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Simpson Desert

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Simpson Desert - Cities, Towns and Localities

French Line access track, Photo: Pearce Dougherty © ParksWeb, SA

Simpson Desert Regional Reserve and Simpson Desert Conservation Park together with Witjira National Park form a protected region. It is a region that offers adventurers the experience of solitude and unique beauty, of a vast arid landscape, that during the rare rainfalls, transforms itself with masses of wildflowers and claypans that become temporary waterholes attracting flocks of birds.

With such variable and unpredictable rainfall, the Simpson Desert has summer temperatures that can exceed 50°C. With its mixture of clay-topped and sand tracks, it is definitely for 4WD vehicles only. It is through such desolate and remote country that extreme care must be taken when planning and preparing for such crossing.

The route through the region include the Dalhousie Springs to Birdsville via the French Line, Rig Road, K1 Line and QAA Line, a total of 644 kms.

Source: Parks SA - Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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 icon Simpson Desert Conservation Park
Ph: +61 8 8648 5300
Freecall: 1800 816 078
Web: Parks SA - Simpson Desert Conservation Park and Regional Reserve

Overview of Flinders Ranges & Outback - Parks SA

QLD Parks & Wildlife Service - Simpson Desert NP

Driving Across the Simpson Desert

Desert Parks Pass Order Form
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Ph: 1800 816 078
Fax: +61 8 8648 5301

Download Desert Parks Pass order form

Desert Parks pass and information pack can be purchased from the Pink Roadhouse, Oodnadatta, Witjira National Park at Mount Dare Homestead, Dalhousie Springs, and various agencies in Birdsville.

For other agents call the number above.
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Simpson Desert Conservation Park

The Simpson Desert Conservation Park lies in the centre of the Simpson Desert and sits on the borders of South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
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Simpson Desert Regional Reserve

The Simpson Desert Regional Reserve is the area around the Simpson Desert Conservation Park and links on the west with Witjira National Park. It is an area of unique desert flora and fauna in a landscape of varied dune systems, extensive playa lakes, spinifex grasslands and acacia woodlands.

Visitors and campers are required to purchase a park pass. There are two types of passes: Desert Parks Pass or Statewide Parks Pass. Visit the South Australia ParksWeb for details, contact information above.

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Simpson Desert Attractions

Big Red
• A spectacular sand dune of immense proportions and the largest one in the Simpson Desert.
Lake Eyre
• Because of its low altitude, 16 m below sea level, Lake Eyre collects all the runoff from surrounding areas. The lake has filled only several times during the past century when there is sufficient rains (it is expected to fill in 2004 due to the huge rains in Queensland). When the lake is empty, it forms a huge white salt pan, with the glare painful to the eyes when the sun is out.
Waddi Trees
• A stand of slow-growing, old and very rare waddi trees found growing 14 km north of Birdsville. The trees resemble conifers wrapped in prickly feather boas with warped, circular see pods. The trees are about 5 metres tall.
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Simpson Desert Events

• South Australia Events
The Simpson Desert Challenge
• The Ultra-Marathon Race • Email
• One of the toughest marathon races ever to be staged in Australia, it stretches from Alka Seltzer Bore on the western side of Australia’s Simpson Desert to the Birdsville Hotel on the eastern side in Queensland, along the French Line through the mid-southern part of the ever-changing Simpson Desert. Check the website for full details.
Simpson Desert Bike Challenge
• Suite 104, 25-29 Berry St, NORTH SYDNEY NSW 2060
• Ph: 02 8920 1155 • Fax: 02 8920 1188 • Email
• October
• Australia’s toughest mountain bike race, dubbed “Satan’s Velodrome”, and lovingly described as "five days in hell" by previous riders. This annual event is a desert bike crossing over 5 days, 750 dunes, corrugations, headwinds, sandstorms, thorns, extreme heat and endless kilometres of mind numbingly straight roads.
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Simpson Desert Other Links

• Simpson Desert Community/Local Government Links
• Simpson Desert Community Links
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