Simpson Desert - Hay River 2009

Day 14 - Hugh River - Old Andado


The Main Group:

We got on the road by 8am, and the road west was very good with us thinking that we were making very good time.  We crossed the old Ghan railway thinking we might be able to pick up an old spike or two, but found that it had been completely cleared and what was left looked more like a fire break.

We continued on from the Hugh River Stock Route, crossing the Old South Road before turning onto the Deep Well track as we headed East to meet with Binns Track.   The Deep Well track is marked on some maps as being a private track, but as is often the case, we had thought this really meant public road on private property.   Helen had researched this leg, and had confirmed with the NT Department of Planning and Infrastructure that the track was public access.  The leg was uneventful until Ivan who was leading turned south, and advised the rest of the convoy that there was a 'bloody big grader' headed up the track.   As it turns out, this was the landowner who was Very Unhappy (capital V, capital U) that we had crossed his land.   He had words with a couple of the vehicles, but we continued on.

Binns Track was lovely, with beautiful escarpments and ridge lines, and we continued along until we were just short of Old Andado, stopping for a load of wood before arriving at the station itself.   We were first here, and took up residence in the large open shelter which was provided for campers - others arrived afterwards, but the size of our group pretty much ensured we had the shelter to ourselves.

We met the caretakers who were only there for three months, and were welcomed inside for a cup of coffee.   Old Andado was lived in by Molly Clark until very recently, and just like when Molly lived there, people are still welcome to tour the buildings and see how they lived in years gone by.   More information on Old Andado can be found here.

The donkey was boiling and the water hot, so showers were the order of the day, while the boys (big and small) played football in the wide open space between the camp and the homestead.

Just before sunset, Ian and Helen arrived from Uluru.

Ian and Helen - Uluru:
Basically today we had to say goodbye to Brett and Mathew.

Mathew had to come back to Canberra to sort out his subjects for University.

The day started with sorting out the stores for both the vehicles. What could go home and what was to stay.  Whilst sorting the Ayers rock manager came around and told us to take all the wood that the group had collected. We had lunch at Erldunda with the emu’s and said our final goodbye to the boys.

On the way to Old Andado we came across a large mob of cattle being moved across the Stuart Hwy. In the 130km zone.
After turning off at Kulgera the last pub in the Northern Territory and heading to Finke Ian made the decision to go and visit the center of Australia. It was an extremely rough 24km round trip of corrugations’.

The road to Old Andado from Finke was like a super hwy with many gates as we crossed the properties New Crown and Andado. We made good time arriving is Old Andado with our load of wood around teatime to join the rest of the group.

Loading some decent timber onto Ivans car - heavy stuff out there - all hands on deck!

Front gate - Old Andado Station

The campground

Old Andado Homestead - all welcome to come in


Blaire reminiscing how she used to do the clothes in years gone by

Listening to the Old Andado story..

Blaire and Ebony listen to the story

Not much has changed here in a while

Various photos of Old Andado following:

Blaire was quick to pick this one up

Surprisingly, not running!

Some of the best dunes in Australia near Old Andado

Great texture