Back home next week

The Doc is making tracks and will be back in Sydney next week, after 4 months on the road. The car has been serviced, bushes replaced, windscreen replaced, the electrical problem fixed (wire became exposed and was shorting on the towbar)  bonnet scoop upgraded, dents removed (mostly stone hits), front drag links upgraded, wheels aligned and the outside washed. The Patrol is running like new.

While in Ballina The Doc has been taking it easy, whale watching, watching some movies (Ant-Man, Fantastic 4 and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) and working on the car. Plus watching Series 1 to 6 of Inspector George Gently.

Time to go home to catch up on domestic matters and prepare for the upcoming New Zealand trip in September!

Ballina 20 Jan 2015 -0047 Ballina  5 Jan 2015 -0024

Yahoos, bogans and tossers

Gripe time.

The Doc is surprised that the number of accidents and fatalities in The Kimberly is not much higher. Some of the stupidity witnessed beggars belief.

The way people risk their lives and others is also of concern.

Fatalities

There was 3 fatalities on the trip. The first two were from the Mt Hart Aboriginal community. Both were not wearing seatbelts and were thrown from the car and killed on the Gibb River Road. An avoidable tragedy, if they were wearing seatbelts (the survivors were all wearing seatbelts).

The other was a young German tourist, 19 years old, who walked on the edge of a gorge and it gave way. He fell 20 meters and was killed. There were signs everyone in Karijini warning against this.

These tourist destinations do not draw much attention to the deaths, for obvious reasons. At Mitchell Falls and Karijini tourists die, and it is not an unusual event. A local said it happened most years at Karijini. Hint: if country folk put up a sign to warn of a danger, they mean it.

These poor souls paid a high price for making bad choices. But they are not alone. The Doc has grouped the others into Yahoos, Bogans and Tossers.

Yahoos

This group includes the litter bugs, who seem intent on ruining Australia. It will lead to one thing: locking up more parts of remote Australia. Shame on you.

A Ranger told me the Euros, or European tourists, were big offenders. While The Doc is at it, Euros please slow down, you are not driving on an Autobahn but rough, punishing outback roads. One Troopy was being driven so fast down the Cape Leveque Road it looked like it was on a pogo stick!!!!!!!!!!! You are not in control of your car.

Drawing “aliens” on mud flats at Wyndham probably also qualifiers for this group. Hint: think men’s genitals. One of the vistas from Five Rivers Lookout, click here.

Bogans

The Doc slowing down and moving to the side of the road is not an invitation to go flat out down the middle of the road covering him in rocks and dust. Bogan. Unfortunately, a very frequent occurrence.

Learn how to drive properly on outback roads, here are some hints.

When you see a trailer, table and chair in the campgound, it means someone is camped there, before you. So do not set up camp all around the table! Bogans.

Dual cab Hilux wins the award for the most overloaded car on the Gibb River Road.

Tossers

The group who endanger not only themselves but other road users. Like the Toyota 100 Series driver that sped past The Doc on the Gibb River Road.

The Toyota 80 Series driver who over took me on a dirt track, by driving on the side of the track at over 90kmh. Try using the UHF and let The Doc know you were there, he would happily pull over and let you pass safely.

The fool at Karijini who overtook The Doc as he was overtaking another car – a double takeover on a dirt track.

The rogue truckie who turned his high intensity light array when driving towards The Doc and left them on, deliberately. The sooner tossers like you lose their licence the better.

A lot of Prado drivers.

The Doc now feels better :)

 

GRR Return 2015  - 0086

Katherine to Kununurra – The Kimberley

The Doc is now writing up the more detailed reports of his recent Kimberley trip. Sydney to Katherine is already posted, click here.

Today we drive from Katherine to Kununurra, click here.

Here is a map of the whole trip, 27,000 kilometres in total by road, plus about another 1,500km by air.

KimberlyWholeTrip

AWC Sanctuaries

The Doc has managed to visit quite a few AWC sanctuaries now, including:

If you would like to know more about the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) and the great work they do, visit here.

The trip home

Over the past few weeks The Doc has made his back to the East Coast from the Australian West Coast. He is in Ballina, northern NSW having the car serviced and getting some minor repairs. Plus having a break from the road. Here is the trip back through the Great Central Road, Plenty Highway and Donaghue Highway – Australia’ longest shortcut. There was a “short” detour to AWC’s Newhaven Sanctuary in Central Australia. The GPS datalogger decided to stop working for a day, or The Doc forgot to turn it on!

Triphome

Kimberley Trip Trivia

The Doc decided to put some trivia together about the longest trip so far. Enjoy.

Time, distances and economy

  • the Kimberley/Pilbara Trip lasted 108 days;
  • total distance travelled was 27,000 kilometres exactly (what a coincidence!). The Patrol has now driven over 70,000 kilometres on The Excellent Adventure;
  • most kilometres travelled in one day, 1,032 kilometres;
  • average kilometres travelled each day was 250kms. In reality the figure was less, as 9,000kms was driven to and from the Kimberley which were concentrated days of driving;
  • best fuel economy was 12.4 litres per 100 kilometres. In 2WD, not towing, driving on the bitumen;
  • worst economy 15.1 litres per 100 kilometres. In 4WD, towing the trailer in sand at Cape Peron National Park;
  • average for the trip 14.4 litres per 100 kilometres, which makes sense as the trailer was attached for much of the trip. So the Pod Trailer adds about 2 litres per 100 kilometres, a modest increase compared to towing heavy trailers or caravans;
  • most expensive diesel was $2.50 a litre at Mt Barnett Station Roadhouse, Gibb River Road; and
  • total fuel bill, decided not to add it up!

Flights

Several flights were taken on the trip including:

  • helicopter trip over Purnalulu National Park (Bungle Bungle Range);
  • light plane flight out of Drysdale Station over Prince Regent River and the Mitchell Falls;
  • seaplane flight to the Horizontal Falls;
  • helicopter flight over the Horizontal Falls; and
  • 2 day helicopter trip over King Sound (Derby), Buccaneer Archipelago and the Artisan Range.

Corrugations

Over 60% of the trip was offroad. On badly corrugated roads, you can hit over 10 corrugations every metre (the four wheels do). A very, very conservative figure would be the car, trailer and driver went over 20 billion corrugations!!!! No wonder things break and get damaged.

Breakages

The breakages included:

  • hub cover on Patrol, it fell off and was lost on Charnley River Station;
  • broken wire on coolant alarm (it has broken twice before). Field repair that is still working;
  • striped thread on a shock absorber. The front shock was replaced (The Doc was carrying spares);
  • after a car service an ignition fuse started to blow, 6 times so far (still working on the cause);
  • front control arm bushes need replacement;
  • a broken windscreen 3 days before the trip finished. Thanks to the driver who did not slow down properly on the Plenty Highway. The Doc got more stone hits on the windscreen that morning than the rest of the trip combined;
  • rivets on an awning came out, thanks to the corrugations on the Plenty Highway on the return trip.

Tucker

Best meal, no contest, Restaurant at Mornington Wilderness Camp.