View Full Version : Adventures of the Wizard Ute

22nd April 2016, 02:34 PM
Eventually the time has come for the departure for the trip of a life time.
Early tomorrow morning I leave to cross the country to Carnarvon via Birdsville, Oodnadatta and Warburton and then head north to Kimberleys and the NT on the way home in October.
A new 4Terrain clutch and Desert Cooler radiator and new Bridgestone 697's were main installed as a precaution. All other normal checks done.
First stop will be St George and then Cunnamulla for dawn parade on Monday.

Really looking forward to trip and will post photos when I have internet access.


22nd April 2016, 02:36 PM
Have a great time Wizard! Look forward to the pics. Travel safe!

22nd April 2016, 03:01 PM
Enjoy yourself, take your time and stay safe.
Look forward to your pictures and trip report

Enjoy lol

22nd April 2016, 07:04 PM
Safe Travels mate - have a ball & take your time to savour every minute. Will look forward to any reports/photos.

22nd April 2016, 08:12 PM
As above..
Safe travels and enjoy the trip..

12th May 2016, 05:38 PM
Hi all

Eventually escaped Qld and S.A and into NT.
Some general comments-the bloody flies are more friendly than I remember when out in these regions and when the ute hit the open road, it was like letting a dog of a leash. Gone was the hard work moving with traffic and wide open spaces really suit the old 4.2TD's. Fuel economy has improved over the 3 weeks with the best of 12.91l/100k from Marree to Alice via the Oodoodnatta track and Stuart Highway from Marla. Average is about 13.3l/100k.
Diesel cost 104.9 at Hervey Bay when I left and prices vary a lot eg Cunnamulla was 105.9 for premium diesel, Marree 170, Birdsville 160 and Alice average 120, Yulara 173.9.
Speaking of prices, Marree and Birdsville now cater for the elite/yuppy tourist with a stubby in the bar at Marree over $9 and Birdsville a bit less. It is all silver service in the dining rooms for the tour operators. The smaller roadhouse are much better value price and social wise.
Had an issue with VMS lucky between Alice and Yulara so was able to ring them and they emailed a bunch of files I downloaded to unit and now all good. Unit is propbaly over 3 yrs old so out of warranty but service was excellent. Now have a problem with computer not recognizing camera to download photos. Think memory card is the problem so probably won't be able to get a new one until I hit West Coast.
See if you can see the common thread in first photos I upload in next post


12th May 2016, 05:56 PM
photos attached I hope

12th May 2016, 05:58 PM
next one. bloody internet is very slow here

12th May 2016, 06:01 PM
another one ..

12th May 2016, 06:03 PM
last one for today

28th May 2016, 06:14 PM
Some updates.
Will get to Karratha tomorrow for a few days.
Road report-Bitumen almost to Sth Aust border from Cunnamulla and then reasonably good gravel to Innamincka. Cordilla Downs road up to Birdsville was not to flash but bearable. I must have been dead set lucky with tyre pressure selection-29 front 32 back and corrugations were not a problem all the way to the coast except for a bit later.
Birdsville track and Oodoodnatta track are almost gravel super highways where you could easily do 100kph if you wanted to but I kept to 80/90 for comfort and fuel economy.
All bitumen from Marla to Alice and east and west McDonnell ranges and then to Ayres Rock.
The Great Central Road from Ayres Rock is also a fantastic gravel road with some bitumen near Warburton. First half of Heather Highway is average to good but hold on to your hats after the turn off to an aboriginal settlement. The last 35 klm took just over 2 hours to the junction with the Gunbarrel "highway" The Gunbarrel from there to Wiluna Shire boundry is not good. At best I averaged 20kph with I would suggest no maintenance form many many years. Long stretches of the original road are impassable so a diversion track has been created but some times it is so bad another diversion is started and on some occasions, a 3rd or 4th bypass in required.I'll see if I can upload some photos. From Wiluna to Meekatharra and then to Carnarvon are excellent.

29th May 2016, 07:54 AM
Certainly getting some miles behind you, and yes your fuel should improve as you burn
more gunk out of the motor. It can only do your motor good, lol

10th June 2016, 04:47 PM
Eventually arrived at Broome after the tommy tourist thing up the coast.
Exmouth is the pick of the spots so far although Carnarvon was good-especially the space museum. Spent 5 hours there and almost went back the following Saturday to see the visit of the last man to walk on the moon. Unfortunately I was to far away to make it back. Speaking of museums- the Ghan museum at Alice was great as well.
Coral Bay and Cable Beach are just over rated and from what I hear bloody expensive. Went for a look but moved on same day. As I said in previous post, the smaller roadhouses or camp grounds are far better value and less crowded. All the caravan parks I have stayed at have been less than half full except for Barn Hill on the long weekend. Up at Cape Leveque for anther day then off to Derby and the start of the real reason for the trip.
Will post photos when I can get faster internet connection as it takes for ever to upload at present.


12th June 2016, 09:40 AM
At Derby for a few days to replenish supplies and do some maintenance.
Internet is still a bit slow but will now upload some photos.

12th June 2016, 09:44 AM
West McDonnell ranges

12th June 2016, 09:48 AM
West McDonnell ranges again

12th June 2016, 09:50 AM
Guess where this is.

12th June 2016, 09:52 AM
Lucky we were not here back then

12th June 2016, 09:54 AM
Kennedy ranges. Just as impressive as Alice area

12th June 2016, 09:57 AM
Last one for today. The Blow Holes

12th June 2016, 12:29 PM
Looks like you are exploring some good country,

What route did you take from the red centre to the coast. (I have a simlar route in mind fo our first trip when we get away. Gary Junction Rd/CSR/Talawana Track/Mt AugustusNP/Kennedy Ranges/Carnarvon).

I'm guessing the blowholes are at Quobba near Carnarvon?

Tell me you didn't miss Karijini en route to the Kimberley. :)

Safe Travels,

13th July 2016, 02:14 PM
Hi Cuppa

From Alice to Warburton to Carnarvon via Heather and Gunbarrel through Gascoyne Junction. Saw Kennedy ranges during Gascoyne Junction stay. I will sit down one day and work out how much dirt road travel.
A bit of R & R at Katherine while I wait for a mate to join the rest of the trip in the NT.
So far I have broken the whip bit of aerial on bullbar, headlight protector, a large chip in windscreen, rear number plate has disappeared (perhaps stolen in Kununurra), bracket holding left rear tail light assembly and last exhaust hanger. Fencing wire is a marvelous invention. I had stopped 2 vehicles on Bungle Bungles road to tell them their front number plate was about to fall off and then my back one probable fell off on bitumen north of Halls Creek.
The Gibb River road is not to bad although busy towards the eastern end where the granite road base is quite sharp. A truck driver in Derby told me to pump up the tryes once on the granite otherwise the side walls would be cut. Good advice as so far I have only picked up a nail at Kununurra for a $35 repair. Bridgestone want $380 a tyre for the 697's in LT265/75X16 which cost $240 in Hervey Bay. Had to replace 2nd battery in Kununurra- $485 which is probably about $200 more than at home.
Road up to Mitchell Falls is not to flash with a lot of corrugations and after turn off to the falls, a lot of slow work because of rocky outcrops. I thought the road out 2 days later was not as bad as way in. Another driver agreed.
About to rain so better get n side.