Melbourne to Darwin via the Birdsville Track
One month duration
Distance travelled: 10,000 kms ( 6200 miles )
Unsealed roads total: 3488 kms ( 2166 miles )
Total fuel cost: $1750 AUD ( $997.50 usd )
Total fuel used: 1676.72 litres ( 442.6 US gallons )
Average fuel consumption: 16.7 l/100 kms ( 14 US mpg, 16.8 imperial )
We undertook this trip in December 2000.
We ( my wife and daughter and my best mate Ken in his 98 XJ ) started from Melbourne and travelled to Tibooburra where we found horses walking by themselves down the main street. We then went across the Strzelecki Desert to the Strzelecki Track via Cameron's Corner where the states of Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia meet. This track is often called the 'roller coaster road' as it runs up and down sand dunes that have been topped with clay to make the going easier and a lot of fun as you can do about 50 mph and your stomach will drop over some of the steep ones.
Horses by themselves in Tibooburra and the dingo fence gate at Cameron's Corner.
We then went down the Strzelecki Track which is good gravel as it is used for access to the Moomba gas and oil fields and you can do 60 mph quite easily. We camped that night at Monte Collina Bore where the water comes out of the ground at around body temperature into a dam which makes a great spot to swim even though you are in the desert. It was then north to the town of Marree which is the start of the famous Birdsville Track which is 509 kms or 316 miles to the town of Birdsville on gravel all the way.
One of the old Ghan locomotives left behind and its engine block!
Had an encounter with a deadly 2 metre Taipan snake at Coopers Crossing where it first headed for Ken who stood very still until it went past. It then headed at a good walking pace towards our tent where it ran up our flywire tent door until I jumped up and stamped my feet to scare it away which worked and it continued on its way at that fast rate. We met only a couple of other people travelling on this track when we were there and none at all on the Inside Track which no one had been over for 18 months according to the owner of Mungeranie Roadhouse. This Inside Track was much more interesting than the main track but should only be attempted when there has not been rain for a long while as it crosses and runs along side Goyder Lagoon and it gets very muddy in black soil which will suck you down big time if it is wet.
Sunset at Cooper's Crossing and driving up the Birdsville 'Inside' Track.