Travel report: Great Victorian Desert; 30. June until 13. July 2012

Measurement of the vehicle
Terminal for Car Transport in Adelaide
IBS Land Cruiser HDJ100 is loaded
Motorrail Logo
Passengers on the train
Matt the Jackaroo (Australian Cowboy)

The trip was planned from Melbourne to Perth with the Indian Pacific Train of Great Southern Rail. So I was able to load the IBS LandCruiser HDJ100 to the train. I have crossed the Nullabor Plain in the past few years several times and I did not want this time to drive the 2800 km myself alone. The train runs this route from Adelaide to Perth twice a week. On an earlier trip in Western Australia, I had asked if the IBS LandCruiser HDJ100 fits to the train. The IBS LandCruiser fits theoretically, going with all the dimensions to the limits of the possible. This turned out during loading of the vehicle in Adelaide: The specialist controlling the dimensions of the vehicle took for longer than half an hour before it was decided to move the vehicle to the upper deck of the wagon. He was continuously measuring it. After deflating the tire, the vehicle was finally about 1 cm too high! The specialist for the loading finally gave the green light that the IBS LandCruiser remains on the train, but I had to sign a disclaimer. The reason the whole drama was a high-voltage power line across the railway line near Kalgoorlie. When asked how many vehicles were lost, the answer came from the specialist: a van went on fire, because the antenna was not inserted. The end of the story: When unloading, we found on the back of the roof yellow sanding marks, the car must have touched the line. We were lucky to let the vehicle start up again and could be discharged.

The 40-hour train journey was very long though, varied. While driving through the desert on the train the view changed constantly, the prospect of barren sand dunes to rocky desert to lush vegetation with high trees at the end. There are Pullman seats or small cabins up to luxury cabins various accommodation options available. 850AUD for traveling to Pullman seats with the vehicle along the route of 2800km to Perth. This is less than the cost of driving down self. On the train you will meet many interesting fellow travelers.

There was, for example, Matt the Jackaroo (Australian cowboy). With Great Southern Rail it was agreed that the train has stopped in the middle of the outback near Rawlinna and Matt can step out. It was truly a land cruiser pickup in the outback station ready and all his luggage was reloaded into the vehicle. A "small farm" with 30,000 sheep on the western end of the Nullarbor Plain was his goal.

Or Scott, who runs all over Australia, the big street machines "graders" to the thousands of kilometers "dirt roads" to correct holes and "corrugations".

Motor Rail Adelaide, car transport handling
Train from outside
Wagon for car transport
Locomotive of the train
When unloading the IBS LandCruiser
First Image from the desert of Desert Oak
sunset Hyden
Track 1 on the Mt.Holland
Track 2 on the Mt.Holland
Idyll with Kakatoos

In Perth, I've picked Hannes and after filling all the supplies we started heading east. First, we went over to Wave Rock Hyden (here is a much visited stone formation can be seen in the waveform), the starting point of Holland Track, which leads to Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. This track goes through some thick bush. As long as the track is dry, the driving is easy. Just before we started our journey, it must have rained heavily, so the track was very muddy in places, and provided with large mud holes. On our way we met with Rod and his family, who with his followers and HDJ100 was very fast. We sometimes had trouble keeping without a trailer, step. The mud holes he mastered without getting stuck once. With a gold mine we needed an hour to find the track again. Despite the tools and Moving Map waypoints we had to try out various tracks to find out what really led Track forward. Everywhere around was wood and the second day had a wooden stump pierced the side of the left front tire. This evening was spent to repair the tire, which was a long and costly exercise. The tires had to be ground down the inside of the patch to be properly glued. The fire helped the vulcanization of tires and was accelerating the process and then again mounted on the rim and inflated. Because it was tight in the morning still, we have re-installed on this vehicle.

In Kalgoorlie we filled again the supplies and went to McDonalds even with the laptop to the Internet and took contact to our people in Europe. Slowly, I got a fever, I had to have been infected somewhere. In Kalgoorlie we tried to rent a cabin at a campground, but it was always the same game "two nights minimum stay for 140AUD per night", for 280AUD you can stay at the Hilton, but there is not this in Kalgoorlie, so we went to the next "mining town" Leonora. It was under the dark night and become very cold. Hannes took the wheel because I could not drive anymore in that state. Suddenly, a blast occurred and the front tire was flat again (after 400 km driven). Unpack tool again and change a tire, after half an hour, the vehicle was ready again and we continued the journey. Finally we had success in Leonora and booked for two "work container" with shower and heating (outside it was now already zero degrees). My fever had reached about the maximum, after a shower I was tired and sick in bed.

The next morning I was again fit to travel, we still had to buy a spare tire. We got  a 10ply tire 265/75R16 for "mining use" of 400AUD not really for a bargain. In the UHF radio the microphone had a defect. We had to search an electric store having ultrafine watchmaker screwdrivers to open the plug. In the parking lot we had to solder all contacts of the plug with our new mobile soldering system from Weller and behold, the radio was working again.

We wanted to travel the 1400km long and rarely traveled route to the Anne Beadell Highway from Laverton (WA) to Coober Pedy (SA). This route was in the 70s, created by Len Beadell, to open up the Outback and to measure the country. In addition to the Canning Stock Route Anne Beadell Highway is the second longest track through the outback, four permissions are needed for passage, with a permission from the Woomera Defence Dept. occurs, the area was used for nuclear tests 50 years ago, which occurs in certain areas still increased radiation.

Reifenreparatur auf die harte Tour Flugzeugwrack neben dem Track Düne auf dem Anne Beadell Hwy

Tire repair the hard way
Wreckage of the track
Dune on the Anne Beadell Highway
Anne Beadell Hywy 1
Anne Beadell Hywy 2
Anne Beadell Hywy 3
Cooking on the move gets your spirits
Even with the headlamp, it's fun

The route to the East is easy to find. A high level of stress caused by the many hours that it is sometimes slow pace for the move and you still always have to adapt to the constantly changing conditions. In the middle of the track there is increasing sandy. Because they are mostly along the dunes moved one progresses well. The 8km side track to the wreckage of the "gold field services" was the biggest challenge of driving technique, as had several sand dunes to be crossed. Each day we met a group of vehicles were traveling in the opposite direction. More and more Australians are traveling off-road camping trailers. On the track side of the Corrugations South Australia became increasingly stronger, the optimum speed is 50 to 60km / h. Responsive groups spoke of their horror trip with average speed of 25km / h I chose this route, including the test of our new Ultra 1600W Sine inverter, which is used to power the laptop for Moving Map navigation with Touratech. Since the vibrations were very strong, this was the optimum vibration test over days. PS: the vibrations were so strong that our 8.4 "touch screen monitor on the dashboard display is now suffering from interference. The new 1600W inverter has survived the impact well.

Tree in Sunset
Video Action move
Repairs on the dashboard on the way
In the vast Australian desert
Opal promotion machine
Minefield for opals in Coober Pedy
Warning sign on wells

In Coober Pedy, we made a day of rest, a "Opal Mining Tour" visited Opal Mine with Tom and we spent the rest of the day to make minor repairs and to wash our clothes, 2000km outback had left their marks. The pants and jackets were taken colors of outback and smelled like a brush fire.

Laverton we left with 290lt diesel, 120Lt water and food for 2 weeks. The car weighed 3.8t fully loaded approx. For the 1400km long distance and had therefore not required 220Lt 70Lt reserve

For communication, we had the Yaesu amateur radio station, UHF radio station, Turaya satellite phones and ePerb Resque broadcaster involved. The navigation was done with Garmin 60CS and Touratech moving map with Australian Survey Map on Dell Latitude laptop. All route details are now recorded.

This route is very far away from civilization. In case of accidents, breakdowns or snake bites can be very difficult to get medical or technical assistance on time. During the summer months must be expected in these areas with temperatures around 50 ° C, which are then barely travelers on the road.

Along the route it has a variety of camping facilities, we cook exclusively with wood, as it is everywhere available. (in the SA Use of Camp Fire over the summer months is not allowed). In the winter, daytime temperatures to 25 ° C where it can be very cold at night, -5 ° C are possible on a regular basis. Good sleeping sacs will increase the comfort significantly.

These routes are in spite of all technical aids is still a big challenge and an adventure.

Beat Wyss IBS

Panorama in the Flinders Ranges
Crossing a creek in the Flinders Ranges, we are approaching the civilization