Simpson Desert

Submitted: Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 23:04
ThreadID: 31492 Views:1982 Replies:7 FollowUps:10
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I am planning a trip through the Simpson Desert early May 2006. I understand that the dunes are easiest to tackle if traveling in the west-east direction. Due to a number of reasons, it would suit me best to travel in the east-west direction. Does anybody have any experience in traveling through the Simpson’s in the east-west direction and by doing so are there any specific things are should be aware of.

I have a 78-Troopy 2001.

Thanks,
Jones
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 23:31

Monday, Mar 06, 2006 at 23:31
Jones,

It sounds like your first attempt at the Simpson.

First off get a Desert Parks Pass. This will give you all the info that you need to know. The DPP is available for about about $90.

After reading it and there is something that you are still not clear on just ask here again, as there is so much that you need to know.

Wayne
AnswerID: 159013

Follow Up By: Jones - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 09:44

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 09:44
Hi Wayne,

Yes, it's our first attempt to cross the Simpson’s. I have already been reading up on the topic and received the Desert Park Pass as you mentioned. It has plenty of good info indeed and it does mention that the west-east direction is the easiest. However, I was just curious to know if anybody have any real experience crossing the desert in the east-west direction as it will suit me better.

Thanks,
Jones
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Reply By: Member - David 0- Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 09:23

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 09:23
Last time we travelled the Simpson, it was easier East to West. Don't stress over it. Just run your tyre pressures about 18 to 20 psi. Don't take a trailer.

Dave O
AnswerID: 159046

Reply By: Member - Wim (Qld) - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 10:18

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 10:18
Jones.

I will be traveling the same way (on my own) on the 1st May.
I will try to tag along out of Birdsville until Poeppel corner.
If nobody traveling that way on the 1st, pressures down and I will just take it easy.

Have a good trip.

Regards
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Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 14:57

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 14:57
Wim, we'll join you for the southern part of the trip!
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 15:05

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 15:05
Ruth I will be with Willem coming in from the west, will be great to meet you finally.
And lets face it what a great place to meet! (In the middle of the Simpson) LOL.
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Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 15:08

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 15:08
John, that will be terrific to meet with you finally. Time constraints prevent us from doing the rest of the trip but I gave Willem an interesting co-ordinate the other day - really looking forward to that part - hopefully we can get away. Weather much better and a few people about. See you then.
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Reply By: bob007 - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 12:00

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 12:00
i went west to east with seven 2wd kombis with no troubles and we drove back over some of the bigger dunes in our 4wd east to west with no troubles either and we crossed every track.the only people out there having trouble were the people who shouldnt have been there because they had no idea at all about what they were doing.it was an awsome trip recomend to everone to do it at least once
AnswerID: 159069

Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 14:56

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 14:56
Bob007, don't forget that when you crossed there had been many many vehicles before you because you were later in the season. At this stage no-one has crossed all summer and I can tell you the dunes are enormous with huge lips.
Early May should still be very interesting for travellers and until such time as someone gets out there to have a look - east/west or wst/east isn't going to make a lot of difference - it's going to be hard until the first vehicles "grade" it!! LOL LOL.
Bring it on!
Wim - we will probably meet up with you for the southern journey!
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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 19:00

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 19:00
Ruth

LOL good point, I miised the early May bit....is it called speed reading??

David
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Reply By: Rob Ackland - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 15:04

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 15:04
If travelling E2W and it is your first time then you can take the option of turning South, off the QAA Line, down either the K1 Line, at Lake Poeppel and then running along the Rig Road then back up to the French Line, but this is pretty boring, OR follow the French Line East to the Knolls Track and head South to the Rig Road from there. As the wind blows W2E then the dunes are definately steeper and softer running E2W so you may find the challenge of all the French Line dunes a touch on the challenging side. It all depends on your idea of a challenge. Lowering tyre pressures to around 16-20 psi, a radio on scan, a sand flag of the correct height above the car and taking it easy are the keys to an enjoyable trip. If you are going at peak time, check the school holidays, then plenty of care is required approaching the tops of the dunes as the risk of head-on's is on the increase. Allow three days as a minimum to do the crossing and check with the Birdsville Caravan Park and Police for the most up to date information. Make sure you have a HF or hire a satphone from the Birdsville Police for safety reasons as much as general communications.

Enjoy the trip

Rob
AnswerID: 159103

Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 19:15

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 19:15
Hi Rob, this is a very good response. Birdsville Police no longer doing hire of satphones but the Wirrarri Information Centre in Birdsville is.
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Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 10:11

Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 10:11
Rob, should have put in the phone number for the Wirrarri Information
Centre in - (07) 46563300 in case people would like to book a phone - gets very busy in winter across the Desert.
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Reply By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 19:18

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 19:18
Jones, put a couple of replies in further down but missed the main point. Have you checked in Trek Notes here? Just the best information on your Simpson Crossing - check it out. Are you travelling on your own?
AnswerID: 159151

Follow Up By: Jones - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 19:45

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2006 at 19:45
Hi Ruth, I am sure you see a lot of travelers dropping by the Caravan Park (more or less prepared for the crossing). Do you think it would be wiser to travel W2E instead of E2W as we are going early in the season (early May) where the track has not been "graded" yet? Or do you think it would be a challenge either way? We are traveling on our own.

Thanks,
Jones

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FollowupID: 413666

Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 10:18

Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 10:18
Jones, one of the main reasons I prefer to travel west/east is simply that after several days/weeks in the Simpson when travelling east it gives you Birdsville to look forward to - hot showers, cold beers, good food, bakery, art galleries, laundry, groceries. Not all this is available when travelling from the east to the west! LOL.
Don't stress too much about early May. There is all of April yet and Queensland School Holidays commence one week before Easter and then NSW holidays - traditionally this starts the season so I'm sure there will be others before you.
Also a lot depends on how much experience you have - been in sand before (or mud in case it rains whilst you are out there). No, I'm not trying to put you off at all - but when it rains out there it's marvellous, settles the sand on the dunes down beautifully and makes mud pies in the middle of the dunes (known as the swales).
We'll talk you when you get here - and if you find after a few dunes it's too much or not what you expected, no-one minds if you come back and go another way. There are always options. If your tyre pressure is right it'll be a breeze.
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FollowupID: 413828

Reply By: Jones - Saturday, Mar 11, 2006 at 21:22

Saturday, Mar 11, 2006 at 21:22
Thanks guys for all your responses – I appreciate that. It sounds like we will be alright going E2W with proper preparation and low tyre pressure.

Thanks,
Jones
AnswerID: 159983

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