Simpson and the BRB

KymJ

New Member
Hi All,

As with a lot of things 2020 our Simpson trip was cancelled this year and we're planning a 2021 trip.

Problem is the only time we can all do it in 2021 is the same time as the Big Red Bash. I'm not interested in the BRB and am interested in not sharing the desert with 5000 other people.

I'm thinking if we leave the western side about the same time the BRB kicks off and arrive the day after we might actually avoid most of the people and the crossing may be quiet.

What do you think? am I dreaming?

Ta
 

Chatty

Well-Known Member
Yep, I think you're dreaming.
Based on our experiences a few years ago, the 4 days or so after the BRB are chaotic on the Simpson due to people making a mad dash to get back to wherever. There were some truly stupid drivers out there doing all sorts of crazy stuff heading west. In fact, going West to East you're going to be likely in more danger as the idiots rushing through didn't give a damn about anyone coming the other way (that is, from the west) and we saw quite a few near misses.

WAA line will be quieter than French Line - but of course you there's only QAA from the border to Birdsville.
 

KymJ

New Member
Yep, I think you're dreaming.
Based on our experiences a few years ago, the 4 days or so after the BRB are chaotic on the Simpson due to people making a mad dash to get back to wherever. There were some truly stupid drivers out there doing all sorts of crazy stuff heading west. In fact, going West to East you're going to be likely in more danger as the idiots rushing through didn't give a damn about anyone coming the other way (that is, from the west) and we saw quite a few near misses.

WAA line will be quieter than French Line - but of course you there's only QAA from the border to Birdsville.

But what about crossing while everyone is boogying at the BRB? We'll be heading down the Birdsville track after the event.
 

cookie64

4x4 Earth Contributer
Totally agree with what Chatty said as I was part of the group and had 4wd's tearing around us on dunes going off track and damaging the vegetation on one occasion.

If you go across as Chatty suggested on the WAA line - it is quite a good track, you can turn left to go to Poeppel Corner or right takes you onto the Rig Road bringing you out on the K1 and on to the Birdsville Track via Warburton Crossing but be aware, the towing brigade will be on the move and I have suffered many a broken windscreen from the stones flying off their trailers / caravans.

Hope this helps

cheers
 

Grippy

Well-Known Member
My mates did it last year east to west, they got to Birdsville the day before Big Red gets closed. They reckon it was hectic, an absolute mad house at Birdsville, they pulled up at some random spot on the side of the road filled with Caravans and camped there.
They did say their crossing was fairly quiet though, they went down to the WAA and barely saw anyone apparently
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
If this is your big bucket list trip for the Simpson and you are not interested in the BRB I would stay away as it will ruin the outback experience
Part of the magic of the area is the peace and isolation and you certainly won’t be getting that.

Pick another time or destination.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
Avoid a radius of 500km of Birdsville for 1 week before, during and 1 week after BRB. It's a zoo even down to Maree and across to Finke, and west to Oodnadatta.

The bash is on and around Big Red, I think you have to avoid the whole area. Also, people do mad dashes across the Simpson because they are running late.

Honestly, you'll hate the Simpson and everything to do with it. Your trip will be ruined.

Camp somewhere in Circular Quay, it will be quieter with fewer people. :D
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
I accidentally did a crossing in 2009 which coincided with race week. Ringers from SA/NT use the Simmo as a highway and they mostly aren't sober. It was a shitfight as mentioned above. Then there's the lineups for toilets/pies/beers etc., and then the servo runs out of diesel..... Directly after a crossing you usually need a few of the necessaries to restock and Bridsville isnt built to cope with the numbers that these events bring.
 

stevemc181

Well-Known Member
We didn't go to the BRB, but we crossed the Madigan line in 2017 arriving in Birsdville the day before the races, didn't see another vehicle coming across the Madigan, but there was a large congregation at Big Red. We kept going through Birdsville as the crowds were insane, so we only stopped to fuel up. The drive to Windorah was a bloody nightmare with all the vehicles heading the opposite way to us. We had several close calls in the dust with idiots overtaking through the clouds.
 

Chatty

Well-Known Member
But what about crossing while everyone is boogying at the BRB? We'll be heading down the Birdsville track after the event.
I'm thinking if we leave the western side about the same time the BRB kicks off and arrive the day after we might actually avoid most of the people and the crossing may be quiet.
For a start, define "kicks off" - have a look at this chart for tickets...

1602552422618.png

BRB starts for the early entry on the Sunday, but the main event is from Tuesday to Thursday, but people can stay until the Saturday so there's a three day window for the "start" right there - forgetting the people that plan to get in on the Wednesday...
You have a similar problem with "the day after" as well - with some people leaving on the Thursday, yet others on Friday and still more on Saturday.

Based on my experience, I wouldn't be starting a west to east Simpson crossing until at least the week after BRB - unless you've experienced it, you have no idea of the chaos and rampant stupidity of those attempting a rushed Simpson crossing after the Bash. Or for that matter, those attempting a Warp 9 traverse of the Birdsville Track heading home.

We'll be at the BRB this year - planning on Early Entry on the Sunday, and we'll stay until the Saturday and we'll just take our time to let the idiots get well clear before we hit the road.
 

KymJ

New Member
For a start, define "kicks off" - have a look at this chart for tickets...

View attachment 69795
BRB starts for the early entry on the Sunday, but the main event is from Tuesday to Thursday, but people can stay until the Saturday so there's a three day window for the "start" right there - forgetting the people that plan to get in on the Wednesday...
You have a similar problem with "the day after" as well - with some people leaving on the Thursday, yet others on Friday and still more on Saturday.

Based on my experience, I wouldn't be starting a west to east Simpson crossing until at least the week after BRB - unless you've experienced it, you have no idea of the chaos and rampant stupidity of those attempting a rushed Simpson crossing after the Bash. Or for that matter, those attempting a Warp 9 traverse of the Birdsville Track heading home.

We'll be at the BRB this year - planning on Early Entry on the Sunday, and we'll stay until the Saturday and we'll just take our time to let the idiots get well clear before we hit the road.

I don't think it really matters now going by everything I hear. I originally looked at it as a three day event but it's clearly much bigger. I guess Big Red will also be closed for a bit before and after to set up. It's just a shame it clashes with our school holidays.

The only other potential option covers the June long weekend. Then we have the Finke crowd to deal with.

Thanks for all the advice.
 

Chatty

Well-Known Member
I guess Big Red will also be closed for a bit before and after to set up. It's just a shame it clashes with our school holidays.
From memory, Big Red (at least the east side) will be closed from the Sunday to the Saturday.
School holidays is exactly why BRB happens when it does.
 

billolga

Well-Known Member
But what about crossing while everyone is boogying at the BRB? We'll be heading down the Birdsville track after the event.
Go out via the Rig Road, it's a Highway from the K1.
Yes you will miss out on the QAA & Big Red.
The Birdsville Track at times is the worst part of the trip with the Idiots driving flat out.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
Go out via the Rig Road, it's a Highway from the K1.
Yes you will miss out on the QAA & Big Red.
The Birdsville Track at times is the worst part of the trip with the Idiots driving flat out.


If you mean Warburton track, I'd say that will be closed for up to a year or more.. It doesn't take much rain to close that for a year or so. You would want to check well before travelling.

You can drive past the BRR on little red, but you really wouldn't want to do that.

Seriously just don't go if you only have time around the BRR.
 

Mini

Active Member
I am a bit late to enter this conversation but YES, you are dreaming, and I agree with all the 'old mates' above. You WILL miss the whole experience of the Simpson and Birdsville. There are now 2 reasons not to go near Birdsville. I got uncomfortably close to the BRB last year and I nearly died. They actually had some very mouthy verbose woman on UHF on top of Big Red acting like an Air Traffic Controller at a very busy airport, telling people when to start and stop their climbs. I was absolutely pissed. Like others, I got fuel in BDV and drove off towards Windorah, got a big stone and then crack in the windscreen with idiots racing to Birdsville. No accommodation in Windorah so ended up in the pub at Jundah where I finally settled for a shower about 9:00 pm.
 

Lost1?

Well-Known Member
Some good advice here. I went East/West 2 weeks after the BRB. QAA and French line were badly chopped up, but the desert was quiet. Ahhh, the serenity......
 
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