Pooncarie tag-along via Murray Sunset NP, return via Great Darling Anabranch

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Fipsy, May 27, 2014.

  1. Fipsy

    Fipsy form. gonescratchin

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    536
    Location:
    McLaren Flat, South Australia
    Videos of trip are here

    (NB: Lots of pics, so be patient for them to load)

    After having a great run up to Pooncarie back in 2012 (see RR here), it was time to head back up there again. So myself(GSA), Nick (DR650), Alan(F800), DR Ozzy(DR650), Kiz(Dr650) and jungle face(XR650) set plans, and subsequently, wheels, in motion.

    Day 1

    Blessed with unseasonably warm weather for May, we started the ride from Springton, SA, and DR Ozzy led us up Pine Hut Road to Swan Reach where we picked up the Old Loxton Road into Loxton. From there it was down the Carwarp Rd, and up the Taperoo track, to meet with jungle face, and continue up towards Lindsay Island for the first night's camp. Jungle face was only joining us for the night, but as it turned out, led us to a great camp site just down from lock 8 on the river.

    Heading along Pine Hut road - beautiful scenery
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    Onto the ferry at Swan Reach for fuel.
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    ..then onto the Old Loxton Road, with it's changing faces, and renown whoops!
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    and stumbled onto some roadworks which made for some interesting riding to start with...
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    Soon enough, we were at Loxton, hit the bakery, then off for 'essential supplies'....

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    From there, it was into Murray Sunset NP along the Carwarp and Taperoo roads to meet up with jungle face

    The run up the Taperoo track was pretty easy, and showed signs of recent rains keeping things looking unusually green for this time of year.....

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    We joined up with jungle face at the Taperoo track/Sturt Hwy junction - he'd come straight up the border track himself. from there we continued north, planning to turn onto the Old Mail Route road and turn up onto Lindsay Island for the night's camp....
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    However, on arrival at the Mail Route Road, recent rains led to this on our arrival.......

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    So we decided to head straight up to the river, and try and follow the river as far east as we could, aiming to camp at a spot near lock 8, and meandered along some well-worn, very scenic sections...

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    Not having seen real South Australians up close before, the local farmer eventually got over the shock.....

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    We told him we might have to scoot down and pick up some of the closed road to get further east, but he didn't want to know about it....

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    Nonetheless, he helped plan out a route, and we bid him farewell...

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    So after a short detour via the mail road, we were back on riverside tracks, headed for our camp for the night...

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    And a stunning neck of the woods it turned out to be....

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    And jungle face got to action with his tow rope stocking up the fire wood pile...

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    Relaxing by the fire....

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    After exhausting our supply of steaks, snags and alcohol, we all turned in, ready for the relatively easy run into Pooncarie the next day...........(to be continued)
    #1
  2. DR Ozzy

    DR Ozzy Suzuki scum

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    816
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Gonescratchin in action on the Battlestar Galactica :D .....





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    #2
  3. DR Ozzy

    DR Ozzy Suzuki scum

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
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    816
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Heres the lads in action down the Old Loxton Road ...





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    #3
  4. DR Ozzy

    DR Ozzy Suzuki scum

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
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    Adelaide
    Round up time :D






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  5. TheDecepticon

    TheDecepticon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    442
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Looks and sounds like fun. Looking forward to more of the RR. :D
    #5
  6. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    489
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Looks good. Keep it coming:clap:clap:clap

    Cheers:thumb
    #6
  7. XRman

    XRman Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,908
    Location:
    SW Victoria Oz
    Hey Gonescratchin,

    Are you going to post your track on www.transaustraliatrail.com.au?

    I am heading up to Adelaide in the near future using Bull600's tracks and I am looking for a pretty way back to SW Victoria. This trip sounds like it will be fun.

    I have a DL650 now ( as well as th DRZ400) and I am looking for easy tracks to get my Adelaide based mates to tackle.
    #7
  8. DR Ozzy

    DR Ozzy Suzuki scum

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    816
    Location:
    Adelaide
    River tracks ...


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  9. DR Ozzy

    DR Ozzy Suzuki scum

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    816
    Location:
    Adelaide

    Let me know when you are coming and I will be your guide :clap
    #9
  10. Fipsy

    Fipsy form. gonescratchin

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    536
    Location:
    McLaren Flat, South Australia
    I can definitely get them(the tracks) to you, if not via 'transaustralia'. We only clipped the north-west corner of Murray Sunset, and then we went north east from there, so probably not a lot of it will be useful to you, but I'll get it to you nonetheless. I'd seriously consider taking up DR Ozzy's offer - he knows his way through Murray-Sunset very well (perhaps a little too well - probably got bodies buried all over the place!:huh) Guess it all depends on which way you plan on heading.

    Took us 2 years to get back up for this trip - might aim for May next year this time - don't want to wait so long this time.
    #10
  11. Fipsy

    Fipsy form. gonescratchin

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    536
    Location:
    McLaren Flat, South Australia
    Nice footage Paul - want to get it to me on disc again so I can combine yours, mine and Alan's?

    If you need postal details, PM me.
    #11
  12. Albi

    Albi Have pig will travel

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    199
    Location:
    Mallee Scrub VIC.
    Cool :clap love the firewood collection method..
    What route you taking to the Sunset?
    #12
  13. Fipsy

    Fipsy form. gonescratchin

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    McLaren Flat, South Australia
    We left Springton, and DR Ozzy led us up Pine Hut Rd to Swan Reach, and then onto Old Loxton Rd to Loxton, then down to Carwarp Rd, and turned up the Taperoo Track. Plenty of other ways to get in there to Murray Sunset, but we were keen to take in the route DR Ozzy had lined up for us.
    #13
  14. Fipsy

    Fipsy form. gonescratchin

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    536
    Location:
    McLaren Flat, South Australia
    Day 2 Murray River camp (near lock 8) to Pooncarie via Wentworth and up the Low/High Darling roads.

    After chatting with jungle face, and seeing that there were more closed sections of the Mail Route Rd to the east of us, we decided to hug the river as far east as we could, but had to back track a little to get around a large creek, then jumped onto a section of the mail route road, and quickly saw why so much of it was closed. From there it was an easy run into Wentworth, not before DR Ozzy ran out of fuel and a quick syphon from my mothership saw him through. After a fuel/bakery stop there, it was main dirt roads up to Pooncarie, dodging the numerous sheep and goats that tend to litter the area.

    It was going to be interesting to see the level of the Darling, as 2 years before, we saw it in flood, and access north of Pooncarie was marred on both sides of the river by floodwaters breaching the banks only a few kms north of Poon itself.

    Morning pow-wow to figure our way out...(I have no idea what Nick was trying to look at in the background :huh)
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    The sand bar just up from our camp site...
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    More scenic riverside tracks on our way to lock 8.......
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    Lock 8....
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    and on we went....
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    ...there were still some areas showing tell-tale signs of the amount of water that had been here recently....this one was particularly sloppy, and it was a case of "You go", "No YOU go", "Crap! It must be my turn!"
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    With the exception of Alan putting a foot out going through and covering the whole right side of his bike and leg with mud spray, everyone got through safely (though had Masterbrewer been there, I suspect there would have been some grand Kodak moments!!:lol3)

    Further down the track, we came to a large creek junction, as as none of us bothered fitting our snorkels or scuba gear, opted to turn back a little and head back down to the main mail road, not before DR Ozzy decided to do a quick recce across a foot bridge that proved to big a step up to get back on.
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    But with a push and shove, we got him over..
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    An overview of the junction....I think it was Mulcra Creek...
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    However, we found another creek crossing and DR Ozzy (once again!) couldn't help himself, but decided to bail at the last minute....
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    and once again the posse came to the rescue....
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    From there it was back onto the Mail Route Road, and the water damage soon became evident....
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    and more so here...
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    Through the gate into Kulnine station..
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    DR Ozzy was still figuring out his rule range! :lol3

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    ...and finally into Wentworth ....
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    Before long, we were on out way for the 120km run up the dirt to Pooncarie. I had developed a slow leak in the front tyre, only losing air on the rougher sections, so there were a handful of stops along the way to top up the front tyre. It was looking like a valve leak as there was no clear evidence of a puncture (this problem had occurred with other tyres before on the front, and left me suspicious of the tyre pressure sensor/valve assembly).

    Up the Low and High Darling Roads....
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    ...and over the Darling for the final stretch into Pooncarie...
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    Arriving at the camping area, we scouted around for a site, keeping well clear of the noisy school group that had taken refuge by the toilet block near the main entrance.

    This frame below shows the water levels of the Darling on this trip. the following picture, taken from almost identical position, shows the water level 2 years ago (the same week in May, 2012!). If you look at the picnic table in the first pic, you can see it just poking above the water level 2 years earlier!

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    The water level was just below the level of my hand in the shot...:huh

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    After setting up camp, we wondered up to the general store and met Val who was running the show. They carry most of the basic needs, and also do a mean burger with the works, along with a cooked breakky menu also.

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    Later on, it was up to the pub for dinner after a valiant wood collecting effort by all.

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    The pub is still owned by Trevor, however is now leased to Josh who appears to have things well under control.

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    The lads tucking into dinner...
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    In the photo of the parked bikes above, you can just make out 2 other bikes in the background, a wee strom, and an F800GS, owned by 2 Broken Hill based lads who were on their return from a trip down to Mildura and up the Arumpo Rd. We invited them to join us at camp, which they did, and spent the evening talking shit around the fire, as you do :freaky

    Another great day's riding, topped up with full bellies, toxic livers, and new found comrades.....

    It really just doesn't get much better than this! :clap

    Day 3...to be continued
    #14
  15. TonyRDR

    TonyRDR Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    300
    Location:
    South Australia
    Great RR mate:clap. I see you are much happier in sand now. Well done in handling the beast through the mud. I never quite got an handle on the 1150 through clay.
    Thanks again on all the help with the jacket. It is great.
    Cheers Tony
    #15
  16. TheDecepticon

    TheDecepticon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    442
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Wow, great pictures and looks like a lot of fun except for the muddy stuff! I too wouldn't mind your gpx file either, looks like a great trip so far. Hope you do post it to Trans Aust. :D
    #16
  17. Fipsy

    Fipsy form. gonescratchin

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    536
    Location:
    McLaren Flat, South Australia
    Hi Tony, after my botched sand attempts in Murray Sunset last August, I was determined to test my new resolve this trip (and exorcise those sand demons) which I pulled off pretty well, I thought :clap The worst of the sand was on the Saturday when we went through Belvedere Station - which often matched what I had trouble with previously, but this time I stuck to my guns, and stayed on the gas, and breezed though it - and actually really enjoyed it. I'm seriously contemplating another trip back into Murray Sunset like last time (Pheeny's, Rocket Lake etc) - I won't rest now till I've done it again, now that I'm more sure of handling the big girl in the sand. I certainly don't plan on tackling the more 'diabolical' southern tracks, but at least revisit the ones we did back then.

    Fortunately, the wheel tracks through the muddy stuff had a surprisingly firm base, not too slippery.

    I will post the GPX files up - just haven't got around to that yet. I'll post up here when they're up.
    #17
  18. Albi

    Albi Have pig will travel

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    199
    Location:
    Mallee Scrub VIC.
    Ahh, you've already been through.. My Bad :D
    The Murray-Sunset, Hattah-Kulkyne and Mungo/Willandra Lakes are my main riding spots..
    Enjoying the R/R! Cheers :1drink
    #18
  19. Fipsy

    Fipsy form. gonescratchin

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    McLaren Flat, South Australia

    I thought the pics might have given that away already!! :rofl

    Definitely looking forward to getting back up there, and exploring some more.
    #19
  20. DR Ozzy

    DR Ozzy Suzuki scum

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    816
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    Adelaide
    The long and unwinding road :D ...







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