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Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours - Goog's Track

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Map of Goog's Track, South Australia

The Goog's Track Route as shown in the Goog's Track Guide by Outback Travellers Track Guides is an excellent publication and available in our online map shop

Goog's Track, South Australia

Goog's Track runs in a roughly south to north direction from just outside Ceduna in South Australia to Malbooma where it meets the Trans Australian Railway line and dingo fence, a distance a little short of 200 kilometers. However sightseeing along the way can add several more kilometers.

The trip is best done from south to north due to the hundreds of sand hills that need to be crossed, which are easier from the southern approaches.

From Malbooma you could turn around and travel south again, very hard work and definitely not advisable, or head eastwards, to Glendambo, without deviations for sightseeing it is a distance of around 360km. There are no fuel supplies between Ceduna and Glendambo.

Goog's Track History

The track, not then known as Goog's Track, was originally started from the northern end, from Malbooma Station, in the mid 1950's, from where it headed south to Mt Finke and what is now Drum Camp, when it was decided that it was all too hard abandoned.

Drum Camp got its name from the two large drums of water left on the scene when the original track construction was abandoned.

Goog's Track, its original name was Goog's Road, goes back to the mid 1970's when it was built by John (nicknamed Goog) and Jenny Denton. The Dentons lived at the Lone Oak Station at the start of Goog's Track on the southern end.

They purchased the leasehold of the undeveloped tract of farm land in the mid 1960's and started the mammoth task of clearing the land for farming as well as building their home, Lone Oak Homestead, on the southern fringes of the Yumbarra Conservation Park, through which the first section of the track passes.

Jenny Denton had three children in her early years on the station, Martin, Debbie and Jeffery.

Goog's aim was to open up a road from Ceduna to meet the east, west railway line junction at Tarcoola, so that there would be better access to being able to sell local produce to wider markets with the aid of the railway.

He received no government support or financial assistance and took some three years, working at weekends only, to complete the task using, to start with anyway, some very basic equipment such as an old tractor with a blade attached to the front to act as a bulldozer. He did, however, receive a lot of moral and financial support in the form of fuel and equipment from property owners in the area who could see the potential benefit of such a road.

As the going got tougher a proper bulldozer was acquired to ease the job as well as three old Land Rovers that they built out of wrecks and scrap parts found in the neighborhood, to help ferry food and fuel to the work party by Goog's wife and children. It became a real family affair with Jenny's brother, Denis, also joining in.

The track was never used for its intended purpose but was used during mining exploration and has become very popular in recent years with the 4WD community.

The Trip Along Goog's Track

The best time to do the trip is from autumn to spring and a well prepared vehicle is essential. The are no provisions along the way and you are well advised to take more than adequate food and water in case of breakdowns. 

There is no fuel either and you could find yourself doing close to 400 or more kilometers, depending on the sightseeing you do along the way and which route you follow from Tarcoola.

Permits are required and can be obtained by contacting the NPWS at Ceduna on 1800 816 078.

Leaving Ceduna head about 30 km north, through the wheat area, to the Lone Oak Station. East of here is the Ceduna Satellite Earth Station which was used up until the 1990's to relay all of Australia's telephone and TV communications to and from Europe. It is now a research station attached to Tasmania University.

Just north of Lone Oak the track enters the Yumbarra Conservation Park and real, very sandy, four wheel drive country. Reduce tyre pressures if not already done.

A little way into the park and the track passes through the Dog Fence. The gate should be closed when you arrive and certainly should be closed by you when you leave.

The track heads north east towards Goog's Lakes but about half way between is a turnoff to the east that goes to Black Oaks, about 10km away.

About 8 kilometers north of this turnoff is a turnoff to the Aboriginal Rockholes, a couple of km's to the west. Goog believed, and was almost certainly correctly, that he was the first white person to set eyes on them.

North of here are the Goog's Lakes. They are, as with other lakes in this part of Australia, salt lakes with whatever water that gets into them evaporating fairly quickly. The largest lake is about 14 by 1 kilometers in size and there is good camping here, both on the north and south banks of the lake.

As with all salt lakes don't be tempted to drive on the dry, encrusted salt. Many 4WD vehicles have got bogged doing so and recovery in the remote areas is horrifically expensive.

A little past the easterly turnoff to the lakes is the turnoff, and a short distance, to the memorial that was set up for Goog and his eldest son, Martin, who was nicknamed Dinger.

Once the original Goog's Track was completed both Goog and Dinger did a fair amount of track work in the area for mining exploration companies. Both lost their lives in accidents in the vicinity of the track, and at different times, after the track was completed. 

Jenny Denton now lives at Streaky Bay, on the coast south of Ceduna.

It was at this point, during the construction of Goog's Track, that a shack was built and used a base for the rest of the track construction up to Mt Finke. It was later demolished at the request of the South Australian NPWS.

Past the memorial the track passes out of Yumbarra Conservation Park and into the Yellabinna Regional Reserve. 

Shortly after entering Yellabinna Regional Reserve Lakes Track heads off to the east towards Lois Rocks, about 50km, and then onto the dingo fence. At this point the Lakes Track becomes private and skirts the southern shores of Lake Everard before reaching Lake Everard Homestead.

It may be of interest to the Goog's Track traveler, though, as it also goes to View Point, on the northern shore of Goog's Lake, about 10km off the main track. Lakes Track was also built by Goog in the 1980's for BHP, who were doing exploration work in the area.

About 5km north of this turnoff is a westerly turnoff onto the Jellabina Rocks track. The stretch from here to the 369 metre high Mt Finke will see the dunes getting higher, in places up to 25 metres high, the sand softer, the blowouts on the northern slopes of the dunes more blown out and the going, in general, much harder.

The track to Mt Finke is off to the west and is about 5km long. Returning to Goog's Track from Mt Finke can be along the same track or one leading away in a north easterly direction. This track joins Goog's a little north of the other one.

Just north of Mt Finke the track leaves the Yellabinna Regional Reserve as it starts traveling due east along the southern border of the Malbooma Outstation. When the Dingo Fence is reached the track again heads north towards Malbooma. 

There has been some major re-alignment work on this section of the track with the new track to the west of the original one. Follow the signs. This is officially the end of Goog;s Track.

From Malbooma the track heads east as it follows the Trans Continental Rail Line to Tarcoola, a distance of around 40 km's, which was an important rail siding in the earlier days. However there is a pub and a few houses there today, but no fuel.

Whilst you could travel up the track that runs up the western boundary of Malbooma Outstation there is little point because from Lyons, a little west of Malbooma, to Haig in Western Australia the Trans Access Road has been closed and no permits will granted for public access.

From here the track continues eastwards, through Kingoonya, to the Stuart Highway, warm showers, fresh food, water and fuel at Glendambo.

Alternatively, if you feel that you want a little more off road then head south at Kingoonya and head back to civilisation via Lake Gairdner National Park, east of Lake Everard and Lake Everard Homestead, the northern reaches of the Gawler Ranges to Streaky Bay on the coast, a little south of where you started.


The information provided on this web page is for use as a guide only. If you are planning to undertake this trip you must seek out other authorative advice and information. Desert and Outback travel can be very hazardous and should only be undertaken after lengthy and careful planning. The owners of this website shall not be held responsible for any damage or injury that you may experience during any conventional vehicle or four wheel drive trip, desert or otherwise. Distances between places mentioned on this page are as a guide only. You must verify these details yourself using professional maps and/or mapping equipment before you set out on a the trip. Do not attempt to access desert or other remote regions in an ill-prepared vehicle and without adequate communications equipment. Do not under estimate the
limited supply of fuel, water and provisions in these areas as well as the possibility of encountering extremely harsh elements and conditions.

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Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours - Goog's Track Information

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