Sand over Highway

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 02, 2011 at 20:43
ThreadID: 127514 Views:2963 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
This Thread has been Archived
We are heading from Kalgoorlie to Mt ISA later this month and are pondering whether anyone has done the Sandover Highway with their Bushtracker in tow.

Quick searches of the net reveal little information and the NT road conditions site does not contain any undue warnings.

Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Wednesday, Aug 03, 2011 at 08:09

Wednesday, Aug 03, 2011 at 08:09
Hi Lance

Not recent information; we have friends who have travelled the Sandover in 2009 and found it very corrugated at that time. It is a wide road, low traffic and some easy spots to pull off and camp but not a lot of interest or scenery. As you have seen the only warning along it on the NT road conditions website is a sandy patch which should give you no trouble. Were you planning to take the Austral Downs road to the Barkly Highway? That is the one with the caution of washouts on the website, and the way our friends went on to Camooweal. Back in 2009 Austral Downs road was a good station track; one vehicle wide but the surrounds generally flat.


Red desert dreaming

Follow our travelogues, bush camping and other travel hints at

My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 582889

Follow Up By: BTRACK22 - Wednesday, Aug 03, 2011 at 21:03

Wednesday, Aug 03, 2011 at 21:03
Unsure which way we will go when we get to the end but more than likely we will exit via the Austral Downs road as will probably not have a reason to travel it again. Then again with a son living in Mt Isa we may come and go many different ways over the years so I guess I should never say never.
FollowupID: 853754

Reply By: Tracks n About - Wednesday, Aug 03, 2011 at 16:35

Wednesday, Aug 03, 2011 at 16:35
G'Day Lance,
Wendy & I did the Sandover last October and like you,had trouble getting info on it before heading off. Got to the turn off on the Plenty and had lunch there. Still hadn't really decided which way to go,but were lucky enough for another traveller to come down the Sandover. After talking to him we opted to do it as we'd already been over the Plenty twice and didn't really want to do it again. When we travelled the October,we found it no problem. A couple of damp patches and some cut up spots,but we did drive to the conditions,and camped two nights getting across We found plenty to look at,and in better condition than the Tanami that we'd done two weeks before. Took 5 hours to do 30 kms one day on the Tanami. As with most of these tracks it comes down to how long it is since they've had rain. After Lake Nash was interesting. Not a blade of grass anywhere,yet there where herds of cattle wandering around here an there. Usually around the bores. We're in NZ at the moment,and travelling the Coromandel Peninsular,would give an eye tooth for some of those straight roads !
Have a good trip.
AnswerID: 582890

Follow Up By: BTRACK22 - Wednesday, Aug 03, 2011 at 20:59

Wednesday, Aug 03, 2011 at 20:59
Thanks for that - it backs up the approach I had in mind.I intend to review the recent weather events in the area when I arrive in Alice Springs and then make a final decision once we reach the turnoff on the Plenty. Sounds like it should be no problem given a sensible approach.

FollowupID: 853755

Reply By: Oldperc - Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 20:45

Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 20:45
We travelled the Sandover from north (Lake Nash) to south (to Plenty) in July. Entered Sandover at Lake Nash from Urangangi from Mt Isa.
The Sandover from Lake Nash to Ammarroo great -graders have done a good job except not many spot able to pull off for camp. We did find a track heads east off Sandover about 110 k from Lake Nash. Go in 6k to a windmill and yards.
Road from Ammmaroo to Plenty is a little corrogated but graders are working so may be done by now. Nonetheless, the road is ok.
If you have the time go to Mt Isa via Urandangi and catch up with Pam at the pub and she'll give you a mud map to good freecamp spot on the Georgina River about 2 k out of U'dangi. And the signs say the topless barmaids will be there tomorrow!
Don't hesitate to head to Lawn Hill via Riversleigh. The road is fine, contary to National Parks reports.
For anyone else heading to :Lake Eyre. off the Oodnadatta track take the the time to go via William Creek to Halligan Bay (on Lake Eyre) rough road out but every bump worth the trip. 63k approx 2 hrs. Plan to stay 2 days min.Also go into Peake Hill (old telegraph stn) 16k in about 1 hour trip. Every bump worth the trip. Says you shouldn't camp there but, hell, after the trip in and what you have to see stay overnight. Very few go in.
Enjoy and regards
David and Ann
'I'am so proud of you poppa'

My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 582891

Follow Up By: BTRACK22 - Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 02:30

Sunday, Aug 21, 2011 at 02:30
David & Ann

Thank you for the up to date information on the Sandover Highway. We will leaving Alice Springs for Mt Isa around the 7th September and will be taking the Sandover for sure given your report unless a localised weather event impacts on the roads in the interim.

I had planned to go via Urandangi and now I know it has a pub then there is little doubt that this will remain our favoured route to Mt Isa.

After spending the September school holidays with our grandchildren who live in Mt Isa we will then head down to the Lake Eyre region via the Birdsville Track. It was for this reason that I wished to use the Sandover rather than the Plenty so as to avoid covering some of the same roads in a short period of time.

I will keep the Halligan Bay and Peake Hill info top of mind when we get down to that area in October.


FollowupID: 853756

Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 22:28

Saturday, Aug 20, 2011 at 22:28
Saw the title Sand over Highway ....... and thought so what ...... whats a bit of sand across a highway to a BT .........

Mick & Vickie

My Profile  My Blog  Send Message
Classifieds: Deposit taken: 19’ BushTracker 2007

AnswerID: 582892

Our Sponsors