Me & Dad - Brisbane to the Simpson - junket.

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 11, 2013 at 23:18
ThreadID: 102728 Views:3688 Replies:5 FollowUps:6
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Hi Folks,

I'm planning a trip out to the Simpson in August, I'll be taking my Dad with me though he won't know anything about it until he see's Birdsville on a sign I expect. Not even telling him we're going anyway - we'll just drive out of home and keep on rolling.

I've done a whole lot of reading here and other spots around the web but as you'd know, finding specific detail to match against the ideas in my head can be a challenge. What I'd like to know is whether my planned route and timing is realistic.

Am I allowing too much time, too little time or do I have it about right?

Original intended route is Brisbane --> Birdsville --> Clifton Hills --> Rig Rd --> K1 Track --> Poeppel Corner --> QAA Line --> Birdsville --> Brisbane.

Thinking of 4-5 days getting to and from Birdsville and I'd like to have 3-4 nights in the desert. In the desert, I'm happy enough doing ~7hrs daily travel. If consensus is that I've "too much" time, then I'd look to add in Innamincka or perhaps following the Rig Rd up to the middle of French Line and heading back east to Poeppel from there.

We'll be doing the run in my D40 DC, 2" lift with 33" Coopers ST Maxx, I've done quite a bit of beach, nat park and 4x4 parks but not the desert before. No snorkel on the truck, 50/50 as to whether I get one on before hand.

Happy to hear any and all feedback, thanks in advance!


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Reply By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, Jun 11, 2013 at 23:46

Tuesday, Jun 11, 2013 at 23:46
Get a snorkel, engines last longer if they get dust free air.
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AnswerID: 512978

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 08:55

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 08:55
You didn't mention a UHF radio or a sand flag. Also no need for a snorkle. I gather that you have a compressor to pump up your tyres after the desert. Tyres will be fine.

My wife and I would be okay with the Brisbane to Birdsville and back. But not my elderly sister. Too much for her. She is in her 80's.

Three days in the desert will be fine for a first visit. I gather that you and/or your father have commitments in Brisbane that limit the time away.

Personally, for a peek and a poke trip, go for it if Dad is up to it.

AnswerID: 512983

Follow Up By: Briscott - Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 09:03

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 09:03
Thanks Phil, and yes, flag, UHF, satphone, plugging kit, compressor, recovery kit, first aid kit, maxtrax, shovel, extra spare etc are all pretty standard in my kit.

Dad's pretty fit at 70 so no real concern there.

I've read quite a few of your posts which has helped with my planning - do you think my route will fit into that time frame? Would I have time there to add in Innamincka too?

I'm looking at Friday to the Sunday week for the whole trip.

Thanks again, Scott
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 09:26

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 09:26
It took us just about 5 hours from Innamincka to Birdsville so the reverse would be about the same. But that wasn't on the Cordillo Downs road and the other one was in good nick. I gather that it would be nice to visit the DIG tree area then. Good idea. If he is anything like me that would be a damned good idea. Are you thinking of visiting the Stockmans Hall of Fame in Longreach. A bit out of the way I think but worth considering.

The only drive that we have done heading westward from the Brisbane area was a trip from Canberra, up through Lighting Ridge to Roma and then west. You will have to compare the two return paths yourself.

Dad at 70! Mate no worries. I have a stuffed hematology (blood) disorder and I am 67 and I would do it on my own. So if he is fit then no worries.

I though that you would have the rest of the kit but just checking.

Have fun. It's worth it just to experience a desert.

You do not have to answerthis one if you prefer. Is this a "special" drive? My sister is not to well and before she got worse I took her up into the Victorian High country above Mount Beauty and Falls Creek to where we lived when I was a baby to where she used to herd the high country cattle. It was worth every second of the visit. We even ran into people, all locals of course, who knew her both in the valley and of all places Falls Creek. Just walking down the street I asked a couple of gents around her age and bugger me they both knew her. We had such a time. Couldn't get away from them. Couldn't pay for anything as soon as the word got around they came out of the woodwork. I am so cut up now thinking about it. It was hard for her to leave. Like I said worth every second.

FollowupID: 791599

Follow Up By: Briscott - Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 10:12

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 10:12
Not a special trip in that regard, but the general intent is the same. I've got a hectic sort of life and I don't get to spend the time with Dad that I want or he deserves. Of late I've converted the family to campers (parents, sisters fam and us) so we can spend more time on the basics but even then it's all too easy for quality time to slip away.

Thanks for the tip on the dig tree, hadn't thought of it but will put it into the trip.

Longreach is something Mum and Dad are both dead keen on so I'll leave that one to them to enjoy together.
FollowupID: 791603

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 10:29

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 10:29
No worries mate

We had a family trip just after I got the "good" news.

Quality time is so worth it.


PS The boys even purchased cars to go on the trip.

FollowupID: 791605

Reply By: Member - DesertDWLR - Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 10:00

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 10:00
Hi Scott,

Have done a very similar route to that in my D40 that I had at the time, same 2" lift and 33" tyres.
The main difference to the the route I took was going Brisbane - St George - Thargomindah - Camerons Corner - Innamincka - Cliffton Hills......

You will have no problem problem with the vehicle and setup you have, a snorkel is not really required. You may find 4-5 days in the desert will be too long unless you like sitting around a lot, as you could still do that part taking it easy in 2-3 nights.

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Follow Up By: Briscott - Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 10:26

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 10:26
Thanks Chris, we're not too great at sitting idle and can flex the trip to suit, I've got 12 weeks of leave accrued and Dad is retired so we can afford to make a few blunders on timing if we bite off too much.

I'm thinking a similar route to yours to the desert now, family run the Nindigully pub and last night I was looking at heading toward Innamincka as the start point - then through Walkers Crossing to Clifton and so on.

If not that, we might head in via Charleville, down the track to Clifton and back to Birdsville via QAA. If we still have plenty of time, we could then head down to Innamincka, Cameron's Corner etc and home via St George.

I'll do some more mapping and throw the plan up for comment :)
FollowupID: 791604

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 14:34

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 14:34
Scott apparently the Warburton Crossingand Walkers Crossing are both open (Thread 101852).

You may want to look at using the K1 line from Poepells Corner to exit the desert towards the south and then use the Warburton Crossing, up the Birdsville Track and then southeast through Walkers Crossing to Innamincka.


FollowupID: 791619

Reply By: Robyn R4 - Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 19:02

Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013 at 19:02
What a lovely thing to do!
I have done an annual trip with my dad for the last 9 years (Aus and overseas) and nothing- nothing -beats the time together.
Hubby and I have done as far as Birdsville (and we're sorta from Brissy way). Last September we did to Nindigully, then Thargominda, Tibooburra, Innamincka via Cameron Corner, Birdsville, Windorah, Charleville and home. Didn't have 12 weeks like you do!!
We have a Kia Sorento and it did it easily, but you're throwing in a bit of the ol' desert challenges!
We just did western Qld again at Easter and can't wait to get out again. The loop from Birdsville north to Boulia and across to Winton sounds so beautiful with the mesas etc....have you looked on the map to the north of Birdsville too?
Read Evan McHugh's "Birdsville" book before you go, or the Tom Kruse's recent biography...certainly teaches you a thing or two about the "behind the scenes" ways of life in the outback...and you'll even appreciate every meal when you know what they had to go through to get the food from the supermarkets!!
AnswerID: 513005

Reply By: Briscott - Saturday, Jun 22, 2013 at 12:35

Saturday, Jun 22, 2013 at 12:35
Thanks for your thoughts guys, it looks to me like budget could be the killer on this trip, might have to wait until next year unfortunately.

Tyres are the biggest contributor to my decision, whilst I have plenty of life in the tyres I have, they really aren't much good in the sand and of all the places to go and punish them, the desert isn't one!

I might change this trip up into a Fraser trip instead where I can still get on with new tyres but will save a fair chunk on fuel, spares, sat phone etc.

I'm pretty flat about it but I'd rather do the trip when I have spare funds to allow for whatever may come.

Thanks again for your input,

AnswerID: 513585

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