Simpson Desert - Not again!!!!!

Submitted: Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 21:38
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Hi all,

Just thought I would put it out there that there are actually 10 deserts in Australia.

Reading through this forum it seems that every 10th post or so is about the Simpson Desert.

Perhaps this is because the Simpson is closest to the populated areas, and everyone wants a piece of it, as it is easiest to get to for most people.

Doing a quick Google search of this forum the most mentioned deserts are as follows:
Simpson Desert - 4270 times
Great Sandy Desert - 2540 times
Gibson Desert - 1530 times
Great Victoria Desert - 341 times
Tanami Desert - 89 times
Strzelecki Desert - 86 times
Little Sandy Desert - 71 times
Sturt Stony Desert - 25 times
Tirari Desert - 7 times
Pedirka Desert - 3 times

This Google search is not the be all and end all of it, as some people call them other names eg. Simmo, GVD, Gibson etc....which would not be reflected in these results,however would reflect the actual percentages to some extent.

I've only been to 6 of them so certainly am not that well traveled in this regard, though I have driven through the "Simmo" once.

Most people like the Simpson because of the vast spaces, lack of people, isolation and beauty (from what I can gather reading the threads put up).

So why don't you all chuck a bit more diesel in the 4WD and go and see some different deserts, ones that haven't been so regulated, littered and have someone saying on the two-way, "just coming over the next dune" every five minutes. That experience most people desire is only enhanced by some of these other less traveled deserts.

My opinion - and don't rush over too soon - you'll spoil it for everyone!!!!


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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:10

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:10
This is a good opportunity to say why we went to the Simpson Desert last month.

I remember way back in secondary school (60's) in History reading about the Simpson Desert in reports from the early explorers. I have always wanted to go and have a look. Not because of the reasons given above but for historic and personal curiosity. Just like we recently went on a drive up to the Gulf of Carpentaria following as close as possible Burke and Wills' journey. Close enough for us anyway.

The Canning Stock Route is hopefully next. From my younger years in the country and recent readings and even the film "Australia" the spark was lit. Yes we had heard about the Canning before but the "curiosity" grew like a cancer since our trip in the Kimberley area.

If time permits there will be more deserts but for the moment that is the last real desert destination as such, in the Bucket List.

Phil
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:27

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:27
Yes - those early explorers always get me interested myself.

Lindsay and Madigan (who only just scrapes in) spring to mind for the Simpson.


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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:24

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:24
Way to much time on your hands Al :))
Better things to Google than that. LOL
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:29

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:29
Haven't you sold your fridge yet!!!!

Just doing my bit to try and promote other less heard of areas :)))


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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 23:23

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 23:23
It's got your name on it, will look great in the back of your truck ))

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Reply By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:29

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:29
Hi Alan

No doubt the Simpson is popular - it’s over east where all the people are :) May or may not change your stats much but also keep in mind that many threads/posts refer to the tracks that pass through a desert but don’t mention the desert/s specifically e.g. Canning Stock Route = Little Sandy/Gibson/Great Sandy/Tanami - four in one hit!! Anne Beadell Highway (popular subject) = Great Victoria Desert, Strzelecki Track = Strzelecki Desert, Birdsville Track = Sturt Stony/Tirari Desert.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:35

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:35
Hi Greg, Hang on just give me another hour or so.....

You're right of course, however I think generally speaking I am correct, reading between the lines. Happy to be proved wrong.

Cheers
Alan



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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 23:09

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 23:09
Sorry Alan - wasn't trying to prove you "wrong".

I just figure some deserts get mentioned less often than others (even if it doesn’t change your stats) as it's far easier to "name drop" the CSR (for example) during a thread/conversation than Little Sandy/Gibson/Great Sandy/Tanami Desert.

Nothing wrong with trying to motivate people to be more adventurous which I assume was the aim of your thread.

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 23:27

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 23:27
No problems,
Again you are right with your example ie. CSR - my other intention was to point out, perhaps to tune into other peoples "spirit of adventure" is to let people know that some of the reasons that people enjoy the Simpson in my opinion can be more enhanced in other more remote deserts which do not have the "stresses" that the Simpson has.

I totally understand that due to time constraints, price of diesel and other things, this may not be practical.

Cheers
Alan



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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 08:27

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 08:27
Greg

Look out he will include Fraser Island and Kurnell in the count next. Plenty of sand there.

Phil
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 22:57

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 22:57
Good work Phil...however, I think it has to be red sand in Oz or it doesn't count :)

Cheers
Greg
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Reply By: the_fitzroys - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:31

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:31
Equinox, the figures might be misleading. You mention 86 instances for the Strzelecki but if you travel to Cameron Corner and Innamincka you're in the Strz. And I reckon as many people have been to those places as have crossed the Simpson. Do a google search on both those names and see how your figures change.

Louise
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:39

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 22:39
You could be right Louise, just putting it out there. Greg's right though, that's where most of the people are, it is expected to travel closer to home, as I do generally speaking..




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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 23:57

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 23:57
Hi Alan

Back in the late 1980 's when we purchased our first new four wheel drive, every magazine at the time always talked about the Simpson, and it was the "desert " to drive for a real four wheel drive experience. As we did, we travelled the Simpson and we were hooked and like every trip, it seemed to finish as quick as it started.

Over the years we have driven in full every possible track that you can drive across the Simpson, and as we travelled, I would look out past the track and think to myself, what would it be like to drive it like Reg Sprigg, from one side to the other with no tracks to follow what so ever.

Trip after trip that lure had me thinking, so I them put into action plans for the hardest Simpson trip to do. There was only one State that I could do this at the time legally, and that was the Northern Territory. With 2 years of planning, my dreams came true and for 15 very slow days, we slowly made our way across the very heart of the Simpson with no, or very few old shot lines to follow and it was a GPS course all the way.

This is what I called a true remote Simpson trip, as with every other crossing, as remote as the Simpson is, you were never alone and there was never a day crossing when you would always see other vehicles.

In the mean time,we had made a few trips into WA and had a taste of even more remoter desert with more time out there and we came across no other vehicles. We were now hooked on another great desert and Australia's largest, the Great Victoria.

Of the deserts you have listed, we have been fortunate to travel 7 of them for various reasons. Yes we have still been back to the Simpson, it is still great, but for me now the Great Victoria is my favourite, why, well for a few reasons .

It is remote, fare less people travel it, better scenery, and the trips take far longer, just what I like, more time out there alone. When you set up a camp, wood is never an issue for a camp fire, not so like out in the Simpson.

Each to their own, but it does not matter where we travel, our Australian desert are the best and we are so lucky to have these valuable assets for four wheel drivers to experience.


Enough of my ravings.




Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Jack - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 08:51

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 08:51
Unlike Reg Sprigg who travelled solo, you travelled with a group of other vehicles, who you never acknowledge! There is a big difference between travelling solo and in the security of a group other vehicles.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 09:22

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 09:22
Hi Jack

Good to see you are still lurking around here on the forum. Yes there were other vehicles with me, but just like Reg Sprigg, I was the lead vehicle for the whole trip and had no tracks to follow, and know first hand how hard it is to select the correct track and make the best decisions for the rest of the group.

Like I said before, it was my trip, my planning and I shared it for others to read here on the forum. I wrote the Blog from my point of view, as leader of the expedition.

Like I said before I do not know what I have said to upset you, but it now looks like every time I put up something here on the forum, you try to put me down.

Have a great day and enjoy the best site in Australia.



Stephen


ps

Keep a look our for my next Blog, it is a ripper.
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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:19

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:19
Hi Stephen, rave away I don't mind.

It would have been a great trip you led, and would have given you an inkling of what Reg would have gone through.

It seems in latter years though, the masses have found out and now go there in droves. I've even heard now the Madigan line is now almost a completely formed track.

Glad you like the Great Victoria, I've spent a bit of time there and one day would like to see more of it.

Look forward to your next blog, keep up the good work.

Cheers
Alan

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Reply By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 06:29

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 06:29
Alan, Alan dear Alan

You've done it again - up to now those 'eastern staters' thought the only desert in Oz was the Simpson and the Western part of Oz was largely unexplored. Now they know different.

Soon we will have to make a booking for a campsite on the Lake Rason road - lol.

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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:12

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:12
Phil, some of them already know, and mark the way back home....




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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 08:27

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 08:27
The big thing the Simpson desert lacks is corrugations.

Corrugations keep all the other deserts pristine because tourists don't like corrugations.
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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:32

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:32
I think you're onto something there Phil.

I never knew that.


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Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 11:00

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 11:00
Hi all.

We haven't driven across the Simpson Desert yet and I'm not sure if I want to.
It seems like there are a lot of restrictions, to the point where fires ae banned from next year.

We just got back from our trip to The Kimberley last Sunday. We drove across from Alice Springs by the Gary Junction Rd and Kidson Track (Hwy). That took us through the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts, which my favourite part of the trip.

We came home by the Tanami Rd and then the Plenty Hwy.

Great scenery for the most part and very few people on the Gary Junction Rd/Kidson Track.

I believe anyone that makes the effort to get into these areas deserves a pat on the back, whether they go alone or with others. It takes a lot of planning to travel through these areas.

I just hope APT doesn't find out about our special places.

Steve
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Reply By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 12:56

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 12:56
G'day Al,

I guessing that you have not been 'out and about' for a while and are having
withdrawal symptons... lol

You and I should have gone to Canada with the others....now that would be
a change from the desert;)))

Take care
MJ
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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 17:29

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 17:29
Hi MJ,

I'm wondering how Mick has dealt with the grizzly bears I must say lol..

Definitely withdraw symptoms, haven't been out and about since Easter. Won't be long, in November I'll be back on canned food and roadhouse toasted chicken cheese and onion sandwiches.

Cheers
Alan

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Reply By: Member - VickiW - Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 21:15

Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 at 21:15
Hi Equinox,
have to say I sadly agree. We first went into the Simpson about ~ 16 or 17 years ago - just 2 days in and back, as I was on crazy US holidays 2 weeks a year. But that 2 days had me hooked - saw only 3 other vehicles & the sound of a dingo howling before dawn... (plus a funny incident when I was having a sponge bath standing in a bucket & one of the 3 cars in 2 days drove past!!)
so tried to go back over the next whatever years and was always thwarted by weather or his alternative travel plans. Finally got back 2 years ago &, although I'm glad we did finally get there, and evenings were lovely & solitary, the number of vehicles made it not the experience I''d dreamt about. plus, being directly before the split, and having been told this just a few days beforehand, made it less than ideal I must say!

But. .. I did see someone else travelled there recently said it was quieter, so maybe there is hope.
Cheers,
Vicki
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