The hype of the Birdsville Races over the last couple of days was just an end reward for a cross-country journey across the Simpson that left us feeling so in touch with the land… and by now we had even become accustomed to be being covered with flies!
Dream big and plan your next adventure close to home…
Crossing the Simpson and cresting the legendary sand ridge of Big Red has been high on our ‘really-want-to-do-that list’ since our last visit to Birdsville.
This is a trip where you tick off landmarks, not attractions – the hot mineral waters of Dalhousie Springs and Purni Bore, The Lone Gum, the obligatory photo to mark the meeting of three states at Poeppel Corner, salt lakes, the boggy Eyre Creek, and last but not least the highest dune at 30 metres and the last of more than 1100 – ‘Big Red’.
NOW is the time to explore their own backyard… so sit back and relax in your armchair and come on another incredible journey with us!
Linking the Northern Territory’s Alice Springs with Mt Dare Hotel in South Australia’s Witjira National Park, the Old Andado Track, now known as the Binns Track is a minor dirt road through the western fringe of one of the world’s great sand ridge deserts, namely the Simpson.
This 438-kilometre track from Alice Springs via Santa Teresa and Old Andado Homestead took us a bit over 7-hours and was certainly a good introduction of what to expect on the Simpson Desert.
We all know this title has probably been used dozens of times before as a heading, but I just couldn’t resist using it again… and be warned ‘don’t call this city in the outback ‘The Alice’… it’s ‘Alice’ or ‘Alice Springs’ as we were told by many locals!
With the ‘Simpson Desert’ on the top of our ‘to-do-list’ we decided the shortest route to Alice Springs from Halls Creek was via another iconic Aussie 4WD track – the Tanami.
This less travelled track crosses the north-eastern corner of the Tanami Desert and carves a 1100-kilometre rugged path through flat, lifeless, and featureless desert from Halls Creek to Alice Springs.
This is very much an indigenous township with a strong cultural heritage of long occupation by the Jaru, Kija, Kukatja, Walmajarri, Gooniyandi Aboriginal people who still live in and around the small town and is said to be land crossed by many song-lines and trading paths stretching from the coast to the desert.