Simpson Crossing

Submitted: Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 10:13
ThreadID: 5925 Views:1955 Replies:4 FollowUps:6
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Planning a trip across the simpson desert and then to Alice in early September. My parents are arriving from Canada and I want to give them a bit of a tour in the defender. I could really use some help in planning this. Anyone out there have some infor to pass on? I have all the gear and recently bought the Discover Aus CD for my Magellan GPS. Have located the french track on this map. Not sure what the best way to go is. We will be travelling alone so I don't want to do anything that would have high possibility of bogging and freak my Mom out, although they are pretty tough having just backpacked the Yukon in northern Canada. Anybody got any suggestions on which route to take to cross the desert? How long? How much fuel? water?

Thanks Mark...
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Reply By: Steve from Drive Systems Victoria - Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 11:05

Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 11:05
French Line is as rough as guts and will shake the old buggers up. The lesser travelled QAA is far more enjoyable. 180-200 litres is sufficient and a margin for emergency detours due to flooding in the corridors. East to west is the steeper side of the dunes. Let your tyres down to 20-25 psi and remember to keep momentun on your side. Carry a tall bamboo warning flag pole and red flag. 5 litres of water per person per day. When you take a dump, remember to burn the toilet paper before filling in the hole. Should travel with another vehicle, in case of mechanical/medical delemmas. I won't go into the spares,parts,comms issue, unless you really have no idea about 4x4ing.
AnswerID: 24679

Follow Up By: candef - Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 11:17

Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 11:17
Thanks for the feedback, as for the spares, parts, comms etc., yep got that covered just need to plan the route. Does the QAA run parallel to the north of the French Line. The Exploroz maps have the QAA line running to meet the French Line. Seems no way other direct way to do it other than French Line.
FollowupID: 16601

Follow Up By: Steve from Drive Systems Victoria - Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 11:34

Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 11:34
Qaa runs north and parallel to French on the NT side of the border. Once at Poeppels you can take the French to Approdina Attora Knolls, turn south and pick up the WBN line on your right. It parallels the French, but to the south, until it meets the rig road, where the WAA line takes you in to Mokari airstrip and rejoins the French some 35 kms east of Purni bore. If this route is not on your maps, then I suggest you need some others maps from a map shop. Simpson is riddled with unmarked "shot lines", some are dead ends, some are not. Less than 30% have been accurately mapped and checked. Of course, their is also the "Rig" road, which is commonly shown, and this is longer but an easier drive for the oldies and takes you past some interesting sites like Lone Gum, Macumba Well and salt lakes.
FollowupID: 16608

Reply By: petprass - Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 14:26

Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 14:26

You mentioned that you have DiscoverAus Streets & Tracks. Have you loaded it onto your GPS? If you have, and assuming you loaded all of it, are you experiencing any problems with "lagging"? That is when you are zoomed in at less than 700 meters, does the cursor remain stationery for about 15 seconds while you are travelling and then suddenly catch up? Some people who have DAST (including me) have this problem and MaGELLAN is trying to find out what is going on - so if there is more evidence of this problem it would be good to know.

AnswerID: 24699

Follow Up By: candef - Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 14:45

Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 14:45
I just loaded regions onto the GPS. I have not had a chance to experience it yet. With total ignorance of the way the GPS works my best guess would be that there may need to be some buffer space on your SD card in order to handle virtual memory. This problems sounds similar to the virtual memory problems in a computer. If your SD card is full this may have something to do with it. However, this is just an uneducated guess. I'll post if the same thing happens to me...
FollowupID: 16615

Follow Up By: petprass - Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 17:50

Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 17:50
We have tested different size regions and reducing the overall volume on the SD card. ie I am currently using 64 mb of my 256 mb card and still have the same problem.

I am keen to know what your experience is once you try it out.
FollowupID: 16623

Reply By: Clauspeter - Monday, Jul 14, 2003 at 18:37

Monday, Jul 14, 2003 at 18:37
Hi Mark,
when are you planning to leave Bridsville? We plan to go east-west leaving Birdsville around the 14th September as I don't wnat to get into the crowds of the Birdsville race. We decide on the track (French or WAA) once we are in Birdsville.

Cheers Cepe
AnswerID: 24921

Follow Up By: candef - Tuesday, Jul 15, 2003 at 09:48

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2003 at 09:48
We have not set a specific date yet. The Parents arrive on September 6th and we will probably leave about a week or less after that. Birdsville on the 14th might be about right. I would certainly welcome the company. Are you travelling alone? Where are you coming from? My group will be myself, age 29 and my Mom and Dad about age 55, we are travelling in a 2003 Defender Extreme. I plan on making a very quick trip to Birdsville from Sydney. Last year I did Sydney to Tibooburra in 1 day which I plan on doing again. I figure then its about 2 days on to Birdsville, so if we left Sydney on the 11th or 12th we would be in Birdsville on the 14th. That looks about right on the calendar given work commitments etc and gives my parents enough time to settle into the time zone after having arrived from Canada.

FollowupID: 16858

Follow Up By: Clauspeter - Tuesday, Jul 15, 2003 at 11:47

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2003 at 11:47
Hi Mark,

sounds ok. We - my friend and myself - are both german (35 and 37 years). We run a car in Australia for recreational driving around Australia. It is an old Toyota Landcruiser ex Ambulance, technically fully restored. We try to come every year since the 1994 to the Outback. This years trip - hopefully - birngs us from Brisbane (the car is in storage there, my friend will arrive 1st September to bring it in technical order, I fly in 10th, leaving Brisi at 11th) via Charleville to Quilpie and Windorah to Birdsville. Further on to Alice and after that crossing west via Gary Junction to Broome. We plan to meet my wife there (Broome) at the end of September. As my friend will go back to Germany then - I will travel with my wife the westcoast... We plan to be back in Germany for Christmas.
For your trip: I traveled that direction in 1994 from Tibo to Birdsville via Innamincka, followed by Cordillo Downs (Walkers was closed). With reasonable road conditions you can do it in two soft days (compared with you first planned day...).
You can Email me direct:

cheers Cepe

P.S. Do your parents know what to expect?
FollowupID: 16869

Reply By: Member - Oskar(Bris) - Tuesday, Jul 15, 2003 at 22:31

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2003 at 22:31
I know your post is not new and you have had several good replys but we have just come back from the Simpson (our first desert trip - but not our last) and we spent a long time planning it. I believe some of the info you received may not be totally accurate. For example: the QAA line runs out of Birdsville westwards into the desert and on into the NT then you turn south towards the corner and then westwards onto the French line. The WAA line is the "middle" track but we were advised to make the desert crossing THE feature of our trip and not just a way to get to Alice Springs. We found that 4 days in the desert was a great opportunity to enjoy such a remote and isolated widerness.
Take your time.
The maps/info in the Desert Parks Pack are excellent.
I was chastised on this forum (you may have read the post) for having my flag on my roof-rack. Make sure you have a tall pole (Fishing rod???) with a flag (red??) mounted on your bullbar or at least as far forward as you can (you cannot see over the top of the dunes when you hit the crests)
Let your tyres down
You'll have a great time.
AnswerID: 25049

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