I’d be the first to admit that Steve and I have a pretty long ‘bucket list’ and are very keen to explore our beautiful country, so after 2 years of planning, and a couple of delayed starts, we finally set off on our 4WD adventure to cross the Simpson Desert.
At the end of our amazing journey I thought about what made the trip so great and came up with 5 of the most important elements of our trip:
1. Awesome friends to share the experience (enter Pete and Deb) :)
2. Lots and lots and lots of planning and preparation. There are NO supplies from Mt Dare through to Birdsville so it was essential to carry loads of water and fuel and food and vehicle supplies, and all the little camping luxuries.
3. The HEMA 4WD maps app for the ipad. This app is seriously worth it’s weight in gold! Not only as a navigation tool but also for the little side tracks and highlights that we would not have known about otherwise.
4. Tyre pressures!!! When we asked advice about the desert drving from the publican at Mt Dare his words of wisdom were, ‘tyre pressures, tyre pressures’… and did I mention ‘tyre pressures’. We took his advise and even though we encountered a few bogs in the sand it definitely made the trip a lot easier when adjusting for the correct tyre pressures to suit the conditions.
5. Fly veils….. we shared our journey with a seriously keen and energetic fly community so we ended up making our own fashion statements with fly veils in an attempt to maintain some sanity. Once the sun went down we all breathed a sigh of relief.
oh, and of course all my camera gear to play with along the way… so many fantastic opportunities to document our trip with photos…so here goes with part one.
All packed up and ready to hit the track…
With found an alternative route through to Devils Marbles and enjoyed a bit of diversity…. and a pretty rough 4WD track to get us there…
Devils Marbles was a welcome sight as the day was drawing to a close… Rocks, rocks and more rocks… love them!
The crew at Devils Marbles…
The first night was spent at Wycliffe Well with a few alien friends to greet us the following morning…
and the first in a series of frozen coke explosions!!! nice work Pete!
Gotta love the group shots taken by unsuspecting random strangers. Thanks mate :)
Pete and Deb sharing a cuddle in the outback…
Barrow Creek Telegraph Station
Meeting Sam Johnson in the ‘middle of nowhere’ riding on a unicycle was a surprise to say the least. Sam stopped for a quick chat and I admire his endeavour to ride 15,000 kms ON A UNICYLCE!!! to raise funds for cancer. Sam’s sister, Connie, is dying of cancer and Sam has taken up the challenge to make a difference and set a new world record at the same time. Head over to the website or facebook page for “Love Your Sister” and please support this very worthy cause. Good on you Sam! It was a real treat to meet you.
The Tropic of Capricorn…. reminded me of my geography lessons from Primary School… kinda makes it real now :)
Alice Springs was our opportunity to pick up the last of our food supplies to stock up the fridge and freezer.
After leaving Alice Springs we headed to Chambers Pillar and the scenery was nothing short of breathtaking! The outback sunsets and sunrises are sensational along with the crisp clear air. Loved this place!
Our campsite at Chambers Pillar.
We had an unexpected diversion back to Alice Springs as the Nissan was hoisted and a new shocky installed thanks to the boys at Sprint Mufflers. Thanks for the speedy repair to get us back on the road!
Well I always thought the middle of Australia was Ayres Rock, so we were surprised to come across the entrance to a (very rough) track to the Lambert Centre, ‘Geographical Centre of Australia’ on our way through to Mt Dare. We took the patriotic opportunity and picked our way through the numerous track options to get to our prize! What a great place to visit and spend a night. As night fell and the stars sparkled and the Southern Cross appeared it felt like we were in the middle of the universe even though we were in the middle of nowhere!
The funniest visitor entry we saw was ‘Just pick one’ and anyone who has been here would have a chuckle at that one… the track options are somewhat confusing and the comment was very appropriate.
Our next step was to head to Mt Dare.
Mt Dare was the last opportunity to fuel up for the isolation of the desert. The Mt Dare Hotel was a pleasant surprise, decked out in a heritage style with stubby coolers from all parts of the world and some great artworks and a friendly informative publican that gave us some sound advice for our desert driving.