We recently got back from a couple of weeks up to, and around Central Australia. We had to cut it short when one of our dogs got really sick (he is around 15 years old!), but we still got to some cool places.

For those not following on instagram, I’m slowing getting detailed trip reports up on rufant.com, but here are a few highlights.

This was the from our campsite for the first night. It was really total luck, I had no idea where we would end up when we set off. This was in a ‘bush camping with dogs’ guide I had bought beforehand (which actually proved really useful) and we just happened to be near it late arvo. It is not particularly remote, but this was a weekday it was totally deserted. Rare to find (almost) permanent water like this in northern South Australia.

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We had a US made UCO fire pit along for this trip. This was the very first time I used it. Still a bit of a work in progress, but I did get better. Mind you nothing that came off it wasn’t pretty tasty. It was also very cold (by our standards) that first night. I was glad I had chucked in one of my old Army sleeping bags to supplement our bed arrangement.


The next few days were spent working our way up through the Flinders Ranges. It was pretty busy up there - which was actually a bit of a theme many places we went on this one - did we find some cool places far from the madding crowds? You know me ;)

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The light coloured dot in the middle of this picture is the Cruiser and our camp.

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As we headed further north, we found ourselves at the start of the Oodanatta Track, this is one of SA’s three classic outback tracks. As most will know I’m not really into doing these things for the sake of it but went north and we needed to go north. It is a road more than a track, but a VERY rough one at that. Nearly everyone else on it was older than us and towing something, just an observation.

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Mound Springs are fresh water springs that bubble up in the middle of this very arid region. I think they are cool.

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The main railway (and before the the telegraph line) used to come this way. They moved it due to excessive flooding, which is pretty hard to fathom at the moment...
This is the suspension I decided was good for a bit longer. ‘A bit’ turned out to be about 120km shy of the bitumen...

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After limping into Alice Springs we had a day or so of washing, fixing, etc, and then headed out east.

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Then a few more days out west. We found a proper track, got a bit lost, camped in the bush.

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Next night we were at Kings Canyon ‘Resort’ camping with three different school groups - which just about sums up The Red Centre - there are some cool places, but it is very hard to really get away from it all. I guess not that surprising when you have Australia’s most visited site Uluru (Ayres Rock) as the main focus. Most of the other places you can visit still feel a bit ‘prescribed’... I was also surprised how restricted general land access was, but again maybe that’s just to stop tourists wandering off and getting themselves into trouble or damaging the environment.

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As I said we had to cut it short and just drove back down the highway. We probably will get back up there at some point, but armed with a sat phone and some permits for the properly remote tracks.

After all the prep I did beforehand, the 105 now needs new suspension, the exhaust fixing and a new engine - a diesel one...

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Cheers.