Goog's Track, South
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
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
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.
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
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
The Trip Along Goog's
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.