3 4WD TOUR­ING: Googs Track

Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Adventure -

Grade: Mod­er­ate-Chal­leng­ing

More info: There are camp­ing fees for the Yum­barra Con­ser­va­tion Park. See www.en­vi­ron­ment.sa.gov.au for de­tails or phone Ce­duna In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre on (08) 8625 3343.

SOUTH AUS­TRALIA’S GOOGS Track is sit­u­ated be­tween Lone Oak Sta­tion (30km north of Ce­duna) and the Trans Aus­tralian Rail­way, and is a handy short­cut for those trav­el­ling from Aus­tralia’s south coast to the Red Cen­tre. Along its 154km length, Googs Track in­cludes more than 300 sand dunes, lead­ing many to liken a trip along this iso­lated route through Yum­barra Con­ser­va­tion Park and Yellabinna Re­gional Re­serve to a miniSimp­son Desert ad­ven­ture.

Con­struc­tion of the track started in the north­ern end in 1955 and it stopped near Mount Finke. Some years later, in 1973, a lo­cal farmer by the name of John (Goog) Den­ton pushed a track from his Lone Oak Sta­tion bound­ary in the south to join up with the north­ern track, com­plet­ing what is now known as Googs Track in 1976.

The drive along Googs Track is over rel­a­tively firm sand and the dunes are not par­tic­u­larly high, but due to the iso­lated nature of the area it is ad­vised that trav­ellers have at least some sand driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. A ca­pa­ble 4WD is re­quired for this route and tyre pres­sures will need to be low­ered for the sandy sec­tions. Trav­ellers should also carry all the fuel, food and wa­ter re­quired for their in­tended stay and have ap­pro­pri­ate com­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment (sat­phone, PLB etc.).

Some high­lights along the route in­clude Googs Lake (a top spot to camp for a night) and Mount Finke (climb it for a great view of the sur­round­ing scrub coun­try). You’ll also find well-marked memo­ri­als to John (Goog) Den­ton and his son Dinger, who helped his fa­ther with con­struc­tion of the track.

Once you reach the Trans Aus­tralian Rail­way at the north­ern end of the track, it’s a 40km drive east to the ghost town of Tar­coola. Don’t ex­pect a coldie at the Wil­gena Ho­tel; it shut its doors back in 1999, and the last res­i­dent of the town pulled up stumps a cou­ple of years ago. From Tar­coola it’s an­other 120km or so to Glen­dambo on the Stu­art High­way. Make sure you check out the mag­nif­i­cent Lake Gaird­ner along the way; it’s the fourth largest salt lake in Aus­tralia. – Dean Mel­lor

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.