2018 05 Mad Hay Simpson trip as it happend
05-08-2018, 09:43 PM,
2018 05 Mad Hay Simpson trip as it happend

I have made this post so we can place pictures and other items up from our last trip..
Stay tuned

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20-10-2018, 05:34 PM, (This post was last modified: 21-10-2018, 11:56 AM by daggy.)
RE: 2018 05 Mad Hay Simpson trip as it happend
Simpson Desert 2018
The team for this trip was:
Victor and Nigel, 76 Troopie;
Kris, 80 series;
Peter and Trevor, Troopie; and
Darryl and Richard, GU Patrol
along with a later starter but only for the early part of the trip;
Stewart, 200 series Landcruiser.
Whilst some of the team have been into the Simpson before there were some of us that haven’t.   So, past experience of any trip is that you need to do some trip preparation, that way everybody has some input as to what they want to see and do.  However, not everything can be seen and not everything can be done.
We had a couple of meetings and worked out the important bits like we were going to be away for 4 weeks, we were going to do the Hay River Track, Simpson East to West and Madigan Line.  With that as a start for the planning we needed to organise the Hay River Track permit through Direct 4WD in Alice Springs and the Madigan Permit through Central Lands Council.  The one thing for the permits is only one person needs to organise them and I found that whilst it can take some time for them to arrive the process is quite simple.
Fast forward about 6 months and were at D Day or Day 1.
Brisbane to Judd's Lagoon

Today we all meet at Goodna Maccas for a reasonably early start, some last minute purchases at Repco and were on our way.  Quick fuel stop on the highway to Toowoomba for the last of what would be last of cheaper fuel. 
Even before reaching the bottom of the range I notice that my second battery is not charging.  It should be, it’s a brand new battery.  We stop and the sparkies go over all the connections, lucky I have a smart charger as I managed to connect the positive and negative from the charger to the positive terminal.  Problem no more.
It wouldn’t be a trip if somebody didn’t forget something so the camping store at Dalby did a roaring trade with the sale of at least a chair and a travel buddy.
Next stop was at Condamine where we stopped at my friend, Roz’s roadhouse and lunch was taken.  From here we made our way to Judds Lagoon for our first night on the road. 

Judds Lagoon – Quilpie
First morning of the trip and by now most of us have worked out what we’ve left behind and what we might need in the coming weeks.  Victor has worked out that his second battery isn’t the well so fortunately for everyone the town is Roma and it’s Saturday morning.  Woolworths and Auto Electrican here we come.  While were there Stewart also needs some battery care so for the rest of us McDonalds looks after us.
Next stop was Charleville for fuel and then some more driving until we reached the outskirts of Quilpie and camped on the banks of the river. 

Quilpie – Diamantina Channel Country
Vehicle refuelled in Quilpie and then another long day in the saddle with a quick stop on the banks of Cooper Creek          and then Windorah for fuel and food.  Tonight’s stop is on a drying river bank with hundreds of birds of prey in the area.  Mainly because of the low water levels and the fish that the slowly dying.  You could smell the water before seeing it with thousands of carp fingerlings dead in the shallow water.

Diamantina Channel Country to Boulia
The plan for today is another long one with hopes of making the border and camping at Tobermorey.  First stop is Bedourie where we make use of the showers.  It’s at about this time that Kris makes comment about something going on in the front end but nothing can be found.  

A quick stop off at Vaughan Johnston Lookout.     

Next stop is Boulia, the plan last big fuel stop, lunch and onwards.  Time is on our side as it’s still early afternoon. 
Some of us are getting fuel when we hear Kris over the radio saying he’s got a problem, the right front wheel is causing some problems.  He limps the car into town and the wheel is removed to discover that the bearing is destroyed and the axle is not in great shape either.
Ok, it’s an 80 series Cruiser, there should be heaps of parts out there.  Nothing at the dump, the town mechanic is not doing any private work, the local transport company can’t help, RACQ is back in Bedourie and will only tow the car back there for repairs.  The easy fix is drive to Mount Isa and pick up the parts, return to Boulia, fit the parts and back on our way.  Stewart kindly enough drives Kris to Mount Isa where they stay the night.
Tonight we stay at the Boulia Caravan Park.
Boulia to Georgina River
The following morning we busy ourselves with touring the town.  Surprising enough there is more to see than the day allows.

Around lunch time Stewart and Kris return with the parts and soon enough the 80 is back together and we’re on our way. 

A couple of k’s out of town we pull over to the side of the road to make sure that everything is ok and while we’re stopped a car driving past flicks up a rock and smashes Stewart rear window.  We’re a resourceful lot and with some corflute and sticky tape a new rear window is in place.  (This fix remained in place for the next 3 – 4 weeks)
A quick photo opportunity when we reach the intersection of the Donahue Highway, also known as the Worlds Longest Shortcut.

Tonights camp is on the banks of the Georgina River.  With the drama that we have just experienced we are only one day behind schedule.

Georgina River to Batton Hill
I didn’t realise how good the Donohue Highway until we crossed the border into the Northern Territory.  

After a short stop for fuel and an ice cream at Tobermorey     we set off on what is a bone jarring ride on what is known as Australia’s longest shortcut.  Things to stop and see on this section are a gigantic ant hill.      

We reach Jervios Station which is the last fuel before Oodnadatta or Mt Dare.  

Refueled we’re now about 80k’s from Batton Hill and the start of the Hay River Track.  It’s 80k’s of corrugations to the gate.
Batton Hill camp is a well set up bush camp with donkey hot water showers, toilets and a camp kitchen the traditional owners dropped off plenty of firewood for the evening fire.  There are a couple of camp grounds here, our group stayed in one with another group in the other.

Hay River Track to Poeppel Corner
Todays plan was to do the Bush Tucker tour with the remainder of the day a lazy one.  However, after breakfast the flies arrived, we discussed the discomfort and decided that we would be more comfortable driving during the day.
So we set off and quickly found the track marked Hay River.  

There was discussion from some about how many times they had been in the desert and were yet to see a camel.  
It would have been about 30 minutes into the track and Richard and I are discussing the animal prints on the tracks and think we might be following a camel. Sure enough nearly as soon as we think it’s one we see it walking on the track ahead.  We stop and so does he/she and get a couple of photographs and Victor finally gets to see a camel.
Next stop along the track is the Dingo Well which is a bore sunk for water to try and bring back the dingo’s.  When the dingo’s are in population so are the little birds as the dingo’s keep feral cats in check.  There is evidence of plenty of animal activity around the trough and where the water is forming a small pool.
Onwards to the turn off to Lake Caroline     and then drive out onto the dry bed of the lake.  A very impressive sight.  

While we’re here we meet a tour company on our way out.  Who would have thought that Peter knew one of the drivers.  Apparently conversation about an auto in a Troop Carrier went viral after this meeting.
Back to the Hay River and keep heading toward the South.  Eventually the flies seem to settle down and we find a nice treed and flat area for the night’s camp.
The following morning we come to the intersection where the Madigan Line joins the Hay River track for a short time.  Next is the Madigan Blaze tree and this is where the Madigan heads off to the East again.
While were stopped here we notice that there is some drops of diesel coming from the 80 series.  Kris investigates and finds that the plastic filter that was fitted with the new long range tank has split on the barb.  Luckily Victor has some spare air hose that will substitute for fuel hose and get Kris out of trouble. 
From here we head South with stops at the Beachcomber Oil Well     and Peoppels Corner Oil Well     before arriving at the intersection of Queensland/Northern Territory/South Australia, Poeppel Corner.  

So far we haven’t had any difficulties with the track or sand hills as we have predominately been running between the dunes. 
From this point we begin the crossing to the West with dunes every couple of hundred metres.  First crossing to tackle is Lake Poeppel, fortunately there are markers identifying the track across the lake, so we have no difficulty crossing.
A few kilometres into the crossing we make camp for the night while still on the French Line.
French Line - Knolls Track – Rig Road – Dalhousie Springs
A short run along the French Line     until we come to the intersection of the Knolls Track      where we turn South and soon after we see the Knolls on the horizon.  Two large mounds jutting out of the surrounding flat countryside.  We stop here and walk to the top and take in the vista.
We continue heading South passing the WAA Line until we meet the Rig Road and continue onwards West.  On the Rig Road every 5 kilometres there is a plastic post identifying the distance to Dalhousie.

Not long after we come to the Lone Gum.
Somewhere along here we make camp for the night and it’s sandhill after sandhill.  It sounds boring but its not, between each and every dune there is something different to see and we’re always on the lookout for dingo’s, camel’s, birds, wildflower’s and wood.
We stop for smoke on the right hand turn of the Rig Road where the road heads back to the North.  Here we find some interesting markers.
A short way up the road we come across the Macumba No 1 oil well.  There’s nothing left at these sites other than capped oil and water wells.
Not far down the road we see our second camel in the desert     and then as we’re about to leave the desert we follow a dingo that’s walking on the track, who when they get tired lie down on the track.
About mid afternoon we reach Purni Bore and find that the bore has been turned off and there are no wetlands just a few puddles, the are obviously supports a flock of finches and there is plenty of animal tracks to the small puddles where there is some water leaking from the pipe.  (We were told by other club members who passed through a week or so later that the bore had been turned back on and they were flooding the wet land.)
As we are so close to Dalhousie Springs we decide to push on to camp there for the night.  Must admit that once the sun started to set, there was no wind to clear dust and the corrugations were fun to say the least.  

We did make it to camp after dark but the swim in the springs was well worth the effort.
Dalhouse is such a great place just to chill out, we stayed a whole day.  It’s not very often the swimming hole is warmer than the showers.  We did some hand washing and found a public phone to call home.  For a place that is in the middle of nowhere, the facilities are good and well maintained.

Dalhousie to Oodnadatta
Today we started the travel to Oodnadatta and with this we say some of the old ruins of the early cattle graziers and the Old Ghan.  With the old stations it makes you wonder what the county must have looked like when it was first prospected and then the decision to settle.  It’s not like a tin shanty was put up, it was the beginnings of what could have been a small town.
As for the Old Ghan thoughts turn to what did they do when the train wasn’t at the station?  It couldn’t have been much as there’s not much out here.
Next stop, Oodnadatta with the Transcontinental Hotel, the Pink Roadhouse and the railway station.  This used to be the end of the line and during WW2 a staging post for troops heading North.

The Pink Roadhouse does a good Oodna burger and the Trans does a pretty good steak.  We have a good night here with a few drinks and a pool table.  I can’t remember who left as King of the Table.
Oodnadatta to William Creek
An early morning tour of the Railway Station and then heading off to William Creek.  Plenty of the Old Ghan to see on this route, including siding, bridges and the Algebuckina Bridge.  What an engineering feat to construct this bridge in this location.
So much to see on the way including Freeling Springs (The Peake) a station, a telegraph station and a mine. 

Due to so much to see one of us arrived after dark at Wlliam Creek.  An old siding on the Ghan and now a bustling hotel, caravan park and airstrip in the middle of Anna Station, Australia’s largest cattle station.
A great night out at the pub, good food, great fire and plans made with the boss of Wright’s Air for a 2 hour flight over Lake Eyre in the morning.
William Creek – Lake Eyre – Beresford Siding
We wake up to a cold morning and find that our flight has been delayed due to our plane flying out early in the morning to Coober Pedy to collect parts for another plane that was damaged while being moved around the previous evening.
Words can’t describe the enormity of Lake Eyre, we flew up towards the Warburton Channel and saw the water coming into the top of the lake.  We flew back over Anna Creek Station and then touch down.  Well worth the effort to get here and the money spent on the flight.

Moving South we went as far South as the Bubbler, a mound spring and then headed North along the same road and stopped overnight at Beresford Siding.
Beresford Siding to Eringa Waterhole
More outback gravel highway driving today, most we’ve already driven but still some place to see like a Woomera Rocket Guidance and Tracking Station, Strangways Telegraph Station and Cattle Station.  

Some quick stops at William Creek, Edward Creek Siding and Oodnadatta and we continue to head North toward Mt Dare.

As the sun starts to set we start looking for somewhere to camp and try some places on the side the track and eventually decide to push on in the dark until we reach Eringa Waterhole.  Another of Sidney Kidmans early properties.  Doesn’t take long and we have a fire, dinner and beers underway and wait for tomorrow.

Eringa Waterhole to Mt Dare
A short drive today to Mt Dare, we miss the turn off to Abminga Siding but decide to miss it as we can catch up with a side trip tomorrow.  A quick stop at Bloods Creek, so named because a fellow named Blood settled her, not for some spectacular fight.
Then we arrive at Mt Dare, a place to stop have lunch and coffee, showers and clothes washing.  It’s funny how by now the simple things are so appreciated.
Soon after we arrive so do the bashes that have just crossed the desert, tonight were entertained by some mildly talented yet funny people.
Mt Dare – Madigan Line – Birdsville
The plan for today was head over to the Lambert Centre and then back to Old Andado Station, we get wind that the bash is heading in that direction so decide to avoid the crowds and head straight for Old Andado, but first we have to cross back into the Northern Territory.  Around lunchtime we reach Old Andado and spend some time looking through Mary Clark’s house.  A great tribute to one of Australia’s pioneering women.

Here Peter finds there’s some trouble with the Troope, for the life of me I can’t recall what it was but true to our bush mechanic skills we’re not there long and heading for Mac Clark reserve and the beginning of the Madigan Line.
Mac Clarke reserve, an Acacia Puece reserve is easy to find, not so the beginning of the Madigan.  

We spend about 2 hours driving in all directions and over roads and tracks that we have been on before finding the start.  However, it’s not long before we seem to be lost and it’s dark but thanks to 4WD and GPS we manage to find a camp for the night.
The next couple of days cause us no particular drama it’s just an endless roller coaster of sand dune after sand dune with each interdune different from the last.  

That is until….
But the good news is this is where we see the most camels of any trip in the desert by any of our group.
The wonderful thing about Birdsville is it has an iconic pub, a motel, showers and laundry.  Did I mention it the simple things in life.  Bad luck the bakery was closed on a Sunday, but burgers and roast night at the pub made up for any disappointment.
Here is where Peter and Kris made the repairs to their respective vehicles.
Birdsville to Innaminka
Mandatory stop at the Birdsville Bakery, 
the racetrack 
and were on our way to Cadelga Ruins 
and Cordillo Downs.  

Oh and another crossing into South Australia.

Tonight we camp beside a creek bed and get the first storm of the trip.
Innaminka to Brisbane
On arrival at Innaminka 
I realise that I haven’t spent much time at home for the past couple of months and decide to head for Brisbane.
Along the way a quick side trip to the Dig Tree
and overnighters at Noccunda 
and Bollon.
I might say that both pubs do a great feed.
Once home the next trip out there starts, it’s all in the planning.  What a great trip this one was, I don’t really know what I expected, but I didn’t get it, I think I get more and loved every minute of it.
22-10-2018, 10:04 AM,
RE: 2018 05 Mad Hay Simpson trip as it happend
Wow What a report..

I have to admit my trip reports are lacking .. totally lacking :-)

It was a fantastic trip and while I have been out there many times you always manage to learn or see something new each time.
I can only urge any of you that have not traveled out wet to put it on your to do list any info we are more than pleased to share with you.

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