Simpson Circuit June 2011

I was hoping to cross the Simpson from west to east in mid June, however that plans looks dead in the water, due to Eyre Creek being flooded.

So a circuit from Mt Dare along the French line to Peoppel back down Knolls ,WAA ,Erabena Track to Lone Gum,then Rigg Road back to the French Line via Dalhousie and back to Odnadatta sounds like the go. All this depends on track conditions of course!

Anyone got any idea on fuel needs for a circuit of the Simpson Tracks such as I am planning? Most threads give a good indication of fuel needs for a crossing but not for a circuit. We will be travelling in a 2010 Triton 2.4 diesel and had planned to take 60 litres extra for the original Simpson crossing, but I am a bit stumped about the consumption for this circuit. My feeling at present is to be cautious and carry 80 litres of extra fuel.( a total of around 160l).

Whilst I am disappointed about not getting across to Birdsville and back down the Birdsville track, I am looking forward to seeing Lake Eyre near its peak and the desert in as wet and unseasonal condition as I am every likely to see.

I was really looking forward to a beer at the Birdsville Pub, but I 'll have to wait for the next trip and have a couple extra at Mt Dare instead. Speaking of which, as I am coming up from Hobart, has anyone got some favourite pubs along the way up through the Great Ocean Road, Barossa Valley, Flinders Ranges, Marree and the Oddnadatta Track.

Having a quite beer with the locals in one of those great old pubs is a true Australian tradition that needs to be continued!
Campy (Tas)
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Reply By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 07:34

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 07:34
Hi Campy,

I don't know about a circuit like that, but I love the idea!!

We crossed from West-East in our GQ Patrol, towing a Tvan, last July. The Patrol has 92 litres in the main tank and 40 in the aux tank. We carried two extra jerry's of diesel, and made a bee line for the roadhouse in Birdsville upon arrival as our gauge was on the "E".
So approx 160-170 litres, (I can't remember how many litres we put in at Birdsville.)

So, for my rig, I would be carrying about double what I used last time.

Depends on the fuel consumption of the Triton... I imagine it would be less than my Patrol/Tvan by a long way? Take plenty.... if you don't need it, that's OK, but if you run out in the desert, it's gonna be expensive to get a delivery!!!!



AnswerID: 452044

Follow Up By: campy - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 11:09

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 11:09
Thanks Brian,
Good advice for sure. My rough estimate so far is to carry 80 litres extra. That would normally give me a range of 1400km on the bitumen If I half that for the conditions it gives me a range of 700kms.Which is pretty close to what we need to do. I didn't really want to carry more fuel if I can avoid it but we may need to ,as you suggest to be on the safe side, particularly if we don't want to go back to Mt Dare.
By the way we are towing a camper a Jayco Dove Outback up as far as Maree and then leaving it there for the desert part of the trip. The Dove suits us for Tassie but it not suitable for the desert, as much as I would like to take it.We will be spending a few days in the Flinders Ranges so we will see how it handles the conditions in there.

Thanks ,

FollowupID: 724730

Reply By: Crackles - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 08:29

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 08:29
Campy rather than relying on others for fuel usage on a specific route that doesn't get run that often, I'd suggest adding up the kilometers & using the known fuel consumption for your vehicle as it wont be them that runs out but you if they got it wrong. I'd allow 20% extra KM's from that on the map for recoveries, detours & looking around as well as some additional fuel for the difficult conditions early in the season as there has not been alot of traffic to form the track. Even alot of the Trek Fuel data is getting old & no longer reliable for trips like the Simpson as much of it doesn't take in the wet conditions, extra kilometers for detours & deteriation of the track we have seen the last two years.
Have a great trip.
Cheers Craig...........................
AnswerID: 452049

Follow Up By: campy - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 10:47

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 10:47
Thanks Craig.
I'll sit down and work out the kms for the trip and plan accordingly. I know my vehicles consumption patterns on the road, towing and in 4wd high for extended periods, but not in 4wd low in extended sandy conditions. Not knowing the conditions of the Simpson I'd like to find out as much as I can from other's experiences. The Trek Fuel Data is a useful guide but again it is a little misleading as to how much a vehicles uses on the different tracks.

For instance would going across via the French Line use a similiar amount of fuel as going across the Rigg Road then up the Knolls Track. On paper you would think that on the Rigg Road route you would use more fuel as the distance is further, but do the harder conditions on the French Line increase the fuel consumption to counteract the extra distance on the Rigg Road?

This is the sort of specific information I am looking for so I can get a reasonable idea of which route I can plan. At the end of the day I will always er on the side of caution, I'll carry more fuel and take a shorter circuit as the conditions reveal themselves and in reality I guess this sort of question is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string as there are so many variables.

I appreciate your feedback and I have to say this is an excellent web site. It has to be because my wife keeps telling me to get off and do a bit of real work!!
Doesn't she realise research is work too??
FollowupID: 724727

Reply By: Baz&Pud (Tassie) - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 10:31

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 10:31
Sounds like a great trip, did the Simpson back in 2005 and loved it, would love to do it again but don't think the old body would take it.

Have done the GOR and the BV but in those days not interested in the pub seen, but in the Flinders Ranges the Parachilna Hotel is a must, and if you have time have a meal there ,FMG,( Feral Mixed Grill) there is nothing better.

About 20ks up the road from Lyndhurst is the camp spot Farina, if timing is right spend a night there, lovely grass camp sites and interesting ruins.

Have had a beer or two at the Maree Hotel, but not as good as the William Creek Hotel.

The pub in Oodnadatta is an interesting one, if open visit the museum.

Have a great trip.

Go caravaning, life is so much shorter than death.

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AnswerID: 452058

Follow Up By: campy - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 11:34

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 11:34
Thanks Baz,
I had the William Creek and the Parachilna pubs on our agenda, but not the Farina camp ground, that sounds excellent. These old outback pubs are really special and I think need to be supported and for my boys aged 12 and 15, an eye opener to an almost lost part of Australian culture.

As much as I like a beer, on this trip,the coldies will have to wait till the end of the day, too many long, flat roads from Tassie to the Simpson, so I'll have to call in and have a lemonade and a feed, instead. Gone are the days when we would measure the distance from Darwin to Kathrine or wherever in the numbers of beers you could drink!(or do people still do that?)

One of the best pubs I have been to over the years is the Lions Den Hotel near Cooktown. Great place to camp at down the back near the creek and years ago the cows from the paddock next door would stick their heads through the window at the bar and bellow!!

The Humpty Doo Hotel near Darwin was a beauty too, especially when one of the locals would bring his brahman bull into the bar for a few drinks. That bull could out drink anyone!!Another time I saw a local with a 2 metre python around his neck, he approached everyone along the barand said ".Pat me snake." ,when one bloke told him to piss off, he slowly unwound the snake punched the bloke, then put the snake back around his neck and kept moving along the bar and asked the next bloke to "Pat me snake!" needless to say everyone else patted the snake after that!!

You see some funny things in country pubs!

Thanks for the advice Baz, and reckon you are never too old to get out amongst it mate.

FollowupID: 724735

Reply By: Ozrover - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 12:24

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 12:24

Still early days yet to see how the conditions in the Simpson Desert are, but from reports in so far it's looking pretty good.

With the firm sand and slow driving 160 liters should be ok if you return to Mt Dare to refuel, we used roughly that amount on a recovery last year doing the same loop that you mentioned in the V8 Toyota ute towing a broken down vehicle from past the Knolls track back down to & along the Rig road.

Keep an eye on your usage heading out & turn around before the point of no return. Also keep in mind that the Pedirka PAR is closed & may not reopen this season, so you will have to come back up to Bloods Creek before heading back to Oodna'.

AnswerID: 452068

Follow Up By: campy - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 15:57

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 15:57
Thanks Jeff,
That is very useful information, do you really think there could be an outside chance that the track will be open to Birdsville in early June? At this stage we are planning to get into Mt Dare around the 6th June, if the track is open we'll give it a go, otherwise we will do a circuit.
Reading through the forums and various books it sounds like the Simpson is very different depending on which route you take. Would you have a preferred route if you were going to do a circuit or the crossing? We have a max. of around 5 days, start to finish from Mt Dare and return or Mt Dare to Birdsville.
I hadn't realised the Pedirka Road was closed, so that means it will be back to Mt Dare for sure if we do the circuit.
Look forward to catching up if you're there when we come through.We are planning on meeting up with some old mates from Alice for a belated 50th Birthday celebration at Mt Dare so we may have to spend a couple of nights there!
FollowupID: 724742

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 17:40

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 17:40

Unlikely that the Eyre Creek bypass will open by the time you that get there, so the route that you described would be my preferred route if I were going out for a look.

I may have to have a couple of ales with you as my 50th is in late May as well!

FollowupID: 724754

Follow Up By: campy - Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 20:18

Friday, Apr 22, 2011 at 20:18
Again thanks for the info. I must admit I am a bit disappointed about the reality of not getting across the Simpson this year as we have been planning for a couple of years now, but to catch up with old mates and have a few quiet ales sound like a bloody good idea, I feel it may be a couple of nights at Mt Dare!
Looking forward to catching up with you.
FollowupID: 724784

Reply By: muffin man - Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 09:30

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 09:30
We did a crossing one year but zig zagged all over the place. In a V6 petrol we used 170L and travelled 711km @ an average of 23. Conditions were bone dry that year. From the lone gum back to mt. dare along the rig road was easy going compared to the french line and less fuel was used.
AnswerID: 452113

Follow Up By: campy - Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 10:15

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011 at 10:15
Thanks MM,
Do you have any preferences on which route/s to take and the must see/visit parts of the Simpson? We will have around 4-5 days from Mt Dare. From previous good advice I think I'll take at least 80-100 litres of extra fuel which will give us a good range to and from Mt Dare.
FollowupID: 724804

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