Pooncarie to Arkaroola (RR)

From Scrapheap ride to Pooncarie, this was a liaison ride from Pooncarie to Arkaroola via Yunta, finishing one ride and starting another. But it was a challenge nonetheless and introduced some risks which invite a separate ride report.

Arkaroola Village
Day 1 – Pooncarie to Yunta

Early start on Sunday morning. Headed west past Ginko Mine and the (dry) lakes then up B79 Silver City Highway to Coombah.

Destination Distance Arrive Depart
BP Pooncarie (dep 07.10.2018)     8:00 AM
Coombah Roadhouse 162 10:00 AM 10:30 AM
Sturt Vale Road & Eastern Road 190 1:30 PM 1:45 PM
BP Yunta (overnight) 94 3:30 PM  
Total 444    
Fuel Range (Coombah to Yunta) 284    
  1. Dirt: 136 km
  2. Asphalt: 53 km (Silver City Highway)
  3. Dirt: 255 km


  • red line – recorded tracks by day,
  • orange dots – spotwalla waypoints (using BubbleGPS)
  • white icons – symbols for Food, Fuel, Rest, Sightseeing, Law Enforcement and Bonus/Flag. green or yellow numbered banners – OK or custom text messages respectively.
  • 15kms of sand dunes mostly on the eastern side of the border
  • some rather persistent whirlwinds on the SA side.

Pooncarie to Arkaroola GPX 2.60 MB 9 downloads

2 GPX tracks from Pooncarie to Arkaroola via an overnight stop in Yunta. The first...
Degree of Difficulty

I rate these tracks as mostly 1 and 2 on my scale of difficulty. However, in hindsight, the Loch Lilly and Eastern Roads should be rated as 3 because of the sand and the remoteness of the tracks.


Polia and Nob Roads going west from Pooncarie were in pretty good condition albeit a little sandy. The haul road west from Ginko was in very good condition. The road trains were flying. I’ve since realigned the Haul Road on OSM to its current route.

Morning tea at Coombah and took some spare fuel.

This leg was probably the riskiest leg of my journey when you consider the distance and sense of remoteness between Silver City Highway and Yunta.

After leaving Silver City Highway on Loch Lilly, it was clear that not a lot of traffic uses this road. Toward the SA border there was about 15kms of sand dunes. Fortunately they were not large dunes and very low traffic meant that there was no rutting to contend with. Once over the border, you aren’t far from the Oakvale property but it’s best to know this before you go there.

The track on the SA side (Eastern Road) was closely bordered by salt bush which did a good job of hiding the small kangaroos which were plentiful. Several close calls.

Overnight – Yunta
Day 2 – Yunta to Arkaroola
Destination Distance Arrive Depart
BP Yunta (dep 08.10.2018)     8:00 AM
Waukaringa Hotel Ruin 82 9:30 AM 10:00 AM
Arkaroola (overnight) 235 1:00 PM  
Total 324    
Fuel Range (Yunta to Arkaroola) 316    

Read more from some resources here:

The 300+kms north from Yunta (as in ‘punter’) was a wide road. Some parts were in good condition and most was very heavily corrugated. I was expecting to see road trains going up and down but I only saw 2-3 other cars all day.

none – a few near misses with kangaroos

Planned: 730kms; Actual: 730kms

Road Conditions mostly dry
some causeways south of Yunta
sand dunes crossing the SA border

Next The Flinders Ranges Ride