Simpson Dessert – 1999
1999 SOUTHERN SIMPSON DESERT CROSSING:
-claimed to be the first EAST to WEST crossing, also first to get to the northern shores of Lake Eyre North (we were told ‘it could not be done’, we would not make it)
From Birdsville Track, we picked our way the ‘wrong’ direction (E-W), No tracks or roads, across more than 1200 sand dunes, thru 2 private properties. After 14 days, we arrived to farm tracks again (we kissed the track), then out to Oodnadatta track.
The land owners had never been out there, no-one, not even their cows.
We had 10 jerry cans of fuel in the back of our ute!!!! (That was enough fuel to go, but also bring us back, if at any point we found no way to continue forward); also took 100L water; and more than a few weeks worth of food.
Two attempts: The 1st attempt killed a Holden Jackaroo in the Warburton Creek crossing on the 1st day, we were on our way to Lake Eyre Nth. It then took 3 days for the remaining 3 cars to tow it the 16km back to a farm track, and then to the nearby roadhouse. Towing thru soft dry sandy creek beds, up sand dunes and lowering it down the steep sides of the dunes. One of the days we only achieved 3km.
2nd attempt was made with now only 3 cars.
But we made it to north shore of Lake Eyre North and a successful E/W crossing of the Southern Simpson.
We returned back across the Simpson a “more civilised” route, via ‘Madigan Line’ (ha!), Colsen Trk and the Rig ‘Rd’.
Was a good adventure.