This is a good drive if you just want to \'get away from it all\' without having to head off into the far outback!
The track is through the heart of the Big Desert in North Western Victoria. It is 70km long, and is very sandy. There are about five or six clay sections, and depending on the amount and time since the last rain, it could take between 2.5 hours and 3.5 hours driving time. Quicker if the sand is a bit damp, and the clay sections not too damp! Too much rain and you would have to say that it can becomes impassable. There is really just one section that causes the problem, a 1km stretch that is 13km in from the Eastern end of the track, just before reaching the first camp ground - Round Swamp Camp. See the two \'mud shots\' below. We were lucky to come in from the East, so only had to re-trace our path over 13km!
This section can become very slippery, and very boggy. Apparently, according to a local policeman, the SES has had to rescue several vehicles from this spot, where the cars have sunk down to their floor pans! And if they rescue you, it is the done thing to present their treasurer with a \'very reasonable\' donation in appreciation!
If there is any doubt, ring the ranger at the Wyperfield Park Office on (03)53957221. This office is business hours only, but often the ranger will be out of the office. So you could try Parks Victoria on 131963. The BP roadhouse in Pinnaroo is also given road closure information for park visitors, and no doubt other roadhouses in towns surrounding the Big Desert. You would need to know whether the Nhill/Murrayville clay topped road is open or closed also, because this track runs off the main road, about 45km South of Murrayville.
The scenery is fairly monotonous, as you can see in the pics, and unless you like the feeling of being in the middle of a huge expanse of wilderness, with probably no-one else around for 30km in every direction, or the challenge of 70km of mainly heavy sand driving, then there are more interesting parts of the Big Desert to be explored. I did find the shorter Broadies track, just 20km South of the Eastern end of the Milmed track, more varied and interesting as far as scenery is concerned.
I must admit I did not take the time to visit Hermies Garden, about 3 or 4km off the main track, and about 3km in from the Eastern end. There is also the lookout dune another 6km to the West. The other features include the four camp areas, none with toilets. These being Round Swamp Camp, Arnold Springs, Milmed Swamp and Pigeon Springs. I did try a rest stop at Arnold Springs, in Xmas 2008, and found the half dozen wild bees that invited themselves into my car, as I tried to have a short snooze, somewhat off putting. there is a sign at the Eastern end warning that these little fellas could be a nuiscance. They seemed friendly that day, just looking for food I guess, like seagulls down at the beach. But they might be easily stirred up if you say the wrong thing!
And of course, the main reason for visiting this endless sand challenge, is the Milmed Rock itself. You can climb up this fossilized sandstone monolith, and also sign and read the Visitors Book, and leave your business card in the little steel box on a post! Remember, you are crawling across the bottom of an ancient sea bed! And the \'rock\' is a memorial to the animals that lived in those watery times. How things change! This time its not global warming to blame, but the Earth\'s crust being heaved upwards by the slowly moving molten magma beneath! The same thing that causes earthquakes and continental drift.
If it is hot and dry, you might need to use the chicken tracks provided up the side of two or three of the sand dunes. I came through in summer, and some of these climbs were a challenge for my gutless old MQ. I was pleased to get up one of the chicken tracks. Even that was a struggle, and it seemed to look much the same as the main track anyway! All good fun! As I said, if you are like me, you are probably on this for the challenge of sand driving, more than any great views!
So in summary, this is a REMOTE JOURNEY, as are most tracks in the Big Desert. By this I mean if you break down, there might not be another car come through for some weeks! So remember to be as prepared as possible, and let your family/friend know where you are going. And remember to let them know when you \'pop out\' to safety! If you find the \'bog hole\' impassable it might be nice to let the ranger know with a quick phone call, so that he can pass this info on to others.
|10203||Had been rain a few days before but the clay areas were fairly dry.||Toyota Hilux||Oct 3, 2013|