Hay River trek Jervois to Poeppels Corner

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:10
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Has anyone done the Hay River trek and can give us any info on this one as regards conditions etc and time taken to do it. Thinking of doing this on our return across the desert in August instead of double crossing French Line. Have done the Finke River, crossed the desert 5 times and looking for an alternative return route. Thanks.
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Reply By: Member - Mick O (VIC) - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:12

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:12
Trish,

hoping to head that way myself this year. Have you checked out the trek notes on the exploroz site. I also made a similar enquiry late last year so a search shoud turn up plenty of posts on the Hay River Run. Looking at late May myself. May see you out there.

Cheers Mick
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Follow Up By: TrishP - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:45

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:45
If you're going in May and I see you in August, sounds like you'd be in trouble. Thanks for commenting Mick. I have done some more searching since posting this web and have found some good comments. Not feeling quite so apprehensive about this one now and really looking forward to it. Have a safe trip yourself.

Cheers Trish
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Follow Up By: TrishP - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:50

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:50
Hey Mick, they reckon allow 3 months for permits so you haven't long to submit your forms $120 per vehicle.

Cheers Trish
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Reply By: smerf - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:36

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:36
Hi Trish,
I did the Hay river with 7 other vehicles in June /July 2006.
The track was very easy. some nice camp sites if you go looking.
You can organise the permits through Linsay Bookie's site via the web site of Joel Fleming - Direct 4wd awareness.
Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: TrishP - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:47

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:47
Thanks Greg, been in touch with Joel Fleming but its always good to hear from others that have actually done the trip too. Was a little apprehensive but now can't wait to get out there and see another great part of this country of ours.

Cheers Trish
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Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:49

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 21:49
Trish,

Went with a big group of vehicles south to north in 06 - great run. Spent 4 nights on the track from Birdsville before getting to Batten Hill. Probably easier going that way than north to south. Need GPS as track can be obliterated in places where it crosses the dunes, depending on weather conditions. One you reach the Hay River its an easy run following the river which gets bigger as you go north. Can provide a trackfile if you would like one. The Hay River Run article on this site gives a good overview.

Also spent about 10 days on Batten Hill in 07 so got a closer look at the country there - plenty to see. Recommend going in to Lake Caroline.

You will need to arrange a permit from Central LC.

Cheers
J and V
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Follow Up By: TrishP - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 22:04

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 22:04
Hi John and Val,

Thanks a lot for your info. It was the Hay River article on this site that caught our attention for something different. Getting very excited about this trip now and yes please, would love a copy of your trackfile. Can email it to me at trishpillidge@hotmail.com or post to P O Box 189, Inverell NSW 2360. Maybe we should cut down our our days around Alice and spend a little longer around Batten Hill ourselves.

Cheers Trish
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 08:07

Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 08:07
Hi Trish,

Will dig out the Ozi track file and email soon. (It's probably very similar to the one on this site, which I think came from Joel Flemming.) Regarding spending more time at Batten Hill - there aren't a lot of options to go wandering off on your own. There are 2 excursions offered; one the Bush Tucker tour, and a sunset viewing. The bush tucker tour takes you into some impressive country. We found the bush tucker aspects very uninspiring. We were with a large group and by the time the group had stopped and got together to hear about the tucker all the explanations were long over and it was time to take off again. The sunset viewing is said to be pretty special. Someone else has already refered to the poor cost/benefit ratio of the bush tucker tour, but it does take you off the main track.

Val mentioned that we spent 10 days there a couple of years ago. That was nursemaiding a research team, not as travellers. If Lindsay (the senior owner) is agreeable to you going off on your own, you might do a bit of exploring, but it is essential that you have a reliable gps to help you get back. There are very few tracks. Also this is not something to do with a single vehicle, and without hf as well as uhf comms. As a traveller I'd aim to travel slowly, rather than spend more than a day at Batten Hill.

The trip is not one to do with a single vehicle either. Most of it is not difficult, but a second vehicle could save a lot of time and digging when you are crossing dunes.

Someone else has mentioned the need to be fully fuelled up when you leave Jervois. Be aware that Jervois is strictly cash only, and you'll need lots of it!

HTH

John
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 08:25

Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 08:25
Hi John
The track file was supplied by me and not Joel. I was the first South Australian group to do this track, at that stage less than 200 vehicles had travelled the Hay River track. Since then there have been many, many hundreds of vehicles that have undertaken this very pretty drive. With the increase in vehicle numbers, has come the increase in cost to venture into that part of then Hay River. Like you we did the Bush Tucker Tour, Lindsay used one of our vehicles and we had to supply lunch for him as well.

Since I did my original research on the area, It was not Joel that put the tracks in, but a great man by the name of Ken Williamson from Alice Springs. Ken came on one of my trips and is a very interesting man.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 09:02

Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 09:02
Hi Stephen,

I stand corrected re the track file. As you say, many vehicles have now passed that way. It is indeed fascinating country. We had the pleasure of spending time there with Ken in 07, and accompanied him on an attempt to forge a track out to the east to Mount Barrington for the research team. Abandoned that when it became clear that the game wasn't worth the candle. Nevertheless, the most memorable of many memorable days, and spent in the company of, as you say, a great and interesting man for whom we have the highest regard.

John
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 09:15

Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 09:15
Hi John
Yes Ken is the quiet achiever. When we were at Batton Hill, we met Ken and started talking about my next planned Geo trip. He said he felt privileged to be asked to join my team. Look below and you will see a picture of us at the Geosurveys Hill

Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Jack - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 22:08

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 22:08
Big tip - Think carefully before committing to the tour at the other end.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ivan (ACT) - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 22:10

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 22:10
Bit more info if you can please mate - looking at being there in Jun
Cheers,

Ivan
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 07:56

Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 07:56
Hi Ivan
If I am reading between the lines, he feels the same as me and many other people in that you pay extra big dollars to do the bush tucker tour - what bush tucker?? a very expensive drive to see more places from Batton Hill - and even Goyders Pillar is not on Lindsay's land, it is part of Tarlton Downs Station, so I wonder if they get any money per vehicle charge as part of letting people enter their station??

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 22:10

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 22:10
Hi TrishP
Make sure that you have full fuel tanks before leaving Jervois Station, as there is no fuel until you either come out at either Birdsville, or if you head further south on the K1 Line, at Mungeranie. If it is not wet, the Hay River drive is a good and pretty two wheel drive track until you reach the end of the Hay River and hit the dune country, From there until the Beachcomber site, there will be some very trying dunes as you make your way south, that will test your dune driving skills to your full extent. Once at the Beachcomber site, it is plain sailing until you head back into dune country if you want to go the distance to Poepple Corner. Good easy drive down the K1 Line, and when you are near the end, you will note the new Simpson dunes are the colour of white beach sand, a vast contrast to the very deep colour of the sands along the Hay River.
The Hay River Drive to us would be one of the best and prettiest drives that the Simpson has to offer.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 08:26

Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 08:26
G'day Stephen

Sounds like a nice easy run, the Hay River Track.

I have not done it myself, but as you know have a done a couple of exciting journeys, like yourself, to the west of it.

I think that my Simpson days have come to an end. I am now concentrating on the vast outback of Western Australia where there are still adventures to be had!


Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 08:54

Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 08:54
Hi Willem,
Yes the Hay River Run for me would be the best track that the Simpson has to offer, the only down side is the very high cost for the permit and the bush tucker tour. On the point of the permit, it should be also noted here that ALL other permits from the CLC are FREE!!

Like you, we have travelled the Simpson many, many times and also like you, the vast contasting deserts of WA now have our attention as well.

Just off topic, did you ever get to find your original marker for the Geo Centre. When we were at Geosurvey Hill in '06, you were at the Geo Centre and we arrived only 3 days after you had left the new tower there.

Cheers

StephenImage Could Not Be FoundImage Could Not Be Found
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 09:39

Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 09:39
Hi Stephen

No, I haven't found the marker. Have not been back that way since 2006. Maybe one day in the future someone will come across it.Or it could be buried in the sand! Our calculations were out quite a bit in our use of the sextant. When I read about many other explorers who were able to plot their way to a reasonable degree of accuracy I wonder where we went wrong!!...lol

Here we are at the Approximate position of the Geo Centre in 1987. Pole and plaque is in front of us. It was quite a green year then compared to 2006

Image Could Not Be Found

On the trek out in 2006 I did a 20km circle around the Geo Centre scouring the swales from the top of the dunes in all directions. I must say it is quite easy to become lost out there and if it wasn't for the GPS we might have had to retrace our tracks to get back to our camp

Image Could Not Be Found


Cheers

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Reply By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 22:37

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 22:37
G'day TrishP

We did it June 08 and it was very easy going, hard packed most of the way with a few dunes that needed a second attempt more towards the French line.
Took us 4 days from Jervois to Birdsville, the scenery is some of the most spectacular I have seen in the Simpson desert, lots more vegetation than the French line and the colour of the dunes is a more distinguished red colour. In July/August the wildfowers turn that part of the desert into fields of colours they wer just starting to bud when we went through in June.
I used hema digital maps for the trip and found the co ordinates completely out!!! absolutely useless!!!

Take a look at sunset on Goyders Pillar...pretty cool!

Use Mr Flemmings co ordinates they are bang on!

Remarkable/Unforgettable trip......Enjoy

Cheers
Ingo
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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 22:44

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 22:44
We went south to north up the Hay River July August 2008. Permits through Jol Flemming took about three weeks. We had a great time. Abundant wildflowers all the way. We towed an ultimate camper and didn't spin a wheel. Tyre Pressures F.18 R.24 Tr. 20 PSI.
Jol's website has some good reading with photos relating to arriving at correct tyre pressure. Jol is an incomplete quadriplegic drives an F series 4x4 does tag alongs and tows a camper. If you make it to Alice he does a free two hour talk at the big 4 caravan park of an evening
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Reply By: mechpete - Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 23:08

Thursday, Mar 05, 2009 at 23:08
Hi .
a group of mates an I did it south to north last yr mid june,
three 4wds an 2 bikes . allow 3 mths for permits , what a rip off ! !
$120 per vehicle including bikes , no gaurantee you will get them ,
but we did, plus camping fees at Batten Hill $15 P/Person per night . nice place but a rip off , good trip though ,
mechpete
fuel is very expensive at Jervois Stn.
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Reply By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 10:35

Friday, Mar 06, 2009 at 10:35
I've done it 4 times now. We are running another tour there this year. Going form North to South is a little more difficult where you are crossing the dunes, due to a turn at the bottom of each. Going south to north is easier. Allow yourself 7 days from Jervoise to Birdsville.

In recent year people have been stealing the grindstones and other aboriginal artifacts that are a major attraction of this trip. I have managed to determine that a large grindstone from lake Caroline was taken by one of three groups between specific dates. I hope to track them down eventually.

Please take only photographs.
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