Simpson Desert

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 27, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 789 Views:1435 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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Hi All
I am considering a trip to the Simpson, crossing from west to east and would like an estimate of the time I would need to allow for the crossing.
Thanks in anticipation
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Reply By: Karsten John - Wednesday, Feb 27, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Feb 27, 2002 at 01:00
It's possible to do the crossing in 14 hours if you go like a bat out of hell but 3 days is comfortable. Some people take 5. The more time you spend, the more likely you are to see camels etc. Just make sure you drop into the Caravanserai Cafe when you reach Birdsville! (We're next to the water towers & we do real espresso coffee)
AnswerID: 2218

Reply By: Steve - Wednesday, Feb 27, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Feb 27, 2002 at 01:00
Went from East to West last year, 3.5 days and nice and easy, allow for 4 days at a moderate pace, of course you might like to stop a day at the beautiful area which is used as a crossing when Eyre Creek is in flood, its 60 kms to the north of Eyre Creek, and the turn off is just before the creek, I reckon its well worth the detour and an extra bit of time spent there may be well rewarded...wild life, birds etc..

Steve
AnswerID: 2220

Follow Up By: Mike - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2002 at 01:00

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2002 at 01:00
I must agree that the place mentioned must be one of the best places we,ve ever camped(July 2001). Just remember that according to the maps, this area is private property and only accessible while the creek is in flood. Maybe it's because of this protection, that the area is still pristine and beautiful. The eastern side about 100-200m nth of the crossing is the place to stay. AND TAKE YOUR OWN WOOD!!! Happy trails, Mike.
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Reply By: Mal Try - Thursday, Feb 28, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Feb 28, 2002 at 01:00
Weddy, I've crossed the Simpson three times now,and in both directions. It takes about 20 hours of driving time but make sure you take no less than three days and preferably five. There is just so much to see and experience. We met some people on the Sunday after the Birdsville races who were ment to go to the races. It took them six days to cross from west to east. Why did it take so long? They didn't believe in letting their tyres down. That's for wimps!!! I run on 15psi amd have no trouble with any of the dunes. Just take it easy crossing the salt pans. Enjoy it as much as we do. Mal.
AnswerID: 2226

Reply By: Greg - Thursday, Feb 28, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Feb 28, 2002 at 01:00
Weddy in my opinion anyone who crosses the simpson in 20 hours driving time or less is travelling far too fast. I did it both ways last year and we averaged around 30 kph for the Rig road from the east and slightly less for the French line from the west. Contrary to popular opinion the west to east traverse is more difficult at the moment due to a change in the prevailing winds causing a build up of sand on the western side of the top of the dunes. I would allow 4 days. We had a range of vehicles and fuel consumption was between 5kpl for a 4.5 petrol manual cruiser to around 7kpl for the diesels eg 4.2 man patrol and 6.2 V8 man cruiser. 3l man pajeros gave around 6kpl. Its a great trip but hard on vehicle and driver as it is constantly bumpy and rough. Most of us used tyre pressures of around 20-25 psi and generally had little problem crossing the dunes in high 1st or 2nd.
AnswerID: 2230

Follow Up By: Weddy - Thursday, Feb 28, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Feb 28, 2002 at 01:00
Greg. thanks for your (and the others) reply. I, having a 3.0 l Pajero (1984) without a long range tank, would be interested to know how much fuel the Pajeros in your group carried for the French Line Trip.
Thanks in anticipation.
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FollowupID: 794

Follow Up By: Greg - Friday, Mar 01, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Mar 01, 2002 at 01:00
Weddy there were 2 3l man pajeros. Mine was heavily loaded with a roof rack camper and I used 133 l via rig road inc detours for floods, all up about 800kms. The trip back on the french line is about 650kms and I used 20l less. The other pajero used 117 going over and 20l on return. If you are by yourself carry 3 gerrycans of fuel and 2 of water. Best to take your rear seat out. If you are with other petrols I would only take 2 gerrycans of fuel assuming you use the rig road. The french line is harder (not a lot) but much shorter. I would recommend the double crossing but please don't take a trailer. It is possible to get one across but all you do is rip up the track for others. Go as early as you can in the season eg May. Temps will be low to mid 20's during the day and around zero at night. As soon as the sun comes up it warms up fairly fast. Regards
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Reply By: Weddy - Friday, Mar 01, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Mar 01, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks Greg, that's great info and much appreciated.I have an Excel spreadsheet that I use to calculate/estimate the time it will take between way-points and the number of days for a trip based on assumptions of likely speed and stopped time (inc. overnight).
It also indicates the way-points where I will have to refuel based on fuel capacity, estimated consumption and input of non necessary refuellings.
The spreadsheet answers on fuel requirements were similar to your experience.
Thanks again
AnswerID: 2246

Follow Up By: Bob - Friday, Mar 08, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Mar 08, 2002 at 01:00
Just on the fuel consumption Weddy, we took two Pajeros west to east. One 3.0 L '94 man and one 3.5 L '96 man. Both were very heavily laden with fuel, gear and people (we each took 200 L) but each used less than one tank (ie 90 L) between Mt Dare and B'ville.
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FollowupID: 834

Follow Up By: Ruth - Saturday, Mar 30, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Mar 30, 2002 at 01:00
Weddy, I hope you don't get too carried away worrying about fuel and spreadsheets etc when you get into the Desert. That's the place to just chill and enjoy. The rule should be - drive, look, see, enjoy, eat when hungry, stop and look at the birds, set up camp about 4:00 pm, lie back and watch the stars. Please, I am not knocking you either for wanting to be prepared but it's a wonderfully healing/restorative place and we go out there often to get away from the stresses and strains of our work in Birdsville, which involves listening sometimes all day to fellas who have just crossed the Desert or are going to cross the Desert who saw not one camel, Eyrean grass wren, dingo, donkey or wildflower because they were so busy worrying about their tyres, when could they get bogged so they could try this gizmo or that, how much more fuel they used than their mate. Unfortunately, I joke not. If you travel with your tyres at the right level you don't stress your vehicle or use as much fuel. It is so simple. I'm very philosophical today - the first cars are starting to go into the Desert and already we can see the problems for them - not us, but for the travellers. Higher trye pressure also causes those awful corrugations in the dunes, those people who crossed late last year will know how bad they were - also caused by those thoughtless people who consistently tow trailers into the Desert. On that subject - I have just seen the first trailer go into the Desert this afternoon - not a good advertisement for the Driver Training company advertised on one of the cars. It further bothers me that we have become so wrapped up in the latest gizmo and whizbang thing to add to our cars that we have forgotten that people have been travelling and camping in vehicles for almost a century and were able to do it without the need for all this gear.
Sorry Weddy I've got carried away. Come in and see us when you get here and let us know how you are enjoying the trip - and whether your calculations were correct!
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FollowupID: 954

Reply By: pauline - Monday, Mar 04, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Mar 04, 2002 at 01:00
Greg - for your Simpson Trip what type of tyre did you use - intending to do the Simpson this Sept. & need new tyres but unsure whether to go BFG mudterrains which have stood us in good stead for our usual bush 4wdriving in SE Qld or should we go more All terrain.
Thanks Pauline
AnswerID: 2275

Reply By: Mal Try - Monday, Mar 04, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Mar 04, 2002 at 01:00
Pauline, I ran on BFG AT's at 15psi for my three crossings with no trouble at all. Mal.
AnswerID: 2276

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