Upcoming Simpson Crossing

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 08:40
ThreadID: 141542 Views:1152 Replies:5 FollowUps:9
Happy Sunday!

We are in countdown for our trip across the Simpson (West to East) in June/July (notwithstanding overruling with COVID related border closures!).

The wife, our 11 y/o & 9 y/o children & myself are leaving the Sunshine Coast QLD & taking the 200 on the below route; these aren't necessarily the places we'd stay (if there are better suggested options) but are close enough to preferred drive times.

Nindigully Pub
Thargomindah (stayed outside Thargo up near the tower)
Innamincka
Marree/Lyndhurt/William Creek
Coober Pedy
Oodnadatta
Mt Dare
Dalhousie Springs
Desert Proper
Poeppel Corner
Birdsville
Home with a few stops

I/we have driven some of this previously (Warburton Crossing/K1/Poeppel Corner/Birdsville), but not north/west of Marree.

We have business & will need Internet around the 28/6 so will be planning on being at Oodnadatta around then (as we have been lead to believe that's the last place we'll be able to access it). We don't need internet after that for a week or so.

Timeframes aren't overly rigid, but Internet around the 4 or 5/7 would be preferable.

We'll grab a Sat Phone from Mt Dare.

We are all good for camping but wanted some ideas/feedback on camp areas/things to see/where NOT to stay along the way in case we've missed a few.
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Reply By: Pepper - Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 09:58

Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 09:58
i think oodnadatta only has phone range with optus....no telstra..

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Follow Up By: Stefandsal - Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 11:50

Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 11:50
Oh thanks...I'll triple check that!
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Follow Up By: Member - Warren H - Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 17:44

Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 17:44
There are a number of places in SA funded by the mobile blackspots program that were Optus only, e.g. Marree, Coward Springs, Oodnadatta, William Creek, Kulgera, in mid 2019 when we were there, these were Optus only but Telstra were already on the ground digging holes at William Ck and Oodnadatta. Checking coverage maps all these but Coward Springs now have both. I reckon if running a business and you really needed to keep in contact, an old phone with an Optus pre-paid sim or vice-versa or a dual sim phone wouldn't go astray.
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Follow Up By: Stefandsal - Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 19:19

Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 19:19
Thanks heaps for that - more so internet than phone, but it does look like we'll be fine with the coverage.
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Reply By: Member - Graeme W (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 12:07

Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 12:07
The camp ground at Coward Springs, north of Marree, is worth a night. Has wood fired hot water for showers.

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Follow Up By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 14:42

Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 14:42
And he/she who lights the fire and waits 30 mins for the water to get hot, gets the first shower. No queue jumping. LOL
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 16:24

Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 16:24
I was going to suggest you travel Coober Pedy, Marla, Kulgera, Lamberts Centre & Finke, to Mt Dare, but was unsure if Kulgera had phone service. Have checked Telstra & there is a bulletin advising of a 4G small cell service there now. Thought this would save you back tracking to Oodna, unless you particularly wanted to travel up through Hamilton Downs.

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Follow Up By: Stefandsal - Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 13:03

Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 13:03
Thanks for that - no real reason to go to Oodnadatta other than say we've been there!
Distance looks about double though. I see sealed V unsealed - is it tough going the shorter but unsealed route?
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 19:48

Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 19:48
Edit - I replied here mostly to say the Ood track and Ood Road are both usually very good condition, easily done via those main roads in a 2wd road type vehicle.

Stefandsal, the Oodnadatta Tk is pretty epic, could easily spend 3 or 4 days getting up there to Dalhousie taking in all the sights, relaxed pace.
But your itinerary takes you up Oddnadatta Road form Coober Pedy to Ood, that's usually a lot better road, but misses a lot of other great places on the direct Marree - Odd route.

I see Dalhousie on your plan, when going there from Mt Dare (or opposite direction), I recall the direct section can be pretty 'bouldery' and it's better on the vehicle to go the triangle route via Bloods Ck, take in the ruins and old windmill / tank on the way.
A few years ago the ranger said to us that they were looking to do a re-route around the boulder part, but not sure if they've done that since . . . usually within a few days of 'dozing the track, the boulders somehow surface, and most are cricket ball + in size, many larger too, very slow going to not do damage.

Other . . .

Though there are camps just west of Innamincka . . . I like camping Cullyamurra Waterhole just east of Innamincka, also prior to that heading into SA Burke & Wills Dig Tree, and near Cullyamurra the Burke Memorial.

A bit of a doddle down the Inna Tk to Marree, then whatever route you take to Ood from there.
Hema maps Great Desert Tracks maps have most of the highlights shown for all routes.

If you can work it in, PerdikaTk (route No 8) is well worth it, with old Perdika siding, Cherrikana Waterhole, and the amazing Dalhousie ruins to check out.

I have personally only camped at Dalhousie once, that was enough . . . no fires, usually lots of mossies, pretty boring place to camp.
If able to, camping at Eringa Waterhole (Eringa ruins, Sydney Kidmans first property !) is beaut.

Enjoy your trip, if it's your first full crossing you wil lalways remember this, as will the family.
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Follow Up By: Stefandsal - Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 20:08

Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 20:08
Thanks Les, very informative & we may change the itinerary somewhat to heed some of your advice. Yes, first full crossing...kids VERY excited.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021 at 07:54

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021 at 07:54
We camped at The Dig Tree instead of Innaminka, honesty box at the
entrance gate.Coward Springs or Beresford waterhole north of Coward Springs is also a good spot to camp along the Oodnadatta, and the Algebuckina Bridge.

I agree with Les, (PK Ranger). The drive from Oodnadatta through Hamilton Station is pretty good, also camping at Eringa Waterhole/Ruins. Have camped there a few times, if it is hot, and there is usually water in the waterhole, you can swim there. Keep an eye out for Sturts Desert Pea along the way.

As for the Simpson Crossing, a swim at Dalhousie is great, very warm water. We camped at Purni Bore rather than Dalhousie. If you intend having a camp fire, it will pay you to carry fire wood in with you, as there is very little along the way. Also, I am not sure if you can collect firewood as it is a National Park.

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021 at 10:13

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021 at 10:13
Hi Stefandsal, no problems :)
Don't get me wrong, Dalhousie well worth a visit, a swim in the warm waters is so brilliant, especially after a crossing.
As you are going the other way, check out another great way to wash down (people and vehicle) at the other end, in Birdsville.
The geothermal power plant has an outlet just on the north side of town, on the Bedourie Rd, literally opposite where the camel iron sheet figures are at the town boundary, there is a concrete slab vehicle wash down hose with nice warm water.
Get the kids in their shorts and hose em off :D
Even I did this once or twice after crossings, feels great.
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Reply By: Member - RobnJane(VIC) - Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 17:55

Sunday, Apr 18, 2021 at 17:55
While in the Marree and Lyndhurst area it would be worthwhile dropping in to Farina, Great campground by the creek, donkey showers, bakery working from late May to mid July.
Lots of history to explore and preservation works being undertaken by volunteers.
Road from Lyndhurst to Farina and Marree is all sealed now, great for the locals.
Rob.
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Reply By: Member - DOZER - Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 21:01

Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 21:01
Enjoy your travels, Eringa is a nice free camp on the main road into Mt Dare. Id have to stay the night at Congee lake Innamincka, if i were there....but time constraints may stop you.
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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