Mt Dare Hotel

The word had obviously spread that coming the way we did was the better road to Mt Dare as there was a bit of traffic on it going both ways. The road was pretty good, apart from the last 10km to Mt Dare.

We filled up both tanks at Mt Dare, the guy had a grin on his face when we were filling up. Diesel was $2.17L we filled up with 113L, so $245 we travelled 871 km from Birdsville. Chris was thrilled at the fuel mileage we got.

Chatting to the bloke at Mt Dare he said the way we came was the best way to go back. Over the Finke Race weekend they had ran out of fuel for several days. He said even Alice Springs ran out of fuel. One night they made over 200 meals for dinner. He also said the grader was on it’s way to grade from Dalhousie to Purnie Bore but don’t know if it would be done by tomorrow when we are going back on it.

He also said the French Line was pretty torn up, rough and slow going and said we would be fed up of it by Birdsville and suggested another route. Have to say that we are advocates to not taking trailers across. Most people may do the right thing and lower tyre pressures but it only takes a few who don’t that ruin the track for other travellers.

After a bit of a look around inside we jumped back in the Ute for the next part of today’s journey.

Blood Creek and Federal Station

We have been up to watch every sunrise since we have been in the desert. My friend would be proud, just don’t tell her it rises later over here 😛 We had a big day ahead of us and wanted the option of being able to camp on route so we packed everything up and headed off early. We have also divided the day into 3 posts otherwise it would be too long.

We knew from past experience that the road to Mt Dare was pretty rough, several other people confirmed this at Dalhousie and suggested we take the road that leads past Blood Creek and Federal Station. We were considering going past them anyway so if it was a better road then that sealed the deal, only 13km longer.

All that is left of Federal is the old stock yards.

At Blood Creek the old windmill is still standing and turning next to an old well and some old water tanks.

Mt Dare, Finke & Chambers Pillar

Thursday 19th – We heard dingoes howling several times through the night. Well it was a hard decision but we decided to keep moving, so many wonderful things still to see and experience.

Our neighbours wanted a show and tell on the camper and wanted to see how quick it all packed up, we are getting pretty quick at doing it now. A few km’s up the road towards Mt Dare is the rubbish tip, good idea for all the people coming over the Simpson etc.

Wow oh wow, we called into 3 o’clock creek approx 13kms up the Mt Dare road from Dalhousie. Where there is a water tank that looks like its coming from a bore but they say it’s drinkable. We filled up our jerry can for showers. And there were hundreds a little finches drinking the water on the ground, along the black hose where the water dip, on the trees and fences around the tank, they were every where. We were able to get very close as they came to drink, they were flying all around us, really cute and so tiny. We could of stayed there for hours.

This is also a camping area and from a camping point of view better than Dalhousie but of course it doesn’t have the springs or toilets. But lots of trees and rocky ground so not as dusty but would be quieter and you can camp down by the river.

The road to Mt Dare is pretty typical of the dirt roads out here. It does get quite rocky, big rocks that are pretty harsh and one humdinger of a cattle grid. The stone stomper is earning its keep.

Cattle-Grid

We didn’t need fuel but the price was much the same as Oodnadatta $2.22 L. It’s an awesome pub, big and spacious inside, clean and very friendly people.

The road from Mt Dare to Finke is pretty good, wide in parts, gravelly in sections but pretty smooth and then red sand with some corrugations but not bad. Very dusty though.

Well Finke would not win any tidy towns competition. The road from Finke heading to Chambers Pillars is sandy and very corrugated we were warned by many travelers how rough it was. There is another track that runs alongside the main road, it’s the Alice to Finke Desert race track. When we left Finke we went on it by mistake and it was a better smoother road at first. Fed up of the corrugations we popped back onto it. Boy it had dip after dip after dip, like a rollercoaster, we just about wet ourselves with laughter, we quickly got off it. Ok ok this road wins the worst corrugated road we have been on. We stopped regularly and checked everything with the trailer and ute was all ok. Despite this out CB aerial snapped clean off.

We have seen 11 burnout cars on the side of the road up until the Chambers Pillar and Alice Springs turnoff. At the turnoff the road improved out of sight, apparently it is like that all the way to Alice. We did not feel comfortable stopping on the Finke road so pushed through to Chambers Pillar for the night. The road from the homestead to Chambers Pillar is more corrugated, and sandy, there is also some sand hills. We did arrived quite late after a big day travel.