Simpson desert run

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 15:31
ThreadID: 21740 Views:1979 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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We are leaving in June to cross the Simpson, Tanami and then through Broome, Darwin, Kakadu etc. before heading back into Queensland. I have read with interest the suggestions as to which route to take going east to west across the Simpson. What I would like to ask, is it better to take the Rig Road or the WAA line (first time crossing).
Also our friends coming with us are driving a "Troopy". They would like to know should they change their tyres from standard to wider ones?
We were thinking of going to Oodnadatta and Coober Pedy before heading up to Uluru. This means we would miss Finke Gorge. Which would be the most interesting way to go?

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Reply By: Member Eric - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 16:29

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 16:29
We are heading the same way , leaving Melbourne on the 25th of June .
From what information I have been given , Rig road is easier , but more kms . West /East crossing is esiest due to the slope of the dunes , all 1200 of them. I think your question should ask , how many tyres to take , not what size . Once you get on the soft stuff , make sure to drop tyre pressures right down .
AnswerID: 104933

Reply By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 18:03

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 18:03
Tyres, no do not change from skinny tyres to fat - we all use skinny tyres out here and in the desert.
Rig Road is NOT easier this year. By the time you get here things will change, maybe. Suggst you make contact with a local when you arrive in Birdsville.
Do you have plenty of time to do your crossing? If so, we can draw you a route to take on the map that encompasses all the tracks and gives you a great visit in the SD. Have you looked at David & Michelle's Trek Notes? They are the best most informative notes you will get - take good heed of their advice. Don't get too stitched up about the Desert - it's a wonderful adventure out there - just make sure you have lots of time to enjoy.
AnswerID: 104943

Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 20:54

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 20:54
I must endorse these comments, both the tyres and the route. Take as many tracks as you can. WAA is interesting in the first section, being smaller sharper, closer dunes; rig road is rougher than most people expect; French Line is long and boring unless broken up a bit; QAA, K1, Knolls, all interesting! Make a trip of it. Doing the Simpson for some is a bit like doing the Cape, a headlong dash to destination, whereas it is much more interesting to spend some time and take it easy.
FollowupID: 362186

Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 10:59

Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 10:59
Ruth, we enjoyed your hospitality, (and cappucino) during our visit last September. We are looking forward to visiting again, this time across the Simpson from West to East, in mid to late June this year. We would most appreciative if you could provide a 'mud map' showing the most interesting route.
FollowupID: 362235

Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 14:25

Monday, Apr 04, 2005 at 14:25
Thanks David - and Shaker, ring me or contact me on email. Can certainly do something for you.
FollowupID: 362256

Follow Up By: Mike&Lyn - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2005 at 13:17

Tuesday, Apr 05, 2005 at 13:17
Thanks for your comments Ruth. I certainly have read the trek notes (& probably everything else on this great site). That is why I was asking which road to take after turning off at the Knolls and going to the corner. We are taking 3 months to do our trip at this stage.
When we get to Birdsville we will certainly talk to the locals. We expect to be in Birdsville about 12th. June. Is it necessary to book into the Caravan Park or just turn up? There will be 2 vehicles.
FollowupID: 362368

Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 21:15

Sunday, Apr 03, 2005 at 21:15
Like with all travel Tyre Pressures, are the pivotal thing, not tyres. Skinny tyres are fine for most travel dsetinations

As everyone else has said....Take your time and enjpy.

Finke Gorge National Park is North of Uluru so you can take that in on your way to Alice and the Tanami.
AnswerID: 104986

Follow Up By: Mike&Lyn - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2005 at 13:25

Tuesday, Apr 05, 2005 at 13:25
Hello Willem,

Yes, we are aware of tyre pressure and have travelled in sand before. Sorry, I was confusing with Finke, NE of Mt. Dare, and Finke Gorge. I believe Finke is at the very centre of Australia.

FollowupID: 362369

Reply By: Allan-Pilbara - Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 10:30

Friday, Apr 22, 2005 at 10:30

We have just crossed from west to east on the rig road because we thought it would be easier. This year it was definately harder to cross from the west but but we still managed in a 3.0L hilux with 205 16's at a low pressure.

AnswerID: 107790

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