Mt Dare to Purni Bore

After a good rest at the last bastion of hospitality we’ll see for a few days, we packed up and headed towards the desert.

Navigating our way out of Mt Dare was simpler than navigating our way in and after clearing all the lake roads, we embarked upon the most corrugated road we’ve come across since Cape York.

In fact this road dwarfs any Cape York road in terms of corrugations and for us, nursing roof rack bolts that could shear at any moment, it wasn’t an ideal start to the next leg.

We were literally being shaken to pieces on this stretch which fully justified our decision to avoid this road on the way in by going via Eringa.

We pulled over to let some more air out of the tires as this road was literally ridiculous and we needed a spell anyway. The other reason for stopping was to let the shock absorbers have a rest.

On checking these, the TJ shocks weren’t too hot, but the shocks on the White Crocodile (Gary’s Courier), well, you could have fried an egg on those suckers!

Those with a keen eye would have spotted a red postie bike in the first image in this post. It may not seem out of place in the suburbs, but to see this at Mt Dare was certainly a point of interest.

You’d have to be pretty crazy to drive a postie bike out this way let alone across the Simpson Desert, however while we were stopped we discovered that that’s exactly where the red rocket was headed. One sees some interesting sites out in these parts but none so interesting as seeing a bloke working his way to the desert on a postie pike. And while we come across blokes on BMW 800 adventure bikes with busted shocks, to see this guy punting along at what could only be 10 km/h was truly amazing.


We continued on at a relatively slow pace until we reached our lunch stopping point at 3 O’clock Creek. There isn’t much here, but it was good to get off that hideous road for a while.

After lunch we moved into Dalhousie Springs. As is to be expected, this campground was absolutely packed and there were people everywhere. You can get to Dalhousie in a standard vehicle so it’s popular with holiday makers who come in from Adelaide who never actually cross the desert.

We checked out the signs and the ‘springs’ but didn’t go for a swim, something about that murky tepid water is a little off putting.


Our stop for the night is Purni Bore, which is pretty much on the edge of the desert proper. As we came closer to Purni the road started to get a lot better and it actually felt like we were driving on sand and not that horrible corrugated track that had been punishing us for most of the day.

The Purni Bore camping area, while basic, is so much better than Dalhousie Spring, simply down to the lack of people. And while you can’t swim in the springs, the isolation and remote feeling you get by camping here really sets the tone for the coming few days.

There are toilets here as well as a shower, so it’s a great place to have that final wash before being without facilities.

We had read that in this area there are some native desert mice and so on the off chance of catching some footage, I set up the motion activated IR camera for the first time to see if I could snag any footage. Needless to say, I did not capture any.

One of the warnings we’d read about Purni Bore was that these mice like the heat from the vehicles and so when you pull up, it’s a good idea to open the bonnet and let the heat out before dark so as to ward off any unwelcome visitors setting up under your bonnet. It’s also wise to keep your doors and windows shut to make sure they don’t make their way into the vehicle.

Being conscious of this we heeded said warnings, however it was to no avail, as a week or so after we returned home, we noticed what can only be described as a decomposing animal smell in the Jeep.

After a thorough search, which included removing the centre console, low and behold we came home with a little desert mouse.

So even being aware of this, one still managed to sneak into the vehicle. Be warned!

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