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Simpson Desert – French Line

  • 1 Apr 2021
  • 9:05 AM
  • 11 Apr 2021
  • 4:00 PM
  • Simpson Desert
  • 0


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Date and time:       start: 09:05 4th April 2021 Birdsville Hotel

                                end: 16:00 8th April 2021 Dalhousie Springs

Description:  Simpson Desert east to west – Birdsville to Dalhousie Springs via the French Line. We will discuss prior to the trip the options to travel to Birdsville, and how we will travel back. The intention is to take 4 days to make the crossing with 1 day in contingency. After leaving Dalhousie Springs there is an option to travel down the Oodnadatta track and south through the Flinders Ranges. The trip is planned so as to allow departure from Melbourne on the afternoon of 1st April and arrive back in Melbourne late afternoon 11th April.

Weather: Desert environment, potentially cold. Bring appropriate clothing and footwear.

Equipment: Vehicles need to have low range 4WD capability with good all-terrain tyres and UHF radio equipped. Usual recovery gear should be carried.  

Basic mechanical spares suitable for your vehicle should be carried.  A second spare tyre should also be carried.  

Sand Flags that comply to Simpson desert requirements are mandatory.

No Trailers, firearms, pets  

Additional Equipment required:  Camping gear, ample supply of beer, wine, and spirits.

Trip Standard: 

Medium - This is a remote area trip and the desert sands can be quite soft.  The tracks leading to Birdsville and to from Oodnadatta can be rough and corrugated.

You will need fuel for at least 600km of desert driving and food and water for 5 days + emergency requirements in the desert.

Min 5 litres of water per person per day in the desert.

A desert parks pass is required, these can be purchased online “12 month vehicle entry and camping for desert park” $174) an)d should be purchased well in advance (“Your Desert Parks handbook will be posted to you within 10 working days. If you intend to travel within this time frame, please call (08) 86485328 before proceeding with this booking”) (https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/book-and-pay/parks-passes/park-passes-online), or from National Parks South Australia.

Fuel: full tank ex Birdsville where all fuels are available. NB need to carry enough fuel for 600 km of desert driving

Distance: Approx. distance from Birdsville to Oodnadatta is 438 Km of mainly desert driving.

Duration: 10 days* (the crossing of the Simpson from Birdsville to Dalhousie Springs should take 4 days)

Convoy limit: 8 vehicles 

Meeting arrangements:  Meet in the Birdsville Hotel on the evening of Saturday 3rd April.

Trip Leaders: Mark Bown and Sherry Mayo; 0437251645, mark.bown@csiro.au


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