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Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours - Hay River Track

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River Gum tree on the Hay River Track, Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours 4wd tag along tour

Hay River Track - North Simpson Desert

Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours run probably what is the best value around, 4wd Hay River Tag Along Tour. It runs for 12 days and apart from crossing the North Simpson and Simpson Deserts also visits many iconic towns and places along the way. Visit the Tag Along Tours page on this web site for more details. You will be in the hands of an experienced tour leader, John Cantrell, who has traveled through this area many, many times. Use the following buttons for more information of our desert 4wd tag along tours

Hay River Tag along tour button  Madigan Line 4wd Tag Along Button  North Simpson & Never Never Track 4wd tag along tour

The area around the Hay River is a truely remote region that should not be travelled on your own and is situated in the North Simpson Desert. The trip can only be undertaken between mid March and end November as the desert is closed during the summer months.

Until relatively recently the Hay River was closed to the general public and has only been a destination for the last few years having been opened to 4wd travellers by its traditional owners.

crossing Hay River Track on the way to Lake Caroline      Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours Jeep on the Hay River Track

The trip follows the Hay River river bed south from the Plenty Highway, near Jervois Homestead and the Tarlton Range to Beachcomber Oil Well where it then joins the K1 Track. 

There are no provisions or fuel available along the way so you will need to be self sufficient. Allow for at least 660 km if you plan to head for Birdsville and more
to Mungerannie. 

Permits are required and are available from Jol Fleming on (08) 8952 3359 or email him at jol (at) direct4wd . com . au.

You will also need a Deserts Parks Pass from the South Australian NPWS.

From Jervois Station there is an easy run to Batton Hill of about 70 km where you will need to camp for the night. Camp fees are payable at the time of purchasing your
permits. Hot showers are available as well as a camp kitchen, you may need to light the fire though in the boiler to heat the water.

There is an optional My Country and Bush Tucker Tour run from batton Hill by the Traditional Land Owners for which you will need to allow an extra day. In the evening you will be able to take a drive out to Goyder Pillar to view the spectacular sunset that it offers. There is a charge to participate in both these trips.

Anyone that has been here before would have almost certainly met Lindsay Bookie, a true character and friend and one of the resident land owners. Sadly Lindsay passed away on August 2nd 2014 following a heart attack and was later laid to rest at Batton Hill following a memorial service in Alice Springs. Thanks for everything Lindsay, you will be missed by many.

Your route will take you in a southerly direction on the Hay River Track, plan at least three days from Batton Hill to Poeppel Corner.

From Batton Hill the fun begins and a couple of hours south you will meet up with the junction and turn off to Lake Caroline. It is a detour of about 10 km but be careful, you will cross the Hay River to get there and the sand can be very soft. You almost certainly won't find water in the lake but it is interesting all the same.

As you move further south you will pass through Madigans camp 15, not much to see here, and a little further Madigans Camp 16 where a stop is well worthwhile. 

Madigans Camp 15 is where the Madigan Line joins the Hay River for a while before again heading east and eventually to Birdsville. The Madigan Line is a serious off road track with it's start near Old Andado.

Australian 4x4 tag Along Tours at Mt Dare Hotel      On the Hay River Track heading south

After the rainy season, if there is rain up here, there is nearly always a colourful array of wild flowers to be seen and native fauna are plentiful. However there is also then a colourful array of native flora to be navigated through and around which can make progress slow.

Some parts of the track become less obvious, depending on the time of year that you travel, due to sand being shifted by the winds so it is a must that you take adequate GPS equipment, mapping and other instructions with you on your trip down the Hay River.

Eventually you will join the French and QAA Lines at Poeppel Corner which are the normal west to east tracks through the Simpson Desert that most people take. You are now about 200 kilometres west of Birdsville. The temptation to stray off the track may be present itself, don't be tempted.

Besides needing permits from private property owners, Aboriginal land owners and the police, which are unlikely to be granted, much of the area has no tracks and presents a real danger to your survival if you get lost. 

If you would like to do one of the remotest desert crossings available in Australia join Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours on their Never Never, Hay Rive 4wd Tag Along Tour.

This is a re-run of a trip we did in July 2014 out to Mt Knuckey, some 180 or so kilometres with no visible tracks at all, in fact for much of the way no vehicle had ever been.

Please don't be tempted to do this part of the trip on your own, or even with a couple of mates, it is seriously remote country where you could easily get lost.

Yes we will do most of the Hay River Track as well plus the Simpson, Eyre Creek, Big Red and all in between as well as iconic places such as Marree, Lake Eyre South, Oodnadatta, Dalhousie, Mt Dare, Cameron Corner, Innamincka plus plus plus.

Always let your common sense kick in before you venture into the unknown. This can be a very pleasant trip, with planning and preparation, and one that can take you through areas that have seen relatively few venture into.

mountain at the side of the Hay River Track

Do not plan to go there alone and be prepared to have to navigate your way through the areas where the tracks may not be that visible depending on the time of year that you are traveling and what the wind has been doing.


The information provided on this web page is for use as a guide only. If you are planning to undertake this trip you must seek out other authorative advice and information. Desert and Outback travel can be very hazardous and should only be undertaken after lengthy and careful planning. The owners of this website shall not be held responsible for any damage or injury that you may experience during any conventional vehicle or four wheel drive trip, desert or otherwise. Distances between places mentioned on this page are as a guide only. You must verify these details yourself using professional maps and/or mapping equipment before you set out on a the trip. Do not attempt to access desert or other remote regions in an ill-prepared vehicle and without adequate communications equipment. Do not under estimate the
limited supply of fuel, water and provisions in these areas as well as the possibility of encountering extremely harsh elements and conditions.

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Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours - Hay River Track Information

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