Desert Pass - cost

Submitted: Friday, May 20, 2016 at 15:23
ThreadID: 132468 Views:2884 Replies:10 FollowUps:28
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I would like your opinion on cost of Desert Pass issued by South Australian government.

I personally think it is most expensive toll-way in Australia. $150,~ for very few days crossing Simpson Desert and only very, very few real camping sites.

And they have a ball to ask me to fill their FREE guided survey, so I wouldn’t be able to really write what I actually think.
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Reply By: dean ( SA ) - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 16:36

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 16:36
Agreed it's overpriced for only a couple of nights in the Simpson but good value if you camp and visit multiple parks like below in one trip or multiple trips within the year.
It would be good if they added a day visit and overnight camping permit like Innamincka,Lake Eyre, Coongie, etc.
I think the renewal is $ 90 now which we did a few years back just to drive on the K1 line.
Still you either pay or don't go.
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Follow Up By: Danna - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:03

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:03
Good point;
but the Desert Pass is not exactly for one year, is it ....... Simpson Desert is closed for 4months (intelligent decision). But in wet weather like now, most of desert tracks and campsites are closed.
And, you still running out on your pass .... Would be only fair to at least extend the pass for period that you can't go there if it's not by your choice?
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Follow Up By: dean ( SA ) - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:08

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:08
Yep luck of the draw regarding weather.

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Follow Up By: Dion - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 09:00

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 09:00
Not exactly a valid comment that the Desert Pass is not exactly for one year is it.
The Desert Pass covers more deserts and parks than just the Simpson Desert, which are opened 12 months of the year. So it would be unfair to extend it based on the Simpson seasonal closure, you could choose to visit another Desert or Park to which the Desert Pass is still applicable to.
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 16:53

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 16:53
Not the dearest tollway by any stretch , try the Jardine River 3 minute ferry , still the biggest rip-off with the desert pass is that there is nil real discount if you do NOT want the maps , the maps are NOT updated year to year yet you are forced to PAY for something you do not need or want…...
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 16:59

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 16:59
I'm hearing you on the maps, but that will be the legal people at SA Parks covering off on the "we gave you maps" if you should ever get lost, or heaven forbid, perish.

The world is run by legal eagles and insurance company's these days - all about liability management.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Danna - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:05

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:05
Good point;
Desert Pass is not exactly for one year, is it ....... Simpson Desert is closed for 4months (intelligent decision). But in wet weather like now, most of desert tracks and campsites are closed.
And, you still running out on your pass .... Would be only fair to at least extend the pass for period that you can't go there if it's not by your choice?
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Follow Up By: dean ( SA ) - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:13

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:13
My first pass in 08 was about $80 and the maps then were the same as now.
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Follow Up By: Danna - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:21

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:21
With Jardine River at least they take you to other side of crocks infested river ...... Even that, you right, price is ridiculous too ..... pure greed.
If they want from me to fill their survey, they must pay for my view.....
SA government is greedy and we all should get some $ back from them when they want something.
Hooroo Dana
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Follow Up By: Danna - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:42

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:42
My early one I still have from 2005 was $60,~ + $40,~ renewal per another 2years.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 20:12

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 20:12
he Jardine fee includes unlimited camping too.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 01:08

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 01:08
SA Government isn't greedy, they are broke thanks to Weatherill/Labor.
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Follow Up By: Dion - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 09:03

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 09:03
Not exactly a valid comment that the Desert Pass is not exactly for one year is it.
The Desert Pass covers more deserts and parks than just the Simpson Desert, which are opened 12 months of the year. So it would be unfair to extend it based on the Simpson seasonal closure, you could choose to visit another Desert or Park to which the Desert Pass is still applicable to.
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Reply By: Member - mechpete - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:10

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:10
don,t winge too much about it ,
its $200 per vehicle to travel the Hay River trk from Batton Hill
an its each time you travel it
cheers mechpete
AnswerID: 600354

Follow Up By: Danna - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:34

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:34
I know, I paid for HRT $100,~ and I was pi..ed for that. But I loved Goyder's Pillar ......
Do you realise, if we stop driving those tracks most of those would disappear . We are people keeping the tracks “alive” … we should be phrased for that – not charged!
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Reply By: LAZYLUX16 - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:52

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 17:52
Who pays to fix Birdsville and Strezlecki tracks.I assume all taxpayers.So here lies the problem.As taxpayer why do we have to pay that upkeep and then pay $150 .Yes Toll is exactly that. A ripoff.!!We all spend big dollars on our vehicles paying taxes on all the mods campervans , camping gear etc etc and then buy fuel keeping businesses alive .I think 4wd drivers pay their fair share and be slugged to camp in a huge desert is just a money grab. Be nice if they supplied us with Satphone or PLB as part of fee and then return them either at Birdsville or Mt Dare..
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Follow Up By: Danna - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 18:09

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 18:09
Mind you, Birdsville & Oodnadatta tracks are for free as same as CSR they are stock route and they are by law still for free to travel. Whats more, you can legally camp on stock route side for free !!! Not many people realise that, but few years back we have had battle to keep the stock routes as the governments wanted to sell them. Didn't happened, I hope it will never happen.
Dana
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 01:17

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 01:17
Birdsville and Oddnadatta Tracks are main roads so works are funded by the state government.
CSR no longer follows the original stock route and crosses indigenous lands at various points, thus now requiring permits which come at a cost.
The Desert Parks Pass is a park entry and camping permit all rolled into one.
Quite a lot of parks have an overnight camping fee and some have entry fees.
Given the difficulty in collecting such fees in remote areas it's entirely sensible to have a yearly permit and fee.

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Reply By: Bob R4 - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 18:21

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 18:21
I think a fair solution would be the issue of a transit pass, viable for a period, say 2 weeks, allowing for overnight stops etc. which are obviously necessary because of terrain and distance.
These could be of modest cost eg. $30.
The Desert Parks Pass is good value if you are able to visit different parks over a year, but beyond the pale for a simple one-off trip.
Somebody might present this idea to the DGS (dept of Good Sense) for consideration.

Good luck.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Gramps - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 18:22

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 18:22
DGS closed down as cost saving measure :)

Regards
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Follow Up By: Danna - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 20:02

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 20:02
Gramps, like your reply ....
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 18:46

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 18:46
Hi Danna

Biggest rip off and far from value for money. The reason why I feel it is so dear is public popularity.

We do not mind paying for value for money, but where will it end? Money does not get put back into the upkeep of the Simpson, but back into Government general revenue. National Parks have drasticly cust money for Parks, cut down on staff, cut down on many other things, yet claim costs are soaring.

It's about time users give th Simpson a flick and start exploring other remote great places that are free.



Just my thoughts.



Cheers



Stephen


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Follow Up By: Tony G15 - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 19:46

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 19:46
I agree, all the tracks in WA are free, yes you need permit but don't have to pay through the nose to get them.

Doing the Simpson and Hay River soon, $350 in fees before you start.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 22:47

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 22:47
Hi Tony,

It is now getting a real joke and comes down to greed. When we first started doing the Simpson, a Desert Parks Pass was only $50 and they claimed that all money raised went back into running the Outback Parks.

They have now axed many rangers and getting the "Friends of Parks" to do a lot of jobs that were once done by rangers - so they are double dipping, no rangers wages, free labour from the Friends Groups, but making money from the Friends Group, as you have to pay to be members and the money goes back into...none other than the National Parks funds.

I am in no way knocking any Friends Groups, as they are the real backbone of our National Parks, from maintenance, through to very important survey work on all matters of things to the many valuable man hours spent repairing old structures, building fences, cleaning rubbish out from parks, bringing back to life old buildings etc and all for free. Fair being fair, and Friends Groups should have their members free of fees for the valuable time they spend behind the scenes than not many people are aware of.

If the Friends groups pulled out, our National Parks would fall into a very sad state of disrepair.


Just my ravings.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 23:03

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 23:03
And raved very well I would say.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 01:01

Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 01:01
Stephen L I worked in Simpson and drove my car when back in town for 12 weeks a year.I had to pay 12 months rego.My job was oil exploration and I payed 40c in the $ tax.I asked for permit to drive the 12 weeks of the year.But they wouldn't give me one. I worked my butt off and contributed a big way to the economy.My crew found the biggest oil reserve in Qld.We got nothing a measly $4.50 an hr. Now I have to pay to drive on the sand, makes me laugh.I still not sure what the NP. people do in Simpson Desert and what that would cost.But like our Water Minister said our Water bills go to building schools hospitals and roads ..So who pays to fix the actual water supply .Today 5 pipes burst .Politicians need to be sent to Simpson Desert to do hard labour in middle of Summer ..I think 4wdrivers contribute a huge amount of tax revenue to Gov and without them many small towns would not exist and businesses wouldnt pay tax..
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Reply By: maurice b - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 20:21

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 20:21
Tony,unless you travel west of Poepels you wont need the Desert pass to travelBirdsville to the Plenty Highway on the Hay River Track .You can legally travel 119km north of Madigan camp 15 before you enter Native land.
I agree with most of you guys about the overpriced desert pass and the high fee permit for the 115km you travel on the Hay river native land section . With the Desert Pass It's not as if they have to maintain the track.It cover a lot of parks many of us never visit. After many simo crossings i have no need to go there again except the 60km travel from Peoppels to access the Geo's from the French Line so is it fair to pay the $150 fee to travel this distance.I guess you take it or leave it.
I'm wondering how many vehicles actually cross without a permit.
AnswerID: 600364

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, May 20, 2016 at 22:55

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 22:55
Hi Maurice

I know that there are lots that travel without a Desert Parks Pass.

The trouble is that if you get caught, you are in the real shit. First up you have to pay the $150 that you never paid in the first place, then there is a fine on top of the $150 you have just paid. They do hold spot checks in the Simpson and do catch many people. Being mobile they have more one than just one vehicle out there and catch people out when least expecting to see a Ranger.

Get caught a second time, and it is a Criminal Offence and you will end up in Court.

That was told to be by a local lad from Clare that now is a Ranger and spends time there as well as in the Flinders.



Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Tony G15 - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 19:12

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 19:12
Going across Simpson, up through old Andado, cross plenty and down hay River back to Birdsville. That way i at least get part of a double Xing ha.
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 22:19

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 22:19
Would be interesting to know what the actual fine is & how many really get done over a year as after 12 crossings I'm yet to be asked for a permit & know of no one that has bar for camping at Dalhousie.
When deciding if any permit is value for money one must remember we already pay 38 cents per litre tax on fuel so the infrequent grading of SA parks roads is well & truely paid for just the government chooses to funnel that money elsewhere.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 22:33

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 22:33
Hi Crackles,

Like many Simpson Desert crossers, we have never been stopped and had our permits checked......we'll sort of.

One time when we were camped at Dalhousie and sitting around the campfire.....yes those were the days when you could still have campfires there, we noticed one guy walking around the vehicles in the darkness.

We got up immediately and shoned the torch on him to see who it was lurking around our vehicles. It turned out to be the Ranger, checking to see that everyone who was camped there did have a Desert Parks Pass. Having said that, it was the first and only time we ever saw a Ranger there, after all our desert crossings.


Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: Sigmund - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 08:03

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 08:03
$150 is around 5 nights basic park camping in Vic.

Time to focus on what you get and what it costs to provide.

What's the hourly rate of grading the accesses to Dalhousie eg?
AnswerID: 600380

Follow Up By: Tony G15 - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 19:06

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 19:06
Never seen that track graded yet. parks don't want to own it.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 20:02

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 20:02
I was at the Western end twice last year. The first time there was grading happening at Dalhousie and along Perdika. The second, a couple of months later, it was clear that much of Dalhousie to Purnie had also been done.

I spoke to a Ranger. He said they were looking at realigning Perdika, for obvious reasons.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 09:15

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 09:15
Might be expensive, Danna, but if you buy it in July, you can use it that year, then in first 6 months of following year.

Get 2 bites of the cherry.........

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 20:06

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 20:06
Wants a whinge Bob. Wasting our breath.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 22:34

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 22:34
Ha ha Bob,

We have been there, done that a few times with our Desert Parks Pass.....lol



Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: Member - stephen n2 - Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 08:47

Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 08:47
Hi Danna
I thought $150 was a bit steep but we had piece of mind that the authorities knew we were there.
What i did take exception to was the $11 fee to look at the dig tree we didnt know we had to pay until we got the gate having a 14k trip of the main road!
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