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Simpson Desert National Park

Queensland, Australia

Simpson Desert NP
• Simpson Desert
• Northern Territory
• South Australia
• Queensland

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• Bedourie
• Birdsville

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Simpson Desert National Park - Cities, Towns and Localities
Queensland's largest national park and one of her most remote, the Simpson Desert National Park covers over 10,000 square kilometres. The desert itself borders three states and covers a massive 200,000 sq km of inland Australia.

Not for the faint hearted, this park has no camping facilities, walking tracks or picnic areas and should only be attempted by the well equipped and adventurous 4WD traveller with spare fuel, spare parts, medical supplies, and plenty of spare water. The best time to visit is during the winter as temperatures often soar into the mid 40's or over 50 degree's during the rest of the year. Winter temperatures can be freezing. Sand driving experience is also a necessity in this area.

Most of the park is sand dunes up to 20 metres high, 1 km apart and stretching over 300 km long, dust storms are commonplace as are sand drifts, clay pans, salt pans and gibber plains. Although the park might sound desolate it is in fact home to many species of native wildlife. One of the rarest marsupials in Australia the Mulgara (Dasycercus cristicauda) is known to live here as do over 180 bird species and many lizard species. Georgina gidgee wattle (Acacia georginae) is common in the park and can be poisonous to some non native animals it also gives off a pungent smell when wet.

Simpson Desert © ParksWeb, Depart for Environment and Heritage, SA

QAA LineThe QAA Line is a unsealed 4WD road stretching 142 km from Poeppel Corner to Birdsville, although there is a shire road that stretches west from Birdsville for 35 km. 4WD must remain on the QAA Line within the park. Camping is permitted within 500 m of the QAA Line. One of the main feature of the desert is the series of parallel sand dunes, stretching for some 200-300 km and running south-east to north-west. You should take extreme care where soft sands have created ridges on dune tops, as the drop on the other side can be severe. Because of this, it is recommended that you traverse the desert from west to east.

There is no permanent surface water anywhere in the park. Camping permits must be obtained before going into the park. If you cross the border into South Australia a desert pass must be obtained.

The nearest town is Birdsville, just over 56 km. It is situated in Yarluyandi country, with the Simpson Desert area mainly part of Wangkangurru country.

In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.
Information Centre Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service - Simpson Desert National Park
Ranger in Charge
Cnr Billabong Boulevard and Jardine Street
Ph: 07 4656 3272

SA Simpson Desert Conservation Park

Driving Across the Simpson Desert

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Simpson Desert National Park Attractions

Big Red
• The striking colours and huge expanse of this arid landscape is what attracts many visitors to the area. The desert landscape is dominated by parallel, wind-blown sand dunes up to 20 m highs and running north-west to south-south-east. These huge dunes are about 1 km apart and can extend from 200-300 km. The biggest and most famous of the 900 odd sand dunes is 'Big Red' at about 90 metres high. It is the first sand dune you pass if you leave from Birdsville.

Between the dunes are claypans, saltpans, sand drifts and plains, and in the eastern areas gibber-ironstone flats. Be prepared for sand storms. To make the trip memorable, careful planning and extreme caution is advised.
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Simpson Desert National Park Other links

Simpson Desert © Andi Leel
Simpson Desert © Andi Leel
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