Desert & Outback Tag Along
Why do what everyone else does? the
west east Simpson Desert crossing. Do something different. No prior 4wd
driving experience needed,
This trip does about two hundred kilometers of the normal west/east
crossing, so you will be able to tick that box anyway, plus the other
part of our trip is north south through the remote North Simpson Desert
as well as to, and through, heaps of Outback towns and places along the
way as we travel through four states.
Your tour leader, John Cantrell, is one of NSW leading, nationally
accredited, 4wd driver trainers with decades of 4wd driving
experience in both Australia and overseas, some of which in very remote
areas, and will be happy to help you along the way if needed, he has
led many trips through this region in the past, knows the area well and
what to expect along the way.
This is an amazing trip and it is your chance to experience one of
Australia's lesser known and travelled regions, the Hay River and the
North Simpson Desert, which is a relatively new 4wd destination.
Interestingly enough it is possible to do the run through parts of the
Simpson and the North Simpson Deserts following the Hay River without
climbing many sand dunes at all, and those that you do climb are fairly
easy by traveling from the south to the north.
Most seem to do it this way, running from the south up to Batton Hill
Camp, but we believe you are not doing yourself justice in doing so,
you will miss out on so much of the desert experience.
The dunes are a very big part of the fun in doing a desert crossing and
the Simpson and North Simpson Deserts can never be complete without
Relatively few have traveled this route in the past and most will never
have the opportunity to see this part of Australia in it's current and
Along the way our route takes us through several iconic
outback towns in South Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland
and New South Wales and through various deserts including the North
Simpson, Simpson, Sturt, Strzelecki and along the outskirts of the
This 12 day trip takes us to one of the more remote and lesser
travelled destinations in Australia, in some places there may not even
be a visable track if there has been a heavy wind.
The trip starts at Marree in Outback South Australia and ends up at
White Cliffs in Outback New South Wales. Our travels will include
visits to iconic towns and places including Oodnadatta, Dalhousie, Mt
Dare, Old Andado, Alice Springs, Batton Hill, Birdsville, Tibooburra,
Innamincka, Milparinka and Cameron Corner.
Other attractions include Lake Eyre South, Cooper Creek, Burke and
Wills Grave, The Dig Tree, Eyre Creek, Big Red and more. We may even get to see the outstanding
On leaving Alice Springs on our final leg before our desert crossing we
head north along the Stuart Highway before possibly changing course towards the
western end of the East McDonnell Ranges. It is a personal
opinion but some rate the East McDonnell Ranges as better than its
western counterpart, the West McDonnell Ranges, a little less known and
visited perhaps, dirt tracks instead of tar roads so a little more
rugged maybe, more remote, less commercialised and lots more,
I tend to agree.
The North Simson Desert and Hay River part of
our adventure starts when we turn off the Plenty Highway,
north east of Alice Springs, and travel towards the Batton
Hill Camp. We will set up camp for the night either at Jervois Station
or at Batton Hill and within the Batton Hill Camp and we may be able to
take an early evening drive out to the Goyder Pillar to see the
spectacular sunset views that it offers, depending on what time we arrive.
Next morning we are up and off on our journey south through the North
Simpson Desert whilst we follow the now extinct Hay River.
For the next few days we probably won't see too many other vehicles or
people, in fact it is not unusual to go the whole way down to the
junction with the QAA Line on the edge of Lake Poeppel without
Our route will take us down through the paralell dunes where,
in some places, the tracks may become barely visible if there has been
a high level of wind activity.
Between the Batton Hill Camp and Poeppels corner we pass through some
interesting landmarks including the Tropic of Capricorn, identified
only by GPS and a hand written, weather beaten, sign, a must do photo
opportunity for most. We will experience some of the country explored
by Cecil Madigan, a geologist first and explorer
second, who crossed the Simpson Desert from Andado in the west to
Birdsville in the east using camels for transport in 1939 during the
first major expedition across the Simpson Desert.
Whilst Madigan's route took him mostly from west to east he did travel
south for a short while between his Camps 15 and 16. Camp 16 is by far
the more interesting of the two and where we will almost certainly take
a short break.
The Hay River Track comes to an end when we start heading west and onto
Shotline for a while. We will probably camp down this way, either just
before Shotline or else further south towards the abandonded
Beachcomber Oil Well.
We are now on the K1 Line and a relatively short drive to the junction
with the QAA Line which is one of the major, and much more populated
with vehicles, west, east tracks across the Simpson and which will be
our route for the next 200 km to Birdsville.
But first we will go a little further south and following the shores of
Lake Poeppel, not that it is likely to have water in it, so that we can
visit the iconic Poeppel Corner. It is here that South Australia,
Queensland and the Northern Territoy join that travellers seem to
magnetically be attracted to.
So one more night camping in the desert before going through Eyre Creek
and then attempting the final challenge of the Simpson Desert, Big Red
sand dune. Big Red is famous for being the highest and hardest sand
dune in the Simpson Desert being approximately 60 metres high. It is also the most
easterley before Birdsville.
Like Poeppel Corner, Big Red seems to magnetically attract 4wd
adventurers, even if they haven't been across the desert. I guess for
many it is so that they can claim bragging rights to having
conquered this iconic legend.
Track conditions in this part of the world can change very quickly,
particularly with adverse weather changes and rain, so our route from
Birdsville to White Cliffs will be determined by what the
weather has been doing.
Exiting Birdsville via the Old, or Inside, Birdsville Track and heading
for Walkers Crossing will be our preferred route, if passable. We plan
to spend the next night or two at Innamincka, where you will
have a day free to visit whichever or the many attractions are in the
area including the Cooper Creek, The Dig Tree, Burke and Wills graves, Coongie Lakes and more.
Cameron Corner, the meeting point of New South Wales, South Australia
and Queensland, is our next destination. We will spend our last night
camping around here but maybe not at the store itself. Next
day visits to Tibooburra, Milparinka and, our final destination, White
If you would like to do this trip please book early, there is a limit
to the number of vehicles we can take on each trip and once fully
bookedwe cannot add any more and, because this trip offers
such good value, it does book up fairly quickly.
This is a self catered camping trip on which camper trailers and
caravans will not be accepted. The trip will be led by the owner of
this business who has an interest in you getting the very best value
out of your trip.
Perhaps you should have a read of our testimonials page to see what
many have said about this trip, it is a great trip and you won't be
Australian 4x4 Travel will supply a support vehicle fully equipped with
recovery equipment, long range communications, GPS tracking equipment
and Emergency Locator Beacon.
Australian 4x4 tag Along Tours
Hay River, Simpson Desert & Outback 4wd Tag Along
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Driver Training & Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours 2018