Googs Track – 363 Dunes to Cross
Waking early at 6am in Ceduna I get my gear packed ready to tackle the Googs Track. The Googs is a great little 4wd sand track with 363 dune crossings ahead of me on a 120km track. It is known as a mini Simpson Desert. The turnoff from the highway was not signposted but using my GPS I got the gist of which track to turn off. An easy drive in to the dog fence I stopped and fitted my sand flag and dropped tyre pressures down to 20psi as a starting point. The dog fence was meant to keep Dingoes out of livestock country.
I’d been driving for a couple hours before coming to my first mechanical problem. Despite spending a week in Ceduna repairing 3 issues I identified during my morning checkover one appeared to escape. I had just stopped on top of a dune crest to take some photos. Driving down the other side I make it 700m before a loud rattle sound and a foul smell in the cabin. I pulled up quick and shut the engine off. A look underneath and I found my front muffler mount was missing 2 bolts and was also broken causing the muffler to drop down off the Turbo outlet. Due to my recent gearbox work in Adelaide the muffler may have been removed and that’s the one mount I forgot to check so don’t know if it was like that before the trip started or it failed along the way.
I begin opening my boxes and grab the fencing wire. 30 minutes underneath I strapped up the muffler so it reconnected to the output of the turbocharger. This lasted great for 500m before having to stop and repeat with another couple wires. Ultimately it was not a real showstopper.. I just would have had to breath in diesel fumes for the rest of the trip. All fixed I continued to the monument to Goog and Dinger, the father and son who forged the track in the 1970’s.
Not too far on was Goog’s Lake where I spent 2 nights. This is a dry salt lake. There were several campgrounds to choose from. The only facilities were a couple of tables.
From Lake Goog the drive to Mt Finke was pretty easy. I never needed to drop into low range, being able to start off again in 1st gear near the crest of the dunes if I ran out of power nearing the crest.
Mount Finke had much more wildlife around with birds, lizards and wallabies. I took a walk part way up Mt Finke to look for water and found a freshwater puddle under a rocky overhang. I figured with this much wildlife there had to be water around nearby. In the early morning I decide to climb 2 mountains including Mt Finke. The hikes up were fairly easy overall. No tracks exist, its basically all uphill.
The views were pretty awesome. At the top of Mt Finke is a time capsule containing a log of previous hikers who made the summit. The earliest dating to 1996 that I saw. Much of the surrounding country is spinifex and Mallee.
After the hikes I complete the last section ending at the Trans-Australian railway line. The gravel Trans Access road continues from there out to the Stuart Highway.
I’m pretty happy overall how the trip went. I saw no one else on the track during my 4 days but did see a few other cars camped at Goog’s Lake on the second night. It’s a pretty easy track suitable for beginners with some sand experience, with the supervision of a more experienced driver.