Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Going through the Simpson Desert - By Jake Lumsden

Jake Lumsden is our nine year old grandson who lives in New Zealand with his parents and younger brother and sister.  The photos below are of Jake and his brother, Tim aged 8, preparing to leave their mum and sister at the Auckland Airport. 

They travelled the trip from Melbourne to Townsville via the Simpson Desert with us and this is Jake's account of his trip.

Jake and Tim at Auckland Airport
Prior to departure
Little Sister Zoe there to supervise

A snack before they board

Zoe watches them leave -
no she doesn't turn around
Zoe they are out of the window

Going - Going Gone

Getting ready to go
Today my younger brother Tim and I travelled on our own to Melbourne. Our plane arrived at 5.30pm in Melbourne.  The air host came and got us through customs and through the final doors to where Nan and Grandad were.  The air host checked Nan’s ID so they could tell she was the right person to leave us with. Finally we could go to bed we were really tired. The Patrol was partly packed already we just needed to finish it in the morning.  Connor arrived late tonight once we had gone to bed.  Connor is my cousin that is going to be travelling with us turned up.   
The next day we are packed ready to go. Today we are going from Melbourne to Mildura it was 545 km’s. About 20 km’s out of Mildura we had to throw all of our fruit out because of the risk of spreading fruit flies in the area because of the excellent citrus fruit grown in the area.  They grow lots of grapes, limes, mandarins and oranges.
Having our first meal in Australia

Today we travelled 380 km’s to Burra. At Burra we saw some fossils at the town council building. There was the skull and part of the spine.

Burra is 150 km’s north of the Mildura and the Murray River.  Also known as the mighty Murray, because when the settlers came to Australia they used the Murray for food E.G fish, transport and water from the river to water their crops but they couldn’t drink it because it is so muddy so they had to find fresh water lakes that leads to the Murray. 

Our cabin
A steam paddler on the Murray


Today we travelled 380 km’s to Leigh Creek. Did you know that Leigh creek was built for the excellent coal mining, they fill a 2.8 km train every day and that makes up 50% of South Australia’s power?

Today we travelled 365 km’s to William Creek. William Creek only has one pub and no shops. Tonight is our first night in the tents and in the tent it will be for the rest of the trip until we get to Townsville. Today I used my fly net for the first time on this trip.
Today we travelled 380 km’s to Oodnadatta.     
The pink roadhouse
Our plans were to stay at Oodnadatta but we continued on to Hamilton station.  The flies there were so annoying.

The flies at Hamilton station
Today we travelled 255 km’s to Dalhousie Springs. At Dalhousie Springs there is a billabong that is 38 degrees hot. In the billabong there was a little type of goby that only lived in that billabong called the Dalhousie goby that nibbled at the dead skin on your feet and when you ran your hand over your feet it was so smooth. During the day the flies were all over you but at night there were mosquitoes which were all over you!   

At the beginning of the
Simpson Desert
Today we travelled 150 km’s to our first night in the dessert bypassing Purni Bore. The bore at Purni Bore is 3-5 km’s deep and 85 degrees hot and is filled with mud and animal droppings. After lunch we headed into the Simpson Desert.

Today we travelled 50 km’s to the second night in the desert.
Me on the sled

Tim playing with the whip
Me playing with the whip

Today we travelled 115 km’s to Poeppel’s Corner. Poeppel’s Corner is where the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland all meet.      

Today we travelled 120 km’s to Birdsville.  We went over Big Red. Big Red is the largest sand dune in the whole of Australia!!     

Big red!!
In Birdsville there were lots and lots of road trains!!!           

 One of many road trains
Today we travelled 380 km’s to Boulia. We also saw some small planes that look a lot like the Royal Flying Doctor Service but sadly they were not the Royal Flying Doctor Service.L   When we were nearly there we saw a man rounding up his horses and in among all the horses we saw a camel!!  
Today we travelled 380 km’s to Winton.  At Winton there is the Waltzing Matilda Centre.

At Winton there is also the Age of the Dinosaur’s museum. There are two main dinosaur’s named Banjo and Matilda. Banjo is a small carnivore and Matilda a large plant eater.  Matilda and Banjo were buried together. They think that Matilda killed Banjo with her tail.
Today we travelled 420 km’s to Campaspe River. Tonight we used the brazier for the first time on this trip!! (It wasn’t the best of fires) Grandad thought that the road trains were going through the middle of the two tents! Because we were camping right next to the road and the road trains were very noisy through the night.

Tim enjoying poking the brazier
Today we travelled 250 km’s to Townsville! Tonight we are staying in a camp ground at the camp ground there is a swimming pool and a jumping pillow. The camp ground we stayed at was called Big 4.  I highly recommend it if you have children.

Today we travelled 15 km’s to the house that Nan and Grandad are house sitting for the family that live there who are going to America for a month. They have one dog named Jessie. Jessie is a white and brown Dalmatian.
Today we travelled 450 km’s to Cairns to catch our plane home to New Zealand. On the way to the airport we had to stop for a sugarcane train.  It went 0.5 km’s an hour that was so slow that it took 10 minutes to pass.   By 10.00 o’clock we were at the airport and checked in and were sitting down waiting for the air hostess to come and get us so while we waited we got a pie to eat.  When we were finished the air hostess came and got us.
We arrived in at Auckland at 6.30 pm.
I’d like to say thanks to Nan and Grandad for giving me this opportunity to go through the Simpson Desert. I know not a lot for people get to go through the Simpson Desert. 
Thanks a lot. J      
By Jake


  1. Hi Gill, Peter and Connor (and the NZ boys Jake and Tim) What a great trip through the Simpson Desert,
    Still enjoying your travels. I am looking forward to my next one but where and when I don't know!
    Cheers Spiderwoman!

    1. Hi there Barb,

      Nice to hear from you. Trust that all's well in your part of the world. Let us know when you get out on the road again, although we have watched out must admit haven't meet up with another spiderwoman yet on the road.

      Gill & Peter