock is as good from here as from the Mulga Park Road.
Mt. Connor is at least as impressive and as big as the Uluru, but it is not a monolith and as such worthless as an artificial pearl.

On the other side of the road of the lookout a small hill with a nice view of Lake Amadeus, a salt lake, can be climbed.

Parrot pea, also
                    called Cunningham's rattle pod (Crotalaria cunninghamii)

On top of the hill we find a beautiful Parrot pea. Its yellow-green flowers look like a bird.

Shortly after the lookout we take the Luratja Road north where we have the opportunity to study the different stages of growing Desert Oaks.
Desert Oaks have nothing in common with ordinary Oaks; the name has been chosen because their wood is very similar.

Dessert Oak (Allocasuarina
                    Decaisneana)

A young Desert Oak looks like a bush consisting of stalks with hooks on them.
Later on in the middle of the bush a stem grows, the stalks now being attached to it.
Years later, when the trunk is strong enough, a "standard" treetop with branches develops. The stalks now hang down from the branches.
At the same time the tree drops its stalks along the trunk and builds a cork-like bark.
The seed capsules have the form of cones.
Very interesting.

But nature has even more beautiful and interesting things to offer ...

We continue to the intersection with the Ernest Giles Road where we stay out-bush for the night.

A real bushman of course also sleeps under prickly Desert Oaks!!

On Sunday, July 23, we go further west on the Luratja Road.
Up to now we have only driven on bitumen.

Paddy Melon (Cucumis myriocarpus) and
                    Camel- oder Bitter-Melon (Citrullus lanatus)

Along the side of the road we see lots of Paddy and Camel- or Bitter-Melons.
All these melon mainly consist of water, but they are all poisonous, very bitter, or even both.
The plants have been brought into Australia in the saddle blankets of the Afghani camel drovers.

On our way we deviate to the nearby Kathleen Springs and reach the Kings Canyon Resort in the early afternoon.

We go to the departure point of all of the park's hikes (including a 2-day hike in easterly direction towards the Kathleen Springs and the King Creek Caravan Park) and do the Kings Creek Walk, which leads into the Canyon.
There we encounter something rather strange:
Some bushes have branches with multi-edged leaves with small thorns at the edges.
The same bushes also have branches with completely different, needle-like leaves.
They look like grafted ....

At the end of the walk there is a viewing platform where we can see further into the pretty, but not spectacular, canyon.
The upper part of the canyon is classified as an Aboriginal sacred site and closed of to ordinary people like us.

Near the upper end of the walk we find a nice billabong beside the trail.
It's a nice spot to relax and to listen to the birds.

The photo above has been taken from the caravan park and shows the well known view of the range which is part of the Watarrka National Park.
Even if it may disappoint many others who have taken the same shot .... the Kings Canyon is not part of the picture, as it is further to the right as one can see on the satellite image above.

On Monday we start early to our hike around the edge of the Kings Canyon.
The ascend is a bit steep and best done in the early morning hours. Additionally it has less other tourists at this time.
The hike is for sure one of the highlights around Alice Springs.
Our Camera is at its limit with the bright sunlight and the shadows in the canyon. It is just unable to handle the extreme contrast, but never less (thanks to Photoshop) let the pictures "tell" about the beauty ....

The view out of, and into the canyon ....

.... the "Lost City" with its interesting rock formations ...

.... the plants which try to survive in this harsh environment ....

.... the astonishing view into the canyon from this side (without any security railings and warning signs) ....

.... the "Garden of Eden" at the end of the canyon ...

.... the "Spinifex pigeons" (Petrophassa Plumifera) and the Dragon enjoying the heat in the dense sunlight ....

.... the rock face seen from the other side of the canyon ....

.... and finally the descend through the pancake rock formations.
It's just beautiful!!

After all the hiking, Judith und Guido invite us to a superb diner at the buffet in the hotel of the resort.
Thanks for the yummy dinner!
We can make good use of the food as we have no heating in the Dude and the night gets very cold with only 6°C.

On Tuesday, July 25, we continue on the Mereenie Loop, for which we get the permit on the reception of Kings Canyon Resort.
We drive on a gravel road for the first time this year - finally!
Due to the recent rainfalls the country is quite green.

At certain places the corrugation nearly rattles the teeth out of our faces. Especially in the creeks there are a lot of washouts!
Amusing are the warning signs before and after a creek:
"Lift um foot" and
"Put um back down" and also the trophies on a tree along the road.
Typically Australia.

Driving along the Mereenie Loop is more varied then one would expect by looking at the map.
Since the road traverses Aboriginal Land, we are not allowed to stop along the road, except on one specific lookout.
Along the way we see lots of donkies, camels (actually they are dromedaries ...) and brumbies (small wild horses).

At the intersection to Ipolera, at the end of the Loop, we stop for lunch. The corrugation has obviously also helped the Bushcampers digestion ....

In the afternoon we reach the entry to the Palm Valley in the Finke River National Park and proceed on the 4WD track to the state camp.
The track is in much better condition as 1995. Back then a female friend from work had stated that next time when driving this track she would wear 2 sport bras!

The campsite is at a nice spot. Where there are tourists, there are most likely also Dingos (feral dogs, not to be confused with dogs that have become wild) to be found.
If the people start feeding them, they soon get aggressive against the ones not feeding them.
By then they have to be shut dead. This will soon be the destiny of this fellow, but this one is also sick.

On Wednesday, hiking is on the "activities"-list.
This is great, as we are in desperate need of some exercise, with our joints have been frozen over night with only 3°C inside temperature.
We head off to the start of the hike through the Palm Valley.

The last 5 km of the track to the start of the hike are still demanding and interesting to drive.
One requires about 20 minutes for the ride, has to climb over moderate rocks and has to pass some easy, sandy patches.
We enjoy it :-))

The Palm Valley is Guido's first experience on a 4WD track.
He manages all the difficulties perfectly and even has to help a French tourist who is stuck in the sand.
He has to tell him, that his car only works in 4WD if, besides activating the 4WD lever, also the free-wheeling hubs on the front axle are engaged.
The Austrian guy that also was assisting, could not get the car out of its bog.
After Guido's instructions the "Fenchie" drives on easily.
Judith is very proud of her driver.
Good on you, Guido!

There is still lots of water in the valley.

Nevertheless some plants fight in the environment.

After the ascent out of the valley all our limbs are defrosted form the night.
The trail on the plain has been altered since 1995 which confused us a bit.
For us, the Palm Valley is still a highlight.
Hopefully the Track to the valley stays a "4WD only" destination and doesn't get graded or even tared!

We visit the ranger station to get details on the notorious Boggy Hole Track which is also part of the Finke National Park.
We intend to drive along that difficult track tomorrow, while Judith and Guido visit the West MacDonnell Ranges on the Larapinta Drive.
Guido is not allowed to drive the Boggy Hole Track in his rented camper.
We will meet again on August 1 on the campsite in Alice Springs.

Besides the information regarding the track conditions, we also get an invitation to work for some time in the park as volunteer rangers.
This is a very attractive offer, as this would allow us to get a closer look into the park.
It would also give us the possibilities to see parts of the park that are normally closed to the public.
As volunteer ranger one can learn a lot and can help on various jobs, such as animal counting, track control, cleaning the campsite etc.

Before we head of in the morning we inspect the car and find that the bush of the 4WD-lever has fallen out of the transfer case and that we lose oil from the transfer case.
Also dust can now easily enter the transfer case.
We cautiously force the bush back into its normal position and now head for Alice Springs instead of the Boggy Hole to get the damage fixed.
Before we leave we inform the rangers about the plan change, so they don't expect to see us on the track.

Already the next day we can bring the Land Cruiser to Repco for repairs.
But once again the repairs we made out-bush were of such good quality, that they can't force the fault anymore.
Nevertheless they take the bush out and glue it back in.

Once more we stay over night on the superbly managed MacDonnell Ranges Holiday Park (Big4).

Since the repair was done so quickly, on Friday we try again to drive the Boggy Hole Track. We should have plenty of time until August 1.
We leave Alice Springs in the morning, drive south on the Stuart Hwy, branch into the Ernest Giles Road and visit the Henbury Meteorite Craters Conservation Area.

Here we see wild camels.

At Rogers Pass shortly before the Palmer River we turn right towards Illpurta (close to the Illamurta Springs).

The sandy track is in good condition and leads along sand dunes of up to 10 meters height.
At the moment the sand is moist and it is easy to drive on it, but in summer when the sand is dry the track could be quite soft.
We camp on an unused part of the track which must have been used to directly access the Finke Riverbed.

We record Dudes GPS position, turn the GPS off and walk cross country into the scrub-covered sand dunes.
We want to know if we can find our way back to the truck without navigation aid.
We manage, but it is not easy - we are learning.

The night is a fresh one with only 9°C and the Saturday morning it is overcast and it drizzles every so often.
We visit the Illamurta Springs and the old police station and ask ourselves how one could survive out here.

Then we drive over the scrub covered plain, heading to the Finke Riverbed which we follow to the Boggy Hole.
The track is sandy with some soft patches or rocky areas and very narrow. It is interesting and of moderately difficulty to drive. The expected "Oh sh..." doesn't happen.
The camp at "Running Waters" is very beautiful, but sandy and soft.

The camp sites at the Boggy Hole are rocky and hard on the one side of the billabong, soft and sandy on the other side.
The lagoon is home to a lot of different birds.

We walk around the billabong, are welcomed by a lot of flies, and find nice limestone layers.
Back at the car also a dingo says hello.
Soon after it's already bed time.

Tomorrow night we have to be back at Alice Springs where we are expected by Judith and Guido.
We would have preferred to stay here for some days, but as our friends have no satellite telephone we are unable to inform them.
So we will have to continue on tomorrow.

On Sunday, July 30, we continue on the track along the right riverbank (coming from south the left side of the river).
The track has extreme, always changing slanting sections. It is easy to drive them but we feel queasy.
There is an alternative track on the other side of the river that can be accessed by traversing the billabong on a shallow spot.
The two tracks merge again on the end of the billabong.
On our way further north towards the Larapinta Drive we drive through some soft, sandy patches but we manage without problems.
The whole track is absolutely worth to be driven, but it requires a high clearance 4WD vehicle.

Soon we are back at the Larapinta Drive.
We deviate to the close-by Hermannsburg to buy a few items, but change our mind as we are in the community.
The village looks absolutely disgusting with all the loitering Aborigines.
It leaves a depressing feeling.

We head east and deviate again for Wallas Rock Station, another Aboriginal Community.
It is only 40 km apart from Hermannsburg but it leaves a totally different impression. It is a friendly, clean place.
The art-centre offers single- and multiday bushtucker (food found in the bush) tours: (08) 8956 7993.
Of course once more we have no time ....

Holly
                    Grevillea (Grevillea Wickhamii)

On the way Susi comes across her beloved flowers .... .

Since we do not encounter any of the expected difficulties on the Boggy Hole track we end up on the bitumen much earlier than planned.
This allows us to make another detour and so we visit the newly opened Owen Springs National Park, which is located on the Hugh River.
We camp on a sand bank in the completely dry river.
The roads in the park can be driven with any 4WD vehicle (no liability will be taken- terms and conditions apply :-)) ).
There is not much to be seen in the park, but the camp at the Redbank Waterhole is a good spot, to legally stay near Alice Springs for a few "work days".
But it has no facilities and no water.

As planned, we arrive Alice Springs on Tuesday, August 1, go shopping and buy everything required for a diner in style with Judith and Guido (August 1 is the national holiday of Switzerland).
When our guests arrive in Alice Springs it is already dark. They are very tired and decide to stay in a hotel for the night.
Also they had to hurry back to Alice to be able to keep the pre-arranged appointment with us ....
So much for the planned diner and the unavailable long range communication equipment.

We have learned another lesson:
If two parties travel together and want to be able to split up every so often, having reliable long range communication equipment on board is essential - not only but also for the improved security.

Rental offices often hand out and EPIRB (Emergency Personal Indication Radio Beacon) to tourists heading into the outback for the case of a life threatening situation (the same devices are used on airplanes and ships worldwide).
In an emergency they can activate the EPIRB which then sends an internationally receivable distress signal.
As soon as the signal is received, the Australian officials start a very expensive search operation.
Since the position of the alarming device can only be defined down to some square kilometres, it may take up to 3 days to find the party in distress.
The effort is clearly not justified, if one only needs a few litre of diesel or a simple spare part to be able to continue.
How much better of would one be off with a rented Satellite telephone.
Of course it is much more expensive, but it can be used in any case where somebody has to be informed - even it is only to tell friends of an unplanned late arrival, so they don't get worried.

On August 2 and 3 we have two free days, wash clothes and celebrate the missed national holiday diner.

Stuart Desert Pea (Clianthus
                    formosus)

Susi finds this beautiful plant, a Stuart Desert Pea, with its 4 cm large flowers - photographed on the camp ground .....
Stop press!!!!! Susi has just complained ....
I have to write here and right now, that we also have seen wild living flowers of the same type on the Stuart Highway south of Coober Pedy!
Justice must be ensured!

Judith and Guide decide to stay on the camp for a few more days, but we already have the urge to move on.
So we head to the East MacDonnell Ranges on Friday, August 4.

After driving 30 km north on the Stuart Highway, we turn right into the Garden Road and after another 48 km left into the Pinnacle Track.
At least the Pinnacle Track is 4WD territory, even so it is easy going. Along the track there are many flowers and the surrounding is nice - until the beginning of the Aboriginal Territory ... from then on rubbish found along the track spoils the picture ....

Once we reach the Plenty Highway again we drive east for about 20 km before we branch right into the Cattlewater Pass Track.
The pass will be on 990 m above sea.

In the beginning the track runs over the plain and seems to be regularly used. We see a lot of big kangaroos.
As soon we reach the range the track gets smaller and is as good as a bad European farm track, rocky at times, sometimes sandy.
Oh, our tires love this combination!
It could be difficult to drive the track in the OKA because certain sections are narrow, the branches are low and it slants sideways.
The whole stretch is about 60 km long.
We like the track very much.
The smaller the track the closer we feel us to nature.

Bluebush (Maireana campanulata) Annual Yellowtop (Senecio gregorii)

The country varies a lot and Susi finds new flowers to identify everywhere ... Bluebush, Yellowtop ...

After a fresh night with only 8°C on 950 m on Saturday we reach the Cattlewater Pass.

The southern side of the pass is also very varied and beautiful. We see many Galahs and Eagles.
One spot on the road is steep and at another spot the road slants heavily. It's a 4WD high clearance only road.
Soon after we are back on a flat plain and hit the Garden Road again.

We visit the abandoned gold mines in the Arltunga Historic Reserve.
The conditions under which these diggers worked in those days are unbelievable. Ruedi's back hurts by just thinking about it ....

Now we are on the stretch between the mines and the Trephina National Park. Nice, isn't it?

The Trephina National Park is beautiful and green. But due to the lack of open water in recent time most animals (especially the birds Trephina NP is famous for) have left.
Only ground water is available at the camp ground, but this is of very high quality.
Of course it would be possible to get water from bores to get the animals back into the park, but this would disrupt the balance of nature, since the plants these animals eat would still be missing.

During the "rangers talk" around the camp fire we start a hefty discussion, by asking a question regarding the littering in nature done by the Aborigines.
Oh sh..., that was stirring up a hornets' nest, the emotions are instantly peaking!
Some can explain and excuse everything the Aborigines do and know for all the deep, psychological reason. The others, mostly older people with a bit of colonial blood left in there vein, would prefer to shoot the whole mob to a foreign planet.
Ouch! We have to be bit more careful when talking about such sensitive subjects next time ....

On Sunday morning, August 6, we roll via Ross River (the origin place of the notorious Ross River Fever) to the N'Dhala Nature Reserve where thousands of Aboriginal rock carvings can be seen.
Well, with enough fantasy ....
For us the detour is not worth to be made.

Shortly before Alice we see this interesting hill.
At close look one can see how the sediment layers were folded.

On the Ross Highway we drive back to Alice Springs and continue south for about 70 km, before turning left into the access road to the Rainbow Valley Conservation Area.
The gravel road is horribly corrugated, but it's worth driving it.
Here we meet again with Judith and Guido who fortunately have reserved a site for us.


The general view as well as the details of some rock formations of the Rainbow Valley are very picturesque.
A visit for sure is worth considering and can be done with ordinary 2WD cars if one doesn't fear the corrugation.

On Monday we carry on, back to the Stuart Highway, further south, use the Hugh River Stock Route east to get to the Old Ghan Road, head south to the Aborigine Community of Maryvale, where we branch off to the road that leads to the Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve.

The track gets bumpy. Before the reserve we collect wood for our camp fire as usually collection of firewood is prohibited within reserves.

The track is mainly a hilly gravel track, or flat and sandy with a good support.

At the crossing of the Charlotte Range it gets interesting and very steep for a short while. Latest at this point one requires a 4WD.
From the top of the range we have a splendid view over the endless plain, towards the Chambers Pillar. Notice the differently coloured earth layers on the right most picture - fascinating.

For the last few kilometres the track is single lane, sandy and hilly.
A sign asks to switch on the UHF radio on channel 10 and to constantly announce its position and direction heading to avoid head on collisions.
Shortly after the gate a tour operator bus comes towards us - it's an OKA!
We would love to have our OKA here too ....

Depending from where one is looking at the Chambers Pillar it looks like a molar tooth or like a needle in the country. It is a very photogenic rock.
Its unique shape was used as a point of orientation in the endless plain by the early explorers. At its bottom one sees a lot of engravings made by the explorers of the area. For some of them it was their last sign of live.
It is easy to imagine that travelling this wide and dry country for the first time must have been a very demanding task.
How did they find water? They captured an Aboriginal and asked him. If he didn't tell them where the waterholes could be found, they gave him no more water to drink until he changed his mind ... it's so dead easy, isn't it?

The surrounding of the Pillar has more interesting rock formations to show, as well as other whims of nature like this "stone eating sea lion" or the dried and broken up soil on the hot road.

In the evening there is a beautiful evening mood (or has ever somebody seen one in the morning!?).

Tuesday is a day off. It is such a beautiful, sunny and peaceful here.
Here we meet Gerry Gerrard and Corinne Fletcher from Sandrifter Tours (www.sandrifter.com.au).
They are here with a group of painters and invite us to visit them in Alice Springs.
Also they offer us their workshop to finish there our OKA after its delivery to Alice in one week's time.

On our walk around the rocks we are astonished about the many different plants living in this arid surrounding.

Judith and Guido decided not to drive further south towards Finke and Dalhousie. After a lazy day on Wednesday we return to Alice Springs over the Old South Road, along the old Ghan Railway Line. The road is not spectacular.

On a bigger sand dune we exercise with Guido driving in deep sand.
He doesn't have any problems dealing with the conditions and Judith is again very proud of her "hero".

On Thursday we again wash clothes at the camp site. Some silly buggers steal two of Susi's T-shirts from the clothes line.

On Friday we visit Rob Clark from Don Kyatt to check the delivery date of the OKA to Alice Springs.
According to plan it should arrive coming Monday. Ron informs us, that it will not arrive in Alice before next Friday.
Slowly the constant delay starts interfering with Judith and Guido's travel plans.
They must carry on to the Kimberleys.

On Saturday, August 12, Judith and Guido head north and we wait here in Alice Springs for our OKA.
Shortly after their departure we receive another mail, stating that the OKA will be delayed for another week since the dealer in Alice Springs ordered the wrong (too little) type of truck for the transport.
This means that the OKA has to be loaded onto a Road Train and transported via Adelaide to Alice.
OKA offers us 2 flights from Alice to Perth and also the fuel costs back to Alice if we would be willing to pick-up the truck by ourselves at OKA's factory in Bibra Lake.

Because part of the equipment that we would use in the OKA is here in the Toyota and because the whole project would be logistically too cumbersome, we decide to instantly leave Alice and to drive straight back to Perth.
The route via the Great Central Road is uncertain due to the weather and we have given most of the recovery gear, such as air compressor, tire repair kit, hand winch, straps to Guido.
Since the condition of the Toyota also doesn't lead to much confidence, we are scared to risk such a long trip off civilization at this very time.
So we agree to take the same route to Perth as we have taken from Perth to Alice Springs one month ago; driving on the Nullarbor.
One hour later all is packed up. We leave Alice Springs at 1:45 PM and drive about 400 km on the Stuart highway south until we pass the boarder to South Australia, where we sleep close to Marla.

The night is reasonably cool with 14°C.
We get up very early on Sunday morning. We drive in shifts from dawn to dusk like mad ...
The goal is to drive 1'000 km every day, while at the same time sticking to all the traffic rules and regulations.
We drive via Coober Pedy and the gravel road through the "Wombat Valley" .

Until mid afternoon we are very much on schedule, but 100 m after the end of the gravel road, close to Wirrulla, we have a puncture, which voids today's goal.
As it is Sunday afternoon all the garages are closed.
We decide to carry on into the Nullarbor without spare wheel and to have the repair done tomorrow on a roadhouse along the way.
The risk is small as the road has a lot of traffic.
Despite of the bad luck today we manage to reach Penong on the Eyre Highway shortly before the Nullarbor.

On Monday morning we already start at 6:50 AM. The fog is so thick, that we have to drive slowly.
Then luckily the sun breaks through.

At the Nullarbor roadhouse we give our tire for repair.
The tire was simply too old and didn't withstand the constant pounding on the corrugated gravel road and broke apart ....
We are very happy not having to pay any of the repairs we had within the last few weeks.
While the tire gets fixed we indulge in a real big truckee-breakfast.

Weeping pittosporum (Pittosporum phylliraeoides)

Even though we are in a hurry we always still manage to watch out for mother nature.
Here Susi spotted a Pittosporum full of fruits. Along the road it also some nice Lilies are blooming; it looks as spring has already started on the Nullarbor.
At dusk we are already in Norseman in West Australia.

On Tuesday, August 15, we "sleep in" and start after 7 AM via the Norseman - Hyden gravel road.
The weather gets worse and we fear we could be caught up by rain before reaching the bitumen in Hyden.
But this time fortune is on our side. We reach the paved road at the same time rain starts poring down.
That was close!

At 2:15 PM we reach OKA in Bibra Lake.
For the 2950 km from Alice Springs to Perth by sticking to all road rules we used exactly 3 Days (dawn to dusk) and 30 minutes.
Not bad!

And here is our OKA, licensed to the road, the license plate attached and ready to be loaded and to go.
Nearly unbelievable!

Thanks to all of OKA's employees for the job done.
We are fully aware how difficult the situation also was on your side.
We are very proud to be the first owners of the new released OKA NT.

 

 

No liability for timeliness, integrity and correctness of this document is accepted.
Last updated: Sunday, 06.06.2010 11:40 AM


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