What Does Australia’s Simpson Desert Offer The Traveller?

Do you want to see the rare pine trees, unique wildlife, and brilliant wildflowers? Then Simpson desert is your ideal destination.

The vast desert covers the southeast corner of the Northern Territory and extends to South Australia and Queensland borders.

For most people, the Simpson desert is the final frontier in the 4WD exploration and adventure. But why, because the Simpson’s magnificent sandstone formations best accessed by 4WD.

The experience is not for the faint-hearted or the inexperienced people. It requires people who can withstand the scorching sun, extreme remoteness, and nowhere to stop for fuel or water along the way. In this article, you’ll find the ultimate travel guide to the Simpson desert and some popular tracks to get your trip planning started.

When is The Right Time to Visit?

If you’re planning a trip to the Simpson desert, then your time is fairly limited. The desert is normally closed between October to May (summer season) due to the extreme heat.

Well, this doesn’t mean that traveling between May to October is easy, No. The temperature during this time ranges from 30 degrees Celsius during the day and 4 degrees Celsius at night. Thus, you need to prepare for the two extremes.

How Long Does It Take to Explore the Desert?

Well, this is dependent on the track that you want to do. Like other deserts, the Simpsons desert has a harsh and unforgiving environment.

And yes, the time you take to explore the desert depends on the track you choose to do. For instance, the French line can take three to four days to complete. However, the Hay River Track requires nine or ten days to complete.

Crossing The Simpson Desert

Yes, digital marketing strategies are luring Australia’s city-dwellers out of their apartments into the Simpson desert. But the question is, how do you safely cross the desert?

The Simpson Desert is the largest parallel dune desert in the world. Here, you’ll have to navigate over 1136 dunes in your path.

Crossing the desert from East to West is the most challenging as the eastern dune faces are steeper due to wind direction. The biggest dunes are on the eastern side and diminish in size as you head to the west. Whichever way you choose to enter, maintain a slow speed and drop your tire pressure. That’s the only way to ensure you have an easy journey.

For example, a drive through the French Line is the shortest, most used, and the most difficult route to navigate. But why? Because most of the climbs on the route have been dug from consistent use.

What Will You See in the Simpson Desert?

The desert is home to the Wangkangurru people and has a rich Aboriginal heritage.

Despite the scorching sun and dry appearance, the desert has a surprising array of wildlife including mammals like fat-tailed dunnart and ampurta, reptiles like sand goanna among others. You’ll also come across feral pests like foxes and camels.

When it rains, the desert becomes a birdwatcher’s paradise with over 195 species of bird. The water birds can also congregate around temporary lakes that appear on salt pans.


Do you want to take a trip to the Simpson desert? Then you should take time to prepare for this expedition. This allows you to make a safe and memorable trip to Australia’s red center and the largest desert in the country. It also gives you a chance to see an incredible array of plants, animals, and birds.