4 Wheel Driving Adventures-Mereenie Loop & Palm Valley

Following a night of rain and continuing rain in the day, we tackled the Mereenie Loop 4 WD road (part of The Red Centre Way). It is a corrugated road (continuous small ridges across the road, teeth chattering) that passes through aboriginal land, and it was the most direct route to Palm Valley (194 kms).  I was nervous because of the rain and it started out very muddy, but we aired down the tyres and Dick did a great job on the driving.  I was not keen to have my turn driving! Then we did 18kms on the 4WD road into Palm Valley, which included four river crossings, and ended up in a very nice NP (National Park) campground.  Spent a couple of hours around the communal campfire with a few of the neighbors.

From the campground it is 4 kms to the actual Palm Valley, on a very, very rough 4 WD track.  It was my first REAL 4WD experience and took a while for the heart rate to slow and the shallow breathing to return to normal.  If we hadn’t done the 4WD course I don’t know how I would have coped.  Dick took it slow and easy in 4WD low range with low tyre pressure and the Lestervan did very well.  Lots of river crossings and rock climbing by the van.  The valley features Red Cabbage Palms and Cycads and lots of lovely red cliffs.  We did the one hour walk in the late afternoon sunlight and just got out before dark.  Quite an experience for me (Dick found it somewhat challenging, interesting, and satisfying because the van worked well and seemed to lumber through the challenges without hesitation; and I think he enjoyed it!)

After the excitement of our 4 wheel drive day we took it easy and only did a late afternoon walk to Kalarranga Lookout-3 kms return from the campground and more stunning views of Palm Valley.

 

 

Mud on the Mereenie Loop

 

Water on the Mereenie Loop

 

River crossing on the way to Palm Valley campground

 

Muddy van after Mereenie Loop drive

 

View from our van in Palm Valley campground

 

Palms and cycads in Palm Valley
Walking in Palm Valley

 

The cliffs and palms in Palm Valley
Water crossing on the way back from Palm Valley ( I was too nervous to take any photos on the way there)

 

Another of the 7 river crossings in that 4 km drive

 

The two points we climbed to – Kalarranga Lookout in Palm Valley

 

View from the top of the lookout in Palm Valley

 

View from the lookout in Palm Valley- campground in the distance

 

6 thoughts on “4 Wheel Driving Adventures-Mereenie Loop & Palm Valley

  1. Dear Pat & Dick,

    It all sounds better the further you go – stories and photos are great and you both look so well. Keep on enjoying your trip and I’m glad your 4WD classes were so successful. Lovely to hear about the girls too.

    Love Jeanette xx

  2. Hi Pat and Dick
    Have done a bit of reading a hundreds of e-mails on our return. Have not cared one bit to know what happened down under. And now have an idea what you are experiencing !
    Your pics are great – Crocodile Dundee country! You must be really enjoying the excitement – good on you and have save driving !
    Our month in Europe… CH -Mountain-rail trips, Greek cruise for 9 days (been there-done-that now), Italy where we saw Aida in the Verona theatre, amazing and the Italian coffee is just unbeatable! In Interlaken we caught up with Vanessa who is on a euro-trip with friend, where they went Skydiving, the mad youth! Had fab weather. Back home planning next. Good luck with your “half-inflated tyres” ! Strange feeling, no?
    xxoo

  3. Well done you two.That is a place we both loved & enjoyed, great walks, camp area etc also. Wonderful photos.
    Hope your leg gas healed Pat?
    We hope we can catch up with you. We will leave here August 5th & will be in touch!!
    Keep enjoying,

    Christine

  4. Palm Valley looks like a magical place. Your van reminds me of our sailboat after bringing it down the Intracoastal Waterway. Our bow now has a big brown mustache! Glad your van is doing what it’s designed to do and getting you there safely. We’re hauling our boat out this weekend to have a bottom job done. We’re finally getting the stuck through hull valve that broke off in Charleston replaced. Little by slowly she’s getting ready for her next journey.

  5. Geez, sounds scary Pat and Dick. I’m glad the camper handled it so well. I think by now I’ve pretty much forgotten all the stuff I learned on the 4WD course! When I follow in your footsteps I’d better do a refresher.
    The photos are lovely as usual and, as you haven’t mentioned it, I’m hopeful your leg has fully healed Pat.
    Enjoy.
    Fran

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