Great tracks in the Wyperfield Park

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Yesterday we explored some more of the Big Desert area. We camped at the lovely Casuarina Campground ( point D on the Google track below ). The kids loved the many kangaroos we saw on the way into the park from its entrance ( point A ) to the campground, at D. Young Brocky was wrapped when I sent him for a short walk back along the track as I aired down, and he saw a huge roo just sitting quietly in the trees watching proceedings. They are obviously very inquisitive.

from:Unknown street to:Snow Drift Trk to:pine Plains Rd to:Meridian Rd to:Snow Drift Trk to:Unknown street to:Unknown street to:Meridian Trk to:-35.454378,142.08189 - Google Maps

Between points E and C there is a 'hidden valley'. An amazing little depression between the sand hills that you might first think is where the road follows a creek bed. But it cannot be a creek, as you drive down into it from each end. There are these beautiful gnarled and ancient trees lining the hill along each side. It is only about 600 metres long, and then you drive out into the real world again! Just a trick of how nature formed the sand hills I guess, and then the right plants took advantage of this little sheltered valley.

And then the many kangaroos that greeted us, as we drove into the camp site. Probably the same 'herd' I accidently walked through and startled when I went for a night walk last year to collect some firewood. The pounding of leaping 'roos all around me, but too dark to see any of them! Spooky!

We brought huge grins to the kids faces when we drove back through the 'hidden valley' the next morning to play on the giant sand drift at Snowdrift Picnic Area, at point F. Even quiet and reserved Chantelle found herself climbing back up the hill for a second time, when she saw the fun her younger brother and sister were having rolling down the hill. And Mum made it even more fun as she 'pleaded' with them not to do it, and then made a fuss when she tried to smack the sand off their clothes. All adding to the adventure. Not to mention the tightropes to be conquered as we all tried our skills on the wire rope set up to keep the fourbies from running riot also! Apparantly, according to the policeman I met later that day, 4x4 vehicles used to have fun climbing that same hill years ago, before it was roped off!

And then we drove down several tracks making our way to the Wonga Campground. This is the largest and the main campground in the Wyperfield Park. It would also be the most central to many of the park's points of interest. There are many places of interest to visit, as marked on our Meridian 'Victoria's Deserts' map. I bought these from our local ARB in Elizabeth. Very helpful, showing all the campgrounds and their facilities, plus the places to 'go and see'.

Not far from Wonga are the Lake Brambuk Nature Walk, the Tyakil Nature Walk, the Desert Walk, the Eastern Lookout Nature Tour and many marked lookouts.

And there are enough four wheel drive tracks to keep you happy for many days of exploring, all within a 30km radius from the North East to South West of Wonga. There are many information plaques next to huts and farm equipment, explaining the history and heritage of the area.

I find that this large 'corner' of the Big Desert is the most beautiful. It is called a Pine - Buloke woodland. An ecosystem with very few Eucalyptus ( 'gum' ) trees. There are four main tree species according to this article I found, and that is what gives this area its 'special' character for me;

Victorian Ecosystems - Pine-Buloke Woodland

Three of these trees are the Cyprus-Pine, the Buloke and the Belah. I cannot pin down the name of the fourth. None of them have proper leaves, and are all a primitive, or early, form of trees that existed before evolution produced the leaf as found on most trees today.

Brocky found the pine needles on the fallen timber were just the thing to make the fire come back to life. Better than newspapers. He made me fill my spare bag with them ready to light the fire the next day!

Unfortunately, the other thing I find interesting could be to do with the early farming activities. There are many clearings that you come across as you drive along the tracks. This gives your eyes a rest from the endless Eucalypt monotony that surrounds you in other parts of the Big Desert - such as along the Milmed Rock Track! And these clearings were probably caused by the damage done by grazing sheep and the rabbits.
 

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millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
So these tracks give the driver a wonderful variety of landscapes. One moment you are passing through a fascinating forest, and the next you are out into an open space, with a view into the distance. The winding, sandy roads keep you on your toes, as they climb up and around gentle dunes. And all the time the lovely bushland of various species, and in varying density, around you. Just like the Flinders - something new and interesting over every hill and around every corner!

Two of the tracks were closed, and we had to change our route. The Plain Track just south of the Snowdrift Picnic Area, and then the Meridian Track about 4 km south of the Casuarina Campground. So we first made a detour along the beautiful Racecourse Track (actually called Emu Flat Track on the Google Map ), southeast of the Pine Plains Lodge, and then again along Moonah Track, Eagle Track and onto the North South Track that eventually brought us to our lunch stop at the Wonga Campgrounds.

from:Ginap Trk to:park Rd to:Rainbow Yaapeet Rd to:Rainbow Yaapeet Rd to:Albacutya Rd to:Kurnbrunin Rd to:Bullygall Rd to:Heinrich Rd to:-35.690206,141.710587 - Google Maps

Google does not allow me to trace the route down the Eagle Track, that joins point I on the map in the first post with point A on the map just above. But the Eagle Track is the solid brown line with no name, if you zoom in far enough to see it, that runs from I on the first map to A on the second! The Wonga Campground is at point B.

From there we made our way down to the little town of Yaapeet, and let the kids have a play on the equipment and tennis courts at the lovingly maintained Yaapeet Tennis club, behind the football oval, on the western side of the village. I was ‘bowled over’ by the lovely little Ford tractor that was set up in the middle of the play ground for the kids to play on. It was simply a work of art! Beautiful curved lines of the cast iron of the simple, large engine block. Especially the smooth transition along the full length of the block for the integral cast iron radiator 'hose' joining into the bottom of the radiator. And the same for the inlet pipe coming in to the top of the radiator! Sorry, no pics! And the simple but effective suspension seat, tyre-less steel wheels, with their width to provide support, like an aired down 4x4, and simple, raised, full width angled 'flutes' to provide grip in the mud and the sand. Much simpler and more effective than the best of our 'muddy' tread patterns!

Finally, we headed off for the Milmed Rock Track. As we drove along a single lane bitumen road, easterly from the junction at Albacutya, we came across the Albacutya International Airport, near point F.

BEWARE AS YOU TRAVEL DOWN THIS ROAD. the Jumbos and Airbuses need to share this bitumen strip with the cars, as they taxi down the side of the airstrip to join the queue waiting for clearance for take off! I can't see why they didn't just build a taxi-way in the wheat paddock on the north side of the runway. They do things a bit differently out here!

NOTE: On the Google Map, that Albacutya has been miss-positioned. Albacutya is actually to the south of Lake Albacutya, at point E.

By the time we found that we could not get through to the Big Billy Campground, about 90km north-west from here ( See the Milmed Rock Track info ) it was about 8.00pm, so we decided it was all too hard to pitch the tents in the rain, and we headed back to Adelaide.
 

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Ekki Adventurers

4x4 Earth Contributer
Millsy,
That was great Mate - full of info of what's around, Thanks
Oh and also
A herd of roos is
:D:D:D:D a mob of roos...... :D:D:D:D
 
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BEK

4x4 Earth Contributer
Well Mr mills another great report

Thank you again

... how is it you get to see more of our State than we do.

How is the MQ going ? did you get new tyres ?

From here you are looking like you may well be very ill in about 4 months
 

Poolman84

New Member
A mob of roos is a target! get it right!(obviously for us who are licensed to do so!)
Sound like a great long and peaceful drive, was there any real 4x4 or just touring?
 

LowLux

Moderator
Well Mr mills another great report

Thank you again

... how is it you get to see more of our State than we do.

How is the MQ going ? did you get new tyres ?

From here you are looking like you may well be very ill in about 4 months
As I said in a recent post, he seems to be getting round a bit of late. When is he actually at work? On ya Millsy, keep the reports comming.
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Thanks guys. Sometimes I get in the mood and let fly! Its pretty easy when you are still all hyped up after just coming home from a trip. Best to do it then, when its all still fresh upstairs! My memory drops out pretty quickly sometimes!

Hey BEK, will never forget that rice, prawns and rain-moths stew you cooked up that night!

Nup, missed the tyres. They went for over four hundred dollars. Way too much! I think I dropped out at about $380.

But the guy had an MQ just like mine. Its got good springs, and a re-conditioned cylinder head. He said I could have it for four hundred. A big end bearing is shot. Jenny said she wouldn't mind a change of scenery looking out the front window - swapping the spare parts VH Commy for the spare parts MQ! So a guy was looking very keenly at he VH yesterday. I said he could have it for $150.

Little Brocky named my old truck Hillary on Saturday, after I confessed that it did not have a name. And if I get that wrecked MQ to park next to my two old wooden caravans I guess they will start calling me Harold.

The old girl is still puffing along reasonably well. Still mucking around with trying to find the right combination of ignition timing, mixture setting on the LPG, rate of upper cylinder drips from the feed bottle, oil thickness, and trying a new air filter ( after all the water it took up at the Flinders ) to try to get the oil consumption and smoke under control. Both seem a little worse after the Flinders Trip for some reason! I don't think it likes getting pushed along at 90km/hr. I usually drive between 75 and 85. 80 km/hr is just sweet for a little worn out motor. It goes a long way on a litre of fuel at that speed also!

One day I will just have to stop all this hocus pocus and just 'do it'. Off with the head, new valve stem seals, maybe a valve grind or some new valves and hardened valve seats for the LPG, and new rings and big end bearings.

My mate that came with me on the weekend had a little drive of old Hillary, and then said I should buy his Hillux when the lease expires in 2 years! We went for pizzas last Sunday night in the Hillux. Must admit, it got me thinking. Its got a diesel in it, and a heater! Very powerful.

Cheers Mr BEK!
 
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millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
A mob of roos is a target! get it right!(obviously for us who are licensed to do so!)
Sound like a great long and peaceful drive, was there any real 4x4 or just touring?

Hi Poolman. The main 4x4 part of that trip was the soft sandy tracks at various places, and the slippin' and slidin' as we went through some muddy patches here and there with a tad too much enthusiasm.

The sandy sections were the first 10km or so after entering the Wyperfield Park area from Underbool. Then there was some soft going into the Snowdrift Picnic Area. Most of the sandy 4x4 only driving was in the tracks marked as such - the various tracks mentioned in the trip report heading down to Wonga Camground, about 40km roughly. And then of course the Pella Track, heading into the start of the Milmed Rock Track, and the 13km that we did of that track - twice over!

These sandy sections were a bit firmer than when I went through them on previous occasions, due to the winter rains, but not by much. Still quite heavy going, and the truck wanting to veer off through the thick sand in apparently random directions when you pushed it a bit hard and the wheels hit a rut or two.

Certainly could not have done these sandy tracks in a 2 wheel drive!
 
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BEK

4x4 Earth Contributer
Well Mr Millsy I reckon go for the Hilux give youself some comfort

Who knows even Jen may join you if you have a heater, more comfort and a greater guarrantee of getting home on time :)

Then when you get sick in November you may be able to do a quick reccie out east

No tinkering either but that me be a drawback for you.:D

All the best MR Millsy you only have 2 years to wait
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Too late BEK. I have just bought my next fourby. Will be picking it up Saturday week. Not sure whether Jenny is going to be happy though. It's that MQ I was telling you about.

Trouble is I have not got rid of the VH just yet. So there is either going to be two old bombs in the front yard, along with the two ancient bondwood caravans, or I might be looking for some where else to set up camp! Better get rid of that VH quickly - I can't cook!

Hey, that MQ was a bargain, and am sure its going to come in handy one day!

Am too young to swan around in a luxury car just yet.

Cheers, Millsy, er Harold, er Albert apparently - Jenny says Albert.
 
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LowLux

Moderator
Just what you need Millsy, a mix and match 4by. Better hope the wifey thinks you bought it for her then eh.
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Well Mr Millsy I reckon go for the Hilux give youself some comfort

Who knows even Jen may join you if you have a heater, more comfort and a greater guarrantee of getting home on time :)

Then when you get sick in November you may be able to do a quick reccie out east

No tinkering either but that me be a drawback for you.:D

All the best MR Millsy you only have 2 years to wait

Hey BEK, I would have to pay Jenny (heaps) to come out into the bush with me. She has just had a ride in the MQ twice. Once when I picked her up from the airport, when I first got it. Unfortunately I had not sorted out the leaky tailgate and she spent the 40km drive gagging and hanging her head out the window to get some fresh air! And she said it was uncomfortable and noisy. She has no sense of having fun in an old car! And she hates gum trees!

And is that 2 years something about my 'gold watch day'? Well I can't afford to retire now. Am having too much fun tearing around the tracks. I think I spend more on the chocolate bars and the FUIC than the LPG. It all adds up. And besides, I have a good wife and four cars to look after!

Cheers, Albert.
 
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millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Yeah LowLux. Everyone thinks I am mad. And now I am starting to believe them. My only consolation is that there are two or three other mad MQ nuts on the Patrol Forum!

How's your 4x4 training going? I need to get organized and do some too!

Cheers, Albert.
 
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LowLux

Moderator
Training has been good so far. Have had training in mud driving, water driving, sand driving, driving on side slopes and key stall starts on inclines and decents. So far have been signed off as passed on all, to date but there is still a long way to go because you have to move into second and third training and assessment sessions for each of these types of driving and they get progressively harder/more advanced.
 

BEK

4x4 Earth Contributer
Hey BEK, I would have to pay Jenny (heaps) to come out into the bush with me. She has jsut had a ride in the MQ twice. Once when I picked her up from the airport, when I first got it. Unfortunately I had not sorted out the leaky tailgate and she spent the 40km drive gagging and hanging her head out the window to get some fresh air! And she said it was uncomfortable and noisy. She has no sense of having fun in an old car! And she hates gum trees!

And is that 2 years something about my 'gold watch day'? Well I can't afford to retire now. Am having too much fun tearing around the tracks. I think I spend more on the chocolate bars and the FUIC than the LPG. It all adds up. And besides, I have a good wife and four cars too look after!

Cheers, Albert.

Millsy the two years is when the lease runs out

and I can guarrantee you Jen would go out if you had the limo to take her out in. Start with Day trips and work up to weekends at OTooles:D

Stop eating choccie bars and stop the FUIC :eek::eek: who know you maybe able to buy the new limo outright in two years:D:D

Just a thought
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Hey, why didn't I think of that. Now, let's see. 2 x FUIC a day for 2 years, and 2 chockies, . . . .

Hmmm! I don't want to play this game! I might get the right answer. I love my junk food too much.

On another thread I worked out how much I saved by using LPG for twenty years - about $60,000. When I told my mate, who came out to the Wyperfield with me, this amazing amount of money saved, he came back at me in about 1.2 seconds with "And yep, just about how much you have wasted on junk food in the same time!"

Well at least I don't smoke or drink the booze!
 

BEK

4x4 Earth Contributer
well we all have to have a vice

mine is coffee, booze and a wild wild woman

that latter only because I have too much of the second:rolleyes:
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Training has been good so far. Have had training in mud driving, water driving, sand driving, driving on side slopes and key stall starts on inclines and decents. So far have been signed off as passed on all, to date but there is still a long way to go because you have to move into second and third training and assessment sessions for each of these types of driving and they get progressively harder/more advanced.

Very impressive. Looks like Trish is getting right into it too, were they waders I saw her wearing into that bog hole. And biceps bulging on that hand winch.

Well done to both of you. Keep up the good work. Soon you will be instructors, and then you can show me how! I think I will need to get some decent tyres first!
 
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