Travelling through Simpson Desert in April

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 11:14
ThreadID: 10933 Views:1651 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Hi,

We are looking at making a crossing of the Simpson Desert in about 5 to 6 weeks time - but are a bit concerned about road closures and flooding around Birdsville. I know we can still enter in OK from the West but there's not much point if we make it all the way to the other side to find we can't get out.

Does anyone know what whether things are likely to have settled down around then ?

James
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Reply By: Roachie - Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 11:31

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 11:31
James, Not sure whether things will have settled down by then, but my understanding is that there will be plenty of signs at both ends (say Birdsville and Dalhousie) letting you know whether it is okay to proceed....the last thing anybody wants is for people to enter at one end without knowing that they get right through.
Cheers
Roachie
AnswerID: 48858

Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 11:44

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 11:44
Hope you have a few car loads - the dunes are mighty tough. Easier from west to east at the moment. The Birdsville Track opened at the weekend - 4WD only (and under 3 tonne), the road east to Windorah is open for the same and the road north to Bedourie/Boulia is via Lake Machattie. Road to Innamincka is via Cordillo. Still no rain in Birdsville or SD.These are Diamantina Barra (Yellowbelly)
GO HARD OR GO HOME
AnswerID: 48859

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 14:06

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 14:06
Ruth... I dont think we have spoken before....So first i say hello.....
Couldi assume that the Simpson is open from one end to the other at the moment?....___________________________________
Simpson trip 05/04 then turn left at Birdsville to Darwin via Lawn Hill etc
___________________________________
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FollowupID: 310691

Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 14:46

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 14:46
Hello Voxson - not sure whether we have spoken or not - but I read your posts. The SD has been open all the time, just that when you got to Birdsville - there was nowhere to go, but back the same way. The dunes are really difficult at the mo - only one vehicle has been over - came west to east (a local trying to get back home) and he used the front end of his Troopie to grade the tops of the blows off - some he couldn't and had to make new track around. Nothing unusual at the end of summer. Was extremely tired at the end of the trip. By the time you get in there someone will have knocked the tops off a few more. Bit hard trying to go east to west - locals could only make two dunes past Big Red before they called Defeat. Good fun.These are Diamantina Barra (Yellowbelly)
GO HARD OR GO HOME
AnswerID: 48883

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 16:58

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 16:58
It gives me some hope then.... As you can by my tagline i am going in April.. I purposely booked holidays at this time because of the weather pattern from the last couple of years i thought July could be a little dry.... But i didnt count on a huge wet season,,, mainly my worries lie with creek crossings above Mt Isa....
I may have to adapt a 25hp Evinrude to the rear gutter of my vehicle to help once i start floating.....

Regards......___________________________________
Simpson trip 05/04 then turn left at Birdsville to Darwin via Lawn Hill etc
___________________________________
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FollowupID: 310715

Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 20:01

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 20:01
One good thing about the way you are going - the creeks go up and down really quickly - they did last week on way to Mt Isa and back. You will also be on tar all the way (apart from SD of course). Stop worrying and start counting the days. It's quite funny - my Mother is whingeing about the wet season (Mackay/Nebo area) and the walls growing fur and then in the next breath reminds that this is the way it is supposed to be every year, we are getting used to drought. The Gulf and Cape should look a picture (underwater!).These are Diamantina Barra (Yellowbelly)
GO HARD OR GO HOME
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FollowupID: 310744

Reply By: sean - Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 17:18

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 17:18
James

We crosses last year West to East in April and prior it was closed and then after we crossed it was closed, all due to rain. It also rained lightly on the way across.

Some of the salt lakes were muddy.

I dont think there is really any way of knowing except to wait and see. It is a desert so historically it does not get alot of rain.

Lakes can bog you and there is a creek west of birdsville that can flashflood to about 10 metres by the looks of it. There are detours but this takes extra fuel.

You might wait 2 weeks at the start and then get stuck for 2 weeks on the way across.

We didnt see any others once we left Purni Bore but the log at Poepell corner indicated one verhicle every 1 to 2 days each way in the days preceding.

Just plan to get out there and then ring Mt Dare in the days preceding.

Sean

AnswerID: 48896

Reply By: David O - Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 18:10

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 18:10
James,

We are also heading that way in 5 weeks time but it will be early May before we cross the Simpson, as we are spending five weeks travelling all over SA deserts.
Hope you grade the top off some of those dunes before we get there.

David
AnswerID: 48904

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 22:29

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 22:29
sounds like richard will have the tops taken off for us....we will do our bit for the environment and make em pointy again after we cross em...___________________________________
Simpson trip 05/04 then turn left at Birdsville to Darwin via Lawn Hill etc
___________________________________
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FollowupID: 310774

Reply By: Richard - Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 20:18

Tuesday, Mar 02, 2004 at 20:18
We have 3 vehicles crossing west to east 18/22 April.
AnswerID: 48921

Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 03, 2004 at 16:14

Wednesday, Mar 03, 2004 at 16:14
A new Desert Parks Bulletin was issued today which is INCORRECT. Please note that the eastern acces IS NOT CUT. Roads into and out of Birdsville are now open - admitedly to 4WD for the next few days. I have phoned the Acting chief Ranger and advised him of his (he was in a meeting) so I hope they correct this. Please also be aware that Eyre Creek (52 kilometres west of Birdsville and 28 sand dunes past Big Red) will not be flooded, therefore you will not need to take the detour. The water has not reached Muncoonie Lakes yet, way to the north. There has not been any rain in the SD but also be aware that there can be rain at anytime of the year in there - and it makes it fun. I have some wonderful photos of the SD underwater after the 99 rains, gosh it was amazing. If you want further information click on my photo of Ian and his fish. Weather is windy NE and temp about 24 overnight and 37 now - very pleasant. Biggest thing to remember is - flies are really bad and you will need - BROADBRIMMED HAT (PREFERABLY STRAW - they are not as hot for kids) AND FLY VEIL (especially for children) - peaked caps are useless. (Sorry, yes I was shouting).These are Diamantina Barra (Yellowbelly)
GO HARD OR GO HOME
(2nd Photo - Old Causeway Feb 04)
AnswerID: 49025

Reply By: Member - Howard- Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 14:09

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 14:09
James ,
when are you looking at starting the SD crossing?
I am planning departure from MtDare or Dalhousie on 15th of April all going well.
Single vehicle (well prepared 80 series and experienced) just my self and my son.
may be we can meet up, not necessarily travel together , its always good to know someone is around /will be in a few days.
regards
Howard

AnswerID: 49124

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