Saturday, 29 March 2014

Crossing The Simpson Desert - Part 1

After months of preparation the day of our departure had finally arrived. :hyper::hyper::hyper:

Day 1 (8 Aug 2009)

Up early to pack the last few things then to the big "M" at Hogans Corner, Hoppers Crossing to meet with the others for our traditional breakfast before leaving on a 4 x 4 adventure. At 6:12 AM we left for our 14 day journey that would prove to be challenging yet rewarding and the most memorable. My notes read - 'left pillow at home' - at least I discovered this before we reached Adelaide so was able to purchase one there.

The 'Magnificent Seven'
Our first night stop was Port Wakefield some 800 Km, the first casualty was my 7" display screen mounted on the dashboard which I used to display Memory Maps to track and folow our route, packing up just outside Horsham.  :(  Problem was solved by adjusting the rear-view mirror so I could see my PC screen, I became quite proficient in reading the maps in the mirror image.

We reached Port Wakefield around 5:30 PM after a brief stop in Adelaide to purchase fruit and vegetables which cannot be brought across the Victoria boarder.

Day 2 (9 Aug.)

We were up and on the road by sunrise as we had another long day of driving to our next night stop.

We stopped at Hawker to refuel then on to Wilpena Pound and the Flinders Ranges, sad to see them so dry but still a spectacular drive and our first taste of sand.

We left the ranges through Blinman then on to Leigh Creek (our night stop) arriving at 5:30 PM after some 540 KM.

Day 3 (10 Aug)

Early departure and made a brief stop at Farina (63 Km) now a ghost town, it was settled in 1878, in its heyday it had two hotels, an underground bakery, a bank two breweries, a general store, an Anglican Church, five blacksmiths, a school and a brothel. The post office closed in the 1960's  and the railway line closed in the 1980's.

We left at 8:46 AM then it was on to Marree and then Birdsville Track

along the way we found a place to "play"

Then we were on our way to Mungerannie hotel for lunch and Joff was able to replace the tyre he had "shredded" on the track when he did not realize that he had a puncture!  :blush: We continued up the track to Tipipilla Creek camp site arriving at 6 PM after some 461 Km.

Day 4 (11 Aug.)

Sun Rise

We departed for the last 182 Km to Birdsville at 9 AM arriving before lunch. After setting up camp and doing the washing it was off to Big Red for some fun and did we have some fun! We all got up the West side left track which is the most difficult and it was late when we finally called it a day and returned to camp. Big Red is the largest and most famous dune in the Simpson, it is 40 meters high.  Posted Image

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Until next time ............................ Remember life is an adventure, enjoy it.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Weekend at Corinella

We booked some months ago at Corinella Caravan Park for the Labour Day weekend, its only 140 Km from home. We decided to leave from my place of work as its only 5 minuets off the road we had to take and about a third of the distance, so we packed the van on Thursday, well Kathleen did most of the packing, leaving home at 7 AM Friday morning for our traditional breakfast at the big M then on to the office. We left the office at 3 PM (thanks Boss) only to find out that about a hundred thousand other people had the same idea and so we joined the mass of vehicles moving ever so slowly towards the coast, it took us 40 minuets to do 20 Km! Consequently we arrived an hour later than expected, never the less we had a great site with a beauts view of the bay and soon had the camp sorted, not long after Chareen and family (who were spending a week camping there) joined us for dinner.

Chareen's sunset photo
Saturday morning we decided to go to Phillip Island, home of the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix is held each year in October. It's about a 24 Km drive, we have been there a number of times so today it was just an outing to see the changes. We stopped in at a small morning market then down to Cows Beach and had a delicious pie for lunch then a walk on the beach to the Yacht Club, after watching a few yachts preparing for a race we decided it was time to return to camp as by this time it was mid afternoon.

On the way back we stopped at a surf shop for a photo shoot, here are a few photo's

Nadeen and family arrived early on Sunday to spend the day, we walked down to the jetty to have a look at the resident seal who the locals have named 'Flipper'

After lunch we went to Coronet Bay as the beach is just great for the young ones to swim, we took Paul's canoe and they sure had a good time.

When the tide came in later in the afternoon we were able to launch the tinny which some local friends Barry and Lynn had loaned us.  Paul took the boy's out and later Johan for a spot of fishing, but no luck that day.

Next morning we packed and left for home by 11 AM. All in all a most relaxing weekend, good weather - just what we needed.

Until next time ...................... Laugh a lot

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Saturday, 1 March 2014

More Trip Planning

We have done some trip planning with the help of Memory Map and Camps to decide where to stay and what we think we should visit. She who must be obeyed has decreed that we will spend a day in Coober Pedy as for the first three days we will be doing 540 Km per day. I think we should take a trundle to Oodnadatta and have lunch at the Pink Road House, they make a great burger, I had stayed there after crossing the Simpson Desert in 2009,  it's only 200 Km each way!

From Coober Pedy its a two day 700 Km trip to Alice Springs, although we visited in 2009 we have a few places we did nit get to so want to visit Emily & Jessie Gaps, Stanley Chasm and Simpson Gap. 35 Km from Alice Springs we pass the Tropic of Capricorn and our next night stop will be the Devils Marbles with a late departure to the next day to Tenant Creek for lunch and on to the Banka Banka Cattle Station for the night. Depending on how we feel we will either stop at Daily Waters Pub or drive on to Katherine where we will spend two days visiting the Cutta Cutta Caves, Hot Springs, Edith Falls and The Gorge.

We will spend the next two nights in the Kakadu National Park at Jabiru visiting the Mirrai Lookout, Maguk, Yellow Water Billabong, Maguk Gorge and Jim Jim Falls, then on to Virginia where we will stay for four nights while we visit Darwin, as we will be there on a Sunday we will be able to visit the  Mindil Beach Sunset Market and the other attractions.

That is what our aim is for the first 18 days, sounds a bit ambitious, but as we only have two months to complete the trip this is what we will have to do to keep to the time line.

Next weekend we are taking the caravan to Corinella for the long weekend, it's about 135 Km a two hour drive from home just before Philip Island for a relaxing weekend.

Until next time............Life's an echo

Trip Planning

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