Rob and Tess's trips 'round oz
23rd Jul 2012
The Old Telegraph track and the Conqueror Christened!
The old Telegraph track is renowned for it’s remote hard core 4wding... and it didn’t disappoint!
We decided that as capable as our ‘Conqueror’ trailer is, we wouldn’t take our chances towing her through all of the rough creek crossings and up the muddy steep banks. So, we left her at the Bramwell Junction camping area and packed the tent and supplies for a trek up the southern part of the track.
Within only 5 minutes of driving on the track we arrived at the Palm Creek crossing. This crossing is notorious for being one of the newest most difficult crossings of the track. With a steep rocky bank down and an even steeper muddy bank up most vehicles needed to winch themselves out or be snatch strapped by other vehicles. There was lots of excitement and entertainment watching 4wd’s attempting this crossing. With a bit of grunt and speed, Rob was very proud to be the only 4wd in the past 2 days to get up the bank without assistance! (No, you couldn’t wipe the grin off his face for days!!!)
At the next crossing I wasn’t so keen to cross the creek through the water in order to get good photos (croc waters!), so I decided to hitch a ride with another vehicle. Let’s just say that after nearly flipping on it’s lid, with me in it, I didn’t suggest getting in another car for the rest of the track, let alone getting in a Toyota!!!
We camped in the tent along the very pretty Dulhunty River. The kids loved the novelty of sleeping in the tent and swimming in the river and waterfalls (no crocs here). Though I gave a swim a miss after spotting a snake in the water...
The next morning we woke to discover that our back door lock on the Land Rover had jammed... with all of our food inside! (To get to the back of the car would require removing the barrier cage and inbuilt drawers!).Thankfully I had some snacks inside the car and our kind neighbours fed the kids breakfast!!! As you can imagine there were some choice words from Rob, combined with some pummelling and kicking to the door. (Not dissimilar to a child’s tantrum!)
We headed off with the intention of finishing the southern part of the track and making it back to the trailer before nightfall, where Rob could work on the door latch. Rob tried everything throughout the day to open the door, he punched and kicked it, he drove up steep banks and dropped it down rocks, but it finally took Gunshot creek (a notoriously steep embankment!) and Cockatoo crossing to finally budge the lock and release, just in time for lunch!
With relief we arrived back at the trailer to stay the night at Bramwell Junction. “Make sure you don’t hit that termite mound” I said as Rob was backing the Landie in to hitch on... BANG! Too late! The tow bar hit the mound with no damage to the car but the termite mound split and crumbled on the ground. He sheepishly checked to see that no one had seen what he had done!
The next day we travelled up the dirt development road to Canal creek, a free camping spot near Elliot falls. We didn’t go to the National Park camp grounds as they have a new system of online booking..... I’m not sure how this is supposed to work when you don’t have any internet or phone service for days anywhere nearby!!!
At Canal creek we found Paradise! We lucked in to an island camp, complete with picnic table and only 1 metre to the most pale, clear, aqua green, bath temperature water I have ever seen! It was the perfect depth for the kids to play safely for hours and we couldn’t resist staying here for 2 nights. It was also nice to have the place all to ourselves! As we drove up the creek into our island paradise with the Conqueror camper in tow we were proud of her agility and rugged off road capability, the steep bank was a little more challenging than first thought and a loud CRUNCH! Signalled the first dent in the front sill and the official christening of the Conqueror!
From Canal Creek we did a day trip without the Conqueror camper, up the northern part of the old telegraph track (4wd driving heaven!). There were many complicated and tricky creek crossings along the way, as well as breathtaking scenery. The most notorious and difficult was Nolan’s Brook crossing, a deep water crossing renown for swamping and drowning vehicles. We had heard that almost 40 vehicles had been written off, this month alone!
Rob was determined to take on the challenge of Nolan’s Brook crossing and after some lengthy watching and talking to others he built up the courage and took the plunge! Literally! As Rob dropped the Landie in the drink his nervous accelerator foot went hard, splashing him into water up over the bonnet! He steadily kept her moving through the water to the other side – success! Rob of course wants me to just gloss over the details of; the computer getting wet, the car jerking and farting all the way back to camp, being towed the final km by a Nissan, Rob drying out the computer on the gas stove, then the car starting like nothing had happened the next morning!!! (For a brief moment we were contemplating the awful prospect of phoning RACV and ending the trip!) – but, Rob is claiming success!
|23rd Jul 2012 The Landrover submarine at Nolan's Brook!|
|23rd Jul 2012 Palm Creek exit - one wheel off the ground!|
|23rd Jul 2012 Gun shot - chicken track!|
|23rd Jul 2012 The Canal Creek Conqueror Christening!|
|23rd Jul 2012 Our paradise camp on Canal Creek - the island straight ahead!|
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