Preparation The five couples on the trip met at Torumbarry (Vic) where our trip leader David (Major Tom) checked the cars and briefed us on the requirements for the trip.
& Gunbarrel Hwy Canning Stock Route At Torumbarry Home Mulga Park Rd, Ayers Rock,Olgas,Lassiters Cave, Giles Weather Station Mangi Rock Holes,Geraldton Bore,Carnegie Station,Wiluna Durba Springs,Lake Disappointment,Wells 1 to Talawanna Tk, Rudall River NP Georgia Bore, Thring Rock Kunawarritji, Bullant Camp, Lake Tobin, Breaden Hills, Stretch Lagoon Kununurra, Lake Argyle, Devils Marbles, Woomera Photos of the trip
The Route We would meet at Gol Gol, travel to Glendambo (first overnight in a cabin), then, via Coober Pedy & Mulga Park Rd (second night, bush camp) to Ayres Rock (Yulara). We spent two nights at Yulara then on via the Great Central Hwy to Giles Weather Station. We stayed at a caravan park at Warakurna Roadhouse near Giles. This was our first experience of caged fuel pumps with No Photos signs prominent. Giles Weather Station releases a balloon at 9am each morning. As we were on the border of WA we had to check the time carefully so we could arrive on time. From Giles to Wiluna is just south of west and about 1000Km. This would be our first check of our fuel usage as this section is similar to that experienced on the Canning. Heather Hwy is certainly corrugated and prepared us well for the corrugations of the Canning. At the end of the Heather Hwy we back tracked a little way down the Old Gunbarrell Hwy and camped at Mangi Rock Holes Other stopovers included Geraldton Bore, a great place to camp with good water. (we need to invest in heavy duty tent pegs!), Carnegie Station (only cattle and only flies on the trip). At Wiluna we camped out of town at Wiluna Laager, a good decision. Then it was on to the Canning Stock Route, sixteen days of intensive but interesting driving with a side track at Georgia Bore on the Talawanna Track to Rudall River NP. This was probably the roughest part of the whole trip (our UHF aerial snapped) but the two days on the Rudall River (and the two day stopover) made it worthwhile. We topped up our fuel at Cotton Creek. As fuel was $4.20 per litre we put in enough plus a little spare to get to Kunawarritji where we knew the fuel was only $3.20 per litre. Sand Dunes The sand dunes started just north of Well 10 near McConckey Hill, in the Little Sandy Dessert about 250Km from Wiluna. At first we made sure we had enough momentum but this gave a rather wild ride on the whopdy dos. When we slowed down our approach to about 15kph we were able to crest the dunes quite easily and more smoothly. We tallied over 900 sand dunes but it was hard to decide whether to count quite a few as they were small or double headed. Kunawarritji Kunawarritji is impressive. A lot of work has been done there including lovely facilities and accomodation. We had a shower and did our washing as well as restocking some food. A party of G Class Mercedes had enlisted the welding skills of one of the managers when the wheel mounts broke on the track. He welded them back together and reportedly welded Toyota onto the mounts. Corrugations A feature of the trip was the corrugations. We estimated about 9 million of them. They were a constant companion on the trip. The only question was how bad they would be. Opinions did vary hugely and after a few reports from oncoming conveys of the horrors or how easy it was ahead we just proceeded with no expectations. People who tried speed to smooth them invariably ended up with broken shockers (one vehicle had broken three before slowing down). But there were smooth roads in places where we were able to idle along in fourth. Do It Again Would we do it again? Certainly. What would we change? Not a lot, but we would take a lot more time with more two day stopovers. Our vehicle had leaf springs (Navara) and I would very much prefer coils.
Start of the Canning Relaxing by Rudall River
Fuel Economy There were five vehicles, four Cruisers and a Navara. All vehicles had very similar fuel consumption 14-15L per 100Km. (Why get a smaller motor?)  
Problems Start to Wiluna inc Gunbarrel: Loose fuel filter requiring two bolts & nuts to refit Canning exc Talawanna Tk Punctured side wall which did see out the Canning Two flat batteries in the one car Broken spring discovered after Stretch Lagoon but may well have happened earlier. photos show it still intact at Gravity Lake near Well 44 Talawanna Track Snapped UHF aerial Broken shock absorber mount  
Highlights Stretch Lagoon Rudall River NP Durba Springs Wildflowers                           
Bullant Camp between Well 38 & Lake Tobin
Using this sub web At each corner of the page you will see Previous (on left) and Next (on right) buttons. Using these buttons you can progress day by day through the trip. Alternatively, use the menubar to jump to specific pages. Info At the top right of each page you will see a summary of The date Kilometres travelled for the day The number of sand hills crossed (this appears only in the sandhill belt of the Canning)  
Sun 31th July : 125Km 53 sand hills