Author Topic: Anyone done this? Gary Junction via Kunawarritji to Marble Bar  (Read 1269 times)

Offline Wildmax

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 177
  • Member
    • View Profile
  • Location: Tasmania
Started planning next year’s trip, and for the middle part of our journey we’re looking for a new (for us) way to get from Alice Springs to the Kimberley coast.

Current thinking is to take the Gary Junction Road from Alice to Gary Junction, then the Jenkins Track to cross over the Canning into Kunawarritji.  Then on to the Wapet Road towards Punmu, up the Telfer Mine Road to Marble Bar, and on the bitumen to the coast.

So, a general shout out to see if anyone has done this towing a hybrid camper (ours is an AOR Eclipse, a bit over 2t loaded).

I’m not asking about track surface conditions because I’m well aware these change at short notice according the weather, traffic, season, and (maybe!) the occasional bit of maintenance.

But what I don’t want to do is find myself on something so narrow I can’t squeeze between the trees and the rocks without taking the sides out of the camper – we witnessed enough damaged rigs while tenting on the Canning and the Anne Beadell this year to know that some places are preferable without towing a hybrid.

If the direct route from Gary Junction via the Wapet and Telfer roads is not recommended, we’re considering alternative options such as taking the Gary Highway down to Windy Corner and then the Tallawana Track in to Newman.

Any comments from travellers who have tackled these options would be appreciated.
Cheers
Wildmax
MY2018 dual cab Hilux SR auto with all the ARB gear
Previously: TVan Canning MkIII
now: AOR Eclipse III + Black Wolf 210 tent

Offline Rob M

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 153
  • Member
    • View Profile
  • Do you own a Track Product?: Tvan
  • Location: Buderim , Qld
Re: Anyone done this? Gary Junction via Kunawarritji to Marble Bar
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 02:15:07 PM »
We found the road from Kunnawatji to Marble Bar very wide. Two vehicles could pass with ease. No problem with overhanging branches or rocks.
Towed the Tvan without any issues. A good wide graded road and not a track.
The last time we tried the Gary Junction track to Windy Corner and then the Talawana track in 2015 both we overgrown with grevillea and wattle. We also found that after a good wet season there is a Lake on the Talawana track about 17 km west of Windy Corner.
Previously 2009 Tvan Canning and now Topaz Series2 towed by Landcruier 200 series

Offline Wildmax

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 177
  • Member
    • View Profile
  • Location: Tasmania
Re: Anyone done this? Gary Junction via Kunawarritji to Marble Bar
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 03:30:20 PM »
Thanks for that Rob. Looks like a goer, subject to weather conditions at the time.
Wildmax
MY2018 dual cab Hilux SR auto with all the ARB gear
Previously: TVan Canning MkIII
now: AOR Eclipse III + Black Wolf 210 tent

Offline Pete and Lez

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 87
  • Member
    • View Profile
  • Do you own a Track Product?: Tvan
Re: Anyone done this? Gary Junction via Kunawarritji to Marble Bar
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2017, 04:42:11 PM »
We were on the Canning in April this year and the track to Windy Corner looked very overgrown, the Canning itself was very overgrown and quite tight in places. We were towing our T van.

We opted to exit on the Talawana and head for Newman at Georgia Bore, we had gone about 50km south of Georgia but our progress came to an end by excess water which we couldn't get around and we were a little time poor.

The Talawana was very wet but still easily passable, some "puddles" were the full width of the track and up to 500m long and over knee depth, they all had a very firm bottom though as semi trailers regularly use this track to get supplies to the communities.

Cheers
Peter
2015 76 Landcruiser GXL
2007 MK11 TVan Tanami

Offline mrs quilty

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 70
  • Member
    • View Profile
  • Do you own a Track Product?: Tvan
  • Location: Mt Eliza Vic
Re: Anyone done this? Gary Junction via Kunawarritji to Marble Bar
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2017, 04:56:07 PM »
We took the following route in June this year: Alice Springs along the Gary Junction Rd , Telfer Rd into Rudall River NP, Talawana Track to Newman newman to Karajini and the Hammersleys, Munjina Rd to the Marble Bar Rd. From Marble Bar to Carowine Gorge and then Muccan Shay Gap Rd (very scenic) and Border,one track to the Northern Highway. We also consideredGoing via Windy Corner and glad we didn't as we met people who said it was bush bashing to get through. The Gary Junction Rd was In Great condition and very beautiful, with a few nights stay at Jupiter Well.
Basically we had no issues and is a great way to head west.
Hope this helps
I should add that the northern access into Rudall River has about 4 sandy sections, we did get bogged, dug out easily, we just didn't have our tyre pressures low enough. But otherwise it is a reasonable but narrow in some places track.

Merilyn
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 05:24:59 PM by mrs quilty »
Merilyn
LC 200 GX
2013 Murranji

Offline Phil G

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 576
  • Member
    • View Profile
  • Do you own a Track Product?: Tvan
  • Location: Adelaide SA
Re: Anyone done this? Gary Junction via Kunawarritji to Marble Bar
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2017, 08:38:12 PM »
Done Marble bar to Alice twice now and last time was last year.
Road is usually well graded and no problem for your AOR. 
Plenty of fuel - we usually skip Kunawaritji and buy our fuel at Punmu (go to the shop up the back) then Kintore and Papunya if needed.  Check the opening times and days for each.  Much cheaper on the NT side of the border.  Good bush camps and there is a nice freecamp in a gorge about 20k west of Marble Bar.
Phil
2003 Tvan
2019 Landcruiser VDJ78 Troopcarrier

Offline mrs quilty

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 70
  • Member
    • View Profile
  • Do you own a Track Product?: Tvan
  • Location: Mt Eliza Vic
Re: Anyone done this? Gary Junction via Kunawarritji to Marble Bar
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2017, 09:57:49 PM »
Hi again,
fuel at Punmu was $3.20/litre but $2/litre for cash. We heard of other groups getting this discount as well, so not sure if it is ongoing. At Kunnawarritji it was $3.40/litre.

Merilyn
Merilyn
LC 200 GX
2013 Murranji

Offline Wildmax

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 177
  • Member
    • View Profile
  • Location: Tasmania
Re: Anyone done this? Gary Junction via Kunawarritji to Marble Bar
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2017, 10:41:57 PM »
Really good feedback - I'm feeling tempted to hook up and get going now (instead of feeling the chill of a Tasmanian winter because we had to come home a bit earlier than normal).
Thanks everyone.
Wildmax
MY2018 dual cab Hilux SR auto with all the ARB gear
Previously: TVan Canning MkIII
now: AOR Eclipse III + Black Wolf 210 tent

Offline dt

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 27
  • Member
    • View Profile
  • Do you own a Track Product?: Tvan
  • Location: Malmsbury, Victoria
Re: Anyone done this? Gary Junction via Kunawarritji to Marble Bar
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2017, 08:29:01 AM »
just to add: we came up the Garry Hwy two years ago then out along the Gary Junction Rd, my sister with a big AOR camper and us with the Tvan. The AOR had no troubles. The GJ Rd is a highway. The Gary Hwy a narrow track with close veg in sections and you have to dodge termite mound in the middle of the track. Great scenery. Little used. Friends came across the Wapet Road and GJ Road last month and said it was all in good condition. Fuel was $3:50 at the Canning. 
have fun
dt
david t.
2005 Tvan. 150 series Prado