Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 21:49
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does anyone know of a journey by a highly renowned camel driver from Byron Bay to Steep Point?

I know of someone who walked south to north, excellent doco! it was on the ABC last year.
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Anyone ever considered walking EW across Oz?

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Reply By: Patrolman Pat - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 22:38

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 22:38
I met a camel driver last year after the Simpson trip. He was walking from Broome to Melbourne ( I think) with three camels carrying his gear. He was just north of William Creek and had been on the 'road" for about 4 months at that stage. I had a chat and gave him a few lollies. he was sponsored by Australiangeographic i belive.
AnswerID: 166800

Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 22:51

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 22:51
We met him as well, on our way to do the Simpson last June, I think it was somewhere between Mount Sarah Station & Pedirka Siding. We had a chat & gave him a couple of VBs.
I have some photos somewhere, if anyone is interested.
FollowupID: 421752

Follow Up By: Darian (SA) - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 09:39

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 09:39
Of those mentioned, that particular cameleer was Dean Koopman I think - we VKS737 staff spoke to him quite a bit - he had the callsign VKS737 / Camel 1 - was carrying a portable HF - had a panel to top up the batteries - strung out a bit of wire for an antenna - called in from here and there in the spinifex.
FollowupID: 421812

Reply By: Member - Kingsley N (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 22:46

Wednesday, Apr 12, 2006 at 22:46
Andrew Harper walked from South of Exmouth Gulf on the Indian Ocean to Rockhampton on the Pacific Ocean with three camels and a dog in about 1999. He travelled almost 5000 km following the Tropic of Capricorn. He had no backup vehicles or support.

This is reported on pages 6-7 of the book "Tanami" by Kieran Kelly. Kieran and Andrew went on to treck the Tanami with camels, largely unsupported, following the notes of the explorer Augustus Gregory. It is a very good read and details all the hardships of the trip undertaken in mid 2002. I gained a huge respect for the toughness of these two blokes and the camels and after reading it.

I also saw the documentary about the bloke who walked from south to north with his little dog. It was very sad when the little Jack Russell died after taking a dingo bait.

My thoughts are always with the early explorers and also these latter day adventurers when we speed across the outback in our airconditioned 4WD wondering if we should have curry for tea or a pot roast and knowing that the beer will be cold in the car fridge.

AnswerID: 166805

Follow Up By: Member - Richard B (Int) - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 14:45

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 14:45
The man who walked from South to North was Jon Muir and the little dog was named Seraphine. Have a look at



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Reply By: Bilbo - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 00:12

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 00:12
I read a book about a young woman that did "somewhere" in Queensland to Broome with camels. It was a good few years ago though. I wish I could remember her name. Fascinating read.


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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 04:51

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 04:51
After I read what you said I wracked my brains and Googled all manner of camel info and eventually came up with the name

Her is Robyn Davidson

"Robyn Davidson travelled solo from Alice Springs to the west coast in 1977, with a dog and camels for company. The journey is documented in her book, Tracks, which won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and was published in many languages. Davidson wrote Desert Places about the Rabari nomads in India and is currently in Canberra on an Australian National University HC Coombs Creative Arts Scholarship".

Quite a feat. Leaves us softies in our airconditioned trucks, for

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Follow Up By: Footloose - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 07:58

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 07:58
Willem, if my memory serves me correctly, she was funded by National Geographic and lost the dog to a bait in WA. There was also a mention of meeting some guy in a 4wd who was trying to set a West to East crossing record. I think she did some sort of lecture tour in the States afterwards?
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Follow Up By: Michael B - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 13:08

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 13:08
Back in the early 80's a friend of ours by the name of Dennis Wickham travelled all over the country in a 'gypsy' style caravan pulled by two camels, plus one and half as spares. Also had a chook or two slung underneath for fresh eggs.

A real country 'character', Dennis also rode a penny-farthing bike from Darwin to Adelaide (sometime in the 70's I believe)

Last we saw him was when he left Alice Springs for Broome, with many stops along the way.

Still have some brilliant letters detailing his journey, but sadly lost touch some years ago.

You are so right Willem, we are getting soft, but hey you might like to set an example with your forthcoming trip........can just see it now;

"intrepid Peterborough explorer last seen leaving Orroroo in a red Nissan towed by 10 camels.....states will save heaps on fuel" LOL LOL

Michael B (SA)

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Reply By: Member - Loco Locums - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 08:35

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 08:35
There's also a commercial tour operator doing guided walks accross the Simpson with Camels. You have a camp cook and they supply the gear and you have to assist with the cameleering.

The tour departs Old Andado and terminates at Birdsville.

We have some friends in Cairns that did it a couple of years ago....It takes 3 weeks and cost is around $5,000.00 per person.......Hmmm $10,000 for Rick & Julie to walk accross the Simpson???? Think we'll do it in the Landcruiser....Just lazy I guess.
We're off to the Red Centre for 2 months in only 3 weeks time....YIP YAH!!!!
Keep Well all and have a great Easter.
Rick & Julie
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Reply By: Beastie - Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 08:52

Thursday, Apr 13, 2006 at 08:52
Would agree Andrew Harper is the one. He does do camel trips if you are interested and I cannot remember the name but they are on internet.
AnswerID: 166850

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