Burke and Wills

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Burke and Wills

Postby longshot » Sun May 19, 2013 1:52 pm


I'm interested in getting out of Melbourne this winter - and tropical Asian or Queensland beaches only semi appealing e.g. Noosa would be ok but bit expensive etc.

I used to do a 'bit' of touring with my favourite being a 3-4 day trip in Snowy Mountain national park with a loop around Mount Kosciuszko starting at Tom Groggin. Mostly on four wheel drive tracks in the park with no cars or trucks allowed, other than rangers. Haven't done it in a few years, but about half a dozen times in past. Been into road cycling and long distance triathlons lately.

Really like the desert although don't get there much, and might not like it so much if I did I suppose. But keen to find out.

I've been getting interested in the idea of the Burke and Wills track, or not as far and instead north of Broken Hill. Would like to see some of the lakes and rivers and just the country in general.

There was 'Transoz' race (http://adventurerace.com.au/Events/1178/Trans-Oz-Bike-Ride-2011, http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/first-trans-oz-bike-race-will-take-riders-2000-miles-across-australia-27345/, main link now dead) announced a couple of years ago which didn't seem to eventuate that sparked a bit of interest for me. It was light touring/racing staying in accommodation style. But also happy to take tent, water, camp etc. Got a tourer (Cannondale T700). Would also be happy to get a lighter CX for sandy tracks for a go faster type approach. Prefer drop bars and 700s, but also have a mountain bike and have taken that touring too. Would be other kit I'd like to modernize, possibly one man tent as even if riding with someone would probably prefer separate tents (as unfortunately I tend to snore if really tired). I've been reading the tent thread on and off the last couple of years. Also mattress as I gather thermorests have evolved. Would evaluate trailer etc, as so far have preferred just panniers, but understand need to carry water could dictate. So also been reading those threads.

Anyhow wondering about roads - or *the* road, Silver City highway - north of Broken Hill, Silver city highway. Mostly how many trucks and four wheel drives etc. If say 3-4 an hour whizing past at 100km/h would be a bit of a spoiler for me. Even though epic rides I've read about people just deal with or accept it.

Probably a lot more towns if stick closer to the Darling river. A book 'On the Wool Track' more Darling river territory also has some interest for me. But drawn to the idea of seeing the inland rivers.

Last couple of years I've looked a quite a few of the websites pointed out here. And just been looking at http://www.willspower.com/ one by the Wills brothers who rode Burke and Wills and then up Cape York.

Really only have around 2-4 weeks mid-winter which isn't going to allow the whole ride unless travel light and accommodation. But also interested in longer if take long service leave or early retirement/career break if circumstances allow/dictate in the future.

Anyhow, bit of a rambly intro and a couple of questions :)
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by BNA » Wed May 22, 2013 4:15 pm


Re: Burke and Wills

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed May 22, 2013 4:15 pm

Silver City Highway north of BH will be pretty busy at this time of year but busy is of course relative. Expect more than 3 or 4 vehicles per hour. Most of it is finally sealed all the way to Tibooburra.
Services will be your problem - just Packsaddle and Tib. That's it.

Darling River Road (both east and west) is unsealed and a mix of sandy clay cap on the red country and black soil roads. West side between Wilcannia and Louth is more trafficed then it switches to the east side up to Bourke. Though both roads are 'used'. Services in Wilcannia, Tilpa, Louth and Bourke. But you'll be well battered on a touring bike - this'd be one for the MTB or the fattest tyres you can fit! http://visitoutbacknsw.com/the-darling-river-run.html
Ours is not to reason why...merely to point and giggle
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Re: Burke and Wills

Postby longshot » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:29 pm

Thanks for that.

I've been looking at the pictureshttp://www.willspower.com/diaries/ and video http://www.willspower.com/multimedia/ on the Wills Brothers website. Seems they went through a lot of areas North of Broken Hill which were very sandy. The roads around Mungo Lake look ok, in that seems from pictures hardish surface. Wondering how much of the Darling River Road is very sandy. Also in the video it shows roads north of Broken Hill turning to mud with a bit of rain. Same on the DRR?
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