Swiss Offroad Center

Expedition across the Simpson Desert to Melbourne on 17 April - 13 May 2008

IBS Stand at the 4x4 show in Brisbane
TJM Stand
IBS Land Cruiser outside of the building
View of the skyline of Brisbane

After the 4WD show in Brisbane:

  End of April took place the national 4WD exhibition in Brisbane. IBS LandCruiser was in Brisbane during the last 6 months, at TJM to be presented on the stand of TJM together
with the presentation of the new generation of DBi and IBS Dual Battery systems with microprocessors. Because the car was already in Brisbane for the exhibition, we were able to plan a short trip through the Simpson Desert, this journey I undertook for the 5th Time.

Travel from Brisbane to the Simpson Desert about 1700 km

All previously conducted operations through the Simpson Desert rarely presented technical problems, only the last transit in Aug / September 2005 with the LC J100 on the "Big Red" where the turbo charger burst crossing the high sand dune in the Simpson Desert of Australia demanded a long repair time.

This time we took the crossing in the opposite direction, from east to west, which are known to the driver with a lot more problems because the climbs are on the sand dunes in this direction, much steeper.

The ride over 1700km from Brisbane to Birdsville leads the first 1000km of paved roads, where the main road is chosen. For a change, we chose a detour through the Carnarvon Gorge NP on the southern entrance. Most roads are sand tracks, the area is very remote, but the scenery is worth seeing. The second detour took us over Adavale. The sandy track led us through very remote farmland in the Outback. Here, we first tested the newly purchased software Touratech, together with Australia's Net map view in conjunction with the new 8.4 inch touch screen monitor. This navigation system helped us find the way through the isolated farm stations at all.

The high accuracy of the electronic map with the GPS by Carmin here convinced, as in the Simpson Desert by a good combination of both.

Ranger Station in the Carnavron National Park
View in Carnavron NP
way to Adavale

From Charleyville to Adavale

Main street of Charleyville
Vantage point well before Adavale
Memorial for a helicopter crash
Pub in Adavale

From Adavale to Windorrah at Coopers Creek

Cattle near Adavale
Windorrah Camping


Coopers Creek at Windorrah
Bridge over Coopers Creek

Birdsville, the door to Simpson Desert

Birdsville Hotel
The famous bar at the Birdsville Hotel

At Birdsville were refilled everything needed. Now it was the Simpson Desert in the west. Fully loaded with 260 lt diesel, water, all the necessary food LCruiser had a fairly high weight. The tire pressure was now reduced to 26psi and the dune "Big Red" and the following larger dunes we crossed without difficulty. It was during these days, hardly any traffic. In the morning we crossed a group with 2 cars, both were on the road without a "dune flag". Such people take the risk of serious injuries driving to the head of a dune on a track. The next group we went with the CB radio and exchanged our GPS coordinates, so we knew exactly where the others were. So we met us to build our shared camp, we shared a few whiskeys and beers and told us some good stories while we sat outback on common campfire. The Nissan Patrol of our friends was short on diesel and the engine showed an alarm light. The other was a Ford Ranger 4WD with a Northstar cabin. The car worked perfectly until a pneumatic spring element on one side lost. Desert crossings take their toll!

In the Simpson Desert

after crossing the Big Red
Another dune to cross
Camping with random acquaintances in Simpson Desert
The joint fire is being prepared
Overnight camp in Simpson Desert
Sign on Poeppels Corner
Poeppels Corner, in the center Australia
Spinifex near the Düne

From Poeppels Corner to Innamincka

The route took us along the QAA line to Poeppl Corner, where we drove along the French Line track to the knolls track to the south. As far as the dunes were easy to cross and we were preoccupied with photographing the beautiful landscapes. But also video sessions were recorded.

Further south, the Knolls track road leads into the rig road, which is well developed by the transport of heavy machinery, and thus allows an easy passage, as last time for me and Johnatan in Sept. 2005 has been the case. We drove now in the direction of K1 line and found that everything had changed in relation to the sand dunes fundamental thing: We found large sand dunes, where last time stood little sand. Approximately 250km from Poeppl Corner The situation was critical. Normally, a sand dune crossing can not determine in advance exactly how the steepness of the dunes on both sides is, and where the track goes on. But 10 km separated us from the K1 line, the track became higher and higher, covered with soft sand, which showed up to 6 m high. Because we were travelling alone, the situation with the many sand dunes was uncomfortable. We had a high weight of our vehicle. I came to the conclusion that I am only allowed to drive over a dune, on a track when I could run over them without a stop. The Tire pressure was lowered to 22 psi in order to ensure the best possible traction, and still the risk of burrowing in the sand was our permanent risk. The high dunes ribs were spaced about 1 km on us. Each new dune, we first walked by foot, in order to know the exact path and slope to. Normally, we tried to stay on the predefined track, but on a sand dune outside of the track we were looking for a safe passage.

The penultimate dune almost ended in a nightmare. After we had crossed by foot the dune, we thought we had found a safe passage. But the LC lost on the first rib so much torque that he did not cross the second rib. The first rib with a slight rise afterwards made a return to the begining of the dune impossible. Questions about the dig of the LC with the help of Air Jack, a lack of sand sheets of metal or plastic, went through my head. I reminds me of a situation in the Sahara where I could push the LC using the small reverse, with virtually no gas, on the sand ridge behind the wheel, and succeeded here, the differential heave out of the sand. Now a very quick change of gear was needed and with full torque of the LC drove over the dunes. This was very close!

But according to Murphy's Law, the last dune was the most difficult. And a diversion we could not decide. Over the dunes across the track, we could already see the K1 signals. Reversing drive and 300 km, in addition? The rise of the dune was very soft and very steep and we could make the track of other drivers. I decided to test-rise to see how far I would come up without ever using the peak of the LC to take you to a safe reversing. With enough torque, I had the LC high into the air. First course, second course on the lip in first gear with the highest speed. The LC landed safely on the other side of the dune.

  At the 4x4 Show in Brisbane next door to TJM Stand, the salesmen offered a "Maxtrack" Plastic support, which can be a help in such cases out of a jam. This was the first time that I was needing such a Plastic support which would have been helpful.


Through Simpson Desert
Knolls Track

From Innamincka to Broken Hill

The continuation of the journey via Warburton, and Walker's Crossing to Innamincka was relaxed drive along the great sand dunes.

Greetings Beat Wyss and Martin Wyss

Passage without flooding?
Sunset on the Road K1
The same sand dune in the morning light
Walker's Crossing
In gas fields are working intensively
The Coopers Creek is crossed at Innamincka
Canoeing on the Coopers Creek to the Pellikans
View of the Coopers Creek
Filming with TJM
The long journey from Innamincka to Broken Hill

Farwell from Innamincka

Farewell to the Innamincka Homested
Bore Track