Offroad testing products with RV Storage Solutions
Day 1 – Melbourne to Menindee
What began as a fly by night product test ended up in a lot of fun. We decided to test our new fridge slide range with fully laden fridges of varying sizes across the desert. The quickest way for us was across to Port Augusta and straight up the Birdsville track. Not happy with the easiest approach it was decided to have a go at the 3 corners being Cameron’s, Haddons and Poepples en route. It was a lot of Km’s in 7 days but rewarding. We also decided to add a bit of flavor by following the exploits of some of our explorers.
Bourke and Wills basically started their sojourn north from Menindee so it was off to Menindee day 1. We made it to Ivanhoe and needed fuel. When we got there the power had been out from storms for a few days. We had to borrow the police generator, prize the servo guy out of the local and we were in business. The road to Menindee from Ivanhoe was awash and not recommended travel. We were on a mission however and couldn’t be deterred. Tyre pressures down to around 18 psi made the mud manageable and a lot of fun. We fell short of Menindee and camped off the road. Plenty of fire wood made for a good night. The next morning the local station manager had heard us on the radio and tracked us down for a cuppa. We enjoyed his company and local knowledge and pushed on to Menindee.
Day 2 – Menindee to the Packsaddle
After a stop at the Bourke and Wills Menindee base camp which was a catalyst in the failure of the Burke and Wills saga, it was on to Broken Hill on the black top and a dash out to the Silverton Pub which is famous for its many film appearances. A replica of the Mad Max Ford is parked outside the motel. There’s a lot of history here as it was once a booming gold mining town.
We made it to the Pack saddle road house end day 2 where we pitched camp for the night. Plenty of fire wood. We suggest that you stock up in Broken Hill as from here on its pretty expensive if you can’t get what you want or need in the way of groceries.
Day 3 – Milparinka / Depot Glen
An insight into the Sturt expedition can be found just out of the old gold mining town of Milparinka. James Poole’s grave and Poole’s cairn erected on the top of Mount Poole by Sturt and the men of the expedition is worth the trip. Its a tough walk up the hill and you never seem to get there. A magnificent panoramic view is well worth the effort. Apart from the plaque the cairn is today as it was then in 1842.
Sturt was held up here for 6 months all that time ago waiting for rain. There is more about Sturt in Tibooburra which is the next stop on the way to Cameron’s corner. There is a replica of Sturt’s boat in the park which he carted (the original) all the way up here in the hope of an inland sea.
From Tibooburra its a good run out to Cameron’s corner dropping in at Sturt’s Fort Grey en route. We were disappointed with Fort Grey expecting to see an oasis or some sort of remnants of his camp. Its nothing more than an old station house which has been fenced off and occupied by the ranger and a camp area that apart from camping had no bearing on the explorers exploits.
It was a hot and dusty day when we arrived at Cameron’s corners and a refreshing cool drink at the corner store bar was just what the doctor ordered. A friendly little oasis, it was one of the highlights on this leg of our trip.
We decided to go up the Bore track to Innaminka via Bollards Lagoon station. We got on to the track proper late in the day and camped just past the dry lakes end of day 3. Plenty of firewood and no noise, no other people, was just fantastic. In fact we never saw another sole on the entire Bore track. It was a good run with very different scenery changes as we progressed further North. The Bore Track when open gives an alternate route rather than the Strzelecki or old Strzelecki and saves considerable time.
Day 4 – Corner Country
An early start saw us in Innaminka by midday. We visited Wills grave, Kings tree, and had a welcome shower at the Laundromat. Apart from the smell these showers are far better value and much nicer than the ones at the common.
We spent the afternoon looking around Coopers Creek and ended up camping at Cullymulla waterhole. Firewood is a bit scarce out here so either get it en route or spend an hour looking as we did. There were plenty of campers here and they looked as if they were waiting for rain as Sturt did. They were dug in for the long haul.
We caught some fish here and the yabbies are huge. We had the pots in overnight for a meagre haul.
We were then off to Burkes grave and the dig tree. I am an ardent Australian history buff and these places ar e quite special to me. Although well frequented and commercialized these places still represent a must see as this is where history happened. In fact some of the places such as Wills grave, you still get that very remote and helpless feeling they must of endured a 140 odd years ago.
The next leg of the trip saw us heading to Haddons corner. The surrounding country side changes dramatically through this section. From stony outcrops and Mesa’s to red sand and burgundy gibber plains. When we went through, the country had seen a bit of rain and it was strewn with beautiful desert flowers.
Haddons corner was corner two on our trip and we arrived at 1.00pm. Because of recent rains the corner was under water and infested with Mozzies.We tried to have lunch here to no avail. The flies and Mozzies ate us and everything else to boot.There are some good dunes hereabouts and after a bit of fun we headed for Birdsville.
There’s not a lot to see from here to Birdsville along the development road accept for Bertoota which is only these days an old pub not in use.Its a good road and we made good time to Birdsville arriving at dusk.
Day 5 – Birdsville/Simpson Desert
We spent the night at the Birdsville caravan park where we had a great hot shower and took advantage of the facilities.
You would expect the famous Birdsville pub to be full of character and welcoming such as John’s Mungeranie pub. I had been here before and knew what to expect so I stayed at camp and the boys went over for a couple of tipples. As I suspected they were disappointed as it was no smiles and too dear and as one said, it was like being in a bar in Bourke street. It’s a shame and as time wears on this pub is no longer hard to get to and is rapidly loosing its iconic reputation as a must go to venue.
A definite must see is John Menzies Museum. John is a rippa bloke and his guided tour of his establishment is one you wont forget. There is our entire history on display with walls and shelves crammed with the past. John also makes great leather ware and his original Leather belts are of excellent quality. He will custom make you one as you watch and wait.
Day 6 – Simpson Desert
We headed out to Big Red around midday and after about an hour of up and down, photos and film it was off into the Simpson proper. As it was late in the season the track was fairly chopped up which made for slower going. We found that around 18 PSI in the front and 22-24 in the rear because of our load made the going easy.
Because of our late start we didn’t make it to Poepples corner as planned and fell short by about 20 kms.We made camp at dusk and enjoyed the sunset, the colors and the quiet atmosphere. A dingo pup made our camp his home and although not enticed or fed he was well accustomed to human contact. Please do not feed or play with these dogs and burn your toilet paper.
Day 7 – Poeppel’s Corner
Rather than following the beaten track down to Poeppel’s corner we headed North west into the Northern Territory and turned south and skirted salt pan country. It’s a great alternative and good scenery. It makes the corner harder to find but it was fun as there is no signs to guide you. You definitely need a GPS for this bit if you are to try it.
The corner had changed since we were last there. A new information board and a board walk out to the post has been installed. Its certainly different to the post and old tyre that was there before. The new look has certainly taken away that rough and remote feeling you used to get when you got here.
Mark and Karen Left top as the corner was on a previous visit and below some of the gang as the corner appears now.
Warburton Track, Goyders Lagoon and Mungeranie
We were now heading South down the Warburton Track which was washed out in places from recent rains. We left our tyre pressures as in the desert which made it a lot easier on the wet tracks.
You get amazing changes of landscape heading this way and it is well worth it. We hit Mungaranie on dusk, piched camp and spent the evening with Johno and Genevieve the owners of the pub. We had great hospitality great tucker and plenty of good cheer to wash the sand from our throats.
Mungeranie is a must stop and is a real outback pub experience.
Well, we headed home around the back of the Flinders turning off at Hawker. Beautiful country. It was a great trip but a lot of kms in too short a time. We made the most of it as we do find it hard to get away. The fridge slide range stood up to everything we threw at them as did the rest of our other storage products. It was worth the trip to bump into the only people we passed in the desert, to find that they had decked their car out with our gear. They were rapt with performance our gear gave them and made the trip for myself and Karen that little more special.
See you on the road
Mark and Karen