Simpson Desert crossing
3 weeks duration
7,500 kms ( 4650 miles )
We under took this journey in December 1995.
Details are are bit thin on the ground now as it was 7 years ago as I write this. This was our first trip in the new Cherokee and it was going to be interesting to see how it would perform. The XJ drew a lot of attention along the way and in most places it was the first time one had ever been seen due to the fact that the XJ had only been released in Australia for the first time in July the year before. We headed for the Flinders Ranges which is a very popular place to go with a 4wd in South Australia and the tracks can range from easy to very hard so there is something for everyone.
Aroona Flinders Ranges
The Flinders Ranges were covered from Alligator Gorge to the Gammon Ranges at the top and everything in between. There are plenty of things to see and do but can be crowded in school holidays and when the wild flowers are out. As we were after the flower season and before the holidays it was very quiet and had the place to ourselves most of the time. It was however quite hot being in the high 30's ( 100*F ) so hiking in the afternoons was out. Aroona had a great camping spot as there was water and plenty of shade. Had the fright of lives when we going for a moon light walk and must have scared a big kangaroo as he suddenly bounded off and into a wire fence next to us which 'twanged' really loudly.
Male Emu with 3 chicks at Brachina Gorge
One advantage of this time of year is that we saw a lot of wild life as they have to come to drink at the remaining pools of water. Above is a photo of a male Emu with his chicks that we had to wait to pass in front of us will driving down the dry river bed. You can tell it is a male as it them that incubate the eggs and bring up the young. The area is full of stunning scenery every where you look and we took as many off the beaten tracks that we could.
Old Copper mine Glass Gorge and a relic of the eraSome new tracks had just been opened that allow you to travel over private land and as one of the first to do this it was exciting knowing that few had ever seen these areas before. Above was one of the places that we found and it was full of old ruins from a copper mine that had been setup after doing a test tunnel that show very high copper content. A company was formed and floated on the stock exchange in England where the investors had all the buildings made and a smelter built etc. before more digging was done only to find that it ran out only a few metres further in! This old car was also found next to a dry creek bed on the way out but I don't know what it is as it not a 4wd!