Simpson Desert - French Line

Submitted: Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 21:13
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Hi all, we just completed the Simpson East - West over the QAA - French Line (2 vehicles) the track is in great condition at the moment, we were able to do it in 2 days 1 night (took us 3 days last August) with the usual coffee and lunch stops and heading off at 8am til 4.30 to camp. Only had to go to Low Range half a dozen times! Got into Mt Dare last night (second day) at 6pm.
Ran upto Alice today via Binn track and old Molly's HS, excellent track and well worth seeing the homestead, it's like she was going back!

By the way, we did the inside track on Birdsville track on way up, it's worth doing.

David
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Reply By: cookie1 - Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 22:42

Monday, Apr 29, 2013 at 22:42
Thanks David, I am heading that way in the next few weeks so good to hear - I may as well do the Inside track while I'm at it

Cheers

Cookie
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Reply By: Will 76 Series - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 06:12

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 06:12
David,

Thanks for the update. I am doing the FL in Aug west to east with two other vehicles. We were planning on 3 days and 2 nights.
Just a few enquiries,
Any tips about camping at Dalhousie?
What was your average speed and fuel consumption from Birdsville to Dalhousie?
What was the cost of the permits?
How did you go with tyre pressures for the trip?

Regards Will
AnswerID: 510009

Follow Up By: David16 - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 07:43

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 07:43
Hi Will, in Aug definitely allow for 3 days as the track will be cut up a lot more, already the west faces to the dunes were rutted (that's was our down side) The East faces were still excellent.
I used 75 lt diesel in an 07 landrover disco 3, my mate used 80lt in 2010 Pajero, make sure you carry extra fuel and spares. You need to get a SA parks pass, Dalhousie is great camp ground but no fires now spoils the fun but you can still have fires at Mt Dare.
David
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Follow Up By: David16 - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 07:49

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 07:49
Sorry Will, rest of your questioned answers, I ran 14 in front and 16 rear hot. I believe a first time permit purchase is $120+ but not sur as I renew mine which is cheape, only fuel is at Birdsville and Mt Dare but make sure you call ahead as Mt Dare ran out last Aug for a couple of days.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 08:37

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 08:37
Will

The SA deserts pass is $150. I did notice a reference to a single park pass. At a quick glance it does not cover the Simpson. Worth asking David16 about his though again.

This is the SA link SA Desert Parks Pass

Enjoy the drive. It was amass with flowers when we went through.

Phil

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Follow Up By: Mark T6 - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 15:29

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 15:29
Things must have changed we had a fire at Dalhousie when we were there in 2011, bit sad as that's half the fun.

It's funny how different conditions can speed you up or slow you down, we didn't take it too hard in 2011 but went across after a bunch of T-Van owners (21 of them)....the dunes were terribly chopped up and scalloped and we in fact took 5 days, 4 nights to get over....although we did depart about 8.00am and pulled up between 3.30pm and 4.00pm each day.

The two days after Purni Bore we managed just 50 kms a day VERY VERY hard going.

But great fun
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 16:39

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 16:39
After the polite request and explanation not to take them in the SA Desert Pass Documentation pack, anyone I see towing in the Simpson I would consider them either selfish or don't care about the environment or anyone else.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Mark T6 - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 16:42

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 16:42
BUT PJR (Phil) they still do, I bet hundreds of trailers go over this year.

I am doing the CSR in July-August they forbid them BUT I bet we see some on the way.

I don't have a worry with people who have them, just take them where appropriate and leave them at home when not.
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Follow Up By: Member - Justin O (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 17:18

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 17:18
May their clutches burn out or their autos fry. Am I being too harsh?
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Follow Up By: David16 - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 18:00

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 18:00
Yes they stopped fires and wood collection this year.
For the record it's not only trailers that potentially damage the tracks, when we got to Mt Dare there was a group that took 6 days as they had to winch their mate in a poorly prepped vehicle over ever large dune, they were a party of 7 and thought it funny! Should have seen the mess they left behind them!!
I would have sent him back at Big Red!
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 18:12

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 18:12
There is only one comment:

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Follow Up By: cookie1 - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 21:06

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 21:06
"I am doing the CSR in July-August they forbid them BUT I bet we see some on the way."

Slight correction, you cannot take trailers on Cunyu Land (Well 1 - 9 I think ) you have to go in via Granite Downs or Glen-Ayle Stations and both charge a $20 fee for using their track.

The thing is that these are some really nice areas so if you tow a trailer then you miss out.

We witnessed a group going through and they were having real trouble, tyre pressures were high and they were tearing up the dunes - we were behind them and it did get better when we past them.

We heard them from far away over the radios and they were getting louder & clearer when we got closer.

Cheers

Cookie
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Reply By: Will 76 Series - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 18:32

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 18:32
David & All,

Thanks for the info, I am looking forward to our tip in Aug and 3 days for us sounds the go. A shame about the fires as we were planning to take a bit of wood in.

Regards Will
AnswerID: 510054

Follow Up By: David16 - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 19:35

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 19:35
Will, you can still have fires in Simpson just not Witijirri park, plenty of wood out in Simpson for you!
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 21:27

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2013 at 21:27
Nothing beats a cool evening in the desert after dinner with a nice cuppa. And a fire to keep the chill out of the bones.

This was our first night and morning in the desert. Headed in from Purnie Bore and along the WAA line. Nice open spot to enjoy our first evening. Just a solo drive. Desert flowers everywhere.

Location: 26°19'14.00"S 136°44'16.00"E

Wood came from home - white bags in the profile photo. Only used two. Small price for purchase and diesel usge to take our own.

Phil





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Follow Up By: Mark T6 - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 at 08:19

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 at 08:19
Yes not only trailers....hard to imagine this but we came upon a group of three going across, one if them was a Subaru Forrester.

They were literally towing it up and over each Dune!!

They also thought it was "great fun".
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 at 08:40

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 at 08:40
On our first visit to Big Red we had to use that detour down to near the wire fence. We followed a Forrester on the detour and after getting stuck several times he finally got the message and turned back. Minus some underbody plastic protection as well.

Even with a small lift and larger tyres we were scraping the bottom of the 100 series along the center "hump".

AAAAAGGGGGHHHHH.

I admit that some people and SUV/AWD combinations go everywhere. But not ALL. That's what people forget. Too much ego and not enough humble pie to realise that they are not the worlds best drivers after all.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Mark T6 - Wednesday, May 01, 2013 at 09:52

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 at 09:52
The worst thing about these people is that they can really stuff it up for those that are following, either immediatley (as in having to wait) or the damage they make to a track.

Yes I have to laugh at the little 4x4 sign at the back of an X-Trail....yes it's a "all wheel drive" but it certainly isn't a fourby.

I was on Fraser Island at Easter and saw a little Nissan stuck on some rocks.....I cant't imagine the damage they would have done getting it off.

Oh well, all sorts of people make the world go round they say!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Jo Q (NSW) - Friday, May 03, 2013 at 10:21

Friday, May 03, 2013 at 10:21
Hi PJR & Mark,

I crossed The Simpson last year with my 4WD Club where we went across in convoy from Mt Dare to Birdsville in 4 days.

Every car in the convoy was self sufficent, carried their own fuel, spares (including 2 spare tyres per vehicle) & recovery gear. Prior to the trip there was a great deal of planning, communication and trip meetings between members to ensure everyone was aware of the challenges of the trip and what was required for each vehicle.

Our 4WD Club takes the "Tread Lightly" motto seriously, camper trailers were forbidden amongst our group and the main aim was to cross the Simpson in the safety with minimum impact to the environment. Every vehicle in our convoy crossed the Simpson with not one mechanical issue, including a flat a tyre, and every vehicle traversed Big Red with no problems. Not once was any recovery equipment in our convoy used. We had a diverse mix of vehciles & drivers in our convoy.

On approaching Big Red, our convoy got all vehicles to the top with minimum fuss, not necesaarily by the most challenging track up, but we all got to the top nonetheless. I can safely say that the group that was there before us & were trying endless times to get their vehicles up the dune via the hardest route were far from "Treading Lightly"!

As a side note, the 4WD Club was the Subaru & Recreational 4WD Club and 2 of those cars in our convoy were Subaru Foresters.

Cheers,

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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Friday, May 03, 2013 at 18:00

Friday, May 03, 2013 at 18:00
Go Jo! :-) Cape York next...
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