12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Hornet42
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12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Unread post by Hornet42 » August 24th, 2014, 4:52 pm

I have just returned from the Kimberleys.
I spend 12 days doing the whole Carson river track solo in my defender 110.
This track would have to be the roughest remotest track in the county.
Starting at Kalumburu after refuelling at $2.47/litre.
I headed out to the turn off along the Carson river. Past the old homestead and camping on the Drysdale river crossing.
Day 2: Crossed the Drysdale river and headed for my first waypoint to walk into some rocky escarpment country.
Back on the track with washouts and rocky creek crossings.
I turned off the Carson track to go out to the King George river and camp for a few days.
I drove to within 4.5 kms of the King George falls
Someone had already been in there and made access that was in and out of the creek bed.
Trees had been cut down that were in the way and used to fill holes in the track.
There are lots of deep gullies along the track.
I managed to get hooked up on a log with the front diff and had to use the winch to get off it.
I went for a walk to the south west about 1km to have a look around and saw a snake .
I decided not to walk to the falls as it is a 9km round trip though very rough country and I have been there before by boat in the past.
Day 4 : Woke to thick fog over the river.
On the way out along the river I made a large adjustment to one of the side steps on the 4wd.
Back on the Carson River track I crossed the King George river near Oomarri.
As this is a sacred site I did not enter and continued on around Casuarina Creek and the Seppelt range.
I came to a huge bog hole about an acre in size right across the track.
It was from a spring on the hill side and you could see where someone had had fun in the mud.
I walked around and checked it out and managed to get through ok. It stank.
The track was starting to get rockier, lots of washouts and some small creek crossings.
Getting close to the Berkeley River you could see the start of the gorge in the distance.
I drove down into the river at the crossing and made camp.
Day 5: Woken up by brolgas near the car making a noise before they flew off.
The Engel was not happy and I found that one of the Auxiallary batteries had died.
I disconnected it and headed back along the track to another waypoint to walk into the Amphitheatre on the Berkeley River Gorge.
It was a 1.3km walk cross country into the gorge WOW what a view along the gorge and Amphitheatre. A boat from the Berkeley River lodge came up the river. After enjoying the view for an hour I headed back to the crossing to camp again. The Aux battery was now happy.
Day 6: I got the fishing rods sorted and headed off 1 km downstream to the end of the tidal push at the top rock bar. Seeing plenty of fish and a few crocs on the way.
There were lots of big queen fish at the rock bar, but they were not interested in my lures.
Heading further along up the top of the gorge I found another spot and dropped two good size Barra. I then walked back around the other side of the gorge to a small spring feed creek with a waterfall into the Berkeley River.
Having spent 6 hours around the gorge I got back to camp stuffed.
Day 7: The two brolgas woke me again. Crossing the river once again I could smell something, not realizing I had driven across and up the hill in low range with the hand brake on. I have since found that the wire on the hand brake warning switch under the car had been ripped out by something on the track as there are hundreds of small trees in the middle of the track.
Past the old Adamson Airfield I turned off down to the Berkeley River to camp for two more nights.
I caught 2 sooty grunter from the river and checked out the fresh water crocs on the rocks.
A day of rest around camp. Checked out the river that night with lots of red eyes and fish seen.
With a new moon and lots of stars I enjoyed the night noises by the river.
Day 9: I still haven’t seen any one else on the track.
After crossing the DeLancourt river I tried to find the track to Devils Pass without success.
I went on around towards Mt Nicholls, having trouble finding the track.
From here south the track kept disappearing and ending and having to double back to find another way around. I had to get out several times and walk around to see where the track was. The crossing of the DeLancourt river was overgrown with grass and small trees and was hard to see.
The track past Mt McMillan was through lots of grass country. Crossed the river again and lots of creeks and gullies. Camped in a cleared area between Mt Burns and Viotti Peak.
I had spent 8 hours driving the 70 kms on the track to cover 30kms as the crow flies.
Day 10: The track climbed Viotti Peak being very steep and rocky, rocky, and did I mention rocky! Very slow 1st gear low range up the hill.
I checked underneath the 4wd at the top of the hill and found I had bent the track rod on the steering. It was ok to drive on the track and continue.
The track got very rocky and steep down hills.
Finally out of the rocks for a while the track went on to the Forrest River tidal mud flats. There were lots of wild horses. The track across the mud flats went for miles and you could see there had only been a few vehicles out there.
You could see where yesterdays high tide wet mud was close to the track. A few more days on a building tide and the track would have been under.
The track came out at the Barge landing at Oombulgurri.
I drove around the deserted town to find the track out of town.
The town is overgrown with no one living there for a couple of years. It has been taken over by horses.
The track out of town is back into the rocks.
I went to the lookout over the Forrest River Gorge
Great View down into the Forrest River.
Back to the rocks on the track and to the river crossing down in the gorge. Very rocky and rough crossing. I checked out how to get across first.
Got half way across and camped in the middle of the river on the only flat spot I could find. There were only pools of water with one small croc seen that night.
In 8 hours I had driven 58km on the track to cover 34km as the crow flies.
Day 11: Lots of boulders make up the track out of the river to a very steep rocky climb up the southern back. Slow going up and down lots of rocks. Onto Warambur Creek Crossing.
Had a look around the gorge. The exit has big boulders to drive over. Further along crossed Warambur creek again.
From the top of a hill you could see the first views of the Cockburn Range in the distance.
Crossing a small creek before the Durack River a small croc took off from the crossing into the water.
I drove down into the Durack river and camped on the track the only flat bit of ground.
Caught a small Barra in the fresh water pool near the end of the tidal push rock bar.
Day 12: Checked Durack River crossing.
500 meters of big boulders to drive over, no water. Drove into the riverbed straddling rocks.
Very slow to get across without damage.
This was the worst of all the crossings on the track.
I got part way across and another 4wd turned up behind me. We spoke for a while - they were the first vehicle I had seen in 11 days. They had been on the track 5 days and seen no one.
We both got across ok. From the top of a small hill you could get a great view of the Durack River gorge and the Cockburn Range.
Track was still steep in places with rock ledges.
I refuelled in the Wilson River while watching the tide come in. More rocks and gullies.
The track crossed the mud flats again and you could do 40km/hr which felt fast after going so slow for most of the track.
Bindoola Creek was the last creek crossing on the track before entering Home Valley Station. After driving through the gate I disengaged the center diff lock and the knob came off in my hand.
I had a couple of days at Home Valley. I removed the track rod and straightened it enough to drive back to Darwin.
The BFG MT KM2 coped well at 20 psi with no punctures.
A great trip and to now plan next years trek.

Peter Aawen
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Re: 12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Unread post by Peter Aawen » August 24th, 2014, 6:08 pm

Sounds fantastic!! Got any pics?!
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Hornet42
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Re: 12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Unread post by Hornet42 » August 25th, 2014, 6:14 pm

Hi Yes I have lots of photos but the file size is to big .regards Neil

TLC60S
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Re: 12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Unread post by TLC60S » August 25th, 2014, 11:55 pm

Sounds awsome cant wait to see the pictures
Cheers TLC60S

Peter Aawen
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Re: 12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Unread post by Peter Aawen » August 26th, 2014, 11:28 am

Hornet42
If you host the pics on photobucket or any other service like that, you should be able to re-size them there & then load them up here. OR, if they are on your computer, you should be able to load them here via the 'upload attachment' button under the text field in Post Reply. That will let you browse your computer for images, then upload the attachment to the Forum d/base, (no more than 6 images/attachements per post please) and it should re-size the images as it does the upload - then when you submit the post we get to see the pics in all their glory!!

If you want a hand with trying to do this, or have any hassles getting it to work, drop me a PM via the link under my username on the left & I'll do what I can to help! ;)
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Hornet42
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Joined: August 23rd, 2014, 6:37 pm

Re: 12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Unread post by Hornet42 » August 27th, 2014, 9:09 pm

2014-08-27.jpg
Hi . I finally got it to work . Enjoy the photos regards neil
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TLC60S
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Re: 12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Unread post by TLC60S » August 28th, 2014, 11:54 am

Photo's looks great mate
4WD Action should start doing trips for the DVD's to places like this cause it will make a difference to another steep hill on a mountain on the east coast as the only change we get if they do the Simmo or the Cape again.
Cheers TLC60S

dedly
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Re: 12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Unread post by dedly » October 26th, 2014, 8:54 am

Great Report Mate.
Did you get a permit or "Just Go"?
This is aboriginal Land, Closed to the General Public.
In 2015 "Just Over the Hill Tag-along Tours" will be offering limited number tag along tours. 08 9169 1995.

Hornet42
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Re: 12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Unread post by Hornet42 » December 28th, 2014, 2:57 pm

Hi Dedly .
I had a permit .
If you get the chance this is an increadable
trip.
regards neil

Roarts
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Re: 12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Unread post by Roarts » April 24th, 2015, 11:06 am

Hey bud ,
Love your pics and your blog
May I ask how you went about getting a permit
I plan to travel up there next year.
Many thanks
Ben

foxmcscrooge
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Re: 12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Unread post by foxmcscrooge » June 9th, 2015, 11:15 pm

Interesting read. I worked for Striker Resources for a few years many years ago. The main Striker sites were not far to the west of the Berkeley River crossing. I often went west to Kalumburu to meet up with barge landings. Went east a few times through Oombulgurri and on to Darwin for parts when the Drysdale was too high. We used to go down to a few of the bays east of the King George River mouth on occasion as well. Great country. Excellent fishing along the Berkeley and around Kalumburu. Did you happen to check out the old Ashmore and Seppelt Striker camps?

Juzza
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Re: 12 Days on the Carson River Track!

Unread post by Juzza » June 9th, 2015, 11:59 pm

Awesome -- just ... WoW !!!!! :waycool:

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