Simpson Desert Day 3

Thursday, Aug 26, 1999 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

This morning, after the mandatory dip in the hot springs, we agreed to begin our desert trek and thankfully we were the first of the camp to head out. There is often much talk of the first section of track from Dalhousie to Purni Bore (70km) being the worst of the whole trip east but today it was little worse than a few stretches of bulldust and we arrived in just under an hour. This section is called the Spring Creek Delta Track and follows the Spring Creek. The flat claypan is obviously prone to bogging quickly after the slightest rain and one section in particular is named "Gluepot Bog"!

Purni Bore is not at all as we had expected and for people that have been here before it is often the preferred choice to camping at Dalhousie Springs. You come upon the bore quite unexpectedly as you cross another small dune and you could be forgiven for thinking it was a mirage. The temperature of the water coming from the bore is 80 degrees, so it's not for swimming. There is however, a "cool pool" besides the "hot pool" that's just perfect.

The bright blue water set against the red dunes is worthy of photographing and better still is the amazing birdlife attracted to it. A recent addition by the "Friends of the Simpson Desert" is a wildlife hide - a hut by the dam with a window to view birds, dingoes, camels and anything else that choses to come to this only permanent waterhole in the desert. Obviously, the best time for wildlife viewing is near sunset or sunrise but it is still worth a look throughout the day. The facilities are good - showers, toilets, shady camps. We came across one of the campers we'd met at Dalhousie here and so continued on to find a more private spot to camp.

29km past Purni Bore we came to the intersection of the French Line and the Rig Road off to the right. We took the Rig Road for 13km to see the Mokari Airstrip and followed the Rig Road east for another 36km to the intersection of the Colson Track to the left (north). Travelling along the Colson Track is faster because travel is between the dunes (interdunes or dune corridors). The Colson Track is a pleasant drive through yellow spinifex and is a pleasant change from the monotony of the red dunes. Once we met the French Line again and turned our wheels east the track provided dune after dune of gentle run ups, tight corners and fun runs down the other side.

We spent our first night's camp somewhere between two dunes on the French Line not far from the Colson Track intersection. During the night we heard feral donkeys and of course the dingoes were keen to sniff our camp fire.

Of all the wildlife the most common has to be the bush fly - annoying but thankfully gone after sundown. Eagles are the most common of the birds and tiny desert lizards skit across the sand just before being crushed by 3 tonne of 4WD.

David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!
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