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Tibooburra, Cameron's Corner, Birdsville to Coober Pedy

Posted: August 15th, 2018, 10:41 am
by lockey56
I am planning a trip going through Broken Hill up to Tibooburra, Cameron’s Corner, then to Innamincka via Old Strzelecki from Merty Merty until it meets up with the new road and then on to Innamincka using the “new” road. From there we will visit the Dig Tree, then travel north until we re-join the Cordillo Downs road and on to Birdsville. From there we plan to travel down the Birdsville track to Maree, turn right and head to Oodnadatta on the Oodnadatta track and then turn south heading for Coober Pedy, then back home on the bitumen.

There will be 2 vehicles making the trip. My 2007 BT-50 Dual cab with all the fruit (except winch) and a 2-year-old Navara Dual cab 2WD which has all-terrain tyres and a suspension lift kit (small lift) and upgraded shockers. I think it should be okay (depending on the weather, of course) but want to know what is the general consensus regarding the 2WD making this trip? Only asking regarding capability, we will be carrying everything needed for remote area travel as I have done several of these types of trips myself in the past. Thanks!

Re: Tibooburra, Cameron's Corner, Birdsville to Coober Pedy

Posted: August 15th, 2018, 2:04 pm
by Peter Aawen
Hi Lockeye, welcome to the Forum. :thumb:

I really don't think there's anything in that lot which would be too hard for a basically competent driver in a 2WD with reasonable ground clearance given relatively good weather, especially if it's travelling in company in a 4WD with std recovery gear on hand. It'd probably be a good idea to make sure the 2WD Navara has rated Recovery Hooks up front so you can hook up a load equalising bridle to give it a hand if required; & the same at the rear, or at least a good tow hitch with a removable ball & tongue assembly (cos you simply never recover off a towball!) but you can slip a tow or snatch strap into a 50mm reciever & use the high tensile pin thru the eye to secure it there, knowing the tow hitch should be well braced & secured with HT bolts spreading the load across the rear chassis &/or sub-frame.

But regardless, given a well maintained vehicle, some reasonable driving, good weather, & a bit of care, you really shouldn't have any hassles! Remember, most of those roads were opened up by 2WD vehicles... sure, they might've done it a whole lot tougher back then, and there's no denying that it is going to be a little harder on the vehicle, plus it will be a lot harder if not impossible if things get greasy or wet, but you certainly won't be the first to do it and you aren't likely to be the last to take a 2WD out there either. ;)

Now, all that said, while it's well worth ducking in on the Cordillo road to visit Cordillo Downs & the biiiig shearing shed there, I'd strongly suggest that you return back the 40 odd km to Arrabury where you turned in & then continue on heading North on that road up to the Birdsville Developmental Road (fm Windorah) & follow it into Birdsville past Betoota (locality & pub ruins) simply for the more enjoyable scenery & safer driving.... even if it's not necessarily anything much 'easier' & it is a bit longer, you'll still probably get into Birdsville quicker. Once you pass Cordillo, unless it's recently been graded between Caldelga & Cordillo Downs (& sometimes even when it has!) the Cordillo Road is usually a real pig that's just not all that great for ANYTHING driving on it, especially if you also hafta contend with the road trains that frequently use it (altho they usually only use it going out cos it's often too hard on the livestock when they are heading back East or South!) but that does mean you could get stuck behind one... or more! That's really not fun any time or travelling in either direction, but it's definitely WAAAaaaaay less fun on a narrow track where it's pretty much impossible to pass them while moving in either direction & the dust & gibbers they throw up can destroy your car in moments - and the track is generally rutted & corrugated & covered in loose scree & sharply fractured gibbers & is extremely unkind to tyres, vehicles, & occupants alike!! Not only is it easier & safer on the tyres, vehicles, & the occupants to take the other road via Betoota, but the scenery is better that way too, if you travel at the right time affter rain you stand a good chance of seeing hillsides covered with Sturt Desert Pea & other Desert Wildflowers, the road is more open allowing for easier travelling so you can enjoy it a helluva lot more, plus you'll have more chance of making Birdsville with both vehicles, all their tyres, & all the occupants still in one piece! I've seen the Cordillo Road rattle bull bars off more than one vehicle, and I can tell you the damage caused in the resulting 'accident' when your bull bar drops onto the road in front of you while you're travelling at any speed is just not nice!! :eek:

So take your time, take the scenic route, and enjoy your trip! :thumb:

Re: Tibooburra, Cameron's Corner, Birdsville to Coober Pedy

Posted: August 16th, 2018, 11:40 am
by lockey56
Thanks for the feedback Peter. I actually travelled the Cordillo Downs Road going from Birdsville to Innamincka just over 10 years ago on the way back to Melbourne from Cape York so I have a pretty good idea of what you are saying. For me it is a "Must Do" because I am now into photography and just have to get a shot of that old car at Cadelga - iconic. Thanks for the update!