What a trip we had, a great group of blokes, wild flowers every where, Camels, brumbies, Donkeys, Emu’s we saw it all on this trip!
Six vehicles left Birdsville heading for the QAA line on the 27th of April for our Simpson Hay river loop tour. We were very lucky that the desert had only recently opened and a good lashing of rain had settled the dunes right down, the crossing to Poeppel Corner was easy with only one vehicle needing a second go at one dune, the first night we settled into our bush camp full of the buzz of the days events.
The next day we were up and at it pretty early heading for the WAA line, a bit overgrown this year but we had the thrill of meeting a loan Bull Camel in absolute prime condition, with a hump so solid it did not even move when he eventually decided to move on, we camped this night in the heart of the desert with a few good stories told around a warming camp fire. The group was melding well with much fun being had.
Again we were off at a reasonable time, today we are heading for Mount Dare with the promise of a great feed and a shower! On the way we helped a few motorbike riders and had a swim at Dalhousie hot springs, always a must do on our tours, from there a quick run to Mt Dare and the promise of a great meal, thanks as always to Graham and his crew. I discovered on the way in that the 6×6 had sheared a couple of wheel studs so an early start for me whipping the broken ones out and fitting new ones from the spare parts box. Once this was done we were off again heading for the Geographical centre and finishing off at Chambers Pillar, again a must see, the message board of explorers past. A fantastic camp here with again a fire and a few stories of the days travels, then up early to view dawn at the Pillar, fantastic.
Today is an easy run to Alice we are in by lunch time. People scatter left right and centre to do there own thing but not before driving past the airport at Alice Springs and we see all of the parked planes oh my god this brings Covid home to you!
From here I decided to throw a change of itinerary in. The group did not want to stay for a rest day in Alice so the West MacDonnell ranges were calling Hermannsburg and Palm valley what a blast and another night under the stars!
Back on track but not before a bit of an issue with a tyre pressure monitoring system, the weight on the valve had actually delaminated the valve causing the tyre to deflate, fortunately we had another land Rover on tour and the wheels were interchageable so we pressed on as nothing was open in Alice it was May Day, out to the East and down to Ruby gap but not before a Prado that had just been serviced and the front end replaced before the trip at a nameless Toyota dealer decided to loosen hub bolts, hmmm the mechanic at Toyota obviously did not have his weet bix that morning so two hours later than planned we roll into Ruby Gap what a spot. The next day we are heading for the Hay River Track a highlight for all on this tour, so through Jervois for our last fuel and then to Batten Hill and on to a great camp spot on the track, we are on the track for three days great driving lots of banter and memories to last a lifetime. Then all too soon we are turning east onto the QAA again, countless dunes from the other direction a few more cars heading out but an easy run and then we hit Birdsville all we need this time is a top up and then for our last night we are off to Betoota what a pub closed for 23 years and reopened last year, great rissoles for dinner more stories and beers and then a fry up for brekky in the pub, this place will give the Birdsville hotel a run great night here. And then its over just like that our new friends head East for home and well what does a tagalong operator do when he’s in the bush ha your right I turn straight back round and head into the Simpson again to find new tracks and ideas for future tours, and you know what it paid off! Join me on my brand new school holiday Simpson trip Marree to Marree! Via the Hay river what a trip this will be.
But what a trip we had thank you so much for all who came I had an absolute ball, and I know you all did as we are already talking Canning Stock Route trips Cape York etc for next year can’t wait…