This is a good day trip if you're in Adelaide.
Left Adelaide at 9:00am. First stop was Myponga Dam lookout then onto Deep Creek Cons. Park. We didn't bother with Cape Jervis as the mist/rain prevented us seeing more than 100metres out to sea, so views of Kangaroo Island were out of the question.
Toured through Deep Creek, checked out the campsites, and took the Boat Harbour 4WD track down to the lookout. Faint outline of KI was visible. Track was very steep and loose and made interesting by being damp. Continued on through the Cons. Park, which was looking brilliant with all of the trees and ferns being wet, although the rain had stopped as we arrived (perfect).
From Deep Creek we headed around to Victor Harbor for lunch and continued on to Goolwa. The Goolwa beach run to the mouth was fun (less so after we stopped and let some air out). At the mouth the kids played in the water while we watched Jet Ski's and boats tackling the surf and fishermen trying their luck.
The drive back to the car park was pretty routine except for some wombat spraying my Patrol with saltwater while driving his newish Dual Cab ute at full speed through the shallows. Obviously not his car!
After pumping up the tyres in the beach carpark we toured around Goolwa for a while (Hindmarsh Island, Wharf, Barrages, etc.) and headed for Adelaide at about 4:30pm.
This Article by AH from the January 2002 Club Magazine
We departed from Fauna Park parking bay at 9.15am. 11 vehicles were in the convoy soon to become 12 once Mr. S picked his daughter up from tennis.
In the convoy we had : 1 Mazda, 1 Landcruiser, 2 Prados, 4 Patrols and 4 Discoverys. Some of our group were thinking since we are changing our constitution, how about a name change to Whyalla & Districts Discovery Club (I think not Vaughan).
Arrival at Port Gibbon 10.50am, conditions were clear, sunny and warm (beautiful day). Tyre pressures were let down at Blythe Beach car park, then it was off to the sand. Approx. one minute into the sand the first car got stuck, although an easy reverse maneuver got them out of trouble ..but getting the Mazda out of the same spot wasnt so easy.
We made our way through the dunes and then down onto the beach, drove down to the most southerly point and spotted a nice spot to have lunch on the way.
By this time it was nearly lunch but a little play wouldnt hurt, just 15 minutes or so. Or so won out as it turned into approx one hour. My clever other half thought it might be fun to make the 4WD hop a few times, which he managed quite easily. A bit of a track was made through one lot of dunes which turned out to be entertaining for some. It was now definitely time for lunch.
We had a nice long relaxing lunch on the beach where the kids had a swim, made sand castles, a bit of sand boarding took place while the grown ups had their on fun with slalom. Only Gray and Carol were game enough to try it blind folded with the passenger giving directions. Gray did very well at his attempt but I think we can all put that down to Carols good navigational skills.
After lunch we headed back to the dunes to have some more fun, which turned out to be quite challenging for some. Especially for the Mazda Tribute.
Article by T&MA from the April 2002 Club Magazine.
We all met (minus Vaughan who was arriving on the Sunday) at Mt. Laura and were assured by Lothar that we would have fine weather as it is always fine on trip that I go on or I do not go (by Lothar). Well lets just say that Lothar must have a different understanding of fine than the rest of us. Half way to Kimba and the drizzle started and only stopped on occasion for the rest of the day.
After stopping briefly in Kimba we headed for the campsite. This was the first time that Andrew was leading a trip and the first time he was going to the stock route. The only turn he missed was the one in Kimba itself (this includes finding the turn onto the stock route first time), and for those who have been there you all know it can be a bit difficult to find that turn.
Just after turning onto the stock route we were greeted with an unusual sight, everything was black. A fire had ripped through the area.
There was one positive to this, you could easily see each driver attempt and make the first climb (apparently a certain white Disco didnt make it the first go on the Sunday if only we had photographic evidence).
Once over the first dune you could see how far the fire had burnt and I guess as far as bush fires go it wasnt large, but it surely looked desolate (wont need track maintenance there for a while).
On closer inspection you could see how nature was reclaiming the area with trees getting new shoots and a whole variety of new plants springing out of the ground. The stakes we use as distance markers survived quite well but the one to mark the early campsite was burnt to the ground. Fortunately we could see that the camping areas that we use today were well inside the parts that were still green.
Camp was set up in the usual place ; we had lunch and time to catch up. The kids all started up a game of cricket and everyone else was getting into that relaxing camp mood. After a bite to eat we went to visit Corribinnie Rock.
Being the only one to see it before, a fair amount of time was spent exploring it. Andrew would not believe me that all trip leaders are required to climb the large rock near the top and no amount of convincing was going to make him do it.
After that it was back to the camp to get the fire started for warmth and for coals. Even with the on-again-off-again drizzle we had a great day, plus it gave me a chance to use the awning hanging on the side of my car (no choice really Ann told me to set it up).
The next day we all rose reasonably early and had a relaxing breakfast as we waited for Vaughan to arrive. Whilst waiting Ann, Joshua and myself went to get more wood as the fire consumed a bit fair bit the night before. We headed out the Wudinna side of the track to collect from there, which gave me the chance to give Joshua his first driving experience.
He drove the car (first gear only and Ann next to him) while I threw wood into the trailer. You couldnt wipe the smile from his face. When we were back in camp it was only a short wait for Vaughan and family to arrive. After some quick hellos it was of to Mt Wudinna for lunch. All of us decided to climb the rock and then Ann showed us some areas of it that she could remember from her days in Wudinna.
From there it was back to camp via the East-West track. We finally get to the track and are all looking forward to some fun in the sand. It was the easiest the track has ever been for me due to all the rain. In fact I did part of it in 2wd (forgot to put it in 4wd oops), and even when I managed to get out of the wheel tacks it was not difficult.
We all arrive back at camp and relax, except for Vaughan, Kathy and Claire who still had to set up their new tent. This new tent gave us grounds for laughs later on. It is quite a bit larger than their last and has a few too many poles. I believe that this tent may not be going on the Simpson trip later this year.
Again a wonderful time was had around the fire that night (although I did surprise Kathy by not having any alcohol but those that were on the last stock route trip with me would understand why).
On the Monday we all packed up and I had to give Vaughan and Kathy a demo of the awning as they are looking into one. At this point Steve and Jenny left us for another week of holiday on the EP, half their luck.
Andrew decided to take us home via Secret Rocks where we had lunch and a bit more of a chat. Then sadly it was back to home and another working week.
A few things came out of the trip that should be mentioned, one is that Andrew did a great job taking on the role of trip leader (the only thing that he need to be told was that the trip leader does not have to write the trip report) and that if Lothar says it is going to be fine it means that there will probably be no snow or subzero temperatures.
Once again well done to Andrew and his navigator, and thank you to everyone on the trip for a fun filled weekend. It goes to show that even if you have been to an area many times before it can still a great place for a relaxing and enjoyable club trip.
Article by PR from the June 2002 Club Magazine.
We departed from the Fauna Park parking bay at 8:10am with 3 vehicles. Rod , Maureen and Lyanel in the Patrol, Andrew, Julie, Brendan, Lauren, Michael, Adele and Carl in the Landcruiser ( with trailer of provisions) and Lothar and Martha in the Pathfinder. We stopped at Cowell to pick up our fourth vehicle and stretch the legs. Dave and Trudy joined our convoy in the Discovery and Cub camper trailer. We got rolling again quickly and drove through Port Lincoln, just to have a look and then headed out over Winters Hill to Coffin Bay, where we had lunch before heading off to the National Park.
We drove to the Park entrance , filled in our camping permits ( per vehicle), picked up maps and headed off for fun and relaxation. Our first stop was at Point Avoid. The wind was up a little but the view is great. From here we headed for Yangie Bay, had a final pit stop and let our tyres down. On the first section the track is sandy and we had to stop and wait, while a couple of Cowell farmers in Landcruisers and camp trailers tried sand driving in other than the John Deere. After taking some advice and letting down tyres, they managed to get through and let us move on ahead. (The local AutoPro may be selling some tyre gauges after Easter). The remainder of the track to Black Springs (our camping area) was generally hard and rocky and negotiated slowly for trailer life. Hit the camp at about 3:00 pm and set up for the night. There was some minor rain drizzle while the camp was being set up, but nothing to dampen spirits. The Schwenke kids tried their hand at fishing, but failed to supply the meal. The group enjoyed a few good reds before retiring for the night.
Contribution by A&JS from the April 2002 Club Magazine.Saturday 30th March
After a peaceful night, by some, persistent rumours went around the camp, that people were snoring. But there was no conclusive evidence without reasonable doubt. A hardy breakfast and the convey headed off to Point Sir Isaac.
Lothar and Martha resumed their duty as dust end Charlie. The going was tough in some places, but it was rewarding with a wonderful ride along the 7-mile beach. We stopped briefly to allow some adventurous members to climb the sand dune.
Before lunch at Point Sir Isaac we visited Mullalong beach where a handful of surfers took advantage of the 1 metre waves and the beautiful day.
On the return journey we crossed the Peninsula to make a stop at Sensation beach. The trek to Sensation beach was the best on the park. 7 mile beach was very narrow with the incoming tide on the return trip. We made it back to camp at 5 pm and everyone had a wonderful day.
Contribution by M & L from the April 2002 Club Magazine.Sunday 31 st March
We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning, that extra hour in bed was good. The night before, the children had coaxed Rod into cooking them breakfast. He carried out his promise with great delight and enthusiasm supplying all the family with eggs and bacon fried in the centre of bread with seconds if they wished.
Unfortunately Andrew, Julie & family had to leave later today and head back home. We helped them pack up their trailer as they would come with for the day then continue on to Whyalla.
Lothar & Martha decided to stay at camp today. Lothar wanted to try out the fishing and Martha would have a read. Brendan & Mi-chael had caught some undersize fish over the weekend which they had to put back in the sea so we were all hoping Lothar would catch some good size fish. We all decided that as he was staying his role had changed for the day from tail-end Charlie to security officer and he said he would carry out his duties with enthusiasm. We set off for Gunyah beach 3 vehicles with Andrew towing his trailer with all their camping gear. The track was rocky and very sandy in parts and it had been cut up quite badly with all the traffic over the last few days. It was quite a regular occurrence to come across 4x4s stuck in the sand. We always went and offered them our assistance and all the time it was their tyres that had not been deflated. Most of them did not have tyre pressure gauges, shovels or recovery gear. For some we were sure it was their first time off the bitumen.
Unfortunately Andrew got stuck a few times and Rod snatched him out, his trailer wheels went down in some deep ruts and its axle dragged the crest in the middle of the track, just enough to restrict momentum to get through because of the bouncing. A quick pull & we were all mobile again. When we were close to Gunyah sand hills Andrew left their rig in a side bay and with some of the family in Rods vehicle and some in ours we set off to Gunyah sand dunes and beach.
The ride through the dunes was magnificent with large poles stuck in the sand to show the track to the beach. It must have been nearly a kilometre long and was like driving through the Sahara desert with huge sand hills all around you. We got down onto the beach and the view was spectacular, large surf breaking onto the beach, sand hills & cliffs as far as the eye could see.
Rod drove along the beach to find a quiet spot away from the other people and cars so we could have lunch and the children could play. Now & again you would hit a soft patch and would have to give it more revs to keep momentum going. Rod found a good place to stop and went to turn around and hit a soft spot unfortunately & because of lack of momentum he failed to proceed. Lyanel did a great job with the shovel and Rod was moving in no time at all. I think it was the sight of Trudy getting her camera out, no photo no evidence. I drove on a bit further and turned around on some rocky ground, phew that was lucky. Rod, Andrew & some of the children went for a swim while the rest just paddled. The water was freezing cold & when they came out, which wasnt too long they said it was exhilarating.
Well a good time was had by all with some of the party getting buried in the sand and we al had something to share at lunch. After a few enjoyable hours on the beach it was time to hit the track and give Andrew & Julie and family enough time to get home before dark. Rod & I decided to lower our tyre pressures from 20 psi to 18 psi to see if it would make a difference along the beach and through the sand hills. Sure enough it was easier driving out than driving in. It just shows 2 psi can make a difference.
It was now time to say goodbye to Andrew & Julie and family. It was big hugs all round and everyone was sorry they had to leave a day earlier.
We were soon on our way back to camp with the usual stops to help people who were stuck in the sand in the same circumstances as mentioned earlier in this report. When we were a few kms from camp Lothar heard us on the radio and said Hi and that you must be back at camp son, he was right we were. They were glad to see us back and asked about our day.
Lothar missed out on catching any fish but they both had a good relaxing day. We sat around and talked till late in the night. We made a circle with our chairs and Lothar put a lantern in the centre. It was a good substitute for a fire but you cannot beat the real thing, but when a fire ban is on a light is good. We all agreed on one thing after watching others, that we are thankful for the clubs training days and for the members who train us. Thank you guys.
We all hit the sack with memories of another good day out in Coffin Bay National Park.
Contribution by D&TA from the April 2002 Club Magazine.Monday 1st April
Monday was greeted by another beautiful morning and spectacular view of the water and hills in the distance. All happy campers were up by 8.00 and after a hearty breakfast we broke camp and headed out of the park at 10.00.
The trip out was slow and painful due to the excessive traffic and vehicles stuck or requiring 3-4 attempts to negotiate small sandy hills. I was amazed over the course of the weekend how many vehicles were stuck on tracks (not beaches) with no knowledge of why they should have dropped their tyre pressures or even carry a basic tyre gauge.
David & Trudy impressed us all in the Disco with the camper trailer attached negotiating the tracks with ease. The recent training certainly paid dividends & showed there is no substitute for experience.
A quick stop at Coffin bay to reinflate our tyres and we headed off home via some back roads to White Flat. Coppio and Yalunda Flat, then down to Tumby Bay for lunch and a look around the new marina etc.
The trip north a short time after was uneventful and we were soon in Cowell saying goodbye to David & Trudy, who were going to be home & showered long before we would get our opportunity. The remaining 2 vehicles arrived back in Whyalla around 5.00 tired & dirty but satisfied the effort was worth it.
A very enjoyable weekend with good weather, spectacular scenery, terrific driving opportunities and great company. Thanks to all participants.
Contribution by RW from the April 2002 Club Magazine.
The trip started on Friday with four of the vehicles travelling down to Ceduna early. Along for the ride were the Youngs, Broadways and Waterss this being a non club trip. The last two vehicles, namely myself with my two boys, and Gary B and his two boys didnt get away until 6:00 oclock that night. By the time we got to Ceduna it was 10:30 and, while filling up the vehicles we were informed that there were some heavy storms on the way.
The first group had elected to live it up in the Ceduna Caravan Park, but Gary and I decided to brave the elements and camp on Googs track. Finding our way onto the track in the dark was a breeze thanks to my new GPS. I had input some strategic waypoints into it using OziExplorer the day before. The only problem we had was with an irate farmer who wasnt at all pleased with us travelling through his property after dark as we headed for the track. We didnt even know it was a property with no indication on the map or on the road. First Learning Point: The southern end of Googs track is only accessible during daylight hours.
It was close to midnight by the time we had found a camp, put the kids to bed (in the cars) and stretched out in our swags. I had mine all done up in preparation for the storms. In the end I had to open it up because I was getting too hot and we enjoyed a lovely dry night.
The next morning we woke to find Gary had destroyed his rear tyre. It had been spiked through the tread during the night but who knows how far he had travelled on it. The rest of the group reached us late after spending an hour trying to find the bakery in Ceduna. How big can the town be? Finally we set off for Googs lake with my vehicle in the lead; since I was the only one with a sand flag erected. It didnt take long for the dunes to begin and they proved to be good fun and fairly easy going to start with. Recent rain had firmed up the sand although the tops of the dunes were beginning to dry out.
The corrugations were a different matter. I have travelled over some pretty bad corrugations over the years but these were some of the worst I had ever experienced. They really gave the cars a good vibration test. I had to tape down my GPS to stop it jumping out of its cradle. Two early casualties were my fridge slide and my cruise control stalk; but both were easily fixed.
We made it to the salt lake for lunch and spent a lovely time enjoying the scenery while the kids explored the lake or played football. We eventually got going again at about 2:00 pm.
We continued on North heading for Mount Finke. The dunes were proving more challenging now and several vehicles had to have second attempts at some of them. The corrugations only seemed to be getting worse. At one point they were so bad I hit my head on the roof of my vehicle. Second Learning Point: Always wear your seat belt, no matter how slow you are going.
Averaging only 30 kph it was getting close to dark by the time we reached Mt. Finke and set up camp. We had another fine night with the kids enjoying a bonfire while the adults cooked up way too much food for everyone to eat. It rained steadily through the night, but nothing dramatic. The next morning it was my turn to wake to a flat tyre. It had gone down slowly over night after a tiny spike to the side wall so was easily repaired.
Gary and I decided to leave early while te rest of the groupsee above photo, went for a leisurely stroll up to the top of Mt. Finke. We hit the track again and it wasnt too long before we had reached the dog fence at the northern end of the track and said goodbye to the dunes. 226 kilometres of very enjoyable dune driving (except for the corrugations).
The track west to Glendambo was flat and fast and we covered the distance in time to lunch at the roadhouse there while they repaired my tyre and sold Gary a new one. Then it was back west to Kingoonya and down south through the Gawler Ranges. We made camp early for the first time for the weekend and enjoyed an excellent night. The rest of the group had made Glendambo for the night and experienced a very cold night while where we were it was pleasantly warm.
The next day both groups took their time breaking camp; not leaving until after lunch. The group at Glendambo returned home along the black top while Gary and I continued through to Iron Knob on fast dirt. Gary somehow managed to puncture another rear tyre but this time didnt destroy it (spiked through the tread again). He obviously wanted more practice at changing them.
Both groups arrived back in Whyalla at close to the same time Monday afternoon and an eventful but enjoyable 1,300 km of travel had come to and end.
Trip report by GS, as reprinted in the july 2002 Club Magazine