On arrival we saw 4 tracks over this dune; we all had multiple attempts on all tracks with different tyre pressures, but no luck on this one either. While we were attempting the dunes, the kids enjoyed themselves making sandcastles (added benefit if you have young kids – the desert is basically a giant sand pit!!). We travelled along Delisio track and then back onto Murrayville track; anoth- er sand dune was spotted on the west side of the track. This one had 2 options with most of us choosing the direct route; one at a time we went up and we all made it to the summit to be treated to 360 degree views of Wyperfeld and Big Desert. With photos taken and all happy we had made it to the summit, we started head- ing down. One vehicle had to do a bit of a tricky reversing manoeuvre and made a small error getting stuck in the soft sand, so the recovery boards came out and a quick recovery was made. We all then continued to descend the hill and then headed 8kms back to base camp. On return the fire was re-lit, nibbles and cold beers (shaken beers) were enjoyed. Around 6:30pm, the member who had broken down the previous day, arrived back at camp informing us there was an alternator available at Nhill. He had gotten a mate who had a plane to fly a drive belt up to Nhill from Bendigo to get him back on the tracks again. We made a pizza damper and cooked it on the camp fire and it was enjoyed by all, followed by a late night around the nice warm fire. Up and packed and on the tracks at 9 we headed down the Murrayville track until we reached Chinaman Well track. Turning into this track we discovered it had a lot of soft sand so we had to keep our momentum up to get through some spots. Once at Chinaman Well we viewed the well and gathered for a group photo. It’s a great track for the first half, with lots of interesting turns keeping you on your toes, and it was a lot of fun. The track changes for the last 15km and becomes extremely wavy (constant whoop-de-doo’s), and it was very uncomfortable – especially for those in leaf sprung utes and IFS wagons. To everyone’s relief, we arrived at the end of the track where we all aired up and travelled the short distance into Rainbow for a counter meal, after which we said our goodbyes and parted ways. The trip was a huge success, and for many of the members who came, it was the first time they’ve gotten out in the Mallee. The club is running a Little Desert trip in October, 2018 and we’re also running a Border Track trip on the same weekend in May, 2019. We expect trips to the Mallee Deserts will be a regular part of the club’s fixture, and it’s definitely worth getting up there to check it out if you’ve never been before. If this article interests you, also check out the report from one of the recon trips we did last year; it includes a great video clip and lots more photos to give you an idea of what to expect. https://sandhurst4wdclub.org.au/a- weekend-in-the-mallee/ Fiona Hendry and Tim Kohlman Sandhurst 4WD Club, Bendigo 16 SEPTEMBER 2018 TRACKWATCH Boat ramp at Lake Albacutya