Covid and the Birdsville Track

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Big Nick
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Covid and the Birdsville Track

Post by Big Nick » Thu Jan 14, 2021 18:55

Drivers in Australia are subject to state restrictions which prevent them from driving on the main road through Victoria. Instead they are taking ordinary cars along one of the toughest outback roads in the country, the Birdsville Track, and facing severe risks in the process.
I'm most impressed with whoever drove a Fiat Bambino (aka original 500) down there :D

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sydneynick
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Re: Covid and the Birdsville Track

Post by sydneynick » Fri Jan 15, 2021 00:02

I have seen the southern end of the Birdsville Track, and there is no way that I would attempt it in an ordinary car.

I think the problem may arise (at least in part) because Google Maps shows the Birdsville Track as a major road, just as important as the sealed Sturt Highway between Alice Springs and Adelaide. There is an all-sealed route via Mount Isa, but it is much longer.
I can always tell if politicians are lying. Their lips move.

linuxrocks
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Re: Covid and the Birdsville Track

Post by linuxrocks » Fri Jan 15, 2021 15:17

You need a Leyland Badger, like Tom Kruse drove. Whenever I go back home, I pay a visit to the museum where his truck is kept. Here's a bit from the famous film The Back of Beyond which shows him on the Birdsville Track https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o2RD3YkTks

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Big Nick
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Re: Covid and the Birdsville Track

Post by Big Nick » Fri Jan 15, 2021 16:58

linuxrocks wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 15:17
You need a Leyland Badger, like Tom Kruse drove. Whenever I go back home, I pay a visit to the museum where his truck is kept. Here's a bit from the famous film The Back of Beyond which shows him on the Birdsville Track https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4o2RD3YkTks
Fascinating stuff! I found a good website about him - https://www.lastmailfrombirdsville.com.au/

Peter Freeman
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Re: Covid and the Birdsville Track

Post by Peter Freeman » Fri Jan 15, 2021 23:55

Big Nick wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 18:55
Drivers in Australia are subject to state restrictions which prevent them from driving on the main road through Victoria ...
Just to pedantically clarify, there was no restriction on driving in Victoria. Vic restricted its border with NSW for the short period of a small covid outbreak in Sydney, and the usual route from Queensland to Vic is through NSW. An alternative for Victorians in QLD wishing to return home was to drive through South Australia instead. That involved using 500km of dirt road - the Birdsville Track in SA, which is normally an outback adventure.
sydneynick wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 00:02
... just as important as the sealed Sturt Highway between Alice Springs and Adelaide ...
Stuart. Different highway.

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Was92now625
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Re: Covid and the Birdsville Track

Post by Was92now625 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:09

Peter Freeman wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 23:55

Just to pedantically clarify, there was no restriction on driving in Victoria. Vic restricted its border with NSW for the short period of a small covid outbreak in Sydney, and the usual route from Queensland to Vic is through NSW. An alternative for Victorians in QLD wishing to return home was to drive through South Australia instead. That involved using 500km of dirt road - the Birdsville Track in SA, which is normally an outback adventure.
More like, "to usefully clarify".


I had been confused previously and, while I had speculated along the lines of the explanation, it's good to see it clarified.

Peter Freeman
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Re: Covid and the Birdsville Track

Post by Peter Freeman » Sat Jan 16, 2021 21:36

Also -
Big Nick wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 18:55
... one of the toughest outback roads in the country ...
In fact the Birdsville Track is very far from being the toughest. By AU outback standards it's OK, and can (though certainly not advised) be done with 2WD.

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Vierwielen
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Re: Covid and the Birdsville Track

Post by Vierwielen » Sat Jan 16, 2021 22:07

Peter Freeman wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 23:55
Big Nick wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 18:55
Drivers in Australia are subject to state restrictions which prevent them from driving on the main road through Victoria ...
Just to pedantically clarify, there was no restriction on driving in Victoria. Vic restricted its border with NSW for the short period of a small covid outbreak in Sydney, and the usual route from Queensland to Vic is through NSW. An alternative for Victorians in QLD wishing to return home was to drive through South Australia instead. That involved using 500km of dirt road - the Birdsville Track in SA, which is normally an outback adventure.
sydneynick wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 00:02
... just as important as the sealed Sturt Highway between Alice Springs and Adelaide ...
Stuart. Different highway.
When I was on holiday in Oz a few years ago, I used a hire car. One of the restrictions on the use of the car was not to use dirt roads. Although I did not see any dirt roads in Oz, I was aware of the difference in road quality from my time in South Africa.

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Vierwielen
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Re: Covid and the Birdsville Track

Post by Vierwielen » Sat Jan 16, 2021 22:15

sydneynick wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 00:02
I think the problem may arise (at least in part) because Google Maps shows the Birdsville Track as a major road, just as important as the sealed Sturt Highway between Alice Springs and Adelaide. There is an all-sealed route via Mount Isa, but it is much longer.
All things are relative. In 1981, when I crossed the Sahara (on a package tour), the road (or rather the piste) past Bidon V in Southern Algeria was nothing more than lorry tracks on the ground (no vegetation whatsoever) with two oil drums every 500 metres to show the route. The Michelin map showed it as a major road - the other north-south road, via Tamanrasset ran roughly parallel to it some 400 km to the east.

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Re: Covid and the Birdsville Track

Post by KeithW » Wed Jan 20, 2021 13:01

Vierwielen wrote:
Sat Jan 16, 2021 22:07
When I was on holiday in Oz a few years ago, I used a hire car. One of the restrictions on the use of the car was not to use dirt roads. Although I did not see any dirt roads in Oz, I was aware of the difference in road quality from my time in South Africa.
Thats fairly common with the big multinationals even when you hire a 4x4 . When I went to Australia I hired a 4x4 from Territory Rent a Car specifically because not only could you drive on dirt tracks but for a modest fee get a couple of extra spare wheels. I left my itinerary with them so if I did get into trouble they could tell the authorities. One interesting provision was that damage to the vehicle as a result of a collision with an animal in remote areas between sunset and sunrise was not covered by the insurance, the renter had to pay for it.

In Canada I was able to hire a normal car that could be used on dirt roads but then I was headed for the Yukon where there are lots of them, there was a proviso though that damage to the underside of the vehicle was my lability. Still it was nice to drive the top of the world Highway road from Tok Alaska to Dawson City. It is also shown as a major road but while a dirt road it was a pretty good one, well graded with no washboarding.
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