September 2020 we may run this trip again and you will have the chance to join a
4wd tag along tour traveling to one of Australia's most remote
desert regions, you are unlikely to know, or meet, anyone else
that has been through an Australian region as remote as this, ever. A
once in a lifetime opportunity for sure.
You will be following the route taken by Australian
Tag Along Tours in July 2014 and each year since on a Hay
tag along tour through an area where there are little or no tracks
for almost three days. There are little or no tracks because no
vehicles other than those travelling with Australian 4x4 travel through
this region, and that is only once a year, and our tracks of the year
before have either re-vegetated or blown over.
Nature has a habit of
reclaiming her own and has certainly done it very well out
there. We will have 14 days for the trip and a lot of fun is
store for those 14 days.
So where will we go and what does this Never Never Track and Hay River
Track 4wd Tag Along Tour involve
July 2014 Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours had the unique opportunity on
our desert trip to travel through one of the most remote regions, if
not the remotest region in the North Simpson Desert with John Cantrell,
the owner of this business, as tour guide and trip leader.
John has decades
of 4wd driving experience, both in Australia and extensively overseas
and sometimes in extremely remote places,
and is one of New South Wales leading, Nationally Accredited, 4wd
driver training businesses under the banner of Australian 4x4 Driver
Our original route through the North Simson Desert took us from
Batton Hill to Mt Knuckey via Mt Barrington and south of the Adam
Ranges and then east again and back onto the Hay River Track at Lake
Caroline. Some of the subsequent trips have travelled much the same
route, others have travelled from Mt Barrington to the Tropic of
Capricorn on the Hay River Track depending on the conditions that we
find when we are out there.
The original journey to Mt Knuckey and then to Lake Caroline was through country without any tracks
and gave the trip participants an almost unique experience in Australia
these days - the opportunity to travel approximately 185 kilometres
with absolutely no tracks to follow of which about 125 kilometres no
vehicle had ever been through. The original trip was over 12 days but subsequent years have seen that increased to 14 days so
that we could visit other iconic Outback destinations after we had
finished our North Simpson and Simpson Desert crossing.
We will leave Marree as usual on day one with us heading for Oodnadatta
and the Pink Roadhouse, our route will take us via Lake Eyre South and
William Creek. Next on the list will be the ruins of the old
Dalhousie Homestead before having the chance to swim in a mound spring
at Dalhousie Springs, with its constant water temperature. Mt Dare
Hotel will be our next stop.
Mt Dare is always a great destination and they look after us very well
whilst they are our hosts, a good feed if you don't want to cook
yourself, great camp site and, normally, excellent showers.
The Never Never and Hay River Tracks 4wd Tag Along Tour heads next for
Alice Springs but first we pay a visit to the old Homestead of the
recently deceased Molly (Mac) Clark at OldAndado. Very interesting and
she must have been a very resiliant lady.
We have a choice of routes for the next leg of our journey towards the
North Simpson Desert, either up the Stuart and Plenty Highways, not
much happening along there, or we can take the route through the East
McDonnell Ranges, great scenery but a longer route and, therefore, a
It's now into the desert and the start of the main reason why we are
there, the Never Never and Hay River Tracks 4wd Tag Along Tour.
After a good nights sleep we will make a start towards Mt Knuckey to
the south east and 125 or so kilometres away and, if no other vehicles
have been through since our July 2014 trip, there will be no visible
tracks for almost the next three days. Heading back to the Hay
River Track from Mt Knuckey and a distance of a little over 50
kilometres should see us camping that night a little south of Lake
Caroline, and our first night of desert camping on a recognised track.
On a clear night, and nearly all of them are, the stars will blow your
mind. Breathtaking with a 360 degree panoramic vision of more stars
than you ever knew existed.
Towards the end of the Hay River Track we head west for a short
distance as we cross Shotline. If we meet anyone along this stretch, it
is fairly rare to do so, they always seem just a bit jealous of us. You
will find out why when we do it.
We are pretty much onto the home run into Birdsville now but not
without a stop at Poeppel Corner to view the mark where South
Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory meet, a
crossing of Eyre Creek and a climb of Big Red.
Will you and your vehicle make it to the top of Big Red or will you
have to resort to using one of the many chicken tracks?
Birdsville has the promise of a welcome hot shower and most will
probably opt for a meal at the iconic Birdsville Pub before we head for
Innaminka via Walkers Crossing and possibly even the Old, or Inside,
Innamincka is one of my favourite Outback destinations with its
picturesque setting alongside the magnificent Cooper Creek. Innamincka
and Cooper Creek are the centre of interest around the fated Burke and
Wills expedition and the misfortune that fell on them and King on their
return from the Gulf.
Would be good if we could stay here for a while but we will need to
move along, however, not before we have the chance to visit some of the
Next stop Cameron Corner via the Old Strezlecki Track, Merty Merty and
what used to be the Yellow Bus. An evening at Cameron Corner
will let you play a round of golf in three states if you like or to
stand on the spot that marks the joining point of New South Wales,
South Australia and Queensland, the store is actually in Queensland,
only just, or just chill out and enjoy the hospitality of Fenn and
Cheryl over a cuppa, or even a cold something.
On our last day and now through the dog fence and into the Sturt
National Park as we head for Tibooburra, Milparinka and, finally, White
Australian 4x4 tag Along Tours will supply a fully equipped support
vehicle for this Never Never and Hay River Tracks, Simpson Desert and
Outback 4wd tag along tour that will have any required recovery
equipment, satellite phone, personal locator beacon, first aid kit and