Join us on either a 11 or 16 night tour exploring the Simpson Desert and surrounds.
These tours have been designed to immerse you in the remoteness of the Outback and Desert (and also to avoid the very busy times surrounding the Finke Desert Race and the Birdsville Bash). Starting and ending within striking distance of the desert, we tackle the lesser travelled tracks of the Simpson Desert. When we're not in the desert, we will be driving in remote country and visiting some iconic Outback locations and towns.
Enjoy the rhythm of desert travel, the setup and breakdown of camp, the ever-changing scenery, the wildlife, the campfires and camaraderie of fellow travellers and the endless stars.
We've taken away the hassle and uncertainty of organising a trip like this and the risk of doing it alone. If you don't have a 4WD vehicle, we can help you hire one.
Find out what's included below.
Duration & Cost: • 11 Nights Windorah to Alice Springs $3290 per couple
• 16 Nights Windorah to Birdsville $4250 per couple
• $400 extra passengers
You can phone or email Tony directly about the tour on the contact details below.
• All the arrangements and bookings for the tour. Just get yourself, your gear and vehicle to Windorah.
• Full-time, professional tour guide/4WD instructor with a Cert IV qualification in 4WD training and current first aid certificate.
• "On-tour" training over the 2-way radio. You will be given help and advice throughout the entire trip. You will be warned of oncoming traffic and hazards. Your guide will co-ordinate dune crossings with oncoming vehicles, talking to them on another UHF channel so there's no confusion about what to do. On difficult sections, your guide will be out of their vehicle to help you and instruct you personally.
• Reliable 200 Series Landcruiser tour vehicle with all safety, recovery, communications and emergency equipment - Satphone and Garmin inReach (tracker, emergency beacon & satellite texting), winch, snatch straps, Max Trax etc.
• Cabin accommodation in Windorah, Birdsville and/or Alice Springs (depending on tour).
• Camping fees (eg. caravan parks and National Parks).
• 3 or 4 dinners out depending on trip duration (Windorah, Birdsville Hotel, Mt Dare and Alice Springs).
• Aboriginal Land Permits; National Park entry fees; Private property access arrangements.
• Tyre changing and mechanical assistance; spare 2-way radios.
• Night spotlighting sessions for animals; bird/animal ID books and apps; photography sessions and tips.
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?
• 4WD Vehicle, fuel, food (other than stated above), camping gear, insurance.
WHAT ARE THE 4X4 VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS?
• This tour is NOT suitable for off-road camper trailers.
• A high clearance 4X4 vehicle with low range (with the exception of VW Amarok)
• Upgraded, heavy duty suspension - even on a new vehicle. Standard suspension will not cope.
• Second spare tyre - six all-terrain tread pattern LT tyres (Light Truck construction) with over 60% tread remaining (ie. about 7mm min). Second spare without a rim is ok.
• Fuel range of 800 - 900 km is required for the Simpson tours. Max. distance 770 km on the Double Crossing from Mt Dare to Birdsville.
• Good quality UHF base set and aerial wired in by a professional.
• Good quality sand flag.
• Good quality compressor - preferably hard wired in the back of your vehicle, or fitted with an Anderson plug (with somewhere to plug it in). You also need a gauge with a trigger so that you can read the pressure quickly.
• Some spares are required to be carried eg. air, oil and fuel filters, fan belt etc. A full list is provided on booking.
• A mechanical checklist is to be completed and returned by a qualified mechanic 2 weeks prior to the start of the tour.
• An online medical form is to be completed and submitted on our "Trekka" system at least 2 weeks prior to departure.
• A camp arrangement that is easy to set up and take down. This should take no longer than 20 mins each time (trust me on this one!).
• Vehicle Insurance - make sure your vehicle insurance company covers you for off-road driving. NRMA/RACQ etc will not recover your vehicle from the desert. Only Club 4X4 Insurance will pay for your vehicle recovery in remote situations. There is an option with Club 4X4 to get up to $15,000 or $30,000 for remote recoveries and to also cover your accessories.
NB: Our Landcruiser is insured with Club 4X4 but we are not sponsored by them.
• Travel Insurance - as with any holiday, you should get travel insurance in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Desert driving fuel consumption is as follows (NB. indicative only):
- Diesel utes eg. D-Max, Ranger, BT-50 use about 15 - 18L/100km,
- Landrover Discovery 4 uses about 18L diesel/100km
- Diesel V8 200 Series Landcruiser uses 21 - 22L/100km
- Petrol 4.6L Nissan Patrol uses close to 28L/100km
WHERE CAN I GET SUPPLIES AND FUEL?
Birdsville and Mt Dare are our fuel locations for both tours. All care will be taken to check in advance whether fuel is available where we are going. Water and food is also available in these locations but fresh food is not always available and variety is limited.
WHEN CAN I SEE THE FULL ITINERARY?
Itineraries can be provided on request (please use the email form below). When you have confirmed that you would like join a tour, you will be sent a link to our online Tour Database "Trekka" which will provide you with all the information, downloadable and online forms, a payment portal and the full itinerary.
The following is a general outline. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change depending on track conditions, weather, vehicle issues, border restrictions etc. We have also factored in some spare days that can be used if necessary for contingencies.
SINGLE CROSSING TREK
On the Single Crossing, we begin at the edge of the sealed roads in the great little Outback town of Windorah with a pub dinner and team meeting. We then make our way to Birdsville on the last 100kms of sealed roads, then the first 270kms of dirt road, with time that night to have a cool drink at the iconic Birdsville Hotel.
We then drive into the Simpson Desert, starting with a "Sand Driving Masterclass", before tackling the dunes of the QAA Line which lead us to the Tri-State border at Poeppel Corner. We then spend a brief time on the French Line before dropping South to get away from the more well-used tracks.
We head across the Rig Road which is still clay-capped in many places from the old days of oil exploration. After our run along the Rig Road we visit the Lone Gum, then hit the amazing WAA Line with its steep and closely-packed dunes and twisy-turny tracks. We spend a total of 4 nights camped in truly remote desert, plus another night at the refreshing Dalhousie Springs. After an easy day, we spend the night at Mt Dare Hotel, where we have a fantastic dinner cooked for us and we can restock food, fuel and supplies. (*For Double Crossing details, see below)
We then visit the Geographical Centre of Australia near the community of Finke and also the spectacular rock formations of the Chambers Pillar area. Following the route of the Finke Desert Race and the Old Ghan Heritage Trail we emerge from the desert at Alice Springs. The final night of the Single Crossing in Alice is included with cabin accommodation and a dinner out to celebrate our adventure together.
*DOUBLE CROSSING TREK
We start as for the Single Crossing itinerary above, until we reach Mt Dare. Here we will spend 2 nights so we can relax and prepare for another another 6 nights in the desert, including 5 nights on the remote Northern route, the Madigan Line.
The Madigan Line follows the historical exploratory trek of Cecil Madigan with his team of 9 men and 19 camels in 1939. This is an amazing journey through the most remote parts of the Simpson Desert. The track is rough and rugged but the scenery is spectacular.
The Madigan Line takes us East, crossing the Hay River Track briefly before intercepting Eyre Creek where it enters the Simpson Desert near Madigan's 20th Camp. From here we head South with the kind permission of Adria Downs Station, following Eyre Creek. We hear the tragic story of the children from the now derelict Old Annandale Station, before joining the QAA Line at the Eyre Creek camping area.
The next day we make the last 20km push to Big Red. After conquering about 2000 dunes already, you will be ready to take on the largest dune of them all. It's a fantastic way to finish this unique Double Crossing experience. We then head out to Birdsville for our final night together where we have a cabin for the night and dinner at the Hotel - and have a good "knees-up" while reliving our experiences of the last 16 days!
NOTE: The Double Crossing Trek is reasonably full-on and is better suited to people who have some experience, especially with camping.
Tony is a full-time tour guide and Cert IV qualified trainer and assessor in four wheel driving. He has a Degree in Tourism and a Masters Degree in Wildlife Management. Tony has led remote tours all over Australia and in New Zealand including the South Island High Country, the Kimberleys, Flinders Ranges, Central Aust, Simpson Desert, Canning Stock Route, Victorian High Country, Arnhem Land and Cape York. Tony is a keen fisherman and photographer and loves chasing wildlife with the camera.
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