Track condition Simpson Desert

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 04, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1250 Views:2094 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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what is the present condition of the tracks from Mt Dare to Birdsville and where best to get an update?
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Reply By: Darian - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2002 at 00:00
Best advice is apparently gained from the ...........Ranger, SA Desert ParksHQ (based at Port Augusta)
1800 816 078 or 8648 5300 (very helpful folk - ask for Pearce Dougherty if he is available) ......also the Police and the Pink Roadhouse people at Oodnadatta are very obliging. (don't have the numbers on me - directory assistance).......Cheers......dp
AnswerID: 3992

Follow Up By: Lee - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2002 at 00:00
Call Adam at the Pink Roadhouse in Oodnadatta - 1800 802 074, he has all the updates, detailed info from experience and he also asks people who have come from the desert what it was like. He informs National Parks of conditions as they are in Port Augusta, not in the desert. Adam has produced his own series of mudmaps, ask him to send you some, they are a wealth of information for the whole area.
FollowupID: 1692

Reply By: colin - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks for prompt info ,colin
AnswerID: 3995

Reply By: Ed Bee - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2002 at 00:00
I travelled the French Line 3 days ago and it was good going east to west . The western approaches to the bigger dunes are inclined to be chopped up but still present no great problems for a west to east xing. A few corrigations on the flats, enjoy, Ed
AnswerID: 3998

Reply By: Weddy - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2002 at 00:00
Travelled west to east from Oodnadatta (didn't go to Mt.Dare) in late May via the French Line, Colston Track, WAA Line, Knolls Track, French Line etc. We found the track condition to be no worse than our expectations. We averaged about 20 kph (including re runs at a few sandhills) and took four days from Oodna to Birdsville.
Keep tyre pressures low, and don't take a trailer.
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Follow Up By: Ruth - Wednesday, Jun 05, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jun 05, 2002 at 00:00
Hello Weddy, nice to meet up with you again after five years. Glad you enjoyed the trip.
FollowupID: 1701

Reply By: Ruth - Wednesday, Jun 05, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jun 05, 2002 at 00:00
Colin, I was out there on Friday/Saturday just gone. Weather was wonderful but surprised how badly corrugated dunes and interdunal claypans were. Dunes not just corrugated but deep holes gouged by high tyre pressures and too much speed. I was in High Range - using 3rd, 2nd and 1st gears, in a 100 Series with 20 in front and 22 in back, but not much weight. The gouged holes are not even so right front in move forward and then left front in etc. - as I see no need for speed in the Desert it wasn't a problem for my suspension. I did pull off to one side to allow 10 vehicles in convoy to pass - they were going to West to East. I was quite taken aback at the speed they were told to travel at and not at all surprised when one vehicle gouged into the dune I was on (spectacular photo opportunity - the sand was the same colour as the vehicle and sprayed up wonderfully) but a few sandhills on the convoy needed to pull up as one of the vehicles had lost his towbar, then found he had driven over it and then found that he had holed his fuel tank.
On the way back the next day I was just starting up a small dune which was quite badly holed when two bikes came flying over the top - I pulled to the left (hindered by a small tree) and as they stopped to tell me something (obviously about a following vehicle) the said Troopie came airborne over the top of the dune and headed straight for me - I could see that the Troopie was fighting to miss me but was not at all sure about the empty large bike trailerwhich was swung around towards the driver's side of the vehicle. This guy didn't even pull up and was maintaining total radio silence. The bike ramps flapping in the back of the trailer will have fallen out by now and be creating a traffic hazard somewhere on the QAA - they wouldn't have made it to the Corner.
One of the bikes was still off to the side and I suggested he might get the driver to slow his speed - I was told to 'Grow up and .... off'.
Back to the original point - if everyone lowered their tyre pressure and drove gently and I was covering the dunes at about 15 - 20 klm with up to 3,000 rpm (the very tops are quite loose sand)- I didn't have to back up on any dune not even Big Red - which is quite tough at the moment and getting covered in lots of chicken runs - it would be helpful and more pleasant for other people - certainly a lot safer. I don't usually frighten easily but that episode left me with the shakes for a while and then, very very angry at stupidity. It was over in such a quick time that I didn't have a chance to get his registration number. As we kept going east his track was easy to follow - the trailer track - couldn't complain about the damage it did because it only hit the track every 20 feet.
Colin, the French Line is worse than the QAA Line at the moment. The QAA has deteoriated very quickly. Other than that the trip will still be wonderful as the weather is glorious, just give yourself a bit more time.
I also know I'm whistling in the wind.
AnswerID: 4024

Follow Up By: Member - Mal - Thursday, Jun 06, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Jun 06, 2002 at 00:00
Dearest Ruth, I don't believe anyone could tell you to "Grow up and .... off" and live to tell the tale! By the way, I think I have solved the "stuff falling out the back" problem. I ordered a new GLX turbo diesel LC yesterday. It has a warning light to let you know when the back is open. Pass this on to "happy trails" Mike when he comes out to see you. Bye. Mal.
FollowupID: 1718

Reply By: Ruth - Friday, Jun 07, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Jun 07, 2002 at 00:00
Oh Mal you lucky lucky thing. You must get a wonderful wage/salary -I can only afford a plastic Toyota. Can't wait to see your new car. I am going to buy you a little soft hat for Christmas and you can wear it when you travel around Australia on the black stuff in the new car because you won't want to take it anywhere adventurous anymore. Just joking, Mal. You know how news travels before you even reach town (you know Mal) well travellers told me about the two bikes and the Troopie and one of the bikes didn't work anymore before he got to where he was going. Other travellers had a few problems with that lot also. Still you get that out in the wide world, don't you? Check the discussions on Frank's query about gun permits. Phew.
AnswerID: 4072

Follow Up By: Mike - Friday, Jun 07, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Jun 07, 2002 at 00:00
Ruth, Mal must be doing ok eh? I wonder if he will take notice of the little light on the dash? I wonder if it is shaped liked gear falling out the back door, hehehe. See you and the Indians in 5 weeks.
Happy trails, Mike.
FollowupID: 1739

Reply By: Keith - Friday, Jun 07, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Jun 07, 2002 at 00:00
Colin, I travelled east to west recently in a LC 80 series without any problems and can't add much to the info others have already supplied. I can confirm some big holes in the tracks in the dunes which means the vehicle and contents get bounced about quite a bit. So make sure your load is well secured in the truck and on the roof rack. Also, don't forget the fridge....our tomato sauce ended up in the butter because the bumps moved the fridge contents around!!!
AnswerID: 4076

Reply By: colin - Monday, Jun 10, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Jun 10, 2002 at 00:00
Thank you all again for the valuable info Regards. Colin
AnswerID: 4103

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