Simpson Desert Day 5

Saturday, Aug 28, 1999 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

The drive out of the Knolls was bumpy and slow across the hard gypsum until we met up with the French Line once again. The final 40km of dunes to Poeppels Corner was probably the better part of the trip for us with nice red long dunes. There were plenty of opportunities to take photos of interesting vegetation, wind blown ripples across the sand and best of all we still hadn't come across another vehicle headed either direction.

Before reaching Poeppels Corner the last dune comes out to a wide expanse of salt lake. There are two tracks across - not marked of course. Taking the more northerly of the two will take you directly to the corner post and significant position of the NT/SA/Qld border. Taking the other you might miss it altogether.

After Poeppels Corner the French Line continues for another couple of kilometres before reaching the intersection of the K1 Line. Turning left (north) here takes you along a very pretty section with dunes on one side and salt lake on the other. It's just 18km on the K1 before swinging east and starting the QAA where the dunes are softer, bigger and because more people travel this line the track is often bumpy and corrugated making the dune run ups slow. If we had only 2 days to experience any part of the Simpson Desert again I would choose the QAA line.

This section of track also contained the most desert flowers - like this Cunningham Bird Flower. From what we can gather aborigines used to use this flower as a hallucinogenic to enable them to walk long distances without the urge for either food or water. (We didn't try it).

We didn't get to look at the full length of the K1 line - so that's for next time. The QAA line takes you across a large section of claypan that when wet can cause difficulties. We came across when it was totally dry and so crossing Eyre Creek was of no concern.

From Eyre Creek it's just 23km to Big Red - and yes this was every bit as good as we expected! With so many people talking about it we thought it might be a big let down, but it certainly wasn't. When we got back to Birdsville everyone talks about what gear, what range, what speed and its very boring. So work it out yourself - and have fun!

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