Author Topic: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013  (Read 8147 times)

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Offline boxxy

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Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« on: July 13, 2013, 08:00:54 PM »
PHOTOS TO COME!!

Day 1 – Brisbane to Nindigully
What a surprise, the Boxxy’s left Brisbane at 8.00am on the dot, even after a late night pack. On the way to Aratula to meet with DJ & Kerri, about half way there, we noticed that the batterhy monitor was showing a low re-charge rate.  After a few frustrating attempts at getting phone reception to call Kris we decided to push on to Warwick, at least we could get reception.  DJ did notice that the connections on the main battery were loose which we tightened.

At Warwick we pulled into Supercheap Autos for a few parts had reception and spoke to Kris, and he was able to assist us to fix the problem.  Seems resetting the battery management system all that was needed to get us on our way.  After this minor hiccup out of the way we pushed on out of Warwick towards Goondiwindi for our planned lunch stop.

Have got to say the carnage (road kill) we saw between Warwick and Goondiwindi was I am sure, one hell of a lot more than last time, there were  literally 100’s of dead Kangaroos, emus, pigs and other wildlife.
We stopped at Goondiwindi about 1pm, and being the well stocked travellers we are, we bought takeaway at the servo.  We then soldiered on and headed towards our destination for the night the Nindigully pub.
 
The drive on day 1 was absolutely fantastic, great weather, bugger all traffic and ate up the kms travelling at about 100kph, arriving at Nindigully at around 4pm.  Hopefully we would get a campsite next to the river, BUT unfortunately we were well beaten by the grey nomads who took up all the prime spots.  Surprise Surprise.  We did find a reasonably flat spot well away from the pub (couldn’t get any closer anyway) and, on Mal’s suggestion.
 
We went about setting up camp with a cold ale in hand and around 4.30 the distinct ringing of a bell was heard, followed immediately in a fashion that similar to a voice that would have been used in the black plague to “bring out your dead” (particularly amusing with all the grey nomads about) – a booming voice called out to announce happy hour had commenced.  Then the swagger of grey nomads heading towards the pub for cheap drinks really did look like the walking dead.

We thought we might as well retire to the bar for the night and enjoy the cheap beverages, and the entertainment provided by Adam Kilpatrick.  After sitting around outside in the beer garden to for a while, we decided to wander into the bar to listen to the last of Adam’s songs.  Adam was just finishing his stint and  his last song of the night just happened to be “Living Next Door to Alice.  I could not believe it when we heard, Living Next Door to BOXXY!!!! – the whole bar was singing along with Who the F#$K is Boxxy. Now, I am not a suspicious person, but 450 Kms from home and the local talent starts singing Living Next Door to Boxxy, a normal sane person might be thinking he had been stitched up by the people he is travelling with, however they all protested their innocence.  Apparently Jay knows Adam and had contacted him on Facebook to set me up.  It was really awesome and thanks Jay.  I started out being quite embarrassed at the start, but certainly got over that quickly.  After Adam finished the song, I introduced myself to him “Hey I am Boxxy”.  He really  is an awesome bloke to talk to.  Then everybody began calling me Boxxy like they had known me for ages.

Had a bit of a chuckle at this in the mens loo



Mal had been out that way and stopped in at the pub about 2 weeks ago and recommended we give the roadtrain burger a go, which we did.  Ordered the burger and proceeded to drink and wait for this MASSIVE burger to arrive. MAN O MAN what a huge meal.

While we were sitting having dinner a bloke out of nowhere came up to our table and asks if we know Mal Leeon – as he knows Mal from the Overlander Forum – Sorry Mal couldn’t get a T-shirt in the size you were after, but we did get Leanne’s sticker (so, your message certainly made it to us).  After tea and a few more drinks, we decided enough was enough at about 8.30 and decided to call it a night.

Back bar of the pub next morning



The old bridge across the "river"



The mandatory "cars outside the pub" photo


« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 05:43:21 PM by boxxy »
I am the king of my castle - when Mrs Boxxy is not at home

Offline Rumpig

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Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2013, 12:34:20 PM »
Adam was just finishing his stint and  his last song of the night just happened to be “Living Next Door to Alice.  I could not believe it when we heard, Living Next Door to BOXXY!!!! – the whole bar was singing along with Who the F#$K is Boxxy.
nice work Jay, wish i could have thought of something like that...lol
Just a heads up...Jeff has changed his signature due to being foolish enough to leave his account logged on when he borrowed my phone.
I preferred his signature i'd written there myself before he changed it...lol
Nice try Grasshopper!!!!!

eaglehawk

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Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 07:58:18 AM »
Great report Mal brings back some good memories.Makes us want to head off again.

Offline Rumpig

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Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 08:06:15 PM »
where's Sheriff Long Schlong and the Pussy Possie when i want them, i've heard there's some WANTED men at Cameron Corner at the moment.
Just a heads up...Jeff has changed his signature due to being foolish enough to leave his account logged on when he borrowed my phone.
I preferred his signature i'd written there myself before he changed it...lol
Nice try Grasshopper!!!!!

Offline Leanne

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Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2013, 08:13:00 PM »
Quote from: boxxy link=topic=1491.msg17371#msg17371 date=1373709654

Sorry Mal couldn’t get a T-shirt in the size you were after, but we did get Leanne’s sticker


Thanks for the sticker guys ... Enjoy the rest of your trip, looking forward to what else you all get up to on your travels..
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 08:17:29 PM by Leanne »
H1

Offline Kris

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Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2013, 08:18:40 PM »
where's Sheriff Long Schlong and the Pussy Possie when i want them, i've heard there's some WANTED men at Cameron Corner at the moment.

PMSL - Boxxy isn't safe regardless of where he goes!!!!

Offline Kris

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Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 08:01:03 PM »
Just had a phone call from Bullwinkle (Boxxy) with a update. They are at William Creek and having a blast.

No Vehicle issues and Rocky (DJ) said the wind is blowing but the grog is cold and company good.

Offline Rumpig

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Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 10:11:21 PM »
Just had a phone call from Bullwinkle (Boxxy) with a update. They are at William Creek and having a blast.

i love it when Rick goes to watch State of Origin at William Creek, Qld wins...lol...QUEENSLANDER!!!!

hey Bullwinkle,
Cheryl says your all welcome back there anytime for them to take the piss out of...lol
Just a heads up...Jeff has changed his signature due to being foolish enough to leave his account logged on when he borrowed my phone.
I preferred his signature i'd written there myself before he changed it...lol
Nice try Grasshopper!!!!!

Offline Hangman

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Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 02:43:32 PM »
I thought he was in Sydney? Shaved + spray tanned, full monty, just to stop a Queensland try.

William Creek just an alibi.

Queenslander!
"Wax on Wax off"........... The Karate Kid(1984)

Offline Kris

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Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 03:26:10 PM »
I thought he was in Sydney? Shaved + spray tanned, full monty, just to stop a Queensland try.

William Creek just an alibi.

Queenslander!

Maurits - when are you going to install that LIKE button?

Offline deFuzster

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Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2013, 02:15:21 PM »
Hey Boxxy

How's Siberia?

I herd on the grapevine that's where your GPS is displaying.

No wonder you're saying it is cold out there!

Perhaps if you find an 8yo Eskimo or any other small child, they could show you how to operate the GPS  :))
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Offline boxxy

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Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2013, 05:52:21 PM »
Trip Report Part 2

Will try and get some more done over the weekend

Day 2 – Nindigully to Thargomindah

Boxxy’s most definitely in holiday mode cause 1.5 hrs after the crack of dawn they emerged bleary eyed, slightly hung over from their tepee. 
After the obligatory morning coffee and our first pack up of the trip we got our touristy pics of the pub, had a wonder round to see what we missed last night and managed to get underway at about 9am.

45K into St George was pretty much uneventful and after a quick refuel for the Boxxy’s and Kerry’s shopping expedition for a needle and usb charger we eventually made our way out of St George at about 10am.

 We made Cunnamulla about 1.30 for lunch in the park.  2 unseen Major Mitchells decided to relieve themselves on DJ & Kerri (ha ha).  It was not a pleasant sight when you are trying to eat lunch, believe us.

The offenders having a quiet chuckle to themselves



 We then had pics with the Cunnamulla Fella then back on the road towards Thargomindah.



For the most part of our way this section of the trip was pretty straight forward, lots of wildlife around, lots of emus, cattle and the odd cat or 2 – we eventually saw our first live Kangaroo.  The roads out here are excellent and made for an easy drive.  About 30K out of Thargomindah DJ radioed that his fuel light had come on.  Seems a slight miscalculation in his fuel capacity – he overtook for the rest of the way to set the pace and maximise fuel consumption.

Having arrived safely at Tharmomindah we checked into the Explorers caravan park and fuelled up ready for the next day’s drive.  Must say here, that the facilities at this CP are excellent with a big camp kitchen with everything you could need, with nice modern, clean and hot showers.  This is a council run CP.

A well deserved beverage at the end of a long day



Sunset at Thargomindah



Day 3 – Thargomindah to Innaminka

From here on in we were pretty much depending on the Hemma to get us where we wanted to go but this stretch was made easier by Mal’s easy to follow instructions, which I was hoping DJ has listened carefully to as he was leading today’s leg.  Nice easy drive out on the bitumen, turned left and headed out past the gas fileds and onto the S.A./QLD border where we had our normal “I was there “ photo.




Hitting the dirt DJ asked if we should air down a t this stage, with Mal’s advice ringing in my ears (Air down at the dirt) I replied that the road didn’t seem that bad and we didn’t have far to go so we might as well stay aired up. WRONG!! About 5 mins on that road and I was regretting making that call so I sheepishly radioed DJ and the decision was made to air down and boy did it make a difference!! We were to find out as we went that the outback roads in S.A are not that flash or well constructed (for want of a better word) as those in Qld or the N.T. At one stage we saw an empty truck with trailer on it doing maximum 10kph and he was bouncing the crap out of himself and truck.

Anyway, we made it into the Dig Tree and spent about an hour looking around and reading up on the history. Easy to see (well, sort of) why Bourke and Wills picked this spot as a meeting point, only for the fact there was water close by. Mal’s trip report has some good photos so won’t double up by putting more of the same here.

From here we went further towards Innaminca to visit Bourke’s grave on the way. Pulling into the car park we noticed the flood level mark in the trees and it was pretty hard to imagine all the water that must have been around then – amazing. A short walk had us at the grave site, it is not the final grave site of Bourke as his body was moved from here many many years ago but there is a marker there just to show where he was initially buried.





It was getting on a bit and we had not had any lunch so we pushed on to Innaminca with the hope of getting a quick bite at the pub before we pushed on to Wills’s grave. We were unfortunately a little late for the counter lunch but they kindly offered to make some bowls of chips for us – the beer and rum were cold so we settled for some chips to keep us going. After a couple of nice cold ones we decide we had better get a move on and get to our camping destination for the night, Policeman’s Waterhole. Just outside of town right on the banks of Cooper Creek we found ourselves a great little spot and set up for the night.





After we had set up and were sitting back watching the wildlife(well, pelicans anyway) and the tourist boats coming and going, a couple pulled in in their van and after searching around for a spot we motioned them to pull up near us as they would not be in our way at all. They came and joined us for a drink later on and after he saw our windscreen stickers his comment was “So you are the Motley Crew eh!? – WTF was our first thought so we encouraged him to continue – all he could tell us was that the previous night he was in Cameron Corner and there was some sort of email sent to Cheryl and Fenn and they were expecting us the next day for a bit of a rowdy night, that was all he would tell us. Hmmm, we were left wondering what the hell was in store for us and our first thoughts were what has Maurits or Kris set us up for???

After a few ales and a bit of a chin wag with our neighbours we decide to push on off to bed in anticipation of our next days drive to Cameron Corner. Now so far we hadn’t been able to (or had the time) to have a campfire and we sadly missed out this night due to the fact we did not bring any in with us and we had passed a sign on our way in forbidding collection of firewood in this area – bugger
.
The night produced an electrical storm that passed through the area, not too much rain really, more a sudden downpour that seemed like it would last for ages but didn’t but the lightning produced a nice show to go to sleep by – we would come across the effects and flow on of that storm in the days to come.


« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 06:56:09 PM by boxxy »
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Offline Hangman

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Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2013, 05:44:16 PM »
Where is the rest of the report?
"Wax on Wax off"........... The Karate Kid(1984)

Offline Kris

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Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2013, 03:43:08 PM »
Having given up on Boxxy finishing this anytime soon I will post part 1 of Vicki's and my report

Day 1 23/7/13
144L of Diesel @ $1.58/L Brisbane
Daily Total – 600km

Dad and I left his house at 1:55pm after a last minute decision to leave a day early and get a head start on the next days run. The aim for today was to hit Roma where we hoped to get accommodation, but had no booking. The run out to Toowoomba was good but the road from Toowoomba to Roma was scattered with road work which slowed the progress. Fortunately the workers had left for the day so the delays were mostly reduced speed limits rather than actual stops. We rolled into Roma at 7:35 pm and began to look for somewhere to stay. After two laps of town it become apparent that there was no room at the inn….. nor the caravan park nor the backpackers!!

We made the decision at this point to stop for dinner at the golden arches and try and locate some accommodation at Mitchell which was another 90km down the road. I rang Vicki and explained the situation. She then manned the phone and rang around Mitchell until she found us a room at the Court House Hotel. With the booking in hand we rolled out of Roma and made a v-line for Mitchell. This run took us a little over an hour as there were more roadworks to the west of Roma. While the road works were deserted there were lonely stop go lights slowing our progress.

Upon arriving in Mitchell we quickly found our accommodation. The Court House Hotel is one of the older pubs in town and while it wasn’t much more than a room with two beds it was a comfortable stay for the night.

Day 2 24/7/13

Mitchell 112L of Diesel @ $1.71/L – Economy 18.5L/100
Barcaldine 93.94L of Diesel @ $1.65/L – Economy 18.97L/100
Winton 51.89L of Diesel @ $1.59/L – Economy 18.73L/100
Daily Total 1140km

We left Mitchell before the sun had fully risen, the temperature was a fresh -2 degrees and there was frost on the ground. After a refuel and a quick bite at the BP roadhouse we were on our way. The morning was clear and the roads were improving as left Mitchell. We saw plenty of Roo’s early but once the sun crested over the horizon they thinned considerably, or so we thought. About 40km out of Morvan a reasonable sized grey decided that he wanted a cross the road just as were we going past. With an almighty thud we hit him mid bounce on the drivers side of the bull bar. The roo disappeared under wheels of the car – the bull bar did its job absorbing the bulk of the impact, causing minimal panel and headlight damage.

Before we had time to slow down a smaller roo bounced straight into our path. Unfortunately we hit this roo at the bottom of his bounce so rather than hit the bar he went straight under with full impact being on the steering drag link. This roo managed to bend the drag link over the top of the diff and send us across the road into the oncoming traffic and then off the road. There was that oh crap feeling that our trip had come to an end before we had really started as at this point we had not assessed the damage. Fortunately we were able to use the winch to straighten the drag link enough that it no longer fouled on the diff or panhard and allowed us to drive the vehicle without steering bind.

We took it easy for the next couple of hours as we made sure nothing was damaged further than we thought. The roads were average at best and it was hard to tell what was just the vehicle tracking on the outback roads and what was steering damage. By the time we got to Longreach it had become apparent it was just the poor quality of road that was causing the vehicle to track and wander.

Our planed stop for the night was Winton however as we rolled into Longreach just after midday we discussed the potential of pushing onto Cloncurry for the night. So learning from our mistake the day before we rang ahead to find accommodation while we had lunch. The first call came up short as did the second however the second place we tried gave us the number for the Central Hotel assuring us they were a great place to stay. Sure enough when we range they had a room.

With booking in hand we got back on the road with 500km to go. We were making good time in the 110km/h zones. At this point I had been driving all for 7 hours straight – dad offered to drive but I was happy to keep going – in hindsight I probably should have let him drive as about 30 min out of Winton we passed a bright yellow highway patrol car that as he went by turned his lights on. He was a very friendly and happy officer who took great interest in the Cruiser and our trip however it was not nice enough not to give me a fine – 121 in 110 zone – Bugger. From hear dad drove into Winton to give me a break.

From Winton it was a fairly uneventful drive into Cloncurry. We arrived just before 6pm and found the Central Hotel. When we first pulled up we were alittle concerned as the description fell well short of what was in front of us. When we entered the old pub and checked in at the bar we were directed to our room around the back – as luck would have it the pub had just finished a barnd new hotel behind. The rooms were big and comfortable and the pub meal was excellent. We both got a good nights rest.

Day 3 25/7/13

Mt Isa 83L @ $1.63/L  Economy 17.9L/100
Tennant Creek 129.84L @ $1.79/L Economy 20.28L/100
Daily Total 768km

We didn’t have the distance to travel today so we had a relaxed breakfast and got away at 6:45 am. We were being very cautious of roo this morning after yesterdays experience. The run from Cloncurry to Mt Isa was a total change of scenery from the previous day. Every turn seemed to expose new scenery. The Mt Isa Mines smoke stakes were the first signs that we were getting close. We rolled into town and fuelled up at the Shell roadhouse on the western side of town about 8:15. From here it was a short run to Camoweal and then into NT.



Leaving the Isa we noticed a dramatic decrease in road kill and also traffic on the road. We made a quick stop for a coffee in Camoweal and to try and get a sticker (no luck – they were on the truck) from here we crossed into the Northern Territory.  The first thing that greeted us was 15 km of road works but unlike Queensland there were no stop go people – they had simply bull dozed a detour on each side of the road and diverted traffic. The other notable difference was that those on the road works were actually working – we even noticed that the grader operator was eating his smoko while he was working!!!!

Once through the road works the speed limit instantly went to 130km/hour. We would the cruiser up and sat on 130. The roads were sensational – none of the tracking all over the place of previous days. The only hazards on the road were the caravaners doing 80 up the centre of the highway. The road trains were even sitting on 130. While the road was dead straight the scenery was constantly changing. It was a real highlight of the trip this part for both dad and I.

We had a relaxed lunch at the Barkly Roadhouse where once again I was told the sticker was on the truck! From here it was a quick couple of hours into Tennant Creek. We got in about 3 pm which gave us time to sight see. To be honest I have spent many years wanting to visit Tennant Creek and had high expectations unfortunately what we found in reality was an aboriginal community with a major alcohol and crime problem. The motel we stayed in had a 12 foot razor wire fence around it as did the police station, local businesses and non indigenous housing. We also refuelled in Tennant creek where we discovered just how thirsty the big cruiser can be if we push her.

Day 4 26/7/13
Alice Springs 106.2L @ $1.80/L Economy 21.24L/100
Distance Travelled 499km

Today was the day we met up with the rest of the group. Wombat and Jay were starting their day in Mt Isa, with Boxxy, Bron, DJ and Kerri leaving from Boggy Hole with all of us due to meet in Alice Springs.
We got away at 6:30am and headed out of town. We did not see another car for over 100km. We made a stop at the Devils Marbles just as the sun was rising. It was a spectacular place to be and somewhere I am keen to return to and explore further. After this stop our plan was to push all the way to Alice Springs – we arrived at 11:50am. The run from Tennant Creek to Alice Springs is up hill for the majority until you reach the highest point on the road between Darwin and Adelaide which just happens to be about 50 km out of Alice. This leg of the trip was by far the thirstiest.





Dad and I went to the caravan park and set up camp before going for a bit of a drive around Alice. About 1:30 we started to pick Boxxy and DJ up on the radio and it was not long after that we meet up with them at Hungry Jacks. Jay and Wombat met us at the caravan park just after 3. That night was spent catching up on the stories of the travels so far.






We made the Winter Sun Caravan park our home for the next couple of days. The park was well secured and had fairly grassy sites, this being said the night life in this particular area of Alice Springs was fairly noisy. We had everything from hoons to domestics and even a couple of gun shots.

Day 5 27/7/13

Today was a bit of a slow start. We spent more time catching up with the other and sharing photos of our separate trips to Alice. Dad and I headed out to the airport to meet Vicki and Dexter who were flying in today – this would complete the group.

We spent the afternoon checking out the national transport museum. The stories that are contained in that place are phenomenal. There is a lot of information about the early beginnings of transport in our country and in particular through the red centre. The vehicular history on display was enough to consume more than one day. This museum along with the Rail Museum are on the top of my list to do again.







While at the museum we went on a short camel ride. This in its self was a unique experience – not something that I will go out of my way to do again.






For dinner that night we went to Rick’s brother in laws for dinner and to check out his train collection. His model train collection is housed in a large shed in his back yard and is a real work of passion. The detail that has gone into his set up is amazing. To top it all off we find out that he is a driver on the Ghan and will be driving it out of Alice the next afternoon.

Day 6 27/7/13

Alice Springs 41L @ $1.79/L Economy 15.8L/100KM (Unloaded)
Distance 260km

As we had changed our planned route to Mt Dare we were spending an extra day in Alice Springs. We spent today exploring the East McDonald ranges. The East McDonalds provided us with breathtaking rock formations that seemed to change colour and texture as the day went on. We explored a couple of the aboriginal traditional sights and saw some rock art telling the story of the caterpillar that according to their legend formed the gaps in the ranges.







For our lunch stop we came across a 4wd only track to a place called Rocky Hole. This drive was something different. It weaved its way 4 km up a dry rocky creek bed to a small camp ground and picnic spot. After a quick bite to eat and discussions on how hard it would be to put tent pegs into this ground we went up into the rock hole for an explore.




Wombat even found a burrow!!!!

The Rocky hole turned out to be a series of rock pools and water falls that would be spectacular to see in the wet. Even in the dry this was a good photo opportunity.





We headed back to Alice Springs from here to check out the Ghan and watch it roll out of town. When we arrived at the Alice Springs Train Station it was apparent to us that the security and access restrictions that we are used to in the city were non-existent out here. We were able to drive right up to the train and get photos.




With the train preparing to roll out ourselves and the Wombats decided to go out to the southern side of town and watch the train roll out. Just as the train rounded the bend we all watched in utter amazement as a young aboriginal fellow bolted across the highway and up the embankment of the train track. As he did this the Ghan blew its horn which startled the guy – he face planted on the embankment maybe a carriage length from the front of the train. To any normal person this probably would have been enough however for this guy it was simply encouragement. Back on his feet he bolted across right in front of the train.





Day 7 29/7/13

Today was an early start – packed and leaving the park at 8:30am. With the sun just up and the vehicles fuelled we headed south east. Our plan was to head to Old Andado Station via Santa Teresa, we had been told that this road was far better than the old Ghan line and had better scenery.

It was only about 20 min out of Alice and we were on the dirt. After a quick drop in tyre pressure we were cruising along what could only be described as a dirt highway. It was about 4 lanes wide with a good surface. We pulled up on the outskirts of Santa Teresa to regroup before continuing on. Santa Teresa is an aboriginal mission and is closed to the public.

The road from Santa Teresa narrows and is far less maintained than the highway on which we had been driving so far. The scenery also started to change. We were seeing the starts of the desert with red dunes popping up one minute and then driving through rocky flood plains the next.



A short while down the track we hear “Fire” on the radio from the Boxxy’s. We quickly turned around and got back to Boxxy as the rest of the convoy pulled up. The smoke had been coming from behind the dash. After pulling the dash apart we discovered that the noise suppressor installed on the back of Boxxy’s UHF had failed and seemed to have burnt the UHF out. We patched this up and kept driving. Not 5 minutes later we hear “FIRE FIRE FIRE” over the UHF this time with far more urgency. I tell you it is the fasted u turn that I have ever done. As we pulled up Boxxy had the back doors open yanking the fridge out. The back of the car was on fire. In what could only be described as a 3 stodges moment Boxxy opened the rear passengers door to get a closer look at what was burning as I fully discharged a fire extinguisher into the rear cargo door. The fire was out however Boxxy would have the taste of Fire Extinguisher powder in his mouth for the rest of the trip.

Upon closer inspection the fridge cable had been caught in the fridge slide and caused a short. Due to the circuit breaker being in the front of the car and the short being in the back it had allowed the lead to heat up enough to catch fire before tripping. After a bit of bush mechanics on the side of the track we had the fridge working again and were back on the track.

The scenery changed constantly as the day went on. We had moments when we were traveling along with large rocky outcrops on one side and flood plain on the other and then sections where it was flat as far as the eye could see with nothing on the horizon.







It was late afternoon when we eventually rolled into Old Andado Station. Old Andado was the home of Molly and Mac Clarke early graziers in the area. Molly was one on the key drivers in the recognition of women on the land. Old Andado today is exactly as it was left when Molly walked out. It has a camp area out the back and a couple of cabins on site. The house itself still has food in the pantry and beds made. We were fortunate that when we arrived there was a caretaker onsite who had just made fresh scones and coffee that we could all share in. The property is maintained in tribute to Molly by her grandchildren.





Day 8 30/7/13

Mt Dare 73.17L @ $2.26/L Economy 16.5L/100KM

When we got into Old Andado the day before Wombat had been having some issues with his sub tank not pumping fuel into his main tank. Given this the decision was made to skip the centre pin and head straight to Mt Dare in case the issue got worse. We jerry rigged a direct wire to the transfer pump and put a switch under the bonnet.



We then spent a bit more time exploring the only homestead, out buildings and machinery. I also took this opportunity to propose to Vicki who happily accepted.







Heading out mid morning the scenery began to change again. The first part of the trip was up and over dunes before we entered the Finke river flood plain where we experienced bull dust and narrowing of the tracks. As we got to the intersection just out of Mt Dare we turned onto the Old Ghan Track. Just the couple of km’s that did on this track was enough for us to know we had made the right choice going down the Old Andado Track instead.









Mt Dare was a welcome site as was the cabin accommodation and hot meal. One of the seasonal staff at Mt Dare was from the Bayside Offroaders Club.




Day 9 31/7/13

After a cooked breakfast at Mt Dare we headed out with todays destination being Dalhousie Springs. We initially took the detour to check out Blood Creek however part way along the road was closed. After back tracking we followed the main track towards Dalhousie. The track was rough and full of gibbers. It proved slow going.



We arrived at Dalhousie just on lunch. As we drove in there was a Dingo sunning himself on the side of the track. The camp ground was fairly churned up from some recent rain which made finding a flat spot difficult. After setting up camp and a quick bite it was time for a swim. The water was warm and relaxing. The fish nibbled away the dirt of the last few days.




The afternoon spent playing botche with Jay and Wombat being crowned the Motley 2013 Desert Champions.
As the evening rolled on the camp site began to fill with people still coming in late into the night. The Dingo we had seen earlier was now roaming the camp sites along with a couple of others. They were not at all phased by humans and even managed to drag Wombats rubbish bag off the back of his ute.

Before bed Wombat, DJ and I went for an evening dip. It was a nice way to finish the night.

Day 10 1/8/13

We broke camp and headed off for our first actual day in the Desert. From Dalhousie we headed to Purnie Bore for morning tea – this turned into a very quick stop as the flies were incredible!

We stoped for the obligatory photo at the start of the desert and then started our crossing. The French line was chopped up from heavy traffic and we took the first opportunity we could to get off it and headed down the Rigg Road and onto the WAA line. Out first night in the desert was spent on the abandoned air strip at Georges Junction. The flies dies down with the sun but were quickly replaced with moths. Laying in the tent it was like it was raining as they were colliding with the outside of the tent.










Day 11 2/8/13

We continued along the WAA Line which proved slow going. We had steep soft dunes close together that made progress slow however the scenery more than made up for this. At the intersection of the WAA and Erabena Track we headed south down to the Lone Gum for lunch.





The Lone Gum is a lonely Coolabah tree hidden between a couple of dunes. It is one of the key attractions in the desert. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter where you go there are people that just have to try and damage things or take samples. The tree and its information board were both damaged.




We back tracked from the lone gum up to the rig road and then cut across to the Knolls track. While running back up to the Rig Road the latch on my wheel carrier snapped the weld and came open. This was quickly fixed with a spare ratchet strap and we were back underway.  The Rig Road was a quicker and easier track to transverse and we were able to make up for some lost time. We also go out first glimpses of salt pans across this track.



We made camp just after the intersection of the Knolls Track and Rig Road.



Day 12 3/8/13

The Knolls track was one of the highlights of this crossing. It is the lease travelled track in the Simpson Desert, particularly down the southern end. It was change again in the scenery and in track conditions. At the northern end of the Knolls Track we went past the Approdinna Attora Knolls  which are flat top hills in amongst the desert dunes. Once again this gave us a different outlook.



Shortly after passing the Approdinna Attora Knolls we re-joined the French Line. The French Line was heavily cut up and was littered with rubbish and toilet paper from where people had failed to have the common courtesy to at least dig a hole to go to the toilet. Our goal for today was to get past Poeppels and start on the QAA Line. The condition of the French line made this hard going.



We had been radioed by a fellow group of Queenslanders that were ahead of us on the track about an upcoming dune. They advised us the middle track was the way to go. When we arrived at this dune I took the middle track – got 2/3rd of the way up and got stuck so I went round. Next was Boxxy’s turn he made it to about the same point but buried himself to the side steps. Frantically he tried to free himself with the shovel but in the end he needed help from a Toyota. Both DJ and Wombat made if over no issue.








 We eventually reached Poeppels just after 2 pm and after fighting the flies for a photo we were back in the car. We back tracked south to the French Line and then headed east to the K1 Line as after reviewing the map we deemed this as the track that was most likely least travelled and as such smoothest – we were right. The track ran 18km up the edge of a salt pan where we were able to maintain a speed of 60-80km/h. Once on the QAA Line we made camp about 8 km east of the border back into Queensland.





Along the French Line and QAA Line there are no shortages of camp sites. It is easy to imagine the area would be busier than a Noosa Caravan park at Christmas during School Holidays. The only thing that was in short supply was fir wood. Fortunately we had been collecting it throughout the day. This was the only camp site where it was scares.
Tonight we celebrated Bron’s Birthday – rumour has it she was the big 21 today!!!!!! Some dressed for the occasion.









Day 13 4/8/13

Early in the morning Wombat made the prediction of making Big Red at about 2pm – little did we know what today held for us.

The track continued to be rough and chewed up. As the dunes spread apart we had clay flats between them however these simply held endless corrugations. We only had about 80km to cover today but it was slow going.

Mid morning Foxwing 1 (DJ and Kerri) came across the radio with a need to pull up due to a strange noise in the car. Upon closer inspection it was discovered that the front mount on the fuel tank had cracked clean off. After a little bit of consideration and a big ratchet strap from Wombat DJ was able to resecure the tank into the car and we were back on the road.



The dunes become further apart and the scenery between them began to change. We eventually reached the Eyre Creek flood plain which indicated only 18km to Big Red. We made the push and amazingly made it just after 2pm!





Wombat made the first attempt at big red and he got very close but ran out of snot. After a couple of more failed attempts it was our turn. We had the tyres down and followed Rumpig’s advise of Low 3rd. We got over the rough section at the bottom and then buried the boot – the Cruiser went up and over the top with little effort at all. We sat ontop of Big Red while Wombat, Boxxy and DJ continued to try to make it up. Next Boxxy was up (once he turned his chip on!) then Wombat and finally with some additional support from Wombat DJ made it over the top.












He headed into Birdsville for a steak at the Pub and a hot shower at the caravan park.  After settling in we wondered over to the pub for tea. I had been dreaming of a steak at the pub since leaving Alice – as luck would have It, it was Roast night at the pub. Even though this was the case we really enjoyed it – it was a great meal.

Day 14 05/08/13

120L of Diesel @ $1.79/L Economy 19.28L/100
Total distance (Mt Dare to Birdsville) 622km

Today was down as a rest day in Birdsville. It was nice to just wonder around town and check out the sites. We began with a pie or 3 at the Bakery and worked out way back to the Caravan Park via the Visitor information Centre.







Both DJ and I also had a couple welding jobs done by the mechanic at the Birdsville Roadhouse. His prices and service were excellent. He seems to do a roaring trade this time of year with a constant flow of customers with broken vehicles and parts and no other viable option.





The day also saw Guido and Lady Boxxy make an appearance……
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 03:47:11 PM by Paddington »

Dixie

  • Guest
Re: Report - Motley Desert Tour 2013
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2013, 04:02:11 PM »
WOW

Awesome photo's Kris   :D   :D

Makes me sad tho to think that we had to cancel our trip 26days out from leaving   :'(