Swiss Offroad Center

"On close contact with the luck angel"

Coronation Beach near Geraldton WA

Adventure with consequences in November 2006

From the Overlander Road House the road switches off to Denham Monky Maja to the west. Where the route northward turns goes a Dirt Road westward passing the Tamala Outback station. Occasionally strong Corrugations almost destroyed the Toyota Troop carrier of Werner. The Track leads to the Useless Loop, whereby the last part of the road to the Mining company is forbidden to drive through. A signpost indicates westward and leads to the Steep Pt. Several times a sign described to reduce the tire pressure to 20 psi. Before it becomes very sandy, another sign described a menace of a penalty from AU$ 25 per wheel, which does not have 20 psi or less. (Moral of history; the Ranger is surely with 30 psi or more on the way). Rapidly we reach the edge of a large dune field (memories of the Sahara become awake) whereby the TRACK always within the simple ("safe") range remains.

On the eastern side fantastic camp bays with turquoise blue sea and shell sand beaches are to the peninsula. Sometimes we can see Dolphins or in the summer months turtles, which put their eggs at night time. From the Sleep Pt. (westernmost point of Australia) one sees the Zytop Cliffs on the west side. On this side the sea is boiling. Enormous waves run continuously against the cliffs of old reefs.

After a windy night under stars in the roof tent on the LandCruiser we started the way back. A sidetrack leads to the west to the Zytop Cliffs and Blow holes. Depending upon swell water is blown out by the blowholes with enormous pressure, lying up to 150 m over sea levels.

Following the map a track leads along the False Entrance back to the access road. Searching the way we reached the top of a dune and were fully occupied to get the LandCruiser out of the fine sand. Down from the dune Werner starts to move the LandCruiser southward over a dune comb to reach the next track. In full travel the Cruiser begins to slip to the right. Werner whirls the steering wheel to the right and gives gas to drive the Cruiser into the drop line of the dune. The vehicle is somewhere stopped and is tumbling over slowly the dune down. I clasp myself to „the front bar “ the moment where everything falls in disorder. It slams and cracks as the windshield breaks and a part of the charge and luggage tumbles over in the car. I try to protect myself, Werner clings to the steering wheel. After a full role over the roof it is absolute quiet, only the engine runs calmly. I try to find out whether I hurt myself?

I notice the totally destroyed windshield and climb down from the vehicle. On the dune we find parts from the car. Meanwhile also Werner climbed from the Cruiser and has turned the engine off. A few luck angel seem to have placed itself on our side. We are intact both and the Cruiser stand on the wheels. Slowly we recognize what happened. We are here more than 500 km away from the next workshop. In the vehicle a total chaos prevails. The roof tent tore's of the roof. The body of the car is all around damaged. Owing to the roof tent and the bull bar with the mounted Hilift-Jack the damage on the roof was moderate. We examine engine, chassis and electrical connection, everything seem to be in order and we start the engine. Everything seemed to run! Now we determined that we were located in a close dune valley and were possible forward no escape is possible, because of steep sand walls, and to the rear we find small sand dunes and shrubs. Do we have a chance to escape this situation?

Werner tried to turn the Cruiser slightly, without success! Without a locker differential exists the danger to entrench in the soft sand. There is only one solution: Werner raises the Cruiser into the opposite slope to the dune and forces the Toyota then in high speed in the reverse gear back. Sand flies around, the Cruiser jumps in the air, but the momentum is enough high to turn the car. Now we are on firm ground. Now we have to arrange all material. The WAECO - Refrigerator is torn off from the mounting plate, but is still running. The Rhino rack must be corrected, since a carrier is totally destroyed. The roof tent also is in bad shape. It must be fastened provisionally with belts. After 3 hours of hard work under hot sun we are again ready to drive. We had much luck. There are different scenarios, which we do not think out rather. We start the way to Geraldton. After some inquiries we found a workshop, which could correct our cab and mount a new windshield. In the meantime we repaired the roof tent. The high-grade steel plates and the tubing stands were strongly bent and had to be arranged. Werner bumped the body out of the Cruisers with the Hilift jack. After one day work the Cruiser was again operational for the next 4WD-adventure.

Repairs to roof racks and building
Storage after wreck
Bring order to the interior
Lucky, so Cheers!

Result of this journey: Difficult passages must always be agreed upon under the involved persons whether in the Sahara, whether in the Outback or in the alps. A certain residual risk exists with the 4WD - excursions always, experience helps, but does not protect however in each case from surprises.

Stay tuned for the next 4WD-adventure!