I love this part of Tassie and a couple of members of the Braddon 4wd Club (Dion and Ryan Bramich) had organised a trip to repair and open the road south of the Arthur River and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to go as I have always wanted to do the same thing. Although we have done this before on the ‘Slug’ on a camping trip in the area I was still very keen to drive it in the cruiser. So early on Saturday morning I was off caught up with Todd at Hellyer and made our way to Hilders Crossing to catch up with the others. So once all the introductions were made we where on our way across the Arthur. I knew the other side was a bit washed out and slippery so I ducked out first as my tires are a bit low in tread and wanted to get up the other side before the bank got saturated and real slippery. The River created another little challenge in itself though as it had a fair flow going on and as I got to the other side where it was a bit deeper it started pushing my nose into the bank but a hard lock to the left and a punch of the accelerator got me pointing in the right direction again and up the other side.
Once we where all gathered on the other side we started on our treck and I thought I was going to need a pull before we even started as the other side was rather slippery and greasy but I gave it more right foot and I was right.
The first part of the track is in good condition and is all gravel but its a little overgrown and offers some good views in some spots.
Not much further up we came across our first obstacle, a small landslide luckily it wasn’t enough to cover the road which meant we only had a couple of small trees to clear before we where back on our way again.
After clearing the track it wasn’t long after and we where down on the flood plain and last time I was down here it was a mess and there where trees everywhere but thanks to Dion and Ryan who cleared it a couple of weeks earlier it was now pretty easy-going apart from been a bit greasy and slippery but its hard to cut through a log that is half buried in mud so this presented the next little challenge… a bit of a log hop. After Dion got over Mark was next in the white 60 series and this is where we thought we might have had our first casualty for the day as when he was crossing we heard a Ting noise and then he lost drive to the front wheels but luckily it was nothing serious and he was back in action. (Can been seen in full video here) Next was the big 79 series and he took log hopping to a literal level and it looked great too.
After the log hope the track keeps following the flood plain for a while and then starts to head up onto a low ridge for a bit and this was where we came across our next little challenge which was a washed out bridge. It looked worse than what it actually was and with a bit of guidance we where all over it with very little trouble.
After this it was all but 200m and we where at the next challenge.
It did have an alternate route around but I didn’t like the look of it so we got Todd to get the big 090 out and have a crack but the problem was this tree made the 090 with a 36inch bar look like a pencil sharpener so we gave up on the idea before we even started and concentrated on the alternate route which was basically a slippery mud slide down back into the flood plain.
Because Todd and I only had slicks on we decided to take the safe option and get winched down but the others gave the camera some action and just went for it. After we where all down we had to come back up the other side and although it wasn’t a high it was still rather slippery .
So we got a PTO winching demonstration and it was rather impressive as you will hear me say in the video. I was quite surprised and impressed at the speed.
Next up was Todd and he didn’t quite get as far because of the slicks but it didn’t matter because it gave us another look at the PTO Winch in action again.
After an hour or so here we where on our way again and once again it wasn’t a whole lot further and we where at the next obstacle another old dilapidated bridge that was just about impassable so while the fella’s got to work in repairing the bridge I snuck off and had a look around the surrounding area.
and came across some fungi that I haven’t seen yet it was red and spongy looking. growing on a tree.Unfortunately I wasn’t gone long enough and there was still a bit of work to be done so I supervised. After a great civil engineering feat the bridge was up and ready. Some engineers should take note of the practicality of this masterpiece.
From here the track winds through some old growth gum forest and the trees are huge some of the biggest I have seen and then you start the accent up onto Farquhars the start of the accent is rather easy and just a nice drive but the last 500m rapidly gets steeper and this gave us the last challenge for the day.
I had to winch part of the way up as I couldn’t get traction and Todd was literally skull dragged up by the Big twin locked V8 79 and boy did it sound good it was nearly a tune on. I think I enjoyed the noise and power so much I forgot to push record and only got a photo of it roaring up around the corner.
From here Me Todd and Bloke (white 79) made for Tiger Bend and headed for the Hills the rest stayed on to do Pinners and get through to the chalet. I had a great trip and thoroughly enjoyed and would like to thank Dion and Ryan for the Invite on the trip and am keen to do a few more in the future.
Brendan. (Jacinta missed out on another fantastic trip HAHA. She was over in Vic visiting Family)
Full video here.