Originally Published: January 2024

Dave Price is a veteran Australian outback adventurer who, over the years, has driven through most of the country’s vast interior. He’s been to the Simpson Desert on numerous occasions, driving all its many iconic tracks – but never to its geographic centre. 

This significant location is indicated on the Hema Great Desert Tracks map at 25’21’58”S/137’05’05”E – close to the marked tracks, but the last few miles would entail driving through trackless country; over rough, tricky sand dunes. Which is exactly why Dave wanted to go there. It’s a big challenge, but an absolutely top-notch adventure.

He’s invited me to join him and wife Maureen on the trip, kindly loaning me the Land Rover Discovery 2 based Challenger ute that he built in 2016 and which I’ve previously used for Aussie adventures in 2017 and 2019. The Prices are in their own TDCi-engined G4 Challenge Defender 110, and joining us are Graham Grether in his Td5 Discovery 2 plus Kin and Heather Roy, making the first big overland jaunt in their new-shape Defender 110 D250 – a big step forward after many years of travelling in another Disco 2.

Dave had meticulously planned a route that would take us into the geographic centre from the east, via the town of Birdsville. Unfortunately, heavy rain has caused serious flooding to the extent that a number of the tracks he planned to use are impassable. There’s no way in. This has necessitated a significant amount of last-minute re-planning, and we’ll now be going into the Simmo, as it’s commonly known, from the west, topping up with
fuel at the famous Mount Dare Hotel.

Read the full article in the February issue:

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