The Gammon Ranges and Flinders Ranges

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MultiDV8, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. MultiDV8

    MultiDV8 Been here awhile

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    I like to have a couple of big rides each year. The last few years I’ve started at Birdsville and included parts of the Simpson Desert. Seeing that there had been a bit of water out that way and some of the tracks and PAR’s were closed I decided to try somewhere different this time.

    Last year I went to the Gammon Ranges as a side trip from Birdsville but ran out of time to explore them properly.

    So this year that was the destination and continue on to the Flinders Ranges which I’d visited by 4WD a few years ago.

    I fitted out my trusty DRZ with the big tank, new tyres and tubes and luggage rack. This year I made a windscreen to keep some of the wind off my face. I made a prototype a few months ago and when I tried it out I decided I’d got it right first go so that was it.

    I loaded up the ute and set off for Noccundra which was to be my starting point. I’d checked with the people at the Noccundra pub that it was OK to leave my ute there. It’s about 1200k drive to get there so I was ready for a beer and stayed the night in a donga at the pub.


    Maps of my route.

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    The Noccundra Pub. It was first built in the 1860’s and was rebuilt of sandstone after it burned down in 1882. It’s the second oldest continually licenced pub in Qld.

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    I headed down the Warry Gate Road towards the NSW border. At the border is the Warri Gate (I’m a bit confused about the 2 ways of spelling it.)


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    I crossed through the gate in to Cockroach County and into the Sturt National Park and turned right heading in the general direction of Cameron Corner.

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    It was getting late so I set up camp at the Fort Grey Campground. There was a cold southerly wind blowing all day and it was hard to find shelter from it. Despite the wind the flies were really bad, which I put down to being in NSW. Having a table was a luxury. Being a compliant and law abiding camper I paid my camping fee at the honesty box. I even obeyed the “No Fires” sign.


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    #1
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  2. MultiDV8

    MultiDV8 Been here awhile

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    The next day I kept going to Cameron Corner, refueled and kept heading west to Merty Merty and the Strzelecki Track. Here I turned left towards Lyndhurst.


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    Next stop was the Montecollina Bore for a break and try to get out of the wind for a while, not very successfully.

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    I kept going down the Strez and turned off onto the Moolawatana road towards Balcanoona.

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    The Dingo fence at Moolawatana


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    Time for another camp. I tried to get as much shelter from the wind as I could. At least there was plenty of firewood here.

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    Next day I continued to Balcanoona. It’s an old sheep station and is now the National Park headquarters. There is also some accommodation and a restored shearing shed.


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    After a stop at Balcanoona I headed up the road towards Arkaroola Village

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  3. MultiDV8

    MultiDV8 Been here awhile

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    I refueled at Arkaroola and kept going North to the Paralana Hot Springs.

    It was a very scenic ride but parts of the track were a bit “adventurous”, particularly with a fully loaded bike and 30L of fuel. I made it to the springs .


    This was Welcome Pound.on the way.

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    The actual springs were a bit of a disappointment. The water was covered in green scum and the water is radioactive, according to a warning sign..


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    After the Springs I retraced my track back to Arkaroola and kept going west, stopping to look at a few sights. This was The Pinnacles.


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    Then the Bolla Bollana Copper Smelter.

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    There’s some pretty tough country out there


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    Next stop was the Idninha Outstation. It was getting late and I was looking for somewhere to camp. The wind was still blowing and I considered camping in the building until I saw the piles of Kangaroo shit and dead Kangaroos. There were a few stacks of dead roos outside and the marks where they’d died inside. Nah ! I’ll look for somewhere else.


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    I had a bit of a navigation error and thought there was a camping area nearby. As it was getting late I found a spot that was reasonably sheltered. It turned out that the campground was a few k’s further on and I found it the next day. It would have been ideal, out of the wind.;

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  4. MultiDV8

    MultiDV8 Been here awhile

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    After another night of serenity I followed the track south through the ranges .


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    This eventually came out on the Arkaroola road with this very elaborate sign pointing where I wanted to go.


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    Back towards Balcanoona and onto the Copley Road. Here I headed West for about 20k’s and turned to the South through the Nantawarrina Indigenos Protected Area. This required a permit ($30). There was a self registration facility at the entry so it was all very easy.


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    The track through the IPA was a very interesting ride and the track was well maintained. I initially thought that $30 was a bit much but but after seeing it, and seeing maintenance taking place I decided it was worth it.

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    There were a couple of camping areas in the IPA and I came to Irish Well at the Southern end. Here I left the IPA and kept going towards Blinman. Again an easy and enjoyable ride.



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    The track


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    Some ruins.

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    The last gate.


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    The road towards Blinman


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    I got to Blinman and kept going to Angorochina Village. I’d heard good reports about Ango as a place to stay. It was still cold and the wind was still blowing so I checked into a cabin for 2 nights.

    I’d also gone 4 days without a beer and I was able to buy a 6 pack here. Serenity.

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  5. MultiDV8

    MultiDV8 Been here awhile

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    After refreshment I set out the next day to ride the Public Access Routes (PAR’s ). I was able to leave all my stuff in the cabin and without a full tank of fuel I had a much lighter bike.


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    I headed up towards the abandoned Nuccaleena Mine ruins. Along the way I suffered my first mechanical malfunction for the trip. One of the supports for my windscreen broke. I was able to repair it satisfactorily. The next day the other one broke and was similarly repaired., and those were the only problems I had..

    There’s a lot to be said for P7 - Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance., and always carry plenty of Zipties.

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    The track towards Nuccaleena


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    The remains of Nuccaleena copper mine and Smelter. It was built in 1862 and only operated for a couple of years before they decided it wasn’t viable and closed it down. There was a small town here.


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    Heading back along the PAR. Some truly picturesque country.

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    One that didn’t make it.

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  6. MultiDV8

    MultiDV8 Been here awhile

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    Partawarta Gap

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    The end of the PAR. It’s a good thing I’m an experienced 4WD operator

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    From the PAR’s I went back to Blinman and had a pie. Then I went south to the Flinders Ranges National Park and turned into the Brachina Gorge. I’d really left my run a bit late in the day because heading west I had the sun in my face and not so many good photo opportunities.


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    Then I came out on the main road, turned north and headed up the road to Parachilna where I went back to Angorichina. Just over 200k’s of amazing riding for the day.

    The Flinders ranges looking back from the road.

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  7. MultiDV8

    MultiDV8 Been here awhile

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    The next day I packed up at Angorichina and went back to the main road at Parachilna, then headed up towards Copley via Beltana. At Copley I had a Kangaroo and Claret pie at the Copley Bush Bakery and Quandong Café. No photo, this isn’t Facebook .

    From here I went back towards Balcanoona then turned off at Mt Serle and went around the western side of the Gammon Ranges. This track eventually joined up at Indinha where I had been a few days earlier.

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    I went back to Arkaroola for fuel then back to Balcanoona and headed back up the Moolawatana road.

    It was getting late so I found a camp site just up the road. I was able to get on the right side of the trees to shelter from the wind and there was plenty of firewood. Then just on dark the wind stopped. My best camp for the trip

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    The next morning the wind had started again. I continued up the road with the wind behind me for a change.
    Looking back towards the Gammon Ranges.

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    Eventually I rejoined the Strzelecki Track.

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    Then on to Innamincka.

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    Another night of comfort at the pub and refuel.

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    #7
  8. MultiDV8

    MultiDV8 Been here awhile

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    From Innamincka the shortest way back to Noccundra was all bitumen. There were a couple of non bitumen options but they were further, and as there’d been flooding and road closures in the area I bit the bullet and slabbed it all the way on bitumen with the wind in my face all the way.

    Eventually getting back to Qld.

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    I still had a way to go to get home. I had another 200k’s after Dalby

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    Cooper Creek. Not far upstream from the famous Burke and Wills Dig Tree.

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    Then back to the Warry Gate Road. Not far to go now.

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    Back to the Noccundra Pub after 9 days and 2500k’s

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    I loaded up, had a few beers and stayed the night. During the night I heard some unusual sounds outside. When I woke up it was raining, That was the sound I heard.

    If I’d been a day later I would have got wet.


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    Then I only had a 1200k Drive home. All done.
    #8
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  9. Radelaide

    Radelaide Adventurer

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    Awesome stuff !
    #9
  10. Brainflex

    Brainflex Been here awhile

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    Great trip, thanks for the ride report.
    #10
  11. UncleGra

    UncleGra Road Grime

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    Exlent fotos mate ..very natural..
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  12. dunc

    dunc Coddiwompler Supporter

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    great pics with a write up

    those early pics spoilt a little with the date stamp thou
    #12
  13. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi Supporter

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    nice!
    #13
  14. jobysw

    jobysw Adventurer

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    :clap
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  15. MultiDV8

    MultiDV8 Been here awhile

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    Yeah, It pissed me off too. I didn't realise the date stamp as on. It was a new camera and the stamp seems to turn on each time it powers up.
    #15
  16. Muddler

    Muddler Long timer

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    :clapTop ride and report
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  17. Hollalegs

    Hollalegs Adventurer

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    Thanks for sharing. Nice report.
    #17
  18. jtb

    jtb Long timer

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    Great report and pics! Thanks for sharing!
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  19. darren70

    darren70 I don't own a KTM

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    excellent trip mate, thanks for sharing.
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  20. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

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    Great ride, report, and photos. Thanks for posting.
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