'Back of Burra' on October long weekend

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Well we have finally settled on a date for the 'Back of Burra' trip - the October long weekend. So have a look at the details, and if you are interested let me know and I will add your name to the list.

There are two ways we could go about this;

CHOICE 1
We would head up to Burra Gorge on Friday arvo/evening of Friday 1st October. Next morning top up the tanks in Burra ( servo opens at 7.00am ) and then head out to Mongalata and up through the hills north of Burra. We leave the hills to head north east across the plains to Lillydale sheep station. Then turn east for 40 or 50km and then south for 20km or so to turn into the northern entrance of the Dangalli Conservation Park. At this point we are about 150 km north north west of Renmark.

We will camp in the Dangalli park on Saturday night, and then trek further down on Sunday to have a look through the wetlands of the Chowilla creeks and lake system.

Some people might want another night out camping, being a long weekend. So if that's the case some of the group could head for home on Sunday afternoon, while the others could head out to camp in the Sunset Country. Then Monday mornig do some tracks down the western end of the park and turn out when we think its time to head back to Adelaide. There is a track out of the park - Pheeney's Track, that takes us out to Meribah. Then across to Mannum, or down to Murray Bridge on the bitumen, depending where you live.

CHOICE 2
The other alternative, if people feel that heading up to Burra Gorge on Friday night is all too hard - Saturday afternoon/evening at Burra Gorge. Sunday to Dangalli Conservation Park north of Renmark. And then Monday a look through the Chowilla Wetlands. Then home.

We can decide on which of these over the next 10 weeks I guess.

I will put a few photos up to let you see what to look forward to. Basically easy tracks through different landscapes. No real four wheel challenges as such, just a chance to get out north and soak up the feeling of the remoteness, the ruggedness, and also the natural beauty. A touring trip. Some parts hilly, some parts involving long lonely stretches in the 'middle of no-where'. Some parts very vegetated and some have plenty of fresh water creeks and lakes and the water birds. If we go into the Sunset, some nice sandy tracks, as well as a few rocky ones, and a mixture of tough dry mallee and softer, greener trees further south. Plenty of animals to spot, or avoid if you are the driver - sheep, kangaroos, a few emus, and quite a few goats in places. Hopefully we can spot a wedge tailed eagle or two if we are lucky.

The roads are a bit dusty of course, so if there is no breeze on the day we will need to spread out a bit to allow the dust to settle between vehicles.

So feel free to ask for further details. I reckon we have 3 or 4 starters at this stage, and so there would be room for 3 or 4 more.

Here are the people we have so far;

Shane45 - Shane and Glenda
geoffsa - Geoff and Jean
Wilkat - Anthony, Kathy and Kelli
The Stink - Dwayne and Anna Marie
JackedSurf - Simon
Millsy - John
 
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WILKAT

Member
Hi again,
As I have already left a message in your other post for June,Kath & I think the October trip would be better for us.Wilkat.
 

Jacked Surf

Member
Same for me Millsy, This trip timed around October sounds great.

Gives me plenty of time to recoup the 4x4 budget after the Gawler Ranges Trip in July.

So put me down as going.
 

OGJON

New Member
since you're going through Burra it's well worth checking out Red Bank CP
very nice place
 

geoffsa

Member
As OGJON has said, Redbanks is a great spot for camping, that is where we will meet you anyway to save us heading south to Burra Gorge then back up to Redbanks (which you will pass nearby to head to Danggali.)

The sand will be a little softer that time of year too, although it is not much in the way of large dunes.

Millsy, we prefer option 1. But as you depart for the sunset country on Sunday, we will opt out and camp at Chowilla near a waterhole to come home on Monday.

cheers,

Geoff.
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Same for me Millsy, This trip timed around October sounds great.

Gives me plenty of time to recoup the 4x4 budget after the Gawler Ranges Trip in July.

So put me down as going.

Thanks Simon, I have added you onto the list that I have just put up on the first post. Let's hope the Gawler Ranges trip is kind to our rigs. I think we might be in for a bit of bone jarring corrugations up that way. Its almost like freshly laid bitumen in some parts of the October trip!

Problem is I discovered a bit of a pattern after a while. Whenever the track smoothed off like this, I let the speed build up from 70km/hr to 80km/hr thinking 'how good is this'. Yep, big mistake! Just as I was purring along at 80, a ditch appeared across the road, or in one case wombat holes enroaching out from the edge of the track. The worst 'Wake up mate!' were the critters. As I said before, scared the hell out of a kangaroo, emu, sheep and goat. Always when I let the speed build up. So 70km/hr seems to be the go if you don't want your front end/or fenders reshaped.

Catch up again in a few weeks up Port Augusta way. Hope you are all recovered by then.
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
As OGJON has said, Redbanks is a great spot for camping, that is where we will meet you anyway to save us heading south to Burra Gorge then back up to Redbanks (which you will pass nearby to head to Danggali.)

The sand will be a little softer that time of year too, although it is not much in the way of large dunes.

Millsy, we prefer option 1. But as you depart for the sunset country on Sunday, we will opt out and camp at Chowilla near a waterhole to come home on Monday.

cheers,

Geoff.

OK Geoff. I have often seen the Redbanks Park coloured in on the maps, but always heading off north and never had the time to stop and investigate. Not sure that I have actually seen it as I have driven past. Probably could if I had bothered to look in the right direction. I reckon I have seen the new Park a bit further up the Mongolata track, just off to the right. I think I saw the track leading into it coming off the one I was driving along.

Anyway, looks like we will get a look when we pcik you up on the way through at about 7.45 - 8.00am. We will need to zip into Burra at 7.00am to fill up at the servo.
 

geoffsa

Member
OK Geoff. I have often seen the Redbanks Park coloured in on the maps, but always heading off north and never had the time to stop and investigate. Not sure that I have actually seen it as I have driven past. Probably could if I had bothered to look in the right direction. I reckon I have seen the new Park a bit further up the Mongolata track, just off to the right. I think I saw the track leading into it coming off the one I was driving along.

Anyway, looks like we will get a look when we pcik you up on the way through at about 7.45 - 8.00am. We will need to zip into Burra at 7.00am to fill up at the servo.

Sounds good, we'll be ready. You will be in Danggali before lunch time leaving that early, so we should be able to do the centre track to the south. It's classified as 4WD, but it's easy.

The other park north east of Mongalata you mentioned is Caroona Creek Conservation Park. It is mainly mallee type country throughout. No 4WD'ing in the park, although it has been written as such in a couple of magazines. A couple of camp sites and not much more.
 

WILKAT

Member
What is everyone taking as there accomodation??? We still want to take our campertrailer,but still not sure?
We dont want to hold every one up if we get stuck,not that I think thats going to happen,but who knows what will happen out & about anywhere we/us travel??
Are any of the rds/trks very narrow?
I think that we would be ok,but I'm trying to reassure myself.
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
What is everyone taking as there accomodation??? We still want to take our campertrailer,but still not sure?
We dont want to hold every one up if we get stuck,not that I think thats going to happen,but who knows what will happen out & about anywhere we/us travel??
Are any of the rds/trks very narrow?
I think that we would be ok,but I'm trying to reassure myself.

Geoffsa could advise on how narrow he tracks get in the Dangalli. From the first 5km I did they were well wide enough for a camper, just like the roads all the way up from Burra.

But whether they become overgrown further in, maybe Geoff can tell us.

And the Chowilla tracks are quite OK for a camper also. But they look pretty claay like, so if it rains, or there has been a lot of rain . . . Might consider calling it off in that case anyway. We are out to enjoy the cruise, not to spend hours digging and retrieving!
 
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geoffsa

Member
Roads in Danggali are easy and reasonably wide WILKAT, so no problems. We have had our camper trailer in there without any problems. The sand is not as bad as you may think, so relax and start planning for a good run.

We are not sure yet whether we are taking our camper trailer, or maybe the rooftop tent. I wouldn't hestitate in taking the camper though, the roads are good. Dusty but good.

Also lots of room for camper trailers in the camp sites.
 

WILKAT

Member
Do you know if we can take our small dog 'Kara' with us? I know you can take your dog to 'some' National & Recreational Parks in SA,
I know you can't in N.S.W.
We are very responsible dog owners,but we don't want to get into trouble.
Just we have no one in SA to look after her,while away,for the 3 days.
Also is there any park pass's that need to be obtained ?

& thanks again for your info regarding this trip Geoffsa:).
 

geoffsa

Member
WILKAT, as far as I know pets are not allowed in any parks in SA. It would be a good idea to give the ranger a call if you are not sure, 8595 2111.

We did have a visit from the ranger while there last time, (February), so it is advisable to do the right thing. He is a ranger from the Berri area looking after Danggali too until they get a full time ranger in the park.

Fees are $6 per vehicle per night for camping and payable at a self registration point when entering the park.

Hope this helps,

Geoff.
 

WILKAT

Member
WILKAT, as far as I know pets are not allowed in any parks in SA. It would be a good idea to give the ranger a call if you are not sure, 8595 2111.

We did have a visit from the ranger while there last time, (February), so it is advisable to do the right thing. He is a ranger from the Berri area looking after Danggali too until they get a full time ranger in the park.

Fees are $6 per vehicle per night for camping and payable at a self registration point when entering the park.

Hope this helps,

Geoff.

Hi Geoff,
Only reason why I asked about dogs was,I was sure that in some book/guide that you could take dogs.I was suprised to,that you could take dogs in National/Regional/Conservation Parks in SA.Since you can't in most other states.
I have since found that guide (today) it was the SA National Parks Guide 2009,
just for future reference,
(these are the only dogs on leads parks in SA),

1)Belair National Park
2)Parra Wirra Recreational Park.
3)Innaminka Regional Park.
4)Chowilla Game Reserve & Regional Reserve.

Not that many ,but some.

Looks like we will be trying to look for a dog sitter????

Also thanks for overnight site costs,$6 a night is good.Thanks.Wilkat.
 

shane 45

Active Member
We are coming Millsy mate we will be sleeping in swags mate so it should be a good weekend just dont know about the friday night yet mate.
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
We are coming Millsy mate we will be sleeping in swags mate so it should be a good weekend just dont know about the friday night yet mate.

Hi Shane. If you can't get up to Burra Gorge Friday, and you don't want to get up real early to be at Burra by 7.45 or so, you could always meet us up at Dangalli.

Quick way to get there would be to just scoot up to Morgan on the black top, and the road from Dangalli pops out on the bitumen road just north of Morgan near the Golf Club - about 2 or 3km out of town. Then Dangalli is just about 130km or so up a nice leafy drive - the Morgan Mail Run Road. You could be getting there about the same time as us, if not a bit earlier, depending on when you leave Adelaide.

I just got back from another 700km trek. This time to check out some tracks in the Sunset Country. I did some tracks I have not done before, and checked out a couple of 'old' ones. One of them was all corrugated - the Millewa South Bore Track ( has been OK over the last couple of years ) so we would give that a miss. But the alternative trip south, running parallel a few km further west, , the Border Track from the Meribah entrance southward, was still nice, smooth and sandy. So if you are keen to keep going on the Monday, you have still got the Sunday and Monday with the rest of us - Chowilla and the Sunset.

Also found a nice dirt 'highway' tonight that joins Wanbi directly to Walkers Flat - then to Mount Pleasant and home. This for us northerners.

So there is another option, rather than having to lose sleep to try to catch us at Burra.
 
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millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
QUOTE
Looks like we will be trying to look for a dog sitter????

Or we could push on to the Chowilla reserve. And if you want to do some Sunset country on Monday morning, just keep the little fella in the car for about three hours! Is that possible, without being cruel?

Geoff thinks we would get to the Dangalli by lunch time. But I think it would be a fair bit later, since I did not get there till about 1.30, and I was not really stopping very much at all. It would be a lot slower in a group, and also with rest stops / 'get out and have a look' stops.

So it might mean we get to Chowilla just before or just after sunset. OK if you have a head torch, or some other decent lighting to help set up the camper or the tent, and to collect a bit of firewood. Have to check the firewood thing out. We might need to collect some on the way up, because I don't think you are allowed to collect wood in a national park. I might put the roof rack on so we can throw some up top before we get into the Dangalli or Chowilla parks.
 

geoffsa

Member
QUOTE
Looks like we will be trying to look for a dog sitter????

Or we could push on to the Chowilla reserve. And if you want to do some Sunset country on Monday morning, just keep the little fella in the car for about three hours! Is that possible, without being cruel?

Geoff thinks we would get to the Dangalli by lunch time. But I think it would be a fair bit later, since I did not get there till about 1.30, and I was not really stopping very much at all. It would be a lot slower in a group, and also with rest stops / 'get out and have a look' stops.

So it might mean we get to Chowilla just before or just after sunset. OK if you have a head torch, or some other decent lighting to help set up the camper or the tent, and to collect a bit of firewood. Have to check the firewood thing out. We might need to collect some on the way up, because I don't think you are allowed to collect wood in a national park. I might put the roof rack on so we can throw some up top before we get into the Dangalli or Chowilla parks.

Hey Millsy, we left Port Pirie at 8.00am and arrived in Danggali around lunch time with a convoy of 6, and this included the women checking out the flea market in Burra, stopping for one puncture and having rest stops. Max. speed around 75 kph on the good dirt road. This was taking the road from Burra past Redbanks CP to Pine Valley.
This is more direct than the road up from Morgan on the old mail road, it does join the old mail road at Pine Valley.

Firewood is supplied in Danggali at the camp sites.
 
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millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Ah, I see! I was planning a different route! But we can have a chat and make a change to the shortest route to Dangalli if that's what most would prefer.

I was thinking of showing people the hilly landscapes north of Burra before heading off out to the flat country. I think you know the views I am talking about, especially the Dare's Hill Summit Road, and then out to Collinsville. North to Mallet, east to the remnants of the little village of Ketchowla and on up to Lillydale.

I enjoy the different landscapes. The hills, the ruins of the mighty sheep stations, and then the wide open views and remoteness as you head up the tracks past Braemar station, Faraway Hills Outstation, Lillydale and Quondong Vale. Then south to the entrance of Dangalli. It adds about 80km to the entrance to Dangalli. But the purpose of the trip was not the destination, but the views and driving experiences along the way. Dangalli was just one of the experiences - not the focal point of the whole trip.

This is why I did the reco - to see what the views were along the Morgan Mail Road and decide which way would give the most value in terms of the overall experience.

Then again those tracks in the hills north of Burra will still be there for many years to come. There is such a thing as 'biting off more than you can chew'. Doing the longer route by myself is one thing. But when there is a group, including children, that is a bit different. There is also the issue of toilets. I had to use the shovel up north, and if we did the more direct route we would be arriving at Dangalli a lot earlier. Did you say there was a toilet at Dangalli Geoff?

So what do others have to say - the short way to Dangalli, or the longer route? Its your outing, so tell us which way you would prefer to go.

Here are the two choices, although I have had to put the original route up on two links since Google does not believe there is a ford across the creek!


Burra SA to Mawson Trl - Google Maps


Mawson Trl to Unknown road - Google Maps

On this Google map, Pine Creek is between B and C. But they have made a mistake. This is actually Ketchowla, and Pine Creek is about 14km north east of there.
D is Braemar homestead, E Lillydale homestead, F Quondong Vale, and H the entrance to the Danggali Conservation Park.

Eastern Rd to Morgan Mail Rd - Google Maps

C is Koomooloo homestead, Old Koomooloo homestead is half way between C and D, at the T junction, E is Canegrass homestead, and F is Pine Valley homestead.
 
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