Firewood in the Simpson Desert

Submitted: Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:33
ThreadID: 35084 Views:4607 Replies:10 FollowUps:11
This Thread has been Archived
On 3 July we set out from Darwin (where we live) to do the Simpson west to east....and beyond ! We have been keeping track of the very cold overnight temperatures in Alice and were wondering about the availabilty of firewood in the Simpson. Can anyone let us know what the situation is please ! Any tips on good places to camp would also be appreciated.

Cheers

Brendan and Jill
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Des Lexic - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:57

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:57
Camp wherever it takes your fancy. Just drive between a couple of dunes for a few hundred metres and no one will know your there. Firewood is not generally a problem either. It might pay to stock up on woolies (clothes) at Alice Springs too as it has been damned cold overnight just lately. The French line is usually more popular than the other tracks. A camp at Dalhousie is very popular too.
AnswerID: 179326

Reply By: Bobthe... - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 21:32

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 21:32
Hi,my son and I drove across the Simpson in late May. Absolutely fantastic trip.
We done excactly what the other reply suggested,there is no shortage of firewood,we had comfortable small warm fires,kicked around some sand,then laid the swags out,cooked the best steaks,(I'm a butcher) with potatoes in foil in the fire,washed down with a couple of cold beers,add to that a truly spectacular clear view of the milky way,it doesn't get much better than that....Have a great trip !!!!
AnswerID: 179340

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 17:44

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 17:44
Hey!.....Bob the Butcher....has a good kind of ring to it:-)

You got it in one Bob. A good feed, a good drink a great view and a son, (or daughter) to share it with.

Doesn't get ANY better than that mate.

Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 435705

Reply By: Rock Crawler - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 22:06

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 22:06
I 3rd that , did the trip last year with no shortage in fire wood. Make sure that your setting up camp at 4 pm the LATEST. This will give you time to get a fire going.
I was lucky enough to do this thrip with Willem and his advice on stopping before 4 was the best thing I learnt.

At the time with thought it was a bit over the top , but after leaving Willems company we drove past 4 pm , and we kept saying we shouldnt be on the road. Them I almost hit 2 roo's and couldn't find a camp spot in the dark and was forced to drive on till we got to Broken hill.

On recent trip I have gone by Willys jugment and found it makes the trip more enjoyable.
AnswerID: 179348

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 23:16

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 23:16
Just readig your post mentioning the 4pm stop Eric. Have just the roast ready on the hoof again mate. The littlies Nick says are pot sized ;-)
0
FollowupID: 435592

Follow Up By: Rock Crawler - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 23:52

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 23:52
ill call you tomorrow
0
FollowupID: 435595

Reply By: Member - Stephen L- Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 22:12

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 22:12
Hi Brendan and Jill
My only advise is do not rush your Simpson Trip. It is a great place to visit and such a lot to see. You do not need a lot of timber for a great campfire, and you will always find enough to make each nights campfire enjoyable. It is great to drive on each of the tracks across the desert, that way you can make your own mind up what you prefer. If you want a challenge, then the French or WAA Line are the way to go. The Rig Road is longer, but easier. Which ever way you go, you will want to come back again and again. I find any of the areas in the central Simpson with Gidgee make great camp sites.

Enjoy the Simpson.

Stephen
Smile like a Crocodile

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 179351

Reply By: boggedathome - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 22:26

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 22:26
Thanks everyone for your feedback, much appreciated.....you have all made us even keener to get out and enjoy the Simpson !!!

Cheers

Brendan and Jill
AnswerID: 179356

Reply By: Member - Woodsy - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 06:32

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 06:32
Hi Boggedathome

Have crossed the desert and you will enjoy it immensely.

However I believe that the Parks people request that travellers do not remove firewood from the deserts as it can be the home of various furry, scaly or slithery critters. They request that you bring with you any firewood that you need.

Too often travellers go into these areas completely ignoring the rules and wishes of the Parks people and then complain later when the areas start to be closed off.

Just my observations as I care for our Parks and I want to be able to keep using them.
Happy 4 wheeling

Woodsy

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 179385

Follow Up By: BBB - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 06:41

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 06:41
Woodsy well said," Take only photos and leave only foot prints "

BBB
0
FollowupID: 435599

Reply By: pprass - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 12:31

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 12:31
"However I believe that the Parks people request that travellers do not remove firewood from the deserts as it can be the home of various furry, scaly or slithery critters. They request that you bring with you any firewood that you need."

As Woodsy and BBB have mentioned - please don't take wood from the desert. When you get your desert pass have a good read as to where you can collect wood before entering the Simpson. Both times we crossed, we found some old discarded sleepers before we got to Mount Dare. They are OK for a camp fire, except they have a lot of diesel or whatever in them which give off a bit of an acrid smoke.
AnswerID: 179447

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 14:11

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 14:11
Probally treated with DDT to stop the termites! ;-) Did you see any aliens or dragons? LOL!
0
FollowupID: 435660

Follow Up By: pprass - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 15:36

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 15:36
"Did you see any aliens or dragons? LOL!"

No - but our eyes and sinuses were stuffed. Couldn't even smell the wine!
0
FollowupID: 435672

Reply By: Longreach - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 13:10

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 13:10
Agree with Woodsy & Ppras. When you get into the desert you will notice that the dead wood there is very very old. The trees aren't very big but they have clearly taken a long time to grow. It takes a long time for what trees there are to grow old and create the dead material which eventually gets put back into the cycle. The desert will cope much better if we carry firewood in.
AnswerID: 179461

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 13:15

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 13:15
Not trying to sound like a red neck but we also camped last year and had a fire on one night only. The timber was gathered from around the camp site and frankly it was hard and solid, certainly not home to any of the above. I was wondering how much timber does go to firewood in reality? Presuming that no one seriously leaves the tracks I'd guess that the human access is probably somewhere below one percent of the total area but this no way reflects the timber usage as there was a lot around - even more where people don't stop to camp (probably 75% of the track). Before people get upset with this I also appreciate that the stuff takes a long time to grow out there, but let's put it in some perspective. And to put that in further context these tracks have been in use for some time so I get the impression that there is sensible use of dead timber based on what I saw.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 179462

Follow Up By: Longreach - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 13:45

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 13:45
Hi Beatit,
I appreciate what you are saying.
I guess the balance between how much wood is there and how much is being used up is a perception thing but I felt that with more and more people going through, and the traffic does seem to be increasing every year, that the desert is going to have difficulty keeping up. Yes, hopefully we are talking about corridors along the tracks rather than the whole desert but that is the bit that we will see and hopefully enjoy. I just felt the environment out there was extremely fraile and worth every effort we can make to preserve it like it is. I think its worth carrying a bit of wood just to make sure we dont mess it up for the future. It would be just too sad if we got it wrong.
Best regards.
0
FollowupID: 435656

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 14:09

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 14:09
Hi Longreach,

The bride is not a fan of fires so it's not a big issue with me (we managed 2 camp fires in a three month trip - pretty sad considering I lugged a camp oven all the way). Just as another consideration though, it may be possible that we end up introducing new wild life to these areas by bringing in our own wood - I would think this would be much worse.

To be honest though, if the current state of dead timber reflects some 30/40 years of use, including oil companies and road crews, I would imagine there would be a couple of hundred years of wood on the side of the track. Sadly I don't think anyone will be driving there then with the petrol situation looking forward.

It is a magnificant place but I thought it was very robust, judging by the dune movements. We had a howling wind one night and when we resumed the next day there were no tyre tracks to be seen on the dunes and we could have been the very first person in the place - in fact the only persons on the planet. Not many places that leave you feeling that way. I hope to go back one day and might possibly come away with a different view depending on what we see.

Kind regards
0
FollowupID: 435659

Follow Up By: Mbr - Taz & Milka-Queanbeyan - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 22:38

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 22:38
Hi Folks,

This is possibly the best thread I have read in recent times..... Several differing viewpoints, raising the risk of introduced species etc.....and all discussed in a sensible, logical and non emotive way.

It is refreshing to see a complex issue discussed without anyone becoming heated and the usual name calling etc.....Congratulations all round.

As to the topic being discussed...I don't have an opinion as I am yet to travel that far out with the family.

Hope you guys have a safe and wonderful trip ( whether you take your own wood or not )...!!!

Cheers...Taz
0
FollowupID: 435770

Reply By: Barnesy - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 23:54

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 23:54
National Parks and Wildlife manage the park and have the power to close sections of it off if they think it's being degraded. If they request that you carry your own wood in then do it. Take your own wood in.

What happens once the corridors either side of the main tracks are cleared of dead wood and people begin going off the main routes in search of firewood? It would be better to start to get into the habit of carrying your own wood now before it starts becoming a problem.

In the years to come more and more inexperienced people who don't know any better will be travelling in these remote and beautiful locations. If experienced people like the ones who use this forum don't listen to NP&WS then why should anyone else?

Barnesy
AnswerID: 179586

Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 07:54

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 07:54
Oh Barnsey, where have you been in the past when I've tried to have the same philosophical discussions on such things (particularly tyre pressure, desert parks passes, camper trailers, desert flags, dogs and a few other things in the Simpson Desert) - normally I just get slaughtered. Like you, I wasn't having an opinion just stating what's written on the DPP and what I've been told in frequent discussion with NP&WS (who often come here and ask our opinions about such things, seeing as we are in the front line - which is quite refreshing and I'm talking about SA not Qld). Thank you for being on the side of the Simpson Desert (and any other Desert )
0
FollowupID: 435809

Follow Up By: Barnesy - Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 16:08

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 16:08
No worries Ruth. An extra 15kg of firewood (weighing less after every night) would make little difference to a 2.5 tonne fully-laden fourby.
0
FollowupID: 435894

Sponsored Links