Back in the trusty TD42 GU Patrol, he's headed to the Flinders Ranges National Park in South Australia - somewhere we've NEVER filmed before!
Red dirt desert, breathtaking Aussie mountain ranges, and endless serenity... 4WDing in the flinders doesn't get much better - Graham's stoked to be back behind the wheel of his old ute but this time he's camping in comfort and style with a serious offroad caravan!
Graham's got some admission to make. He's finally made it to a location that he's been trying to visit for several decades. Having hitchhiked around Australia when he was 17 didn't get here, went around Australia in a 4WD with a camper trailer in 2006 didn't get here, he's been doing a job that sees him travel all around Australia at least one lap every single year for the last 13 years and never been here. He's finally done it and right here in the Flinders ranges.
MERN MERNA STATION FLINDERS RANGES, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Mern Merna station gets its name from, believe it or not from the old townsite that used to exist right about where the homestead is today. Mern Merna is a working sheep and cattle station. Located roughly 35kms north of Hawker, South Australia. The reason for Mern Merna being there was that people were mining copper up at Blinman to the north, which was a stopover on the way down to Port Augusta. Like a lot of things from around here, mining turned into agriculture and that's what it is today an agricultural station. Mern Merna Station offers heaps of ruins around the property and Graham's going to go and find quite a few of them on this trip hopefully. Some of the ruins span back hundreds of years, it's just an amazing part of Australia’s history.
MERN MERNA SCHOOL RUINS
Mern Merna School opened way back in 1911 and continued to remain open right up until 1958. The ruins still stand today and offer a glimpse into how tough life would have been living out in the Flinders Ranges all those years ago. The old Gahn railway line runs directly out front there, so the school was well-positioned. Imagine trying to get away with a day off school out here, they'd find you in a heartbeat, they'd see you from miles away. It's crazy to think that people went to school out here, unbelievable.
If some of these ruins out here could talk, I reckon they'd have some pretty interesting tales to tell. Like this old bucket, it's probably had some fairly average jobs in its lifetime and the way its back ends blowing out well something suggests to me it's lived a hard life.
You know what, it doesn't matter where you go or what ruins you're visiting anywhere in Australia, you'll always find sardine tins. Graham doesn't mind a sardine now and again but given the volume of sardine tins he's found around Australia, it suggested to him that the people of a bygone era really really like sardines.
STANDING THE TEST OF TIME
Graham gets a little excited over some things and fences are, well one of those things. Have a go at this fence right here, she's falling over here, don't judge it you'd probably fall over too if you were built-in 1890! Originally built to keep sheep on one side and the dingoes on the side. But check this ol'boy out, the story goes this little wall was hand-built probably close to 100 years ago. Built to keep a whole heap of sheep on one side. They didn't want to have to re-muster them from over the other side, they didn't want them getting across onto that side over there because it's rough as guts, you're not gonna get a horseback in there. Back in the day, they did all the mustering on foot, can you imagine walking through here on foot chasing sheep? Some old bloke decided he must have had a spare couple of months, by hand, he was going to make this little tiny wall. Only about a meter high tiny wall on the side of the hill to stop the sheep going over there, in all this country in the middle of nowhere three to four hundred meters of wall to stop sheep running away.
OLD GHAN RAILWAY
The Old Ghan railway runs through a section of Mern Merna station, or what remains of it. The Ghan Railway of course ran from Adelaide through to Alice Springs and into Darwin. The Ghan Railway started its operation around 1878 but didn't actually make it to Darwin, interestingly enough you get to the end of it and you'd have to jump off the train and get on a camel. Now there's not much left of the old line, in fact, while Graham tried to follow what's left of the line he'd lost it. It's sort of there but isn't at the same time, it can take time to find what you’re looking for. If you follow it long enough there is something really worth seeing and remains pretty much in original condition. Get a load of this, this is incredible, one of the very few remaining bridges from the old Ghan railway. The river must absolutely flow with water. I think because of the size of this structure that why it's managed to stay here for as long as it possibly has.
OCHRE CAMP SITE
Graham stayed at the magnificent Mern Merna station and camped at the Ochre campsite. Mern Merna Station offers several secluded paid campsites around the station, as well as access to the Burnette 4WD track that finds its way along the ridges line of the property’s hills, offering magnificent views of the station.
April to October offer mild temperatures in the area and is the most comfortable period for 4WDing and camping. During the summer months, the maximum temperatures range from 30ºC to 45ºC.
DON'T LEAVE IT FOR DECADES
I have never seen anything like it. Okay behind me, that's a surveyor's trig point one of the very few that remain. Handmade out of stones and it was used as a survey point, when mapping this entire area, you can see it a miles away. I've been told by numerous people the view from up here was excellent, I get around.
I’ve seen some views and I kid you not, this is nothing short of one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen anywhere. I'm lost for words, this is breath-taking folks do yourself a favour and put the flinders ranges on your map get out here don't leave it for decades like Graham did come and find out for yourself.
Uniden Mini Compact UHF UH6060 with 6.6Dbi AT890BK Antenna Bundle
In the market for a new UHF? You can't go past this Uniden bundle!
The Uniden UH6060 is the ultimate in compact UHF communications with a trade quality build and engineered for rugged Australian and New Zealand conditions making it the ideal for 4WD and Caravan Drivers. Uniden’s reliability and experience in UHF makes this unit ideal for the professional who needs to keep in touch with the outside world. The UH6060 offers the finest components, engineering and styling, just what you would expect from Uniden.
Equipped with a Remote Speaker Microphone with a built-in LCD Backlit Screen allows flexible control of all functions and features remotely with one touch buttons (Instant, Call, Mon and EMG Buttons) on the mic.
The UH6060 is a 5W unit with some excellent features including 7 Colour LCD to suit your vehicle interior, Dual Watch and Duplex Capabilities for Extended range.
UH6060 UHF Features
- Compact UHF CB Mobile
- Trade Quality
- Remote Speaker MIC
- Dual Speaker – MIC & Base
- 4 Button Mic
- 7 Colour LCD Backlight
- One-Touch Instant, Call, Mon and EMG buttons
- Quick Release Bracket
- 5 Year Warranty
- 80 UHF Narrowband Channels
- 5 Watt Transmission Power
- Adjustable Auto Squelch
- Open / Group Scan with Priority Watch
- Duplex Capabilities
- CTCSS / DSC codes
- Size: 110mm (W) X 112mm (D) x 28mm (H)
The Uniden AT890BK from Uniden is a fibreglass Radome antenna with stainless steel spring. Engineered and designed for all-round use, flat terrain, town and country, the AT890BK is a rugged and durable antenna to suit your 4WDing needs.
Radome Antenna Features
- Fibreglass Raydome Antenna – BLACK
- 6.6 dBi Gain
- Heavy-Duty Barrel Style Stainless Steel Spring
- Length: 1000mm
- Ground Independent
- Terminated FME Female Connector and PL259 Adaptor
- 4.5 Metres Low Loss Coax Cable
Uniden AT890BK is ground independent with 6.6 dBi gain, the antenna excels in high-quality communication for your UHF. Ground independent with 4.5 metres low loss coax cable, provides excellent performance and perfect flexibility to tune channels, ideal for your 4WD. The heavy-duty stainless-steel spring makes the AT890BK a solid choice for heavy usage, engineered for the toughest conditions and off-road environments.
Maxtrax Recovery Tracks Series II Signature Orange - MTX02SO
MAXTRAX is the innovative, lightweight vehicle recovery device that's Australian designed, engineered and manufactured. Patented and rigorously tried, tested, trusted and proven in the world's toughest off-road events and expeditions. The MAXTRAX is the safe, simple, quick and easy method of sand, mud, slush and snow 4WD vehicle recovery. The MAXTRAX is an extraction device that's easily carried by almost anything with four-wheels, ensuring an easy way out if your vehicle becomes stuck.
- Lightweight, easy-to-use recovery and tred extraction device
- Large, aggressive cleats sink their teeth into tyre tread & tough terrain
- Built in handles and shovel allows you to get unstuck fast
- 2 x MAXTRAX Recovery Tracks & 2 Telltale Leashes included
CTEK Battery Sense - 40-149
Checks battery status with Bluetooth connectivity, free smartphone application
CTEK BATTERY SENSE is a Bluetooth® enabled, smart battery management tool. It’ll help you prevent vehicle breakdowns and maximise the performance of your 4WD batteries by giving you valuable, easy to understand information about the state of your battery’s charge. Just download the free app, connect the Battery Sense Monitor to your 4WD battery, follow the in-app instructions and your mobile phone will give you data 24/7, all year round. You can even sync multiple monitors to your phone for a complete dual battery management system. And if your battery’s charge falls to a critical level, Battery Sense will tell you when it’s time to reach for your CTEK battery charger.
- Automatically syncs via Bluetooth®
- Continuously monitors battery’s charge
- Stores stats for up to 3 months
- 2-year warranty