7 day / 6 night tour
Per Person, Twin Share
- Specialised small group tour (maximum 12 passengers)
- Travel in fully equipped Toyota Land Cruiser 4WDs
- Hosted by experienced tour guides
- All meals whilst on tour
- Airport transfers
The journey takes us right through the very centre of Australia, with its big blue skies and breathtaking landscapes. From Alice Springs we will travel through the heart of Australia before starting our epic trek – the Simpson Desert Crossing that will bring back into the western corner of Queensland to the iconic township of Birdsville.
All accommodation is twin share (except when camping) – single supplement applies ($500pp)
Itineraries are subject to change depending on weather and road conditions. Whilst your guide will always try to run to the scheduled itinerary, it may at times be necessary to change the itinerary slightly to ensure passengers safety.
Due to the nature of our tours, we recommend you bring clothing that is suitable to the destination including swimming gear and comfortable walking shoes; along with your required toiletries, a towel, camera and extra money for snacks, alcohol or activities.
You should also bring a small day pack with hat, sunscreen, water bottle, torch and insect repellent (Bushmans).
We also recommend you bring any medication and/or motion sickness tablets (if required),
We would also like you to bring your own pillow, because everyone likes their own pillow, and a sleeping bag to suit the climate you are travelling through.
Your baggage must be limited to one (1) duffel-style bag (max. 60ltr) per person for your clothing and personal effects; along with one (1) soft duffel-style bag for your sleeping bag and pillow.
Guests arrive in Alice Springs from their home ports. Your flight will be met by our tour guides and guests transferred to the overnight accommodation in Alice Springs. In the afternoon we’ll visit some of the local sites in & around Alice Springs, followed by a Meet and Greet Dinner.
Accommodation: Alice Springs accommodation
This morning we’ll set out from Alice Springs to Chambers Pillar stopping over at the Ewaninga Rock Carvings site and the Titjikala Aboriginal Art and Craft Centre. Our overnight campsite is at the Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve.
The main feature of this 340 hectare Reserve is the pillar of sandstone which towers 50 metres above the surrounding plain. Sandstone deposits were laid down in the area 350 million years ago. Since then, wind and rain have eroded away the softer material, leaving this solitary sandstone column. John MacDouall Stuart first recorded the pillar in April 1860 whilst travelling north on his first attempt to cross Australia. He named it after James Chambers, one of his South Australian sponsors.
Accommodation: Chambers Pillar Campsite
Today we’ll head out from Chambers Pillar and we traverse the Old Ghan Railway line south, visiting numerous ruins along the way to Finke.
The community takes its name from the usually dry Finke River (one of the oldest river systems in the world dating back 350 million years) that meanders through the area traditionally known as Aputula.
The name Aputula is still used by the approximately 160 local Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people when referring to their community of Finke.
Finke was originally established as a railway siding on the original Ghan railway line until in 1981, when the railway line was relocated 150km to the west.
We’ll then head southeast crossing the border into the South Australia to our overnight stopover at Mount Dare.
Mt Dare is ideally situated on the Western edge of the Simpson Desert just 10km south of the Northern Territory border. Mt Dare Hotel no longer runs as a cattle station; the property was taken over by National Parks and Wildlife in 1984, when it then became the Witjira National Park. In 1989 the Department for Environment & Natural resources (as it is now known) no longer needed the Homestead area and set it up as a lease for tourism. The only service available within the Witjira National Park and the Simpson Desert Conservation Park is at Mt Dare, now known as the Mt Dare Hotel.
Accommodation: Mount Dare campsite
Today we’re travelling through the Witjira National Park to Dalhousie Springs.
Witjara-Dalhousie Springs is a sugergroup of artesian spring outlets, that contains around 60 springs, extending over an area of more than 50,000 hectares.
We’ll then start our Simpson Desert crossing along the French Line via Freeth Junction and Purni Bore.
The French Line was constructed by the French Petroleum Company in the early 1960’s. This route is one of the shortest and most used ways to cross the desert, but is also the most difficult to cross.
Today we will become acquainted with the Simpson Desert with over 1000 sand dunes between this point and Birdsville. We’ll traverse a number of dunes today and you will get a first hand look at the magnificent desert.
There’ll be plenty of photographic opportunities along the way and we’ll make camp on or about the Colsons Track Junction.
Accommodation: Colsons Track Junction Campsite.
After our first night in the desert, we’ll continue across the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve, where we will cross the Erabena Track Junction and visit the Approdina Attora Knolls before making our camp at Poeppel Corner.
Expect more sand dune crossings as we move east toward salt pan country.
Located within the driest region of the Australian continent, the Simpson Desert Conservation Park is in the centre of the Simpson Desert, one of the world’s best examples of parallel dune desert.
The Simpson Desert’s sand dunes stretch over hundreds of kilometres and lie across the corners of three states – South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Charles Sturt was the first European to enter the desert (in 1844) but it was South Australian surveyor Augustus Poeppel who, in 1880, conducted the first official survey of the South Australian/Queensland border and located the Northern Territory intersect.
Accommodation: Poeppel Corner Campsite
On our final day in the Simpson Desert, we traverse the QAA Line across the Munga-Thirri National Park, the ancestral home of Wangkangurru and Yarluyandi people.
Parallel, wind-blown sand dunes, each up to 90m high and about 1km apart, extend up to 200km in a north-west to south south-east direction as we make our way 170 kilometres through Queensland’s largest national park.
We’ll enjoy sunset ar ‘Big Red’, standing 30 metres tall, offering one of the best vantage points to see the desert.
We complete the day with a cold beverage on the verandah at Birdsville, during which we can recap our experiences from the week.
Prior to federation in 1901, Birdsville was used as a collection point for a toll that was payable on all stock and supplies entering South Australia from Queensland. It was a thriving community then and still is now.
Today, around 110 people call Birdsville home, except for two weekends each year when it plays host to the Big Red Bash and the Birdsville Races where it swells to 10,000 people.
For such a small town, it has excellent infrastructure, a geothermal power station provides the town’s electricity, with natural gas and diesel generators brought online during peak periods. Birdsville has two sources of water: the Great Artesian Basin and the Diamantina River.
Accommodation: Birdsville Hotel
This morning we’ll enjoy breakfast together at the Birdsville Bakery to try their famous ‘curried camel pie’, before a visit to some of the historic landmarks in Birdsville, the heritage listed Australian Inland Mission Hospital and the heritage listed Court House. Afterwards you’ll be transferred to the airport for your return journey home.
The Regional Express Airlines flightpath will cross over some the magnificent country of Outback Queensland.