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The Road Chose Me with Dan Grec: The Old Telegraph Track

/Consumer News, Team Yokohama
S 11°17'25.1"
E 142°23'54.2"

By far Australia’s most famous 4x4 trail, the Old Tele Track is the stuff legends are made of, with multiple obstacles that are infamous across the country for causing serious vehicle damage. The track, which loosely follows the old telegraph line to the very northern tip of the continent, has become a Mecca for four wheel drive enthusiasts - especially those looking to put their vehicle to the ultimate test.

Knowing the scale of the task ahead, we team up with a few other vehicles, and realize the scale of things to come at the entrance to the first creek crossing, only five minutes into the track. The entrance is a near vertical drop into a mud put lined on each side by towering walls of rock-hard mud. In ten minutes we see three vehicle tear off rear bumpers, mudflats and side steps. And that is just getting into the creek - the exit on the other side is just as daunting and I watch vehicle after vehicle flounder in the deep mud before winching to the top.

We find a slightly more sane entrance and crawl to the bottom of Palm Creek before driving along the creek bed itself for a hundred yards before exiting through another tunnel of sheer mud walls and sticky mud. After only ten minutes on the trail we all winch our vehicles up the final climb which proves too steep for us.

As the track continues we settle into a familiar pattern - fifteen or twenty minutes of slow and steady progress before we all stop to investigate the next major obstacle on foot. Over the day we encounter numerous deep river crossings, murky mud pits with hidden logs, long sticky mud pits and off-camber lumpy holes and bumps to keep us on our toes. Time and again we walk these obstacles before slowly proceeding forward in low range 4x4, doing our utmost to avoid damage to the vehicles.

Late each day we make camp on the banks of beautiful rivers complete with swimming holes and swing ropes. Thankfully there have been no crocs signed in this region for many years, so we’re safe to swim and wash away the mud and dirt from the trail. Well, probably.

Through all the famous obstacles like Gunshot Creek, Nolan’s &, Mistake Creek and the old Cypress Bridge, the Jeep proves itself extremely capable of clawing forward on the slick mud and soft said. Running the GEOLANDAR X-AT tires down creates an enormous contact patch and grip never presents a problem as we tackle obstacle after obstacle.

It takes four huge days to inch forward through the stunning landscape, swimming at breathtaking waterfalls and eating lunch on the side of the track. After crossing the final - and deepest - river we settle in to watch carnage for the afternoon as vehicles become stuck in the soft sand and slowly fill with water. Utterly exhausted we turn to each other with huge smiles and say “Are you ready to do it all again?”

-Dan Grec
CategoriesConsumer NewsTeam Yokohama

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