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  1. Jock Dunkley
    13/05/2022 @ 8:32 AM

    Handy article -well done. My Dad cut this line through the Simpson from West to East in the early 60’s with French exploration company Total – hence the name ‘French Line’. You may recall Total was a fuel supplier to Australia and had several service stations around the country in the 60’s & 70’s.
    Their intention was to identify any oil or gas bodies beneath the surface of the Simpson using seismic survey. Needless to say, they found nothing but had a bit of fun cutting the track through.
    It took them 3 months. By the time they got to Birdsville, the power was out at the pub so they had to settle for hot beer – but this didn’t deter them from getting stuck in.


    • Peter
      16/05/2022 @ 10:46 AM

      G’day Jock,

      Thanks for sharing that history about your dad, that is awesome to hear, and amazing that your dad was part of the creation of the French Line. All their hard work has provided many an explorer a fantastic adventure over the last 50 years. I remember Total well, as I grew up in Africa, it was still around there until we immigrated to Australia. I can only imagine the fun they would have had at the Birdsville Hotel after the 3 months, warm beer and all. Thanks for sharing mate and thank you to your dad for all his hard work in getting the French Line cut through the Simpson Desert. There are many travellers that would appreciate all their hard work.




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