Buchanan Highway

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Clancy, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Clancy

    Clancy Long timer

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    I'm just doing some very early pre-planning for a trip next year and wondered if anyone has done the Buchanan Highway.
    There's a fair bit of info in a few other places but it's nearly all 4x4 related and opinions of road conditions vary so much according to the type of vehicle.
    I realise it can change a lot between now and next year and the weather etc. but at this stage I'm just looking at opinions from a bike point of view.
    #1
  2. Russ

    Russ Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Early OCR planning:ear
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  3. Clancy

    Clancy Long timer

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    Yeah Russ.:D Just sussing out all the alternatives. Seriously thinking of doing half a lap with the OCR in the middle of it. Time will pass very quickly methinks. 18 months to go:lol3
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  4. Russ

    Russ Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Sounds like a stunning trip in the making:thumb.
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  5. Clancy

    Clancy Long timer

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    Finally listened to the big BMW/KTM/ etc etc etc rider. If I don't do it now I'll never do it.:lol3
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  6. farcall

    farcall Long timer

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    Rode it in May last year. The Buchanan is good... east of Top Springs was like a highway. West of Top Springs, still good but a little stony in places.

    Top Springs
    [​IMG]

    I think this is Victoria River (this pic in May, by August will be almost dry)
    [​IMG]

    Gregory NP track was closed. We were told by someone in Kununurra that Gregory NP is closed more often than opened. :dunno
    [​IMG]

    Make sure you get used to sharing your dunny in the Kimberley :lol3
    [​IMG]
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  7. Clancy

    Clancy Long timer

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    Thanks mate. That's a good start. Just looking at it as an alternative to the Tanami at the moment. The Buchanan looks doable on my own whereas the Tanami might be a bit more risky.
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  8. podge NT

    podge NT Podge NT

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    They are both easy
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  9. hahnelw

    hahnelw Just Mapping Another Ride

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    Did the Buchanan Hwy in 2011 and it was a great ride we were coming from Kununurra and did the ride to Top Springs in a day. As someone has already mentioned it is a good "highway" with some corrugations and stony stretches but quite scenic in places. I'd recommend the ride. The stay at Top Springs was good too. Camping behind the pub, with a decent meal and breakfast available.

    [​IMG]

    A nice spot on the Buchanan

    Cheers WH

    Edit: The Tanami is just long and corrugated. That was how we got to WA and returning by the Buchanan. We did take the road north (off the Tanami) through Lajamanu and ending up at Kalkarinji on the Buntine Hwy, before heading for Marella gorge and then up the Duncan Rd to Lake Argyle. All these roads were fantastic, with a lot to look at and some nice high speed dirt in places.
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  10. Clancy

    Clancy Long timer

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    Thanks WH, looks ok.

    Next question:wink: How many of the roads up there am I going to need permits for.
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  11. hahnelw

    hahnelw Just Mapping Another Ride

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    Hi Clancy,

    No permits in any of the spots I have mentioned. We rode into the Bungle Bungles and there was an entry fee. I'd recommend El Questro for a couple of nights. Camping was $15 per night and theres a lot to do there, and there is a great bar, entertainment on some nights and a fire pit.

    Make sure you do the ride from Kununurra to Wyndham on Parry Creek Road and then from Wyndham to the Pentecost River crossing on the Gibb River Rd using the track along the King River and you wind your way between the Cockburn Ranges and the Pentecost river on some sensational track. The last few K's was hard going in some bulldust and sand, but the rest of the ride is well worth it. Make sure you use "the Marshes" track.

    A good source of local info is LC8TY, an inmate here.[​IMG]


    Here's a shot of the Marshes ride.

    Cheers WH
    #11
  12. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 Follow me i'm right behind you. Super Moderator

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    You're welcome. :D
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  13. Clancy

    Clancy Long timer

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    :D:D Yeah, it's all your fault.
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  14. Clancy

    Clancy Long timer

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    Thanks again:thumb I want to have a look at the Ord river dam while I'm up there too so I'll cover that bit fairly well. Not interested in anything east of the Stuart :wink: There's going to be enough ground to cover as it is. It's early days yet but I'm just trying to get a better idea of where things are and what roads connect it all together.
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  15. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 Follow me i'm right behind you. Super Moderator

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    You are one lucky SOB, Clancy. :clap :clap

    The next 18 Months of planning will be exciting enough. What follows straight after that will be sensational. :wings
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  16. Clancy

    Clancy Long timer

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    You should have enough brownie points up again by then Nev:D. You could do the Gibb this time:evil
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  17. farcall

    farcall Long timer

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    All good tips HW.

    Most maps show it as King River Rd but aka the Kurunjie Track.
    [​IMG]

    Our self-annointed "Sand King" on our ride copped plenty for his tumble on the sandy bit at the end of the Kurunjie. :D :D
    [​IMG]
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  18. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 Follow me i'm right behind you. Super Moderator

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    Funny you should mention that mate. I found a couple of photos of the Gibb River and the Ord Dam this afternoon and wondered when I'd get back there. :huh

    I am overdue for another extended 2 wheeled holiday. :freaky
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  19. hahnelw

    hahnelw Just Mapping Another Ride

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    Hi Farcall,

    LOL I remember that bit. It was getting late in the day and we had battled through some rutted, bulldust filled track only to have to do the last km in the sand. Only one spill in our group at low speed but it got a laugh. We rode from the Pentecost crossing to El Questro in the dark, so the river crossings into the resort were interesting! You are right about the naming of the track, all a bit confusing but we met up with LC8TY in Kununurra and he gave us some info that made it fairly clear.

    Nice pics!

    cheers WH

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  20. GSDane

    GSDane Ride like a girl

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    Hi Clancy :wave
    I did the lower part of the Buchanan between Dunmarra and Top Springs in 2011... pretty decent riding without any hassles...

    [​IMG]

    And then west along the Buntine Hwy.
    [​IMG]

    A small but quite interesting - if one is into historic explorer stuff - place for a lunch stop is at the Gregory tree along the Victoria Hhw...
    [​IMG]

    Cheers, GSDane.
    #20