Home from Simpson Trip

Submitted: Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 13:22
ThreadID: 34092 Views:2147 Replies:4 FollowUps:6
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G'day all. Pretty well got everything cleaned and packed away after getting home (Geelong) from our first Simpson trip, in fact our first venture into outback Oz. Loved it. Thanks to those on this forum who helped with advice
We did not have much time to look around, so treated it more as scouting for future trips. 5020km in 13 days. 851 litres of fuel. 115 litres Oodnadatta to Birdsville.
Went up Oodnadatta Track, into Dalhousie from Hamilton Station, French Line to Birdsville, to Innamincka via Walkers Crossing, Bore Track to the Corner, Tibooburra, White Cliffs, Broken Hill. Spent a "flop" day in Broken Hill before spending Wednesday watching the Desert Challenge out from Silverton. Then home.
Some thoughts:
Arriving Oodnadatta on a Sunday was not smart as store and pub were closed. That pink icon left me disappointed with their service and the limited range of goods. We had deliberately left stocking up to here to support outback traders, but went into the Simpson light on for many things they did not stock.
The bloke that runs Coward Springs is a bit of a little Hitler. I know it's his property, but he could have been a bit more welcoming.
All roads were in very good nick. Only slow section was from Hamilton St'n into Dalhousie. I know not everyone wants to travel as fast as our group, but if they slow down and move over when we want to pass, we will pass slowly so no one has to get cranky. Some would not, so they got cranky.
Swimming at Dalhousie was brilliant. None of our group suffered from any bites in the water.
Simpson was surprisingly easy. My heavily overloaded 100 series TD was only put into low range for Big Red. East to west looked like it would be a little more challenging. Still, loved every minute and every inch of the crossing.
Did not get to mee Ruth at Birdsville. One of our party got into town first, to find all cabins booked out. We couldn't book as we did not know for sure when we were getting in. Spent an expensive but comfortable night at pub.
Weather was great throughout, with only 2 windy days. One of those gave us very dusty conditions on Walkers Crossing track.
2 different locals at Innamincka tried to talk us out of using Bore Track. Too rough etc. Took it anyway and it was a great drive. Only a day or two behind the grader on the bottom section.
White Cliffs is a dung hole, especially when you arrive on Sunday.
Desert Challenge (as per a previous post) was not promoted much in BH, and was not very well organised for spectators, but thoroughly enjoyed the day. Sadly, 2 Geelong blokes we wanted to see compete were out for the day re-building a diff.
Even before we got to Broken Hill, we were already planning next years double crossing from Birdsville.
we now know why the Simpson iis one of the iconic outback trips.
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Reply By: Member - Nick (Kununurra) - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 21:21

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 21:21
Glad you enjoyed it,carnt wait until we do the Simpson in a year or two.Both times we've been to the Pink Rh we found it to be typical outback hospitality.
AnswerID: 173853

Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 21:56

Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 21:56
Gaday Tuck, glad you enjoyed your first Simpson trip. "That pink icon left me disappointed with their service and the limited range of goods." The roadhouse is probably one of the better stocked in outback Oz so it actually pays to head into a big trip with everything onboard before you go not leave it to the last. With large groups coming through intermitantly clearing the shelves & the delays in resupplying you can't always rely on it all being there. If you are in a hurry almost anything can be ordered in for pick up on your arrival, we even called ahead on the UHF to make an order of over 30 Oondnaburgers for our group so they brought in extra staff. The owners are pretty laid back & when we spoke to them are amazed at the impatients & rudeness of many of the travellers passing through.
You're right with the slow traffic, it would be nice if they pulled over & let you pass....why is it they feel we must travel at their pace or why do they speed up to our pace when we catch them???? Although now you have the first trip under your belt, you may find the time to slow down like them & have a look around or spend a few days in one place. (Just like the best springs to swim in at Dalhousie aren't at the camp site)
Cheers Craig..........
28 days to go
AnswerID: 173862

Follow Up By: Member - Brian H (QLD) - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 09:12

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 09:12
Interested to know of other waterholes in the same area and if you can camp at them?

FollowupID: 429873

Follow Up By: Crackles - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 20:37

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 20:37
Gaday Brian, I was lucky enough to take a plane flight over the Dalhousie area & from the air you can see dozens of springs that aren't mentioned on many maps. Over the next few trips I made a point of walking (a dirty word on EO) to as many as I could find, some surrounded in tall rushes but a few with clear blue pools no doubt like the Main Springs would of been like years before being stirred up. Car access & camping has long since been fenced off but well worth the walk. (& swim)
As you are looking for ideas for your next years Simpson trip you may concider heading further north from Mt Dare to Old Andado then looping back to Oodnadatta via New Crown & Eringa.(waterhole) Some classic outback history & brilliant views on this route.
Cheers Craig.............
FollowupID: 430030

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 21:30

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 21:30
"it would be nice if they pulled over & let you pass"

I can agree with you to a point Crackles. However, as one who has pulled over to let a faster vehicle pass and suffered a cracked windscreen for my troubles when the mindless idiot on a mission from God sped past, I can understand the reluctance of some to show this courtesy.

You don't always have a clear view behind you when travelling some of our dustier roads.
FollowupID: 430048

Follow Up By: Crackles - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 22:58

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 22:58
I have a 5KPH policy.........I overtake the car in front 5KPH faster & pass oncoming cars 5KPH slower. That way I only throw stones over cars that are going too fast & if the car coming the other way stops I'll stop for a chat too. Personaly I budget for a new windscreen each big trip I do so aren't concerned by a breakage but many are & have no trouble slowing down for them.
Cheers Craig...........
FollowupID: 430075

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 23:09

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 23:09
Sorry Craig. I did'nt intend to insinuate either you or Tuck were in the 'mindless idiot' category, only to propose a possible reason for some travellers seeming reluctance to pull over.

I agree that the safest course is to pull over when vehicles travelling at speed (from in front or behind) appear. I'm generally in no great hurry so the extra seconds it adds to the trip are not a worry.
FollowupID: 430076

Reply By: Member - Brian H (QLD) - Monday, May 22, 2006 at 09:10

Monday, May 22, 2006 at 09:10
A pity you only had a short amount of time ............. at least you will be heading back. I am planing a trip next year of 4 / 5 weeks. I would be interested in getting any info off you of places of interest etc etc.

No point getting road conditions as that will change all the time.

I will be coming in from Brisbane to Innaminka - Birdsville - Mt Dare - Oonodatta etc etc.

AnswerID: 173914

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 03:57

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 03:57
G'day Tuck,

I totally agree with Crackles comments having been there a few days ago.

The goods available at the Pink Roadhouse were similar in range as those at the store down by the pub. As for their service, we had no complaints at all there is a staff of 5 or so serving in the eating area and as there was a regular exchange of incoming and outgoing travellers, people may have to wait ten minutes or so, whilst the food is cooked. You need to remember that this remote area is not like the average downtown bakery with a continuous supply of pastries, etc. Most food is cooked on the spot.

And as for those Oodnaburgers?.....Yum!...felt sated after eating one of those.

We were also spoilt during our second visit (by plane)
The pilot radioed our order in advance of our arrival and requested for us to be picked up at the "airport" by the Pink Roadhouse Volvo limousine. Although receiving a caustic reply from Adam, we were duly picked up, delivered to the "restaurant" and served our Oodnaburgers or toasted sandwiches within a couple of minutes of arrival. Thought we were royalty we did!

Adam owns and runs the Pink Roadhouse, amongst other ventures.
The Hotel and adjacent Store/Café is owned by the local community.

I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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AnswerID: 174119

Follow Up By: tuck 01 - Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 13:05

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 13:05
Haven't written the Pinky off completely, may have just been an off-day. Will not arrive on a Sunday next time.
As part of research/planning for our trip, I printed off most of Adams web-site pages and they were a handy reference.
When we left home, one of the "must do's" on my list was an Oodnaburger, but in the end I didn't bother. We didn't eat at the store.
We arrived with 4 vehicles (9 people) to fuel and a few supplies to purchase. No essential supplies, as these were already on-board, just a few bits and pieces which, as I said at the outset, were intended to support the outback businesses were we could. Bread, milk etc.
Adam was out in the yard, in fact he was very helpful to us in finding a replacement bolt for one vehicle and a battery cap for me.
The store had one young back-packer lady serving, and she spent more time talking to an assumed local about her pending departure and what she was going to do in Cairns the following week, even with several customers at the counter in front of her.
When she was serving, she continually left customers mid-stream to "answer and fetch" for a couple of the rude, impatient travellers mentioned earlier, rather than asking them to wait. (Come to think of it, these may have been some we passed on the road earlier and this was their pay back.)
The episode was not a big deal, just disappointing.
As I said, we'll be calling into the Roadhouse next time up the track.
FollowupID: 430210

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