Finding information on road condition can be quite challenging, and today, we’re covering the road from Blinman to Arkaroola, which we completed in October 2022, after about 10 – 30mm of rain had fallen. This road is the N Flinders Road, and then turns onto Tea Tree Road, then Gammon Ranges Road and finally Arkaroola Road.
We actually left Moolooloo Station and drove into Blinman, and the road was quite wet, slippery and muddy, and it didn’t get much better going out to Arkaroola, until you take the turn onto Tea Tree road where its wider, and the water tends to run off the road.
How long is it from Blinman to Arkaroola?
The total distance is around 150km, with the first half being on a narrower, more windy road, and then the last half being on a wider road with lots of flood ways.
What’s the road condition like?
Driving from Blinman, the road is fairly windy and narrow, but you’d fit two vehicles in many places. The road goes side to side and up and down a fair amount, and you want to pay careful attention to your transmission temperatures if you are towing, as the vehicle works quite hard.
The creek crossings and general road conditions were great, with us sitting between 30 and 60km/h for most of the road, and then even more once we had turned left. The scenery here is fantastic, and we thoroughly enjoyed watching it change.
On a warm day, watch out for lizards sunbaking on the road; we saw a number on our return trip, and managed to get a couple of photos of one that had scuttled to the side of the road.
From the turn off to Arkaroola, the road condition widens, and becomes much better. It’s still rocky, and there’s a couple of flood ways that have sharp angle changes, so if you are going too fast its going to put a lot of stress on things, and is one of the many ways that dual cab Utes bend chassis!
We sat on 60 – 90km/h for the majority of this, and the road into Arkaroola is fantastic.
We generally run about 30% less air in our tyres from the cold bitumen pressures for roads like this, and it seems to work well. I’d certainly suggest you let some air out to preserve the track, give yourself a more comfortable ride, protect your vehicle a little and reduce the chances of tread punctures, but the choice is yours.
On the way back, when it was nice and dry the track was much better, but just a couple of days later the northern part of the Flinders Ranges got absolutely drenched, and they closed virtually every gravel track in the region for a number of days, including access to and from Arkaroola! This even included Parachilna Gorge for a few days!
Overall, we really enjoyed this drive, and despite it being quite wet and slippery on the way to Arkaroola it was simple enough, and not so wet that we would have done any damage to the road (and it was all open too).
We did discuss driving up through Leigh Creek, but it would have been a longer drive. On the way back we could have turned and come out at Willow Springs, but given we weren’t sure of the road conditions and were towing, we stuck with the road that we were familiar and happy with.
Have you done the road from Blinman to Arkaroola? What did you think of it?