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Australia 2008

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leeds
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Full Name: Brendan

Australia 2008

Postby leeds » Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:11 am

Hi Folks, am currently sat in Maryborough Victoria with an hour or two to spare.

Dave and Pam suggested when we parted at end of OBC to keep you lot informed of my travels, so here goes.

On collecting my 110 from the port in Sydney after it had cleared customs, was on way to my brothers about 15 miles away, when 5 miles into the drive I got smoke coming from under bonnet. The electric fan wiring was alight! Good job I carry extinguishers. Since I had a week at big bros, got an auto sparky to check everything out and replace fan.

Bought an ussie sat nav and off to Broken Hill, it sent me via Waggawagga, Hays and Ivanhoe. An interesting routre but certainly not the shortest or quickest route! On way I notice my auxilary driving lights were not working and hand brake sensor playing up. I presume all to courtsey of the kind people with high pressure washers employed by Aussie immigration!

Lots of piccies have already been posted on OBC so I will skip that.

After OBC went to Adelaide to fly out to Singapore to meet up with Barbara. It was good to be out of the S,S & F for a while.

Anyway back to Adelaide, orgainised fitting of UHF and HF radios. CB's are a waste of space out here. These will be fitted next week. 110 refused to start in Adelaide. A bit of head scratching. Engine turned over ok. Had just refuelled from nearly empty. Air lock, crud, bad fuel??? Manually pumped lift pump, on third attempt it fired up. Got spare lift pump, considered replacing it. So far it has worked ok since. Why did it decide to play up??

Off to Melbourne to deliver 3 Mud Consoles to a fellow 110 owner via the Prince Highway (Limestone coast) and the Great Ocean Road (Shipwreck coast) The National parks out here have a differenrt attitude to 4WD and give out maps etc. Responsible 4WD is encouranged! Lots of beach/sand dune driving. Engine compressor is great. Have no worries about lowering tyre pressure to 15 psi as can have all 4 wheels back up to road pressure in 7 minutes :-)

Great Ocean road is claimed by Aussies as most scenic road in world. It is very impressive. No beach driving here as sheer cliffs abound, but can drive the headlands ok.

After the LR courier service had delivered goods to Melbourne , headded off to Grampians. Lots of 4WD tracks here. Some have been closed for seasonal reasons, all clearly marked. Did track called Hines track. Steep rocky uphill, with clay dams to prevent water erosion. Got some wheel spin close to top so stopped to consider options. realised about to get dark soon so decided to turn round and go back. By time turned round it was DARK. Night falls quickly here.

Anyway followed my tracks back and hit the sealed roads to Halls Gap. Just before Halls Gap a series of hairpin bends with an advisory 35 kph. With roos eating at side of road went into bends slowly. Good job as lost all side and head lights!! Lucas had struck. Drove into HG on top lights and hazards. First building was local cop shop! Gratefully they were all busy drinking cocoa!

Had internet access but no mobile access. Problem was light switch. Brian off Four + sent me part number. Michael (Mud Console guy) in Melbourne has sourced me the part and is bringing it out to Maryborough for me. Hopefully 110 will be up and running properly soon. No matter what spares you have you always need something else!


From here, will doi Little Desert, Big Desert and Border Track on way back to Adelaide

Will post some photos later


Regards

Brendan

leeds
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Full Name: Brendan

Postby leeds » Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:35 am

A few photos for you all

National Parks here have a better attitude to 4WD then in UK


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Beach scene on Princes Highway

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Not so easy to get to beaches on Great Ocean Highway

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Regards


Brendan

leeds
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Full Name: Brendan

Postby leeds » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:21 am

Got light switch sorted out ok. List price was A$310, Michael sourced one for A$35 about £16

Just to show that Aus is not all desert tracks or gravel roads and has some nice green lanes


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I have found out why guide times on tracks are so long. Ave speed as solo vehicle is about 10-15 mph, convoys are lucky to do 5-10 mph. Any faster and the undulations knock hell out of everything.

The desert routes are good and ones traveled on so far have been in decent state with decent signage.


One way but which way?


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The parks out here will divert tracks or close them to allow regeneration.


Border track runs for miles down SA/Victoria border. Cresting dunes with care. They do tend to run a one way system which helps avoids accidents

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Almost sunk without trace!


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Had a knocking noise from rear of 110, problem now solved!

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With the aid of Mr Angry Grinder


Am now sat in Adelaide waiting for an aerial fitting to be made so can have HF and UHF radios fitted.


Regards


Brendan

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davew
Chairman
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:54 pm
Location: Knaresborough
Full Name: Dave White

Postby davew » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:57 am

I'm sooooo jealous !

If/when we do another OBC I'm got to stay on for a while !

Bittersweet
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 6:35 pm
Location: Bradford
Full Name: Barbara Jones

Postby Bittersweet » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:43 pm

You're not the only one that's jealous, just wish I was there too. Ah well not long till the 19th July and hopefully I will have my pot off by then so I won't get plagued by sand.
Barbara

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pamw
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Location: Knaresborough, N Yorkshire
Full Name: Pam White

Postby pamw » Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:19 am

Thanks for the update and great pics, Brendan.

Like Dave, I'm v. jealous ! :D
Archaeology - my career in ruins !

leeds
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Full Name: Brendan

Postby leeds » Tue Jun 24, 2008 4:12 am

Pam, next time Dave suggests Australia, make sure he agrees to staying a bit longer. Like 2 or 3 months minimum! What can I say, great country, great people(apart from customs)and awesome scenery.

Join up with Aussies on camp site, you invited to fire, get cold beer thrust in your hand and get fed! Roast lamb and beef from their campfire cook pots is superb!

After leaving Adelaide with radios fitted, off I went to Flinders National Park. Unlike UK parks each park here have different fees structure. Flinders was A$7.50 to enter for as long as you like. Camp on national park site and it is A$10. Get a long drop facility.

Wilpena Pound is a touristic campsite and large but for A$11 well worth it as get hot,hot showers

Wilpena pound is a circular range of mountains with a flat area which was sheep farmed and then wheat. Now back to nature.

Some wonderful gorges in the Flinders. Unfortunately I lost whip aerial from HF radio. Not a happy bunny. Dont think it like the corrugations. At times the stream beds were better then the roads!

Underbody protection paid off as hit a full grown sheep at 55 mph. Luckily only damage was to sheep.

A few more photos for you all

Spare springs???

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Flinders Nat Park. Also my new aerials

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Stream beds sometimemade better driving then the roads

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A campsite visitor!


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Different campsite, different roo and joey


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Great Wall of China. I kid you not!

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Anyway off north soon. Towards White Cliff and Cliff Hanger Challenge

Regards

Brendan

leeds
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Full Name: Brendan

Postby leeds » Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:26 am

Currently sat in Broken Hill across the road from West Darling Hotel with a cup of coffee and a big slice of banana cake in front of me! Makes a welcome relief to camp tucker. From here head to White Cliff to spectate at the Ironman Cliff Hanger event. A possible challenge for Dave and Pam?????

Well have finally left the Adelaide region after had my 5 hour HF training course. 110 is now equipped with UHF and HF radios which are the standard fitted radio out here in 4 x 4. UHF has a much longer range then standard UK CB but is still basically line of sight. The HF radio has range of 1000+ km, only draw back is that you have to work out which frequency to use and that depends on time of day. It literally has hundreds of pre-tuned channels. Important ones are the Travellers channels worked by the VKS charity and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Even comes equipped with a panic button to contact RFDS! Hopefully I will never have to use that function!

Score card so far is sheep 1, Roo 1 and lots of near misses. On the tracks here you slow down if possible to give them a better chance but never brake heavily or swerve. Either of those courses of action could be disastrous for the vehicle.

Did some back tracking from Adelaide, camped last night at Yunta. Was told to camp in the rest area in middle of town and went to sleep to the roar of road trains. Was woken by the rumble of a real train and they are long as well.

Followed dirt tracks up to Arkaroola and explored some derelict mining sites on the way. Camped up at Arkaroola and given sheets of information. One sheet was a map with routes for 2WD cars , 4WD and 4WD with high ground clearance! So different from the UK attitude.

So far done about 6,000 miles. On bitumen road get 30-32 mpg. Worst tank was 22mpg but that was sand work at an average speed of 10 mpg. Gear is beginning to show signs of being well used after 6 weeks on the road. Set up camp has fallen into a good routine. Can get tent up and evening meal cooked in about 30 minutes. Now all I need to do is get into a habit of finding a camp site before it is pitch black

Went up the Old Strezlecki Track to Innamincka. It rained a few weeks ago and the desert tracks are still suffering after 83mm of rain fell in 48 hours about 5 weeks ago. Deep long puddles exist which are bypassed. The bypasses are bypassed in places which have their own bypasses! There are many more tracks on ground then on maps and GPS, also what is on map is not necessary on GPS which gives rise to fun and games. Must admit it is a relief to find a signpost to confirm my actual position. An individual section of a track can be over 100 miles long so discretion is used as main aim is to preserve and protect the 110. Rather then bash through regardless.

From Innamincka took the Birdsville Track and had a couple of wonderful campsites by desert lagoons. Peaceful and beautiful. Saw my first dingo as well. At Birdsville did not have enough time to cross the Simpson, so that is reserved for later on. Unfortunately my planned return route to Innamincka via Walkers Crossing was closed due to the rain and is likely to remain close for some months. Therefore it was a case of backtracking to Innamincka and then onto Camerons Corner (Junction NSW, Queensland and South A). Route to Broken Hill was 250+ miles which was a full days drive on dirt tracks with a gate to open and close every 5 miles. A right royal PIA when you are solo in a vehicle.

It was good to get a shower and get clothes washed. Off to White Cliff and then on to Sydney. Got the 110 booked in for a good session of TLC. Am sure there is another reason why I am going to Sydney;-)

Will post more photos when I get to Sydney.

Regards


Brendan

leeds
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Full Name: Brendan

Postby leeds » Thu Jul 17, 2008 1:01 am

Well I am back in Sydney. The 110 is getting some well deserved TLC.

Score so far is one sheep, 3 roos, 1 emu, 1 small brown bird,1 wedged tail eagle (just wounded) Damage to 110? Just a bent UHF aerial from eagle.

Distance covered so far is just short of 8,000 miles at average 25 mpg. It varies between 18 mpg to 33 mpg. Dirt roads seems to do 25 mpg but you spend a lot of time not in contact with the ground.

Cliff Hanger was very good. Dave and Pam should consider doing Cliff Hanger as well or instead of OBC. It is on one massive property 750 square miles(?) and has mud, rock sand winching etc on the one property with a central camp site. Also has advantage they feed you 3 times a day!


A couple of camp sites I found

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If only these walls could talk. Ruins are found in some unexpected places

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A major highway

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Dog Fence, the longest man made structure


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Am glad it was dry!

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NO I am not going to drive down there!


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Rangie in action


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Another Rangie kicking up dust


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This LR Hybrid provided lots of entertainment.


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Regards


Brendan

leeds
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Full Name: Brendan

Postby leeds » Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:19 pm

After the Cliff Hanger it was down to Sydney to get some TLC for the 110 and pick Barbara up from the airport and spend a few days with my brother. Then up to Brisbane to spend a weekend with some Land Rover enthusiasts known as the Ho Hars.

The Ho Hars red 130 Defender with rego plate RED 130

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Local birds

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After spending the weekend with the Ho Hars :D we went up to Fraser Island. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and only 4 x 4 are allowed on the island.. Whilst most visitors seem to spend their time on the beaches we actually preferred the inland roads.

Typical beach scene


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Beware of oncoming traffic!

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Low tyre pressure, high box, sandy track and tree root = Oooops


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Night time obstacle

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Glad I was not around when this dropped!


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Local wild life Eastern Yellow breasted robin??

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Ideas??

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Regards


Brendan

leeds
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Full Name: Brendan

Postby leeds » Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:56 am

Now sat in Cairns, the 110 getting some well desrved TLC. Barbara is on her way back to the UK and back to work.

After Fraser Island we headed up to the tip of Cape York. A few photos for you. The Old Telegraph Track is an interesting track but far too popular. The creek crossing at the northern end has killed a minimum of 19 vehicles in 9 weeks. Lower end of track has killed another 5 vehicles minimum. Al the crossings are relatively straightforward in the dry season if you walk the crossing and dont have an overloaded vehicle.

Typical creek crossings

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Crossed a few log bridges as well

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Rescued a hilux as it was blowing white smoke and Engel fridge inside car was underwater


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Some nice sunsets

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This is as far north as you can get with a vehuicle on mainland Australia


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This is about 200 metres away from last photo

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Entering a creek

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The CREB track was harder then the Old Telegraph Track. I would not want to attempt it after rain!

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The slopes were like brick house ends. Think of the red hill at Great Ayton then make it a few hundred feet high. This photo only gives a general impression

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Hope you are enjoying photos

Regards

Brendan

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davew
Chairman
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Location: Knaresborough
Full Name: Dave White

Postby davew » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:08 am

Still looks amazing, still jealous as hell !

Glad to see the 110 still going strong :)

TwoSheds
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Full Name: Roger Watkinson

Postby TwoSheds » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:41 pm

Great pics! How much longer have you got out there?

leeds
Posts: 327
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: West Yorkshire
Full Name: Brendan

Postby leeds » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:00 am

TwoSheds wrote:Great pics! How much longer have you got out there?


Errrr not sure if I should answer that! Lets just say I am back in Yorkshire for Christmas.

So far done over 12,000 miles and I reckon 9-10,000 were on dirt/gravel roads.

Leaving Cairns now and heading acrss the top of Australia. Hope to get a permit to go up into Arnheimland. Otherwise it will be Gibbs River Road in a few weeks time.

B is now back at work. Jon from Venture verland will join me in November.

Will post more photos/progress reports as and when

Regards


Brendan

Bittersweet
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 6:35 pm
Location: Bradford
Full Name: Barbara Jones

Postby Bittersweet » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:32 pm

I'm back in the real world now and already missing the wide open spaces. Bren has now headed west into the Northern Territories with a view to going into the Kimberleys and doing the Gibb River before he sees me in Singapore in October.
And despite Bren saying I would get bored with them, I never tired of spotting Roos and wallabies ( I put it down to watching too much Skippy at an impressionable age)
Barbara


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