Murchison River Expedition in the future

The Murchison River is WA's second longest river. Read more about it here.

We have made six exciting expeditions along various parts of the Murchison River since 1994. If you are interested in this trip you are advised to read about them before you commit. Go here.

I cannot tell you exactly when this expedition will be. River flows in the Murchison are dependent upon rain from cyclones and localised thunderstorms. We will be looking for a cyclone. These generally occur from January through to April - generally in the later part of this stated timeframe. And they generally form, believe it or not, in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Lots of 'generally' there but that is the nature of cyclones.

The broad outline is that we will use three 4-seater vehicles, each towing a double boat trailer or kitchen trailer to transport four boats and 12 men to wherever the start point is determined to be - hopefully Milly Milly Station, 525 km from the mouth.

 

Nav Vehicle

Refueller Vehicle

Support Vehicle

Nav Boat

Boat 2

Boat 3

Boat 4

Joe Natoli

Kim Epton *

Driver/Cook

Driver/Cook

Cliff Hills

Scott Overstone *

Owner

Greg Barndon

Owner

Sean Dunstan

Owner

Co Driver

Two boat trailer

Two Boat Trailer

Kitchen Trailer

  • Trip Leader
  • Boat Leader

This expedition will be a four day trip - Friday to Monday - but we will leave Thursday evening and drive through the night to the start point. No-one drives more than two hours at a stretch for safety reasons.

Assuming the start point is Milly Milly Crossing on the Byro Berringarra Road the journey from Perth to there is about 12 hours - we should arrive about daybreak.

After preparing the boats and breakfast I would expect that we would start the downriver boat journey by 0730-0800.

The top speed of boats is not the limiting factor in our endeavour - it is road access to the river. And therein is our major challenge throughout the trip - communications. There is no mobile phone coverage in this area. UHF radios have a range of about 30 km here. Satphones have proved to be problematic on past trips. The only solution is to go to pre-determined checkpoints and wait. Boat crews wait for fuel resupply vehicles or land crews wait for boats to arrive.

The overarching principle of our trip is safety. Make no mistake about it, this is very remote and hostile country. If you get separated from other boats, run out of fuel and are unable to reconnect with the group you could die or, at the very least, cause a very expensive air search to be made!!  Temperatures could be in the high 40s - on most of our trips they have been in the high 30s to low 40s.

The theme of the downriver journey is 'stay together' - stay within sight of each other. This mantra will be emphasised throughout the trip. Stay together!

At the end of each day's travel (and a various checkpoints) the boats will be refuelled and serviced. Meals will be prepared by the cooks. Crews will set up their own swags. Everyone is expected to help with every aspect of making the expedition work and be successful.

Fuel for boats and vehicles is provided by the expedition, as is food and camping equipment. Damage to boats/motors/vehicles is the responsibility of drivers.

This 'team' method of operation has operated successfully over many years and many  expeditions but it may not suit everyone. Please consider this before you commit.

Kim Epton
0408 096200

kim@adventures dot net dot au

 

 

 

 

 

 

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