Big Bad Red

Chris was keen to do the run up Big Red. He took an easy track to drop me off at the top, so I could take pics. He lowered tyre pressure even more and went back down.

View of the road heading towards Birdsville.

View back the way we had come over the Simpson Desert.

First attempt failed just short of the top as did the second, each time he took a bigger run up.

But after several more attempts trying different tactics he got to the top and conquered Big Red. Really is bigger and steeper than it looks.

Go you good thing 🙂

Yeah he made it 🙂

Awesome view from the top, and it really is red. We had arvo tea on the top enjoying the view.

We aired back up at the bottom ready to do the last run back into Birdsville.

Woohoo, we made it. There and back different tracks each way on some pretty rough tracks, with no damage to either the Ute or us, well done to us. One more ticked of the bucket list.

The trailer never looked so good. The solar had kept the fridge and freezer running and was fully charged. After hooking up we had a shower at the van park and the shower was soooooooo good. Good old-fashioned shower heads with lots of pressure. We headed back to the Windmill camping for the night.

Poeppel Corner

Another one of the markers showing distance, with someone’s added creation.

We did the slight detour into Poeppel Corner, that’s the three corners for us now, great view over the lake. Poepple Corner marks the junction of three states.

We popped back onto the small section of French Line to finish it all before hooking onto a small bit of the K1 line before we turned onto the QAA.

Going across the salt lakes is fun, it’s crazy seeing all the wheel ruts where people have got bogged when it was wet, some are very deep.

The QAA was also pretty rough, the scenery constantly changes.

We came across a couple of vehicles one was a Ford Ranger that had broken a front strut. The sad thing about it was they had done the other one a few days ago at the start of the QAA and one of their group had done a run into Birdsville, twice to get the new strut. Now they were taking off the other one to do another run into town in the hope of getting it fixed.

We could smell Big Red, we were nearly there, ready and willing to tackle the biggest sand dune on the Simpson.

Haddon Corner

Thurs – 5/4/12

We had a few problems last night 5kms out of Birdsville that we won’t go into but we had the help of a very friendly local named Glenn who helped us out. It wasn’t until after 8pm that we were back on the road. Glenn told us we couldn’t camp near the river as it was closed off due to the river rising and to watch out for snakes as they were on the move due to the rising river.The lady at the info centre said its expected to rise enough to restrict access in and out to 4wd and be up until the end of April. Glen said to head down the Birdsville track a few km’s and make camp which is what we did, it was quite late by the time we hit the sack.

Away from water the flies are really bad, apparently they have only come out in the last few days. We woke to black spots on the outside of the canvas. Glenn gave us some local knowledge of a product you can by from the Mobile servo (also saw it at the Innamincka Trading Post) its a thick cream made with Rosemary and Cedarwood from Nature’s Botanical. He said it stinks but every one wears it so no one notices the smell. Certainly clears the nose.

We took a drive out to see big red, access to the Simpson was closed this way, due to water at the base of big red on the Birdsville side. We could get to the info area just before big red and see it and the water in the distance. An amazing site.

The Diamantina River is 500m at its narrowest and we were told over 60kms wide at its widest. Wow that’s impressive. They were excited at the info centre because the bakery opened again today, its been closed for the last 5 months.

It looked like the Birdsville pub was closed in the morning so we will have to check inside next trip. The hotel was built in 1884 and was the third and final hotel built in Birdsville. In 1905 a cyclone leveled some of out buildings. There have been several fires in the hotel. The Birdsville pub is one of the most famous outback pubs.

The Royal Hotel built in 1883 was the second hotel to be built in town. It ran as a pub for 40 yrs before being converted to a hospital in 1923. It ran as a hospital for 14 yrs. It is now listed for restoration and preservation by the National Trust.

Driving out of town there is another body of water that has come up since we past it late yesterday, nearly up to the road. It will be across very soon and maybe where the town gets cuts off, not sure.

It’s so flat and nothing to see really, few red sandhills with low green vegetation, but mostly flat, isolated, yet that is the beauty of the place. It seems like another country compared to the cities, the coast, hustle and bustle of the traffic and people. I think the dryness, dust, flies, harshness of the climate and the isolation would get to you after a while but it is an awesome place to visit, despite the flies.

We had a quick lunch in the ute of pan fried toasted cheese and tomato sandwhich yum.

24kms down the turnoff to Haddon Corner we had a flat tyre. Rotten day to have a flat it would be 40 degrees out there. The heat knocked poor Chris around. I bought him the cold water.

Yeah another corner done.

As you get close to Haddon Corner where SA and QLD borders meet you go over a couple of sand dunes. They’re narrow and you cannot see other cars coming, flags would be a good idea in here. You can camp at Haddon Corner, it’s flat, open and at 4pm was still very hot, too hot to set up.

So we took some pics, signed the visitors book and headed back out thinking we may as go until it gets a lot cooler to set up camp

In case any one is wondering why we choose to come out here when it was so hot, well it wasn’t when we left. We have been watching the temps for weeks and they weren’t this hot. Appears nature is having its last blast of hot weather before winter. Our eldest son asked why we had travelled 100’s of KM’s on dirt road to be pestered by 100’s of flies? Our answer, cause it’s fun 🙂

We saw a large group of emus coming out from the corner. They stopped to check us out so we were able to get a few shots.

We stopped for the night 75kms out of Windorah. Just a pull off the road but it was very quiet. We had pizza cooked in the webber for tea, yummo. 410 km’s travelled on mostly dirt roads.