Best time for Simpson (Weather, Road Close)

Submitted: Monday, May 13, 2002 at 00:00
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I am planning a trip to the Simpson Dessert and the area around Alice for next year and am interested in the following points.
1. Best time to travel, ie, Easter or June School Hols with regard to heat and possiblitiy of Road closures due to rain Etc.
2. How much fuel to cross the Simpson (From Birdsville end) required in a GQ 2.8 TD. Loaded for the trip with three kids and Tent etc.
Thanks in advance, Steve.
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Reply By: Mike - Monday, May 13, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, May 13, 2002 at 00:00
Steve - do plenty of homework before you cross the Simpson. There's lots around on this site and others. Easter would be the very earliest. June is the better choice. In my experience diesels need a little under 100l from Oodnadatta to Birdsville via the French Line with a few detours - total around 700km. Therefore in my opinion you should carry at least 150l. Also take HF radio or sat phone (can be hired from police) There's a good desert parks bulletin put out by the SA gov. links on this site I think or search for desert parks ... it gives road closures and conditions. You've got plenty of time to plan food, water etc (take plenty of both as it's easy to get stuck muddy sections around Dalhousie and Purnie Bore.) Good luck and you'll have a great time! PS 4 days from Dalhousie Springs to Birdsville is probably a good guide if travelling with kids - that gives not too early starts and making camp well before the sun goes down!
AnswerID: 3505

Reply By: Darian - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 00:00
Was in that general area last September (2001), plus around the Alice and Yulara - because they had a generally long wet period for many months prior to September , the outback was like a bloody botanic garden - you have to see the flowers to believe it - the best area may have been around Yulara / Katatjuta - a spring season that follows a long wet is absolutely marvellous out there - thats my plug.dp
AnswerID: 3525

Reply By: Ruth - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 00:00
The best time for the Simpson Desert is June or July - when the weather is colder. Easter is normally very wet and the Desert can quite often be closed. September is much too late - always dust and wind storms which makes being out there very unpleasant, particularly if you are travelling with kidsm it can also be hotter than you are used to. Mike has given you really good advice (as always) It's a magic place - take plenty of time through there to enjoy it to the fullest.
AnswerID: 3536

Reply By: Werner - Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Steve, we travelled in a convoy last year through the Simpson Desert from Oodnadatta to Birdsville via Dalhousie Springs and French Track. Copped quite a bit of rain first night into the desert making the interdunal sections of the track more difficult than the sand dunes themselves. Also had to traverse around a number of detours near the Eyre Creek system as there was still quite a bit of water in the creek. On a previous trip travelled along the WAA line which in my opinion is a bit more scenic than the French track. On the trip last year we used about 83 litres of diesel to cover about 740km in a 2.8L Toyota 4Runner. It would pay to work on a fuel consumption of about 20L/100km as the fuel consumption will rise if the sand is soft and dry. Also make sure the Eyre Creek Crossing is open before you go. If you consider these points and those of the other replies, you should have an enjoyable trip.

As far as Central Australia goes can recommend the following spots to visit : Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon, Rainbow Valley, Chambers Pillar, Trephina Gorge. There is an interesting tag-along 4WD trip on Idracowra station to Chambers Pillar. We went on this one (cost $75 Easter 2001) which gives a rarely travelled approach to Chambers Pillar.

June, July are probably the best times to visit the Simpson, beware the nights can get very cold.
April - August are good for Central Australia.

Wildflowers are dependent on rainfall.

Hope this info is a help,

Werner
AnswerID: 3544

Follow Up By: Steve - Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 00:00
Thankyou all for the valuable info. I think that June is the way to go. I've allready seen parts of Alice but hope to go out to Chambers pillar, Rainbow Valley, and I believe there is a track down the Finke River I'll look at. I'll also re visit Palm Valley. Thanks again.
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