Simpson Desert - Hay River track

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 22:02
ThreadID: 35197 Views:5378 Replies:3 FollowUps:5
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Just a bit of a warning about the Hay River track in the Simpson. South of camp 16, its a lot harder than last year.

A couple of weeks ago, we had 2 vehicles come up from Poeppels Corner. As Ruth and others have been saying the sand is pretty soft this year. We found the dunes had a metre or two more sand than last year, and they had caps on the western sides.

After you head north from the shotline, the track will be mostly lost in the soft sand. So be prepared with the GPS/oziexplorer. We followed our track files from last year and on most places there was no sign of when we went last year.

We had some difficulty breaking the caps off the tops of some of the dunes and I had to get pulled back a couple of times. Glad there was two of us. There were two other vehicles heading south, who later told us they lost our tracks which were only 2 days old, and had difficulty crossing the dunes, so ended up heading further south in the swales until they could link up with the shotline again.

Great trip though.

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L- Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 22:34

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 22:34
Hi Phil
Good to see you had a great trip and home safely. How was the Madigan Line Crossing.


Smile like a Crocodile

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Follow Up By: Inspector - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 23:19

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 23:19

Have you logged your GPS position at

all the lat/long intersections around the world
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 23:41

Thursday, Jun 22, 2006 at 23:41
Hi Stephen,

Just had a bit of a go at typing a report - see a few threads above. In short, we had a very good time - most of it went according to plan :-))) Had the usual brilliant nights camped under the stars. Thanks for all your help from your trip last month. I'm still unpacking - I'll hit you offline

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L- Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 08:17

Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 08:17
Hi Inspector,

The answer to your question is yes. I logged 4 confluences as part of my Simpson Geo Expedition in May. The said confluences were:-

S26º E138º - Poeppel Corner, the most easiest one to locate.

S25º E 136º - This location I believe to be the first white people to visit, because of its out of the way remote location.

S25º E137º - This confluence was 22kms as the crow flies from Geosurveys Hill and took a day and quarter and 26kms of vehicle travelling to reach.

S27º E139º - Coming down the Birdsville Track and easy to locate.

They are all up now on the confluence web site.

We had a very long and hard time out in the Simpson, 14 nights in total.

Thanks for the enquiry.

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Reply By: In Good Time - Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 14:13

Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 14:13

Good to see you had a good trip.
We are heading of tomorrow with three other vehicles on the same trip heading north to south.

Happy travels,
AnswerID: 180078

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 16:11

Friday, Jun 23, 2006 at 16:11

You will have some fun getting over the dunes between camp 16 and the shotline. Just be patient to find a good spot to cross over, and nice low pressures in the tyres. If you can't get over, you might have to keep heading south in the swales. A group of 12 vehicles came up the Hay last week - hopefully they have left some tracks!!


FollowupID: 436303

Reply By: Robin - Saturday, Jun 24, 2006 at 08:57

Saturday, Jun 24, 2006 at 08:57
Hi Phil
We came up a couple of days before 12 vehicles and we believe we were first up in a quite a while and had just so much fun creating the new path between known waypoints created by J.F. a month before.

Used the 4800's patrols power quite a bit and even found twin diff locks needed
in the odd spot as sand was soft - we even had to drag a cruiser down one dune as it had charged and got over a dune crest top but went straight to the chassis on the downhill side. The track to North of Madigan line was so easy though and despite lots of advice before the trip about needing megalitres of fuel in the petrol patrols we only used 178 on whole trip Birdsville to Jervious, which included a lot of playing to north of Madigan line and driving part way in the actual narrow sandy river bed which was a highlight.

About june 10 prior to doing the Hay we took all our group out to Big Red mid afternoon which proved to be good training as many adjustments were made to driving style and tyre pressures and was an eye opener to some who really
needed to work hard to get up in warm afternoon sun.

Robin Miller

Robin Miller

AnswerID: 180166

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Jun 24, 2006 at 10:07

Saturday, Jun 24, 2006 at 10:07
Hi Robin,

We passed the group of 12 on the 16th near Birdsville. Five of them had campertrailers, so it would be interesting to hear how they got on. As I mentioned on the other thread, we went up about 2 days ahead of you, also following Jol's waypoints, and also the tracks we took last year, so its interesting that our tracks had already disappeared. I think the previous group to come up the North part of the Hay was Jol's group a month earlier. I picked up a comment somewhere that the back of their convoy got lost because the tracks from the front vehicles had already blown away :-)))

178litres is great. We had a petrol cruiser in our group and he also used a lot less petrol than anticipated. I guess conditions on the tracks was good. It was muddy when we came thru there last year, but used only 122 litres diesel from Jervois to Mungarannie, which was a lot less than we were led to believe too. With the fuel I was carrying, we made it back to Adelaide!!


The group of 12 did the same as you - took some of the trailers out to Big Red for some practice. As they passed us, a lot of them had about 10psi in the tyres :-)))
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