The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry] – Robert Burns
Everybody knows the Sydney Opera House & Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, Uluru, and the Great Barrier Reef. But there are many other places that are just as magnificent that you’ve probably never heard of or, …
The Australian outback is not all flat, endless plains. The countryside is constantly changing – rainforest, floodplains (and drought plains), ‘jump up’ country, rivers, deserts, sand dunes, and red dust are some of the things …
You’re thinking about visiting Australia, and want to make the most of your time here. You’ve checked the web for the best places to visit, and come up with your list of places to see. …
I will not pretend I wasn’t petrified. I was. But mixed in with the awful fear was a glorious feeling of excitement. Most of the really exciting things we do in our lives scare us …
Day 1. 89k into the Simpson Desert
I don’t like to admit it at the beginning of a trip, but I was a bit worried. I decided to come into Dalhousie from Oodnadatta rather than go through to Mount Dare. That meant an additional 130k worth of fuel usage before I started in the desert. I’d calculated that from Oodnadatta, based on all information I had, I would make it through the Simpson and have around 10 litres of petrol left when I got to Birdsville. Not a lot, and no room for error, but I was fairly confident. Sort of. The car had been using a lot of fuel before I got the head gasket fixed, but it was ok now. Wasn’t it? Problem is, if I ran out of fuel most other people passing would have diesel, so it might take a while before I could get any help.
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/what-is-it-really-like-to-drive-across-the-simpson-desert-part-1/
Right on the western edge of the Simpson Desert Dalhousie Springs is either the first or the last point in a Simpson Crossing. And it was where I was heading from Adelaide to start my desert adventure properly. Straight up the Ooodnadatta Track, past Lake Eyre, and on to the desert. Because of my enforced layover in Adelaide I had no time to stop anywhere. The Ooodnadatta Track would have to wait for another trip.
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/dalhousie-springs-an-oasis-in-the-desert/
So much for my triumphant setting off to go to the desert.
I got as far as Adelaide where I finally conceded. The car is at the mechanic’s getting a new head gasket.
Despite (or perhaps because of) driving 1700k in 2 days OK, the problem is getting worse. Water is being pushed out of the radiator and the engine is overheating (in that order). It is also guzzling petrol, and that is getting worse too. I was considering driving home to get it looked at, but I’m not sure I would make it that far. I also don’t think I can afford the petrol at this rate!! My fuel consumption has increased by about 60%.
So I’m still in Adelaide. There are worse places to be.
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/adelaide-the-worlds-best-wine-regions-and-not-a-bad-place-to-be-stranded/
I’m starting to think my little Suzuki doesn’t actually like adventures.
I was supposed to leave last week for outback South Australia and the Simpson Desert. That is, until something went wrong with my cooling system – the day before I was due to leave.
Doc is a mechanic, so he not only gives the car a full service, he checks everything over very carefully to make sure it’s all ok for an outback trip.
Yet, last time I started having car trouble almost as soon as I left home.
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/getting-your-car-ready-for-a-big-trip/
One of the best things about going on holidays is thinking about where to go. And while doing that, looking back on where you have been.
Should I go somewhere completely new? Or go back to somewhere I really enjoyed before?
Parachilna or Woomera? Uluru via Oodnadatta, or the Simpson?
Australia is such a vast country that you can travel for years and not see it all. Or you can go back to familiar places via a new route. Some places just keep drawing you back.
Here are my top five places to visit again, all of which, except Uluru, are not on the main tourist lists: Continue reading
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/top-five-places-to-revisit-in-australia/
“Driving on the beach is different to driving in the desert” said Doc “See if you can stay in the other tracks.”
Great advice, if I could identify which set of tracks he meant.
We were on the beach at Stockton. Around 17km of driving over mainly soft sand, with dunes stretched tantalisingly alongside you as you drive along the beach. Tantalisingly, because that’s what I wanted to practice – dunes – and that’s where you aren’t allowed to go.
Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/beach-driving-more-preparation-for-the-simpson-desert/