There are no plans to run this trip again at this stage but we may
in the future and you will have the chance to join a 4wd tag
along tour traveling to one of Australia's most remote
desert regions, you are unlikely to know, or meet, anyone else
that has been through an Australian region as remote as this, ever.
A once in a lifetime opportunity for sure.
You will be following the route taken by Australian 4x4 Tag Along
Tours in July 2014 and each year for five years since on a Hay
River 4wd tag along tour through an area where there are little
or no tracks whatsoever for almost three days. There are little or
no tracks because no vehicles other than those travelling with
Australian 4x4 travel through this region, and that is only once a
year, and our tracks of the year before have either re-vegetated or
Nature has a habit of reclaiming her own and has certainly done it
very well out there. We will have 14 days for the trip and a
lot of fun is in store for those 14 days.
So where will we go and what does this Never Never Track and Hay
River Track 4wd Tag Along Tour involve
In July 2014 Australian 4x4 Tag Along Tours had the unique
opportunity on our desert trip to travel through one of the most
remote regions, if not the remotest region in the North Simpson
Desert with John Cantrell, the owner of this business, as tour guide
and trip leader.
John has decades of 4wd driving experience, both in Australia and
extensively overseas and sometimes in extremely remote places, and
is one of New South Wales leading recreational 4wd driver training
businesses under the banner of Australian 4x4 Driver Training.
Our original route through the North Simson Desert took us from
Batton Hill to Mt Knuckey via Mt Barrington and south of the Adam
Ranges and then east again and back onto the Hay River Track at Lake
Caroline. Some of the subsequent trips have travelled much the same
route, others have travelled from Mt Barrington to the Tropic of
Capricorn on the Hay River Track depending on the conditions that we
find when we are out there.
The original journey to Mt Knuckey and then to Lake Caroline was
through country without any tracks and gave the trip participants an
almost unique experience in Australia these days - the opportunity
to travel approximately 185 kilometres with absolutely no tracks to
follow of which about 125 kilometres no vehicle had ever been
through. The original trip was over 12 days but subsequent years
have seen that increased to 14 days so that we could visit other
iconic Outback destinations after we had finished our North Simpson
and Simpson Desert crossing.
We will leave Marree as usual on day one with us heading for
Oodnadatta and the Pink Roadhouse, our route will take us via Lake
Eyre South and William Creek. Next on the list will be the
ruins of the old Dalhousie Homestead before having the chance to
swim in a mound spring at Dalhousie Springs, with its constant water
temperature. Mt Dare Hotel will be our next stop.
Mt Dare is always a great destination and they look after us very
well whilst they are our hosts, a good feed if you don't want to
cook yourself, great camp site and, normally, excellent showers.
The Never Never and Hay River Tracks 4wd Tag Along Tour heads next
for Alice Springs but first we pay a visit to the old Homestead of
the recently deceased Molly (Mac) Clark at OldAndado. Very
interesting and she must have been a very resiliant lady.
We have a choice of routes for the next leg of our journey towards
the North Simpson Desert, either up the Stuart and Plenty Highways,
not much happening along there, or we can take the route through the
East McDonnell Ranges, great scenery but a longer route and,
therefore, a longer day.
It's now into the desert and the start of the main reason why we are
there, the Never Never and Hay River Tracks 4wd Tag Along Tour.
After a good nights sleep we will make a start towards Mt Knuckey to
the south east and 125 or so kilometres away and, if no other
vehicles have been through since our July 2014 trip, there will be
no visible tracks for almost the next three days. Heading back
to the Hay River Track from Mt Knuckey and a distance of a little
over 50 kilometres should see us camping that night a little south
of Lake Caroline, and our first night of desert camping on a
On a clear night, and nearly all of them are, the stars will blow
your mind. Breathtaking with a 360 degree panoramic vision of more
stars than you ever knew existed.
Towards the end of the Hay River Track we head west for a short
distance as we cross Shotline. If we meet anyone along this stretch,
it is fairly rare to do so, they always seem just a bit jealous of
us. You will find out why when we do it.
We are pretty much onto the home run into Birdsville now but not
without a stop at Poeppel Corner to view the mark where South
Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory meet, a
crossing of Eyre Creek and a climb of Big Red.
Will you and your vehicle make it to the top of Big Red or will you
have to resort to using one of the many chicken tracks?
Birdsville has the promise of a welcome hot shower and most will
probably opt for a meal at the iconic Birdsville Pub before we head
for Innaminka via Walkers Crossing and possibly even the Old, or
Inside, Birdsville Track.
Innamincka is one of my favourite Outback destinations with its
picturesque setting alongside the magnificent Cooper Creek.
Innamincka and Cooper Creek are the centre of interest around the
fated Burke and Wills expedition and the misfortune that fell on
them and King on their return from the Gulf.
Would be good if we could stay here for a while but we will need to
move along, however, not before we have the chance to visit some of
Next stop Cameron Corner via the Old Strezlecki Track, Merty Merty
and what used to be the Yellow Bus. An evening at Cameron
Corner will let you play a round of golf in three states if you like
or to stand on the spot that marks the joining point of New South
Wales, South Australia and Queensland, the store is actually in
Queensland, only just, or just chill out and enjoy the hospitality
of Fenn and Cheryl over a cuppa, or even a cold something.
On our last day and now through the dog fence and into the Sturt
National Park as we head for Tibooburra, Milparinka and, finally,
Australian 4x4 tag Along Tours will supply a fully equipped support
vehicle for this Never Never and Hay River Tracks, Simpson Desert
and Outback 4wd tag along tour that will have any required recovery
equipment, satellite phone, personal locator beacon, first aid kit
and so on.