The heart of this Off Road Icons trip will be undertaken during four epic days from the morning the convoy departs Mount Dare.
From Mount Dare, day three is a short 80km trip to Dalhousie Springs. A small trip out to the Dalhousie Ruins and then back to the inland springs which border the almighty Simpson Desert for a day of soaking and relaxation. The Dalhousie Springs are a must see for any Outback Australian traveler, and as the crew are planning, be sure to allow yourself a good amount of time to soak up the surrounds and enjoy the unique proposition of a desert waterhole.
Day 4 will see our Icons hit their first sand dune of the Simpson Desert. Traveling west to east. The old (and new) trucks will ease themselves into the Simpson with some small 3 – 4 meter high dunes which start around 40kms out from Dalhousie Springs as they head for ‘The French Line’.
The French Line is the most commonly traveled route across the Simpson Desert connecting Dalhousie Springs to the famous Poeppel’s Corner. The ARB Off Road Icons will be deviating from the French Line early and onto the southern WAA Line before a quick jaunt north up the Colson Track to a campsite that is considered one of the best in the park.
(For first time travelers, remember that many parks in our Outback require park passes/permits to enter, so be sure to conduct all your research well in advance.)
Day 5 will see the drivers heading south, back down the Colson Track, returning onto the WAA Line and continuing east into the heart of the Simpson. Dropping south again off the WAA Line the group will swing past the Lone Gum and the Pooloowanna Oil Well before heading northbound once more to rejoin the French Line and head for Poeppel Corner to set up camp.
Poeppel Corner is named after Augustus Poeppel who in the mid 1880s, with the assistance of some camels and chains which were dragged behind, located the corner of Queensland, Northern Territory and South Australia marking the point with a coolibah post. The story goes, that the chain stretched with all the dragging and while the initial point was not accurate it was relocated some years later.
Day 6 will see the convoy continue east through the Simpson toward Birdsville. The two iconic landmarks along the way are Eyre Creek, which is known to flood after the wet winters, and will likely be diverted via Annandale ruins and then back down to and over the largest of the 1100 dunes of the Simpson Desert, Big Red.
Big Red stands 40 meters high and is the largest and most notable dune of the Simpson Desert, either the first you approach or the last you drop down from/into Birdsville. On this occasion, Big Red will represent the final dune crossing for the 4 Icons and a great achievement for any new traveler crossing the Simpson.
The group will descend on the Birdsville pub for the evening reminiscing of the day past, and yet still with so many great days of adventure, landmarks, and history to discover.