Australia, Mt.Augustus to Tom Price, 24 June 2020

This was a drive into the unknown, I asked around and checked Main Roads and Google Maps but could not get consistent information on the route. Anyway I set off and very quickly saw that the Gmaps route 297 km was sending me down roads that were private property with locked gates so followed the signs which were few and far between. The first 150 km was a winding road and 60kph top speed if that, good dirt with occasional bad patches and a Grader crew working on it all year round. I eventually came to the Ashburton Shire boundary and a sign that said “Road Closed”, I definitely was not going back and making a 1000km detour so I continued on with a little trepidation thinking it may be a river crossing washed away and I could somehow find my way across. I am carrying 44 litres of drinking water and enough food for a couple of weeks so no worries. The road turned out to be very good, the best so far with again a Grader and crew working on a section. I came to a gate while passing through the Ashburton Downs Station but there were no signs on it and it was not locked so the normal procedure in this case is to go through and close the gate behind you which I did. And continued on uneventfully until I reached Nanutarra road which had a short section of paved road. On the way I overtook one vehicle towing a camper and three other passed me going in the other direction. Arrived in Tom Price completely bypassing Paraburdoo after 442km in 5:20 hrs. The lady at the Visitor’s Centre said the road is officially closed due to road works but she had only heard about it the day before, puzzling because there are no other roads through that area and work on them is continuous, probably typical Shire bureaucracy.

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