Simpson Desert

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 16:45
ThreadID: 6733 Views:3448 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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I am thinking of travelling to the Simpson Desert at the end of Oct early November.
Does anyone have any advice or tips?
We are planning to take the Strezlicki track, head up to Birdsville the across the French line and then back down through Odnadatta. Also, how long does it take to cross SD on the French line?
Any ideas or advice would be appreciated.
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Reply By: Ruth - Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 18:34

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 18:34
Caren, it's not a good idea at this time of the year - even we locals don't travel out there unless we absolutely have to. Best times are May, June, July. the main reasons are - no-one else travelling out there, unpleasant weather - that is, upwards of 43 degrees, strong wind and dust storms and the serious possibility of being cut off by rain in the Desert. Try and plan for during the Winter when it's totally magical and give yourselves 5 days and cover some of the tracks. I am not trying to put you off - just change the time of year. Happy travelling.
AnswerID: 28628

Follow Up By: Member - Jim - Sunday, Aug 24, 2003 at 21:48

Sunday, Aug 24, 2003 at 21:48
Caren, Ruth is absolutely right. Winter is the best time. Try and pick your stay in the desert when there is no moon and you will also enjoy brilliant star gazing.
FollowupID: 20178

Reply By: Member - Bob - Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 19:24

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 19:24
Caren, that's good advice from Ruth. You run a good chance of making the seven o'clock news travelling the desert in November. Even the main (dirt) roads are pretty hard going when its 45 degrees (which it can reach in Nov).Bob
AnswerID: 28632

Reply By: Williewags- Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 20:59

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 20:59
Re-iterate and agree with all of the above.


Fitzmaurice River NT
AnswerID: 28648

Reply By: Mick - Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 23:08

Thursday, Aug 21, 2003 at 23:08
Yes - agree with all above. To answer your question re travel time, we took 4 days from Dalhousie Springs to Birdsville. This was taking it very easily as the first day was only about 90kms from Dalhousie Springs to Purnie Bore (hot shower). Three days would still be comfortable. Two would be possible but you would need to hurry! Hope this helps. Check out the treknotes on this site too under Trip Planning above.
AnswerID: 28674

Follow Up By: Old Jack - Friday, Aug 22, 2003 at 11:34

Friday, Aug 22, 2003 at 11:34
Agree here with all the above, anytime you travelling in this type of area you don't want to be in a hurry, no matter when you go give your self plenty of time, and enjoiy the trip. if you are a first time traveller into this sort of country take other peoples travel time and add a day for every 4-5 days, take it steady and you will be surprised what you will see & how relaxed you will be when reach each destination.
From observation the biggest killer of trips is damage to vehicals :- usually tyre & suspension damage from people going just a little too hard & too fast!

You can never allow to much time to get from point A-B, you will just have more time to relax when you get there!
FollowupID: 19963

Reply By: Jol from Direct Four WD Awareness - Saturday, Aug 30, 2003 at 22:18

Saturday, Aug 30, 2003 at 22:18
it will be hot then, was 50c last november 1 out there, sand can be hot and soft,

take lots a water drive at night if the sands tooo soft
AnswerID: 29673

Reply By: Elaine - Sunday, Sep 14, 2003 at 19:11

Sunday, Sep 14, 2003 at 19:11
So Caren, are you still going to go?

Reason I ask is we are also planning a trip then. Not that it's the best time to go but it's the only time when I have holidays from work.

We were at Birdsville early November last year and there was a sand storm but it wasn't hot.

We were thinking of going the opposite direction, not that it makes much difference.

Have you done this sort of trip before?

Interested to know your decision.

AnswerID: 31014

Follow Up By: Caren - Thursday, Sep 18, 2003 at 12:11

Thursday, Sep 18, 2003 at 12:11
As we're travelling for 12 months and we are meeting up with some friends in the area we are going to make a decision when we are nearby. If the conditions aren't good we will head back to the Flinders and then head across to WA. Then we'll try and do the Simpson mid-next year.
I must admit I'm a bit hesitant after hearing what everyone else has said on this site.

I haven't done a desert cross like this before, but we're planning to during our trip. Have done a few trips to Fraser Is and local day 4WD trips.
Though the friends we are travelling with are quite experienced.

Any way we might see you out there!
FollowupID: 22336

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