Simpson Desert Trip Easter 2014 Trip Report

Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
Some of the stuff not covered in TR . . . I'm going to do this is a few parts . . .

Some selected pics below, the rest here . . .

Google+ pics

Firstly . . . Figures and special memories

Total travelled ~ 3890 (estimated 3793 + side trips, close)
Total fuel 530lt = 13.6lt / 100km (estimated 455lt = 12 / 100km, so just a bit out)

Farina camping area, was like a lawn !
Eringa waterhole, camping on the north side.
Simmo. The LPG like smell given off by the trees, every time I smell lpg at the servo, gas bottle refilling, or having a bbq, I’ll remember camping in the desert.
Meeting Gordo in Birdsville.
Birdsville ANZAC dawn service.
Cullyamulla waterhole, again just beaut Aussie bush camping.

More to come.
 

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Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
Old Andado side trip

Old Andado side trip Sat 19th, approx 100km each way.
3 vehicles of the 10 did a side trip to the old station, on the afternoon of Mt Dare arrival day Saturday.
After a noon arrival at Mt Dare, we lunched up and at 1300hrs headed north to pick up the Old Andado Tk, or Binns Tk as it is now called / signed.
Me and Anne in the PK Ranger, Bart and Kerri in the PX equivalent BT50, and Greg and Alan in the PK Ranger equivalent BT50.

We were straight into it !
The track immediately north of Mt Dare was under a heap of muddy looking water, and there were no detours.
It went for maybe a couple of hundred metres, and so I just went for it, a bit of slipping here and there, but we all got through ok.
From there, we were concerned about the direction, heading NW instead of the required NE, the map showing it should head out directly from the Mt Dare station, but was marked Binns Track out to the NW.
All ok, in another k or two we saw the new turn off, and soon picked up where the old track came in.

The only other spot we found ‘concerning’ was another underwater section of track about 2/3 to Old Andado.
It was wide, and had a messy looking bit in the middle . . . no obvious detour visible.
So again, I went and made it, with the little slipping in ruts etc.
Followed by Bart and then Greg.

Rest of the trip uneventful, nice drive.
We topped a sand hill above Old Andado, and saw te tracks in totally inundated.
Two motorbikes were there in the middle having problems, obviously tried to get through and not made it.
A Landcruiser was bogged on the other side, might have been their support, and someone was snatching them out.
We took the detour loop around to the left and pulled up to the property.
The station is an absolute gem, left just as Molly, the owner had left it after passing away in late 2012.
We spent a good amount of time here looking through a virtual museum, with Millys instructions that every single item was to be put back in its place after dusting etc was done.
Take a look through the website, you can actually volunteer to caretake the property, if suitable for the job Old Andado | Home of Molly's Bash – Old Andado Station

On the return trip, it was pretty much a repeat of the route / drive up, except . . .
The bad bit we drove through on the plains did have a detour (which we took this time) it just wasn’t noticeable on the way up, and . . .
Nearing Mt Dare, that underwater / mud section looked even more daunting, prompting me to radio the others ‘did we really drive through that on the way out ?!”
We did. So through we went again, with a little rut following and sliding going on.

Thus ended this great little afternoon adventure, coming in at 1715.
Showered, and a good meal, drinaks, and socialising was had at the Mt Dare Hotel.

All pics at . . . Google+ pics
..
 

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Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
Dalhousie / Simmo

Mostly the pics of this part of the trip, TR basically has it.

All pics at . . . Google+ pics

Sorry about the blurs on some of these, must have been something from just before Old Andado, cleaned it all after Dalhousie Springs, so fixed for pics after that.
..
 

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Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
Birdsville

Birdsville.
The day we arrived Bernie & co, and Shane took off for home, planning to stay at Farina again that night to break up the drive.
Bart & Kerri left us to drive Haddons Cnr, down to Innamincka (Cullyamulla), Old Strz Tk to Metry Merty, then off via Cameron Corner and home to Newcastle.
Next day, Luke, Gareth & co, and Peter left early and as noted in the main TR, made it home that evening.
Then Greg and Alan left to go Haddons Corner to camp that night, and down to Cullyamulla to meet us on the Friday night.
That left 3 vehicles / 6 people of the original 10 cars . . . me and Anne, Steve & Trish, and Gunther & John to explore the day, before the Anzac dawn service next morning.

We headed up the road to the info centre, which was great for gathering some more notes on the area.
Up to the Waddi Trees about 14ks north of town, then back to town to check out the local sights.
On the way back I washed the truck down a bit at the local artesian bore outlet on the Bedourie Rd.
To the bakery again this time for the Kangaroo Claret pie (yesterday was a curried Camel pie).

Met up with Gordo (workhorse75), and he took us down to a spot on the Diamantina River, where we ate our pies, before he went back to town . . . then we headed back and out to Thutirla Pula - Aboriginal Story Place for a walk through the bush there, cross the Diamantina old crossing to the Burke & Wills slashed tree, out via the big race day stables on the south river bank, checked out the BV race track.

Back to the cara park, people rested, did some washing, relaxed, bought groceries for the next 4 days.

We booked in for the Birdsville Star Show Birdsville Star Show | See the beauty of the outback sky with an experienced local guide and after a quick couple of beers at the pub, walked down there at 2000hrs where Sandra and her assistant kept us in awe with what we could see through her telescope.

Next morning was special.
Anzac Day in Birdsville.
We met out front of the memorial on the main street at 0615.
It was a beaut sunrise, the best we’d had with the cloud in the low sky, and very fitting for this event as it was a very picturesque 'rising sun' that morning.
It is such a shame we had to get to Innamincka that night, and miss the march, but it wasn’t until 1000, and we skipped the pub because we’d be too tempted to stay there and talk to Gordo and the others there for far too long.
Another time.

All pics at . . . Google+ pics
..
 

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Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
Birdsville to Innamincka

Birdsville to Innamincka via Walkers Crossing (and the Santos magical mystery tour)
We left BV at 0830, and quickly made the Walkers turnoff down a good road with little traffic.
A little down this, we pulled off onto the gibber and deflated tyres a little more for the conditions.
Great little drive through there.

Lost it. Big mistake on my part setting the GPS (ordinary Garmin with just VERY basic maps), as it took us across a big dry lake, which I later determined was a Santos only track, then we ended up too far south and kept going to Moomba, again via other Santos tracks.
Ultimately we did around another 100km, saw some stuff we wouldn’t have otherwise, oil and gas rigs, Moomba, and the memorable drive up that busy part of the Strz Tk !! Arrived at Inna 1500.

Greg and Alan were at Curryamulla camping . . . they and Steve / Trish had seen the Burke & Wills dig tree before, so Gunther and I headed straight out on the Development Rd to take a look.
Nice spot there by the Cooper Ck, and so much history.
We had planned to come back the same way, rather than the circuit, but decided out there to do the loop, arriving back at Cullyamulla just on dusk.

Found the others fine and set up camp in the fast fading light, made tea, then round the fire for some socialising.

All pics at . . . Google+ pics
..
 

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Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
Innamincka to home

Innamincka to home via Moolawatana, Mt Fitton Track, Flinders Ranges
We went into Inna (dropping by Burkes grave on the way) and fuelled up as needed, most had ice cream and some stocked up on fuic, then headed down the Old Strzeleki Tk to meet up with the main Strz Tk near Merty Merty.

From there, we followed the Strz down to Montecollina Bore and had lunch there.

Took the turnoff near Mt Hopeless Staion (abandoned) and down to Moolwatana station.
Said hello to Mike & Audrey there (we had met them before on walking trips over the years) and sounded out the old track that goes west from there, via Mt Fitton area, Mt Freeling station, and meets the Strz Tk about 75km north of Lyndhurst.
He said it’s ok for 10 miles, then deteriorates, but you’ll be fine in the 4bs. Sounds good :)

We left there and headed down to look at Terrapinna waterhole about 6 ks on, we’d walked there a couple of time in past times. The track was ok, and we made it to just before the Mt Fitton mines access roads, about 1/3 of the way on this track.
Good camp, a little windier that night and next morn.

We continued west early, and as promised the track did deteriorate somewhat, though not too hard.
Was a very picturesque drive, and we explored the Mt Fitton ruins, stopped to photograph the Mt Freeling letterbox.
Hit the Strz Tk and headed down to the blacktop.
We’d already decided to do one more dirt stretch, and drive Parachilna to Blinman, through the beaut valleys of the Flinders.
So a short while on blacktop, and fuel at Leigh Ck, we turned east to head to the old mining town of Blinman.
Stopped at the Parachilna Gorge Heysen Trail head, where a group of us had finished that section of the walk from Cape Jervis in June 2000.
Blinman was as I remember, and we lunched at the General Store on great home made pies etc.
From there, it was down to Hawker, turned to Craddock, into Orroroo.

Greg needed a quick stop there, and Steve / Trish kept going, obviously thinking we’d meet down the way.
We lost them.
They’d turned off down the road to Peterborough to come down the east route, while we went down through the Clare Valley.
The roads merge again at Giles Corner, about 40km north of Roseworthy.
Despite calls on the uhf, we couldn’t raise them, even after our stop for tea at Roseworthy.

After bidding farewell to Gunther / John, and Greg / Alan, we headed home.
We departed Roseworthy about 0615, then heard calls (breaking up badly) about 0625 ??
We think we may have heard a call from Steve while we were going down NEXY ???

12 days. 3890km. Awesome. Time.

A special thanks to everyone on the trip, ALL of you company throughout . . . Bart and Kerri for coming so far from Newy, Peter and Luke for coming from Melbourne to do the trip with Bernie, all the locals . . . Bernie taking up the lead on much of the crossing, Greg and Alan who took the tail a lot, Gareth with Gary and Alistair in the Paj, my walking mates Gunther & John in the older Paj, nice to meet Shane (mate of Bernies) and his lad, of course Steve / Trish, as fun as ever :), Peter, who flew up solo to meet us and do the trip, last but not least Luke for his company and putting the trip up originally (AND for the special Earth Simmo Crossing stickers !!).

Special thanks to my wife Anne for coming and being a great companion, she loved the trip I am sure and all your company.

Another special thanks for my return trip companions, Greg, the uke is great mate, love it and your doing so good with it (makes me wanna take up guitar again !). Alan very glad to meet you mate, and hope to see you again on trips.
Steve & Trish, wish we'd finished with you, wanted to depart at Roseworthy and say thanks in person.

All pics at . . . Google+ pics

Ok enough from me, but jeez we have some tales from this one !!
 

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mac_man_luke

Well-Known Member
Sounds like the rest of your trip was good. Would have been nice to do but I'm glad i came home early - didn't realise how tired i was and managed to get everything cleaned up before work today.
 

80lover96gxl

Moderator
Absolutely sensational write up and pic's Les, what a magnificent trip you guys must of had, soooo bummed I couldn't make it.

One question tho, did you get a chance to check out the cemetery at Farina ? That was a real big eye opener for us on those tough souls who tried to make a go of it out there in the past decades.
 

richardlnsw

Moderator
Thanks for the report and pics.
Jealous as!!!
I was supposed to be going this year in July but not happening.
NEXT YEAR!!!!!!:cool:

How was your heart racing Les when you hit the mud:eek:
 

Jaye

Well-Known Member
Bloody good write up Les.

Really wish I took the time to drive up to Andado Stn when I was there, I sorta had a plan for it. I was just so pumped after the Simpson I mustnt've been thinking straight.
 

BarKer

Well-Known Member
I have written up a trip report mainly for family etc but I thought I might put it up to give our impression of the trip. Only part 1 so far and it is in PDF format. You'll find it here

We would like to thank everyone from the instigators, the organisers, the lead, tail end Charlie, the fire starter and the list keeps on going. We met some great people and we hope we will catch up again sometime.

I got heaps of photo's and I'll upload them to some www storage I got so if wanted people can get hi-res copies.

Bart & Kerri
 
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jz0m64

Active Member
Great photo's guys! A trip to remember by the looks...

Definitely jealous and wish I could have got the time off!
 

peterabbf

Active Member
Morning all, we got back OK although we ended up doing a tad under 1300 K's on the last day, not part of the plan but it was raining the whole way from Tibuboora to Newcastle so was not keen on getting the swags out..

I got about 800 pics all up and I am writing something up, I'll put a copy on here..

Kerri and I had a ball...

it was great to meet you guys, many thanks for all your help getting the old girl going so I could conquer big red, which was the only sand dune that I did get up and over the hard way, had to go around and come up the back..... o well never mind.

Glad you guys had a safe trip home, it was good to see you made the effort to come all that way and join us, one day we may meet up again.

Peter A
 

peterabbf

Active Member
Absolutely sensational write up and pic's Les, what a magnificent trip you guys must of had, soooo bummed I couldn't make it.

One question tho, did you get a chance to check out the cemetery at Farina ? That was a real big eye opener for us on those tough souls who tried to make a go of it out there in the past decades.

Hey Brian, there are a few of us whom are throwing the idea about of going back and doing the trip the other way, I would be keen, make my trip a longer one and have a better look around.

Peter A.
 

80lover96gxl

Moderator
Hey Brian, there are a few of us whom are throwing the idea about of going back and doing the trip the other way, I would be keen, make my trip a longer one and have a better look around.

Peter A.

Hi Pete, im listening matenext yr sometime I take it ?
 

Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
did you get a chance to check out the cemetery at Farina ? That was a real big eye opener for us on those tough souls who tried to make a go of it out there in the past decades.

Did so in 2010 on our way back from the NT, but not this time.
Certainly is a sobering experience seeing some of the ages people passed away in those early times, and moreso when you see childrens graves.

We did take a look through Birdsville cemetery, very interesting reading the headstones of the very early settlers, but generally don't post pics with details of those.

Thanks for the report and pics.

How was your heart racing Les when you hit the mud:eek:

No problems, and yeah, it's always a bit clenched teeth when you first take on the unknown.
Would hate to stop in the middle of a mess like that, watching the floor eventually cover with water.

Bloody good write up Les.

Really wish I took the time to drive up to Andado Stn when I was there, I sorta had a plan for it. I was just so pumped after the Simpson I mustnt've been thinking straight.

Well, there's a good excuse to go through again, so many routes and options.

I have written up a trip report mainly for family etc but I thought I might put it up to give our impression of the trip. Only part 1 so far and it is in PDF format.
Bart & Kerri

Thanks Bart, a good read.
Look forward to the next installment.

Sorry bout the sand hill thing, was that the recovery I did when I reversed up to snatch someone back of the crest ?
Can't recall if it was you, might have been.

If so, was that a winch extension strap you got out ?
Meant to ask, because I was backing up to usual snatch length, and people were motioning stop. Ended up had to drive down the dune maybe 10m before it took up !!
A winch extension strap was fine for that, being just a light tug back off the top, in any case, just didn't realise when backing up.

Edit, oh yeah, no embarrassment in being recovered, I've had a few from other Earthers :D

Great photo's guys! A trip to remember by the looks...

Definitely jealous and wish I could have got the time off!

Certainly was Ben, you would have loved the driving, dunes would blow you away.

Well, there's certainly talk of another run, before the 12 month passes expire !!
East - West on French Line, 3 days, plus fun going up and back.
Not sure when, probably needs to be by end August to beat the heat.
 
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mac_man_luke

Well-Known Member
I have written up a trip report mainly for family etc but I thought I might put it up to give our impression of the trip. Only part 1 so far and it is in PDF format. You'll find it here

We would like to thank everyone from the instigators, the organisers, the lead, tail end Charlie, the fire starter and the list keeps on going. We met some great people and we hope we will catch up again sometime.

I got heaps of photo's and I'll upload them to some www storage I got so if wanted people can get hi-res copies.

Bart & Kerri

Great trip report, bit more of a story than mine :)
 
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