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  1. #26
    JBN
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    I spent a night with the film crew of Last Cab to Darwin at the Marree pub. Then bumped into them all the way to William Creek, where we went to Coober Pedy and the film crew (with their two Melbourne cabs) proceeded presumably to Darwin.

    Replaced Daffyduck's gearbox at the National Truck Museum in Alice Springs in 2008.

    Replaced Daffyduck's gearbox at the RSL in Alice Springs in 2016.

    Hopefully I will be in Coober Pedy early August but I will head south away from Alice Springs, if Daffyduck's gearbox has lasted that long.

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    John

  2. #27
    Fellow Frogger! Big Frog's Avatar
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    Bloody hell JBN, you're tough on gearboxes!
    Touch wood we don't follow suit. Spend the day in the east MacDonald Ranges, Trephina Gorge, did some walks, about 12 KMs worth, lovely spot. Quiet warm at 21 C today. Had a look around some other gaps and gorges in the east Mac's.
    Moving on tomorrow, a little up the map and then a whole lot of going to the right.
    JohnW and Armidillo like this.

  3. #28
    Fellow Frogger! Big Frog's Avatar
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    Headed north out of Alice, 60 or so KMs then right onto the Plenty Hwy, described as the longest shortcut in Australia. No towns as such for 811 KMs till Boulia in QLD, fuel is from grazing stations that offer some tourist services, some around $2.20 / litre. The first 100 odd is a narrow seal, so passing traffic has to drop a wheel onto the shoulder, except trucks and road trains who don't move over and the other traffic goes into the dirt.
    After the seal, road surface varies from freshly groomed to corrugated and sandy and some ruts and rocks.
    We pulled up for spot of lunch under a tree and heard air escaping from the rear left tyre. Swapped it out, no visible damage or foreign objects.
    Quite a bit of road upgrades under way. A pretty full days drive got us to the Qld border, we found a lovely quarry, camped, drank beer and watched satelites, and looked for the emu in the Milky way.
    Next day, back 4 KMs into NT for fuel from a station, and then onward onto what is the Donohue Hwy.
    A great dirt road with sections of seal, but also some very sandy and bull dust sections. These were fine except for the occasional water melon sized rocks sprinkled in the dust, so plenty of concentrating on where the tyres and belly goes.
    Many people asking to take a picture of the Deese, relating their families connection with the model. A lady said that before seat belt laws her little sister slept on the rear window shelf on trips. Others are curious as to its make, especially since 2 wd of any kind are rare on these roads and because of its vintage - and oh what a shape against a fuel stop of 4wd and more modern contrivance.

    Thru Boulia and onto 360 KMs of single lane seal to Winton.
    A lot of driving , but plenty to see and take in thru this landscape. The D is in its element gobbling up the KMs, and a pleasure to pilot.
    In Winton, we found the National Park full so found a nice out of the way campsite, a good fire, great steak dinner and slept the sleep of innocent child.
    A surprisingly warm night, coffee and a fry up for breakfast. Left Winton for Longreach, plenty of vans, campers and road trains for some reason. Stopped in Longreach for tyre repair, (have been to Hall of Fame etc twice before). Tyre problem was a chafed tube, tiny hole. Now tubeless, grateful we had spotted it going down instead of running it flat and ruining it.
    For those interested, tyres on the car are all 185/80, Hankooks on the back, and Federals on the front. Three spares are all Federals.
    Trundled off to Windorah, topped up the tank and found a lovely campsite on the Cooper Creek. Fire, beer, bbq repeat.
    Tuesday, up with the birds, breakfast and off to Currawinya Nat Park , via Quilpy, Thargominda and Hungerford. The section from Thargominda to Hungerford was a crazy mosaic of white rutted gravel that required surfing skills to stay out of ruts, and super smooth red sections with random road signage. Also a sizable red bull dust bowl that was impressive in depth.
    Carawinya NP has appauling or missing signage that resulted in a longer that nessessary excursion to a non camping area.
    A wonder of newly efficient government management is the welcome sign to the camping area stating that you may only stay of you pre booked online? The last time I had phone reception was Longreach. May as well make it a condition to pay in crypto currency - really.
    However a pleasant camp site has been acheived. Fire, beer repeat.
    A full day spent in Currawinya NP, exploring, camp things, clean air filter etc

  4. #29
    Fellow Frogger! Big Frog's Avatar
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    Attachment 107317
    Currawinya Wool Shed

    Attachment 107318
    Borrow pit camp, 4 ks from NT / QLD border

    Attachment 107319
    Hungerford dog fence gate

    Attachment 107320
    Winton QLD, camp

    A road trip - destination unknown-solar.jpg
    Windorah Solar Farm

  5. #30
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    Wow!!! Sensational images - love the Borrow pit camp and Winton shots

    Cheers
    Chris
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  6. #31
    Fellow Frogger! Big Frog's Avatar
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    After a day of rest, camp jobs, exploring the Woolshed, and rescuing a sheep bogged in a pond, we consumed the best ever camp dinner crumbed chicken, mash and veges before retiring.
    Thursday pack up camp depart Currawinya, thru Hungerford and the dog fence toward Bourke. A leisurely 2 hour drive on a not bad road. Top up tank, pie and coffee at the bakery, and off to camp at Gundabooka NP. Afternoon walk to a lookout, back to camp for sunset, last camp for the trip, stare into the fire, cleansing ale, dinner, retire.


    Last leg home from Gundabooka to near Mudgee, via Cobar, Nyngan, Narromine, Dubbo.


    So the road trip was:
    15 days.
    7100kms travelled,
    Across NSW, SA, NT & QLD,
    5 nights in motels, the rest camping, total camp fees paid $24.00, mostly camped remotely.
    Best camp was North Creek on the Oodnadatta Track. Most picturesque was roads thru Flinders Ranges and Boulia to Winton.
    Best birds spotted Bustards, Brolgas, Black Breasted Buzzard, Major Mitchell's & tree creepers.
    Best pies at Copley SA. Best coffee made in camp. Only french cars spotted, Berlingo in Silverton, NSW, and a new Renault van in Alice.
    Favourite flora, spinefex and Desert Oaks and Ghost Gums.
    Average fuel consumption about 11 litres / 100kms.
    Mechanical issues: fatigued 49 yo exhaust bracket replaced, some other exhaust leak yet to be determined, maybe exhaust down pipe? One tyre changed tube leak, no damage to tyre. Door locks needed lube often to combat dust. Right rear blinker bulb needs replacing. Windscreen chipped. Otherwise, nothing.


    DS what a great comfy car to time travel in. Leaks dust for sure on dirt roads but we found ways to combat this, but at times we did look like New Guinea mud men. We had a ball.


    Thanks for your interest in our excursion.
    Bounge, GreenBlood, jaahn and 2 others like this.

  7. #32
    JBN
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    Great to hear that you had a great trip. I love those remote parts of Australia and camping out away from towns gives one great views of the southern night sky. One admires the early explorers that did those same trips without much in the way of maps. On horseback or just walking, miles per gallon or litres per one hundred kilometres meant nothing, but distance to the next water meant survival.

    Australia is a great country to feel free in once you escape the cities. There is enough in the nothingness to keep one fascinated.

    Not that far from Winton there is Old Cork Station. This is actually a Redgum song, but John Williamsons video has better visual footage.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfvlGFVKZw0

    John
    Last edited by JBN; 6th July 2018 at 08:52 PM.

  8. #33
    Tadpole
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    brilliant, Steve!

    I've just loved this story as it's evolved - no plans, no commitments, just the falling back in love with country and car.

    Thanks for brightening up my last few weeks!
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  9. #34
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    Wonderful post for which so many thanks.

    The Copley Bakery is a much under-rated and unknown gem! We used it for years when heading for the Gammon Ranges National Park, and not least for its Quandong Slice. Not wanting to undermine or hijack, we've had the Renault R8 in the Flinders a lot when we lived in Adelaide.

    What a great trip though. Well done and so glad you thrived on it.

    Come through Perth next time.

    Cheers
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A road trip - destination unknown-arkaroola-nepabunna-e1.jpg  
    JohnW

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  10. #35
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    thats'a pretty good hike in an old D, very inspiring. Tres tres.

  11. #36
    JBN
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Wonderful post for which so many thanks.

    The Copley Bakery is a much under-rated and unknown gem! We used it for years when heading for the Gammon Ranges National Park, and not least for its Quandong Slice. Not wanting to undermine or hijack, we've had the Renault R8 in the Flinders a lot when we lived in Adelaide.

    What a great trip though. Well done and so glad you thrived on it.

    Come through Perth next time.

    Cheers
    You plough a good furrow John W. Were you a farmer once?

    John

  12. #37
    Tadpole
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    Superb, thoroughly enjoyed your journey. Well done you and the D.


    Sent from my iPad using aussiefrogs

  13. #38
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    You plough a good furrow John W. Were you a farmer once? John
    Just practising.... You're the first to make that comment in 45 years.

    What a fabulous trip in the D though. I just loved some of the photos and, like you, having spent time in that northern SA/NT area over the years, they were very evocative of former trips. Doubly well done!!
    JohnW

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  14. #39
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    Thanks for sharing your experience and reminding me that the 40+ year-old Ds still have the potential for such an extensive and challenging trip. We tend to protect our DS these days from the rough stuff but have (not always) fond memories of driving our Ds through those conditions in the 1970s. Sorry we missed you in Windorah a few days back. Very pleased you were able to get through with no serious problems. Ken

  15. #40
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    what distance do you get out of a tank? assuming you used 98 too?

  16. #41
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    Thanks for the kind comments re the photos.
    Sorry we missed you Ken out Windorah way.
    It's nice to know that others love the outback parts and that our excursion evoked fond memories for others that have travelled these places. I understand that many may not choose to take a DS or other old car on such a trip, as we spend so much time in keeping our cars in fine fettle, or just getting them back on the road. But it does add a sense of adventure to a trip I confess.
    Fuel wise, I guess a DS tank is 55 litres? My gauge seems to have a mind of its own, so we topped off the tank often. As noted we got about 11 L/ 100k. I recall putting in 52 litres after about a nearly 500 K section. We also had 30 litres in the boot - never used (along with 8 litres of LHM, & 20 litres of water). Fuel grade was not always a choice, some places only had ULP 91, some only OPAL fuel, although we never put opal in. It was rare that a fuel stop was more than 300 KMs apart.
    The car wasn't overloaded, a small Esky, no fridge, no radio/audio, sleeping bags, gas burner, and a folding table that is as old as the car & some folding seats.
    Cheers
    Steve

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