Comment: Simpson Desert via Geosurveys Hill

Posted to a thread previously somewhere on the forum, but wanted to point out here in the Trek notes . . .
The Open Street Map route overlay in the Simpson Desert via Geosurveys Hill trek . . .
Don't follow these shot lines up top from Mirraponga Pongunna Lake (itself very dodgy driving, soft even at some fringes), they are no longer driveable.
Although you can see faint outlines of them very rarely, all the terrain is 'mongulated'.
Better to go up the corridors from French Line (a little east of Erabena Tk), or come down from Madigan.
We tried going from Geo Centre to Geosurveys, but with only 6km to go recognised we had to bail out as the East - West direction was just too fuel sapping to keep going west (unsure if anything like a track from the hill to Colson), and trying to make the Colson crossing, going out via Madigan 2, 1a, Mac Clark, Old Andado, etc to Mt Dare.
We bailed back to Gen Centre corridor, then south as best we could to FL as above.
The main issue was fuel.
3.0TDi duel cabs that normally use 17lt/100km normal desert crossing maximum, were using more like 30, maybe 40lt at times !!
The mongulated terrain was the issue mostly, with speeds of only 10km/hr possible most of the time, 3 days in there we managed between 50km and 70km for a while day driving, just about idling, too much on / off pedal with terrain, using fuel in vast amounts.
I made Mt Dare with ~ 10lt of fuel out of 205lt I left Birdsville with.
Will be going back in a couple of years, do that route in reverse though until making Geosurveys Hill, Geo Centre(s) again, then either down to FL or up to Madigan.
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Reply By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 09:05

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 09:05
It should be interesting Les. We will have 255 litres on board but the car is a 4.2TD. At least drivinging west to east we will have the option to return to some kind of reality by using the Hay River Track and bypassing the Adria Downs section.

Had to put the trip back to late July as sister in law is going to hospital and we will wait until after the convalescence. It'l be the wet season for us, the way this trip is going.

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 10:38

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 10:38
G'day Phil, ah yeah, you're doing Madigan I am pretty sure . . . that should be pretty ok, as compared to driving pretty much raw country into the geo centre as we did along that route in the link . . .

From what I've heard Madigan is pretty easy to follow, tracks are there in the main, Hay River should be a cake walk West to East.

I think you'll be fine with that fuel, no probs.
We had a HZJ 105 1HD-FT with 280lt on board, he finished with about 50lt, so a very good result for him, even though he used a lot more than he anticipated too.

Late July ?
A pity we'll miss you then, doing another crossing early July (just 2 months between the two trips) BV to Mt Dare via French Line . . . nice easy one htis time, should be like a drive down King William Street compared to the centre !! . . . then to Alice, West Macs, Palm, Boggy Hole, home by 18th.

Enjoy your trip.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 12:12

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 12:12
The Simpson sounds like it's going to be as busy as Street. I saw a bit on West macs on TV (4WD Touring Australia) on the weekend and wouldn't mind going there myself. One day!!!


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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 12:20

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 12:20
Yeah, we are right in the first week of school hols, so will be a tad busier out there than previous trips.

Also have a look at East Macs, VERY nice too.
Would be superb to tack on say 5 days after a Hay River run, to take a good look on the way to Alice.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 12:34

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 12:34
Home is in Canberra mate. Waiting on one side of the family who live in Adelaide to go to both sides of the macs with them. Besides I will only have three days to get to the hospital for treatment after Alice any way. Just having 4 weeks between treatments is hard to plan a big trip. I may tell them to stick one treatment and "wag school" for a long trip.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 13:29

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 13:29
All the best with treatment Phil, hope you get your long break sometime very soon.
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Follow Up By: Member - backtracks - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 20:48

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 20:48
Thanks for the info Les. I will be another one doing the geo centre around 10 th of July. I might have to pack an extra jerry of petrol ! However our route will be the more standard Colson- shot line-inter dune- French line. Might see you on your second trip ! Cheers, Ian.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 21:29

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2015 at 21:29
G'day Ian,
Up Colson from FL ~ 27.3km, shot line on right ?
Runs through to other cleared line running at 90 degrees, but that is about 69km though.
We saw that from shotline start point at the east end and we kept heading past that down the corridor to FL.

Have heard that shot line is a very tough drive going west, maybe a little easier going east.

If you want the easiest / fastest way, going FL east past Erabena Tk about 14km, then turn NNE to follow corridors up to geo centre, you could most likely find our tracks from early May still.
Not as much of a challenge as the shot line though :D

There are some interesting relics running up that dune corridor to the centre, and plenty of very good camping spots.

Are you running back the same route, or driving out Madigan / other ?

10th July we'll be out of the desert and leaving Mt Dare heading to Chambers Pillar that day.
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