The Simpson Desert stretches an impressive 176,500 square kilometers across Central Australia. The region contains the world’s longest parallel sand dunes, truly unique wildlife and some of the country’s harshest terrain. It’s widely considered a 4WD enthusiast’s dream destination, which is why a tour here is a must for any traveler.
The desert is flanked on all sides by mountains and rivers. To the south lies Lake Eyre, while the Georgina and Diamantina Rivers rest on the east. The Adam and Mabel ranges bind the north and west. Thanks to an average rainfall of less than 200 millimeters a year, the Simpson Desert showcases sand dunes as far as the eye can see.
With no maintained roads crossing the desert, it can be difficult to explore. Luckily, there are several tracks made during seismic surveys that are passable with four-wheel drive. Popular desert tours will take you along the K1 Line and Madigan’s Line, as well as the Hay River Track. Travelers can expect to explore Nappanerica, or Big Red, one of the largest dunes in the desert at 40 meters in height. Other popular destinations include the Wilson River Waterhole, a watering spot on the outskirts of the desert, and the remote town of Birdville. You’ll also experience Purnie Bore, home to a wide array of wildlife like dingoes and camels.
Since there are no towns in the Simpson Desert, accommodations are slim. Travelers should be prepared to camp in harsh conditions, which can range from soaring heat to freezing cold depending on the time of year. Check out Tagalong Tours or Outback Spirit for more information on the Simpson Desert tours available and ways to book.
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For travelers looking for a dessert escape this holiday season, Oasis at Death Valley awaits. Ancient waters bubble up from the ground to support an entire ecosystem at Oasis at Death Valley, a secluded resort tucked into the dramatic desert setting off Death Valley National Park.