The trailer mess

The Doc was told a couple weeks ago the camper trailer would not be delivered. Despite paying the deposit 12 months ago, the first trailer was then stolen and now the replacement will not be delivered. The Doc has been been urgently modifying the car and organising a replacement trailer.

The Patrol now has a fridge installed and a couple of other modifications.

The new trailer has been ordered and will be picked up next month, with any luck. The Excellent Venture is back on course.

The Doc is back on the road today. Out to AWC’s Scotia Sanctuary then into South Australia, mostly the Flinders Ranges and Wilapena Pound, perhaps Eyre Peninsula.

Vehicle performance across the Simson Desert

There was a variety of vehicles crossing the Simpson Desert with The Doc including a Toyota Landcruiser 100 series, Landcruiser 200 series (a brand-new diesel V8), Land Rover Defender, 2 Toyota Prados, Mitsubishi Challenger, Nissan Navarra, Toyota  Hilux and The Doc’s Nissan Patrol.

Early on in the trip one of the Prado owners was telling someone how his Prado was better than The Doc’s Patrol. The Doc enjoyed recovering that Prado two days later when it got bogged. In fact, both recoveries were by Nissans on Toyota Prados. Prados may have the LandCruiser name, but they certainly not LandCruisers. The Doc is glad he never bought a Prado. They may handle better on road than a Patrol, but they’re certainly not better off road. They are a long way behind the LandCrusier, Defender and Patrol.

In the steeper dunes and rougher parts of the desert, the leafspring suspension of the Nission Navarra and the Toyota Hilux meant they were struggling.

The Doc thought the performance of the LandCruisers (not Prados), the Land Rover and the Patrol were very good.   Although the LandCrusier 100 V8 Petrol used a lot of fuel. The 200 series V8 Diesel used just a little more than the Patrol – impressive. But they cost a great deal more money than a Patrol, so they should impress.

The Challenger was well driven and did a reasonable job, but it is a bit small for the The Doc’s needs.

Mornington Magic

The Doc’s visit into the Central Kimberley was to visit AWC’s Mornington Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is the home of WildlifeLink Research Centre, AWC main research centre across The Kimberley, covering Mornington-Marions Downs,  the Artisan Range, Tablelands and other properties. It is from where EcoFire is managed across much of the Central Kimberley.

AWC describes Mornington and Marion Downs as “almost 6,000 square kilometres of the iconic Kimberley region. Bounded to the south by the rugged King Leopold Range, the properties contain some of Australia’s most spectacular scenery.  Massive mesas and dramatic sandstone escarpments overlook vast savanna woodlands, while a network of tropical rivers, including the Fitzroy River, carve deep gorges through the ancient landscape. “

What a magical place. Report is here.