Big Red
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8.    The Birdsville Working Museum

As we got closer to Birdsville we passed through lush Mitchell Grass country, and saw our first yellow wildflowers, before crossing the Diamantina river into Birdsville.

The Birdsville Working Museum is an amazing place and well worth the $5 entry. It is a one-man effort by John Menzies who has collected a fascinating array of bush memorabilia. John  has also restored a number of old drays, plus has working examples of early butter churners, washing machines, chain pumps etc etc!

9. The Birdsville Pub

Birdsville is  on the Diamantina River which was still flowing a little, and is the last post of civilisation before setting off across the Simpson Desert. The Birdsville Pub is fairly touristy now, and includes 20 motel rooms, all with the luxury of hot showers and real toilets which was much appreciated by our dirty(?) group. There were even real telephones in the rooms too, except they were not connected - "tomorrow" they would be, so we were told!  We dined on emu steaks and salad, and filled up with wine, diesel, and good Birdsville water.

600kms to the next fuel and water stop at Mt Dare!!

10. The Intrepid Explorers!

For the desert crossing we split into two groups - with/without families. This is the  "kidless" group ..Harvey, Chris, Neil, Chris, Di, Adrian, Russell, Judy, Tony (Leader), Joy, Michael, Bob, Greg and Nina. A fine  bunch! And we all got on really well together!

11. Big Red is in sight!

"Big Red" is the highest dune on the Simpson desert crossing, and is approximately 40km West of Birdsville. Time to let the tyres down to 22 psi or 130kpa. 

12. Big Red - wheee!

Nina and Joy celebrate reaching the top of Big Red!

13. Can we get back up??

Big Red is even steeper coming from West to East (though it may not look it!) but we had to try and climb it, and fail - only Adrian (Slim) in "Little Pajero" made it up!  

Conclusion - Landcruisers with spare wheels underneath are NOT designed for climbing sand dunes, 2 door Pajeros are made to flyyyyy!

14. Desert??

Into the desert, along the QAA Line, up and over the red dunes, and all we see is wildflowers, wildflowers and MORE wildflowers - truly amazing and beautiful! How could we be so lucky!

            More please!        

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Copyright 2000 J.W.S. and Co. Pty Ltd                                                                                                    Last modified: May 10, 2010