The Nolan’s Creek Incident

As we neared the end of the OTT I was conscious that I had not got my feet wet crossing the creeks to take photos of the Dmax doing the crossings.  I had plenty of footage of Richards Landcruiser as they travelled were always behind us at the crossings. The Dmax had the winch to get us out if need be and once safely across we could then assist Richard as required.

At Nolan’s Creek, with camera in hand I got wet and walked the creek to get the shots. Well I wasn’t the best camera woman, I missed filming the last and devastating creek crossing at Nolan’s Creek.  This was our last water crossing of the OTT and disastrously the ute lost traction and was stuck floating in the creek. At the time, my thoughts were this can’t be good!  The great little gadget holders that we put between the seat and centre console that were fantastic to hold phones, iPad, E-reader also great for collecting all those bits that fall between the seat and get lost well in this case they became buckets and drowned whatever was in them. By some miracle only Chris’ iPad became a casualty in this case.

When we arrived in Bamaga we went to the first mechanic who told us some very devastating news that Ursula (The Dmax) was a write off!!  We were horrified and using every bit of effort to stay positive. It really took a lot of willpower to remain focused, and work out what to do next. We headed to the campground at Loyalty Beach to unpack for who knew how long and try and figure out a plan on what had to be done.

The staff at Loyalty Beach were wonderful, helping us out, they found a room for us in the overflow cabins and allowed us to have a bit of privacy and get the emotions back inline. We also had time to dry out all the paperwork that had been stored under the back seat. And out in the campground lucky for us, we found an unoccupied shelter that was acquired to unload and dry out all the stuff.

As the Dmax had not stopped running and was restarting Ok, Chris made a brave decision to pull her apart himself and dry her out to work out if she truly was written off.  So, with phone calls to our friendly mechanics in Canberra Craig and Ian from Townsville Chris amazingly pulled Ursula to bits, dried out even little bit of; flooring, gadgets, electronics, then put her back together in just two days. Following the reassembling a further Scantool analysis, conducted by the mechanic at Seisa, gave us the all-clear, via the on-board computer.  We think we might have dodged a bullet or drowning to be more exact at Nolan’s Creek. The final count was one CB-Radio and as previously mentioned an iPad.


  1. Bad luck drowning the dmax but it sounds like you salvaged most of the important items. Is it going ok now? Small setback really considering what youre doing and where youve been and where youre yet to go. Keep it up.

    • Hi Adrian
      Thanks for your concern, we were quite lucky to get away with not having more problems but in the end we have made it through without too much lost. We are just finishing up a few days in Cairns where we have installed a new CB Radio, the D-Max had some other TLC; it went into a Auto Electrician for some upgrades to our auxiliary electricals, and today it went into for a checkup at a local 4WD Automotive Specialist.

      As it is the D-Max is as good as new and we are rearing to go on our next adventure.

      thanks again


  2. G’day, just happened to me in my dmax yesterday, same spot as well, water up to centre console, still driving ok some alarms coming on driving back to Cairns, spewing big time hopefully not a write off but I’ll let insurance decide (probably will to hard basket) fingers crossed

    • Hi Aly. Sorry to hear what happened, hope you are Ok. We are still going as you can tell. I was lucky I had a lot of great advice that helped me out at the time hope you get the same.

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