Gunbarrel Hwy or Canning Stock Route?
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  1. #1
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    Default Gunbarrel Hwy or Canning Stock Route?

    Met with some like minded lunatics on the weekend and we floated the idea of tackling either the Gunbarrel Hwy or the Canning Stock Route.

    Jane, who favours the CSR, has a Landcruiser ute I, the R12. After that we start to run out of ideas.

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    Have any of you out there done either?
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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exfrogger View Post
    Met with some like minded lunatics on the weekend and we floated the idea of tackling either the Gunbarrel Hwy or the Canning Stock Route.

    Jane, who favours the CSR, has a Landcruiser ute I, the R12. After that we start to run out of ideas.

    Have any of you out there done either?
    Either sound like a great adventure, not many people go to those sorts of places in a 2 wheel drive vehicle.
    Regards Col

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    bob
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    G'day,

    boss at the factory likes the Canning, but then he's a birdo and looking for hard to finds like the pricess parrot. To make life more interesting you should get a wildlife field guide or three for those sorts of trips.

    cheers,
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob View Post
    G'day,

    boss at the factory likes the Canning, but then he's a birdo and looking for hard to finds like the pricess parrot. To make life more interesting you should get a wildlife field guide or three for those sorts of trips.

    cheers,
    Bob
    I never travel without them!
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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    An old school approach?

    "Jones and myself brought down some fine specimens today..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    "Jones and myself brought down some fine specimens today..."
    The Rare Breeds Trust has a saying that the best way to save them is to eat them. The point being that if you give rare domestic animals a commercial value, people will breed more of them. (If anyone wants to eat some Cheviot lambs, let me know.)

    This approach might not work quite so well with wild animals.

    Roger

    PS to drag myself grudgingly back on topic, I have done neither, both sound good, and if you are going to do both does it really matter which you do first.

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    I have two questions, firstly is Ms J a person of strong personality (ie; determined to lead the team) and secondly, what is an envisaged typical cost to participants of a vehicle, preparatory work including fuel drops, spares and anything else?

    Oh, and if anyone potentially involved is a committed naturist, I'd prefer to know in advance...

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    I'll answer the last question first. Into nature, yes. Buffing up in the outdoors? No more than is absolutely necessary.

    Ms J certainly has a strong personality, impeccable navitaional skills (she'll probably get her skipper's ticket next year and has an unholy disregard for anything with the initials GPS), great physical strength and is more than capable as a team leader. But we have in the past made decisions based on concensus. Mind you she and her rather pragmatic boyfriend are pretty serious off-road travellers. Tooling about the bush with a bunch of grumpy old men flogging old French cars well past their limits might be beyond theirs... I think the only reason she travells with me is because I make her laugh - or she thinks I'm a standing joke, one or the other.

    At this stage there are no "participants" just some people who have expressed an interest in organising and outback road trip. We need to organise a time when we're all avaliable, cars and a route.

    Over the years its probably cost me thousands of dollars to flog the old R12 thru the wilderness. But still a lot cheaper than paying for a guided tour. The cost of preparation depends on the vehicle you start with and what has to be done to get good ground clearance and to replace the things that might cause grief off the blacktop.

    I have no idea what a fuel drop would cost. We'd need to know what vehicles are on the road, how much fuel they need and so on.
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    Based comments on the vehicle choice thread, and above remarks - from the East coast, gut feeling is the caper might touch $6K per participating car/driver including vehicle acquisition.

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    Have done both. No problem in the cruiser if you are well prepared and know what you are doing. The Gunbarrel is doable in a well prepared 2 wd with good clearance and especially tough all terrain tires. As for the CSR it has been done in 2wd- I passed a 505 going down it in 2010 when I was going up. As for a R12???? Good luck.900+ dunes up to 20 m high are going to kill it. On the CSR virtually all of the dunes have a 90 deg bend at the bottom so a run up is virtually impossible. They are also deeply rutted with wheel ruts at the width of most 4wd- major clearance issue. To further complicate matters the steeper they are the more likely they are to also be deeply scallopped which throws you sideways and into the air. This scallopping is caused by people running with too high tire pressure [need about 20psi]using only 2wd because they think they can, reving the crap out of their 4wd in low range when high range works better with less revs, and people trying to do it in a 2wd. You may get through but you will bugger your car, the track and yourself. That said both the CSR and Simpson have been done in well set up cars BUT they are about the ONLY 2 places along with the High Country where I wouldn't take a very well set up car [like a 504!]. Pretty much all of the other tracks in the country are doable in said well set up ca [ so long as it is dry!!!!]r. Oh, and I forgot to mention the CSR corrugations, especially the killers about 100 km either side of Well 33. As to fuel, I am not sure that the Newman Roadhouse is still doing fuel drops so you will need enough to get to Well 33 where there is a roadhouse-900+ km from Wiluna $3.20 per litre + GST in 2010 The dunes in the top half to Bililluna are more numerous and steeper and chew up more fuel on this 700+ km stretch.Hope this helps. Neil

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    JBN
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    Sounds like it would be cheaper, safer and more doable to just rent out the video.

    I would think that the CSR and the Simpson Desert are challenges AFTER you have cut your teeth on easier (though not easy) tracks where you get to test your vehicle and equipment first. Knowing how much to take, what spares to take and what modifications are required for your R12 is a prerequisite to a safe and enjoyable journey.

    Starting at the top and working your way down has rarely proven to be a viable plan. To climb Mt Everest, you have to have shown competency at climbing lessor mountians before they will even let you go.

    You can have your cake and eat it by taking the CSR out of Wiluna to Well 5, then turn east through Granite Downs station and head to Carnegie station on the Gunbarrel and then off to Giles. That keeps you away from the sandhills and the long stretch without fuel on the CSR.


    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by neil s View Post
    Have done both. No problem in the cruiser if you are well prepared and know what you are doing. The Gunbarrel is doable in a well prepared 2 wd with good clearance and especially tough all terrain tires. As for the CSR it has been done in 2wd- I passed a 505 going down it in 2010 when I was going up. As for a R12???? Good luck.900+ dunes up to 20 m high are going to kill it. On the CSR virtually all of the dunes have a 90 deg bend at the bottom so a run up is virtually impossible. They are also deeply rutted with wheel ruts at the width of most 4wd- major clearance issue. To further complicate matters the steeper they are the more likely they are to also be deeply scallopped which throws you sideways and into the air. This scallopping is caused by people running with too high tire pressure [need about 20psi]using only 2wd because they think they can, reving the crap out of their 4wd in low range when high range works better with less revs, and people trying to do it in a 2wd. You may get through but you will bugger your car, the track and yourself. That said both the CSR and Simpson have been done in well set up cars BUT they are about the ONLY 2 places along with the High Country where I wouldn't take a very well set up car [like a 504!]. Pretty much all of the other tracks in the country are doable in said well set up ca [ so long as it is dry!!!!]r. Oh, and I forgot to mention the CSR corrugations, especially the killers about 100 km either side of Well 33. As to fuel, I am not sure that the Newman Roadhouse is still doing fuel drops so you will need enough to get to Well 33 where there is a roadhouse-900+ km from Wiluna $3.20 per litre + GST in 2010 The dunes in the top half to Bililluna are more numerous and steeper and chew up more fuel on this 700+ km stretch.Hope this helps. Neil
    I too have did the Canning in 2010. I pretty much support what Neil says. I might think about it in my 504 rally car (set up for Classic Outback trials) but even then I'd want good support. As Neil sayd the corrigations around the middle are unmerciful.

    Happy to have a more detailed discussion via email if you wish.

    Cheers

    Jim

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    COL
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    Just think many years ago before we had all these flashy 4WD we have now, people did go into the out back with just 2WD vehicles.

    Its like doing anything that is extreme just need do plan properly, and have back up plans for when things don't go to your original plan.
    Regards Col

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    Thanks for your comments. Neil and Pug303 what you said was enlightening.

    The R12 has done a few outback adventures that included the Mallee, Googs Track, Great Central Rd and the Tanami Track with the detour to Wolf Creek.

    It has rally suspension (it came off a rally car!) with taller stiffer springs, HD shocks, a bash plate and tank guard. It handles corugations well - better than the landcruiser - and climbed the many hundred sand dunes along the Googs Track without much drama.

    But that's not the issue. There are others who want to take it on and they will be preparing a car from scratch. The R12 was a pain on the first trip but subsequent mods made it a great outback car on later trips.
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    Col, the CSR is not just "outback". It is one of the longest ,toughest 4wd tracks in the world and its reputation is well deserved. Think 900+ km at 20-25 l/100 km-say 180 l of petrol- weighs 160+ kg; 30-40 l of water per person -say 80kg; food for 18-20 days;camping gear, spares etc. You get the idea- the car with passengers will have close to 500kg on board, will need good ground clearance[around 200 mm] and the power to pull it over900+ dunes where you cant get a run up and which are chopped up to buggery. I did say virtually any other road in the country other than the desert dunes IS doable IF you are well set up AND you know what you are doing AND it is dry. If you take the line that you will lighten the car by puting all of the weight over into your support 4wd then you dramatically increase the chance of breaking the 4wd....and they do break a lot of them on this track. eg last year Mercedes sent a team of 8 or 9 G Wagons up the CSR and THey ALL broke shock absorbers. JBN's idea is a good one- that is doable because it is largely station tracks in Well 1-5. Beyond that there is no way out till Well 23 and the 30-40 km of shocking corrugations on the track out to Newman ie. once you are in that is it!
    Neil

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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by neil s View Post
    Col, the CSR is not just "outback". It is one of the longest ,toughest 4wd tracks in the world and its reputation is well deserved. Think 900+ km at 20-25 l/100 km-say 180 l of petrol- weighs 160+ kg; 30-40 l of water per person -say 80kg; food for 18-20 days;camping gear, spares etc. You get the idea- the car with passengers will have close to 500kg on board, will need good ground clearance[around 200 mm] and the power to pull it over900+ dunes where you cant get a run up and which are chopped up to buggery. I did say virtually any other road in the country other than the desert dunes IS doable IF you are well set up AND you know what you are doing AND it is dry. If you take the line that you will lighten the car by puting all of the weight over into your support 4wd then you dramatically increase the chance of breaking the 4wd....and they do break a lot of them on this track. eg last year Mercedes sent a team of 8 or 9 G Wagons up the CSR and THey ALL broke shock absorbers. JBN's idea is a good one- that is doable because it is largely station tracks in Well 1-5. Beyond that there is no way out till Well 23 and the 30-40 km of shocking corrugations on the track out to Newman ie. once you are in that is it!
    Neil
    I understand that it is not a Sunday drive. There is a thread in the pond that is running in parallel to this one that states that a 505 made it through the CSR, so obviously it is doable.
    Regards Col

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exfrogger View Post
    Thanks for your comments. Neil and Pug303 what you said was enlightening.

    The R12 has done a few outback adventures that included the Mallee, Googs Track, Great Central Rd and the Tanami Track with the detour to Wolf Creek.

    It has rally suspension (it came off a rally car!) with taller stiffer springs, HD shocks, a bash plate and tank guard. It handles corugations well - better than the landcruiser - and climbed the many hundred sand dunes along the Googs Track without much drama.

    But that's not the issue. There are others who want to take it on and they will be preparing a car from scratch. The R12 was a pain on the first trip but subsequent mods made it a great outback car on later trips.
    None of the stuff above is anthing like the Canning. We did it North to South and passed a group with a RAV4 in it going North. We listened to them on the CB quite a bit and they pulled the RAV over nearly every dune in the middle of the track.

    I'm sure it can be done, we did Australian Safaris in a well set up 504 in the early 1990s, but you will be looking at needing considerable assistance in the hard stuff. I can very much understand the desire to prove the point!! Thinking about it I almost want to go back in a 504. Good luck.

    Cheers

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    Just think many years ago before we had all these flashy 4WD we have now, people did go into the out back with just 2WD vehicles.

    Yes - but not the CSR & a few other places. The original exploration lines accross the deserts, and the reopening of the CSR, were pioneered with 4wd trucks - often ex-military vehicles, ex-WW11 Jeeps, etc.......

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    JBN
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat200 View Post
    Yes - but not the CSR & a few other places. The original exploration lines accross the deserts, and the reopening of the CSR, were pioneered with 4wd trucks - often ex-military vehicles, ex-WW11 Jeeps, etc.......
    CSR stands for Canning Stock Route, a description as apt today as it always was.

    Better done on horseback droving a few hundred cattle....unless you are a vegetarian.

    John

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