Wednesday, 10 April 2024

The road to Innamincka!

Wet Weather Logistics

Well Simon is now at Innamincka via Lyndhurst! …. And what a journey to get to this point!

From early last week the road conditions have had team illuminart very up in the air. The Strezlecki track was closed because of flooding and it was hard to get accurate information. Amidst all the practical planning we had to do and some amazing team upskilling around remote video projection, we were left wondering whether the show would be able to go on at all because of the weather!

Simon suggested a plan B, which was to drive via Cunnamulla, as that would mean the roads would all be bitumen to Cunnamulla and from Cunnamulla to Innamincka. As you might imagine, this would add 7 hours to a 14 hour journey!

We were settling on this plan until Simon saw that that road was actually flooded and closed too! We were desperate to find accurate information and pulled out all stops. Phone calls, internet searches and trawling of Facebook groups ensued. With the snippets of information we were getting, we had to make a decision with options as varied as leaving the trailer part way to get around possible towing issues, requiring a second driver, or Simon’s return to collect it. Either way, we decided to pack the car with all the Innamincka gear, and the hefty trailer with the Cunnamulla set up, just in case. This was an enormous pack, which we did, and then we watched and waited.

The Strezlecki was slowly opening up.

The Cunnamulla road, not as yet.

The day prior to travel we became pretty sure that the Strezlecki would be open! After a couple of phone calls to friends in Lightning Ridge (near the area) we decided the road would definitely be open and Simon could go as planned!

Arriving at Lyndhurst after a day’s driving, Simon had a great sleep overnight and woke in the morning with just a little trepidation as to what the actual track would be like. Would the trailer make it? Simon and Michael left the bitumen sometime in the morning with the Kinipapa convoy on a freshly graded track, making the road rough but passable. There was very little traffic either way, and they were able to maintain a pretty good pace!

Recurring sections of Bitumen about 7km’s long gave a smooth, peaceful rest from the rattling and bouncing around. Things changed about 100km’s into the 470km journey. Initial trepidation was fuelled by the fact that Google Maps had said it would take 8 hours to do a 470k trip, and as they entered the next stage, thoughts turned to how bad must this road get then?!

Simon reports, “It was definitely rougher, with obvious signs that it had been much wetter, much harder previously. A few difficult trucks to overtake, the blindness from the dust compounded with the fact that, on these roads, you drive any side that has a better surface. Stuck behind one truck that was driving on the extreme right side, I wondered – Should I pass him on the left?”

Of course, safety hats decided this wasn’t wise!! And the convoy navigated this challenge in a sensible manner!

Ultimately, the terrible roads never eventuated. After Moomba the roads definitely got worse, but there was water everywhere.

“The country was so green! Swamps and lakes abounded! Amazing,” says Simon. “It’s been a fantastic run, arriving a couple of hours faster than the normal estimates! We made it to Innamincka in good time and settled into the amazing digs at the Hotel, ready to get into building the show for the coming week…”


*If you are heading up the track, please be warned that the road is still rough. You must be careful and it’s not open to caravans yet, only cars. It’s definitely passable. Be aware, it’s a continuing grading challenge and is being worked on all the time so definitely not plain sailing, especially from Moomba where you have to be careful. Hopefully this level of detail helps you in your planning! Let us know how you go by stopping past our Facebook page.

Find out more about the Kinipapa remount and Paroo’s Outback River Lights Festival.

#innamincka #nomads #caravanningaustralia