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Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
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seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Free Camping on the Great Central Road - Kalgoorlie to Uluru - Australia

Update February 2013 -
I was thrilled to have this image I took of my son's 4WD on the Great Central Road approaching Warburton in the Great Victoria Desert, on the cover of the latest edition of Go Camping Australia magazine, 2013.

Read down further below the pic for my article about the Great Central Road printed in Go Camping Australia magazine, February-March 2012.



 February 2012

I wanted to share with you my latest published article - "Down the Centre" - published in "Go Camping Australia" magazine February to March 2012 edition.

It is about camping on The Great Central Road which runs from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Winton in Queenslands - although the article only deals with Kalgoorlie to Uluru - we haven't done the Alice Springs to Winton part yet - that one is still on our list.

The images were taken when we travelled across here with our son Paul and daughter-in-law Jen, and our two grandsons in July 2010 on the first leg of their 4-5 month half of Australia trip.

Here is the opening spread of article - with the starting paragraphs below - 


 The late afternoon sun cast a golden light over the spinifex heads as we pulled off the red dirt road and set up camp amongst desert oaks near Giles Creek on the western side of the Western Australian / Northern Territory border.

Our campsite was just one of numerous possible free bush campsites to be found when travelling The Great Central Road which is part of the seven connecting roads that form Australia’s unofficial “longest short cut” known as “The Outback Way”. The 2750 kilometre route runs through 10 bioregions from Laverton north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia through the Great Victoria and Gibson Deserts via Uluru and Alice Springs to Winton in Queensland.

The 1784km trip described here, from Kalgoorlie to Uluru, includes 1078km of gravel between Laverton and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), and takes about 3 to 4 days depending on how much time you have and what sight-seeing you do – or as in our case, how often you stop to take photos – and most travellers free-camp at bush campsites. To us bush camping means peaceful quietness and enjoying the bush without neighbours. It also means no toilets, showers or power, but the reward of sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows and looking up at the stars far outweighs any downside.

The Outback Way is one of Australia’s great remote driving treks so being prepared is important. An essential reference is The HEMA “The Outback Way” guide book which contains lots of useful information including possible campsites that aren’t necessarily signposted, as well as geological, historical and ecological information.  

This is the original image from the opening spread - It is an early morning shot of Yarla Kutjarra campsite , ninety four kilometres west of Warburton and just one of the free campsites to be found along the Great Central Road.  We were camped amongst the scrub in the lower foreground, and I climbed the outcrop before breakfast to get this shot.


This is another shot from the article - the dry bed of Giles Creek - just west of the Western Australian/Northern Territory border.  We camped near here.

One of my favourite shots from the article - approaching the WA-NT border. The Schwerin Mural Crescent Ranges clothed in early morning low cloud - 


 
Just east of Laverton the bitumen ends and the gravel begins.  We found the road in excellent condition, but this is dependent on when it was last graded and boggy sections may be encountered during wet weather.  Be aware of the blinding dust created by road trains and pull over to the edge of the road.


The distance for our particular trip from Kalgoorlie to Alice Springs - 2,227 kilometres (plus travel from Bunbury to Kalgoorlie) and then we returned from Alice Springs via the same route. 

You must be fully prepared for remote travel, and the campsites have no facilities. Diesel fuel and provisions are available at Laverton, Tkukayiria Roadhouse, Warburton, Warakurna Roadhouse and Yulara (Uluru).

The Great Central Road brought us to Australia’s heart, Uluru, and on our last evening Uluru dished up a spectacular sunset. 


To read this full article please see the February-March 2012 edition of Go Camping Australia.

 Further information:

Recommended reference: HEMA The Outback Way Atlas & Guide

Please note: Permits are required to travel across the Aboriginal Lands that the Great Central Road travels through.  The permit is free and you can download from the net -
Western Australia - http://www.daa.wa.gov.au/en/Entry-Permits/EP_Y_PermitForm/
Northern Territory - http://www.clc.org.au/articles/info/application-for-an-entry-permit

You will need to purchase a permit to visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.  This can be purchased when you arrive.


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I hope you enjoyed the post.

 

3 comments:

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