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Our trip report to the Simpson for ya

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  • Our trip report to the Simpson for ya

    Hi all, I wrote up a report of our recent holiday up to the Simpson that we just got back from the other day for my clubs newsletter so I'd thought I'd share it with you. Hope you like it.
    Kev

    Simpson Trip 07


    Today was the day; the trip to the Simpson Desert was upon us. No more time for any more preparation or planning. If we had forgotten something, then to bad, we most likely wouldn?t need it. We made tracks for Murray Bridge. Here our friends would be waiting for us at the motel they had booked for the night. The next morning seen us all up early and packed ready for the next leg of our journey. With plenty of breaks for a cup of tea or snack we headed for Coober Pedy. We went the back way around Adelaide and took in some of the great sights on offer. 877kms later we arrived at the caravan park in Coober Pedy. Setting up camp we were soon fed and relaxed. Waking up at 6 the next morning (this became to norm for the rest of the trip) we headed off to take the little one noodling in the local noodling pit to see if we could find that elusive opal. Not so. Catching up with the others, we found the local German bakery for a supply of fresh rolls and bread.

    Fuelling up then seen us heading for Oodnadatta via Marla. We stopped for lunch and fuel at Marla and whist the kids soon found the water sprinkler a great bit of fun. It would be good to do this end of the Oodnadatta Track as we didn?t get to do it last year. The track was in great condition and we made good time. An easy day?s travel of 437kms.

    Tuesday had us heading to Mt Dare vie Hamilton. Stopping at Mt Dare we fuelled up the tanks and jerry cans. Had a couple of ice cold beers at the pub and a bite to eat.
    Next stop was to be Purni Bore 379kms away. The track was a little rougher and the temperature outside was getting up around 35deg. Getting to Dalhousie we sought out the springs and soon having a splash despite the 35 Deg plus temperature of the hot springs. Quite a lot of bird life was a plus at the springs. Getting out of the hot springs was good as the when the breeze hit you, it also cooled you down. It was decided that it was still too early to set up camp so we made for Purni Bore.

    The track was rough and the vehicles were shaken but we made it in one piece. After checking out the water hole we soon set up camp. The kids had a cool shower and again tea was had. The night was great. Clear skies gave a great view of the stars. After putting the kids to bed we sat back and relaxed enjoying the peace of the desert. This was soon broken by the howls of the local dingoes. After reassuring children that there was nothing to worry about she soon settled back to sleep. We sat up and tried to call in the dingoes to have a look. We could here the sounds of the dogs feet and could also hear the sound of what we believed were pups. Turning on the torch soon had us spotting a couple of them. Bed was great and sleep even better until the local Donkey decided to trot thru what seemed to be the centre of camp and let out a loud bellow waking us all. ?Cheeky donkey? the kids said the next morning


    Purni Bore

    Packing up in the cool of the morning again had us on the road. We travelled east along the French line and then turned South down the Rig Road. We followed the Rig Road down and east around to Walkandi Junction. Then headed north to look at the Lone Gum Tree, Stopping to take some pics. We then headed north and turned east at the WAA Junction on to the WAA Line stopping about 15km along to set up camp for the night. We covered 206kms easily today due to the Rig Road being most clay hard track. The WAA Line we found much slower going as being mostly close dunes which reminded me of driving around the dunes at Southend. Quite often I expected to see the ocean at the top of some dunes due to the similarity.




    The next morning seen we had a great cook up of Scrambled eggs, Bacon, tomatoes and toast for breakfast. After feeding the troops we packed up our gear. It wasn?t long after this that the other driver got a bad cramp in his stomach and felt crook. Couldn?t be the brekkie as the rest of us were OK. My missus took the wheel of the Mighty Pajero and I drove the Patrol to give him a rest. We continued east and then turned north onto Knolls Track and then east onto the French Line. After lunch, the other driver felt better and took the wheel of the Patrol once again. We headed for Poepple corner. Taking the mandatory pics in three States we headed up the K1 Line and east onto the QAA Line. We came across a New V8 SWB Troopy on the K1 Line travelling alone. Upon noticing the there were 5 adults in the car, one stock spare tyre, back loaded with swags, we then wondered where the rest of their gear was. They asked us how many hours it was to get to Dalhousie Spring. I told them that we were on our third day in the desert and it was not a matter of hours. They continued on, leaving us to wonder. We could not fathom as to where their spare fuel and water was for the trip. We hope they made it. We set up camp on the K1 Line after completing 158kms for the day. A great night with a good fire burning and the cold beer made it better.

    Packed we headed for Birdsville 103kms away. The dunes got further apart and also got bigger the closer we got to Birdsville. After a near miss with a feral Pajero coming up the other side of the dune causing the Patrol to veer off and me to hit the anchors (the feral Paj didn?t want to stop. No flag or radio and travelling alone) we soon pulled up and what I was told was Big Red. It was of good size but I some how expected it to be bigger. We sat back and watched the Patrol have first crack at it. He made it about ? the way up. After he backed down I threw the NM tiptronic into manual mode and made our run at Big Red. Up and over we went with ease, one to the Pajero. The view once over was not what we were expecting. We thought more sand on the other side, not to be blown away with the green view that greeted us, wow. We then got out at the top and watched the Patrol make his second approach, again stopping in about the same spot as before. For his third attempt he let out more air from his tyres and made it up easily over the top. To show off I put the Pajero back over the top this time on a different part of the Dune, West to East with not much run up at all, and again East to West.



    Over Big Red

    We then headed into Birdsville for lunch at the local bakery. We fuelled up and threw all our clothes in the washing machines at the van park. We headed for the museum for a look. The museum is well recommended if you come to Birdsville. Then back to pick up our dry clean clothes. Being now 40deg outside the pub was the next stop for a cold beer and dinner. Being Friday night, the pub was full and we were entertained by two bush poets in the bar. Not only did they have the adults laughing but also had the kids entranced in some of their funny poems. A great meal was also served up. We headed out of town and set up camp for the night.


    mmmm,cold beeeeerrrrr

    The next morning we headed back to the Bakery for a restock and headed out of town towards Innamincka. We took the Outside Track South and then cut across Walkers Crossing Track. A good track and good time was made. Arriving at Innamincka 386kms later we looked for a room or cabin for the night as treat. The van park cabins and pub rooms were booked out. We were told of a homestay in town but were given the wrong directions to find it. After driving around we took the kids for a swim in Cooper Creek. It?s amazing how much water is in this creek. Whilst having a swim a call over the radio told us our companions had found the Cooper Creek Homestay and got a good rate for us. After the others down for a swim we headed for the Homestay. What a great set up, with an outside kitchen, good size rooms and very welcoming hosts Geoff and Julie, we thought we could do no better. What luxury after camping for a week. We also had a good view of the town. If you come to Innamincka we recommend staying here. Geoff, one of our host?s drives an OKA bus and reckons he could show us some sights no other 4wheelers get to see. Maybe a reason for a club trip???? With the Guitar out and Geoff and Julie and one of their friends joining us, a great night was again had by all.

    The next morning we said our goodbyes to Geoff and Julie. We checked out the local cemetery and then headed for Bourke?s grave. After this we travelled on to the famous Dig Tree. The local mud map is a bit out on scale but we soon worked out where we were heading. After checking out the dig tree and reading up the information about it, we continued onward towards Tibooburra. 420kms total for the day. Well before arriving in Tibooburra the mobiles started going off with ring tone firing up all at once. We found the local van park and settled in for the night having a swim in an icy cool pool before dinner.

    The next day was an easy 335kms down to Broken Hill for two nights to have a break and check out the local attractions. We booked a cabin each at the van park as the cost was not much more than a camping site. With cabins soughted we headed into town to do some shopping and restock the essentials. The following morning we went to town to check some other shops and headed out for an underground mine tour. This was a very interesting tour that led us down approx 150 ft; though low area?s where you had to just about get on your hands to get through. It?s amazing how some of the old miners had worked to move the rock to find that elusive Silver. After this we headed for Silverton for lunch and a check of the towns past historic buildings and the local watering hole for a beer and look at all the pics of the movies made in and around Silverton.

    Waking the next day seen us saying goodbye to our friends, as we decided to head for home, getting an early start. Our friends stayed to check out more in town and visit rello?s on the way home as they had a few more days off than I did. With lots of breaks we finally pull in the driveway at a reasonable hour that afternoon. A great trip and I would do it again with out hesitation. We had covered a total of 4788kms for the trip. Mt Dare to Birdsville was 605km and I averaged 22lt per 100km (3.5lt V6 Petrol Pajero) and the Patrol averaged 19lt per 100km (3.0lt T Diesel) for the Simpson crossing.


    Last edited by kevshaz; 15-10-07, 09:23 PM.
    2000 NM,Duel Fuel, 50mm Lift, ARB Bar,Ironman 12000lb Winch, Lightforce spots, Cooper ST's 265/75, 285/75 MT Baja Claws on Gu Rims, Milford, Drawer system, Dual Batteries, 60lt Engel, Carputer with 8 inch touch screen. Beer, Wife, Kids and sometimes dogs.

  • #2
    Bit better with photos, great trip report. That's a nice shot on top of Big Red.
    Dave
    NX Pampas Cat GLS MY16
    Member 1228 Pajero Club

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    • #3
      Yep, sure is better with pics. had trouble getting them to come up but worked it out in the end. The bottom pic is ten shots merged together on top of big red showing both sides.

      Kev
      2000 NM,Duel Fuel, 50mm Lift, ARB Bar,Ironman 12000lb Winch, Lightforce spots, Cooper ST's 265/75, 285/75 MT Baja Claws on Gu Rims, Milford, Drawer system, Dual Batteries, 60lt Engel, Carputer with 8 inch touch screen. Beer, Wife, Kids and sometimes dogs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Finally a trip report with photos. Good write up and great pics. Thanks
        03 NP, 34" tires, Fully skiplated, Custom rocksliders, custom winch mount, OME HD springs/shocks, and Aeroflow exhaust, Locked Front and Rear.

        Happiness is like peeing your pants, everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth.

        Comment


        • #5
          Great trip report Kev.

          questions:
          what tyres were you running?
          what pressures were you running on the oodnadatta track and birdsville track sections?
          any/many punctures?
          1999 3.5 NL Exceed Auto, Adelaide, South Australia

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          • #6
            Hi Keith,
            Tyres were Cooper ST's 265/75/16. I ran front 20psi and rear 24 psi on the Oddna and Birdsville track. I ran Bridgestone last year around this area and got a couple of flats. Found the Coopers to be great., no flats. On the Simpson crossing I dropped to 18 front and 20 rear. Pajero was fully loaded with 150lt fuel, (Tank and 3 Jerry's.) 70lts of gas( duel fuel but didn't use it) 80 lts of water in stainless tank that I found at my mates place he used to have in his rangie. I took out the left middle seat and bolted this tank in there as it was ready to go.

            Kev
            2000 NM,Duel Fuel, 50mm Lift, ARB Bar,Ironman 12000lb Winch, Lightforce spots, Cooper ST's 265/75, 285/75 MT Baja Claws on Gu Rims, Milford, Drawer system, Dual Batteries, 60lt Engel, Carputer with 8 inch touch screen. Beer, Wife, Kids and sometimes dogs.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kevshaz View Post
              Hi Keith,
              ... Found the Coopers to be great., no flats....
              Kev
              Amazing.

              A family member just did this trip in his NL Paj in convoy with a 93 Paj, 80 series cruiser, mazda bravo ute, all running a variety of tyres.

              Similar pressures as you. I think they got about 10 flats between them.
              1999 3.5 NL Exceed Auto, Adelaide, South Australia

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              • #8
                Both cars ran Cooper ST's and no probs whatsoever. I recon they handle well too IMO.
                Kev
                2000 NM,Duel Fuel, 50mm Lift, ARB Bar,Ironman 12000lb Winch, Lightforce spots, Cooper ST's 265/75, 285/75 MT Baja Claws on Gu Rims, Milford, Drawer system, Dual Batteries, 60lt Engel, Carputer with 8 inch touch screen. Beer, Wife, Kids and sometimes dogs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Great report Kev and it brings back memories of my Simpson trip last year though it was east to west. Just a couple of points.

                  Mt Dare to Purni is only about 150 ks if I remember correctly but I'd certainly agree about the road - rough as. My travelling companions lost the bump stop from their suspension (Hilux) on this section. My NP did great though it wasn't pleasant driving.

                  I'm heading out west next April with a couple of mates and Innamincka is one of our stops. I'd love some more info about your homestay! Might make a difference from the Innamincka pub. We'll also be hitting Birdsville and I'll take the guys up and over Big Red and a couple of other dunes before heading back to Birdsville, via that great new bakery of course.

                  I worry about the likes of those guys you met in the SWB Troopy - they are all too common nowadays.

                  What did the fuel cost at Mt Dare? It was $1.92 for diesel July last year.

                  Great to hear that your Simpson crossing was a success.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Wal,
                    Yep Your right about the distance. It was 379 from Oddna to Purni, My stuff up, I should pay more attention while typing it up at work, Ha Ha.
                    http://coopercreekhomestay.com/ is the place we stayed, down to earth and easy going. Geoff only to willing to have a cold one with you. The rooms are from a double up to 5+ in a room. Good rates too. Hope you have a good trip next April, Tha bakery will be reopened by then. I recommend the Butter Chicken pies, Yum Yum.
                    Kev
                    Ps. Unleaded was $1.85 at Mt Dare, I think deisel was a bit cheaper.
                    2000 NM,Duel Fuel, 50mm Lift, ARB Bar,Ironman 12000lb Winch, Lightforce spots, Cooper ST's 265/75, 285/75 MT Baja Claws on Gu Rims, Milford, Drawer system, Dual Batteries, 60lt Engel, Carputer with 8 inch touch screen. Beer, Wife, Kids and sometimes dogs.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Awesome write up!
                      A few mates and I are doing this trip at the end of the year (We will actually be in the simpson for new years), the mighty Paj and a 100 series v8 landcruiser (fuel )
                      We are heading east traveling from Kulgera - Finke - Mt Dare - Dalhousie Springs - French Line - poepples corner - Birdsville.
                      As you travelled in October what was the max desert temperature you encountered? we are budgeting 40 degrees up to 50, though i am not sure how effective the cooling system of the paj is going to be.. aircon running, 50degrees - she may run a little hot.
                      UPGRADING FROM THE NH TO AN NP EXCEED

                      anyone want an NH? - 2" suspension lift, King springs, Rancho RS 5000 Shocks, 27.5mm Rockcrawler Torsion Bars, 265/70 R 16" BF Goodridge All-Terrains, CIBIE Super Oscar 100 watt, UNIDEN UHF / scanner, Dual Battery, 140L Longrange fuel tank
                      $6500

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                      • #12
                        Been across the Simpson in July 07 - I want to go back next year!

                        Around Australia - Simpson Desert and Ningaloo have been the picks I wish to return too... (all the others have to many people for my liking!)
                        --
                        Marquis
                        SOLD - NT MY10 DiD, ARB D/Bar, Airtec, LRA 81L, Bil/Lov 2", BCDC1220+AGM, P3

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                        • #13
                          Hi Bounceferret,

                          New Years in the Simpson. Hot Hot Hot, The daily temp while in the desert was 37 climbing to 41 the day we hit Birdsville. Locals told us it is regulary up to 50 deg the time of year your talking about going, To give you an idea, most shops ( bakery, Cafe' etc) in Birdsville were closing down for the summer as it's too hot and tourist trade is very low. When I got on the WAA line the temp on the Paj started to climb (Outside 37deg). It has never done this before but putting the auto into 1st and 2nd on the tiptronic kept the revs up and air flowing through keeping it cool. As i stated the dunes were fairly close. I may be wrong but a call to the pub or local officer would confirm it for you.

                          Have fun

                          Kev

                          Ps: you may also lack room to stock the extra beer you will drink due to the heat. Ha Ha .
                          2000 NM,Duel Fuel, 50mm Lift, ARB Bar,Ironman 12000lb Winch, Lightforce spots, Cooper ST's 265/75, 285/75 MT Baja Claws on Gu Rims, Milford, Drawer system, Dual Batteries, 60lt Engel, Carputer with 8 inch touch screen. Beer, Wife, Kids and sometimes dogs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            thanks Kev
                            Yeh I guess we're just going to have to brave the heat, plenty of water, plenty of beer as long as the pub is open I'll be happy.

                            Does anyone know what temperature the cooling system of the NH-NL series stops working effectively? I would be guessing at 50 degrees ambient and the air con on, It would have a hell of a time keeping the coolant < 100c
                            UPGRADING FROM THE NH TO AN NP EXCEED

                            anyone want an NH? - 2" suspension lift, King springs, Rancho RS 5000 Shocks, 27.5mm Rockcrawler Torsion Bars, 265/70 R 16" BF Goodridge All-Terrains, CIBIE Super Oscar 100 watt, UNIDEN UHF / scanner, Dual Battery, 140L Longrange fuel tank
                            $6500

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Bounceferret - I can't understand why you want to cross the Simpson at this time of year. Your vehicle will be under a lot of strain just trying to cross dunes which will be very dry and very soft. To keep yourselves cool you'll need your aircon running near to maximum which will reduce the effectiveness of your radiator. You have to realise that your radiator relies mainly on the air generated by airflow and this is not guaranteed with a Simpson crossing.

                              To avoid the heat of the day while camped will mean an early start in the morning and a late finish. The night time temperatures could be well into the mid 20s or even higher so there may be no respite.

                              I don't know how many will be in your party but if your vehicle breaks down you will need shelter or you will dehydrate very quickly indeed. As the Simpson is virtually treeless you will have to carry this shelter with you and know how to use it.

                              Water is vital and you'll need at least 10L per person, per day at this time of year.

                              Overall, I thinking you're taking a huge risk and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. I wouldn't even consider this. You've significantly increased the chance of a vehicle breakdown by travelling in these temperatures. Sure, you might make it and I hope you do but personally I wouldn't even consider it in any way shape or form.

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