The Simpson Desert

After Antarctica, Australia is the driest continent in the world. About 35 per cent of the land is desert. The Simpson Desert is a hot and dry desert occupying almost 200 000 square kilometres of central Australia, mostly in the Northern Territory's south-east but also in parts of South Australia and Queensland. We can expect daily temperatures of approximately 25c, dropping to about 8c at night, but as rainfall in the desert is usually less than 150 millimetres per year, you can leave your wet weather gear at home. Sound good so far?
The Simpson Desert ride we will be undertaking consists of a mixture of clay-topped and sand tracks and is definitely for 4WD vehicles only......and quads! Crossing some of the most desolate and remote country on the continent is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it for the ill-prepared! Being stuck out there could easily cost you your life, and this is why 47industries are the crew for the job.

The desert landscape is dominated by parallel, wind-blown sand dunes reaching up to 20m high running North-West to South-South East. Dunes are spaced about 1km apart and may be up to 200km long. Inter-dunal areas are occupied by clay pans and salt pans, sand drifts and plains. You should exercise extreme care where soft sand has created ridges on dune tops, as the drop on the other side can be severe, but a whole lot of fun.

During the 1960s, oil and gas exploration occurred throughout the desert and the tracks cut by the exploration companies are the means of access for travellers today. These tracks are no longer maintained, hence the difficulty of the crossing.

A number of old shot lines and rig roads criss-cross the desert, but we will be taking the safest and most picturesque route. The tour will consist of 5 days of riding, averaging about 120km per day. This might not sound like a lot of riding, but the terrain is by no means a highway.

We will travel East from Mount Dare to Dalhousie Springs on the first day to our base camp at the hot springs. Day two we continue East past Purnie Bore, and into the desert. We finish up that night at our desert camp at the end of an old emergency airstrip. Day three is a full desert loop through some of the best quad riding terrain is the country, returning to desert camp one last time. From here it is back to base camp at the hot springs, then back to Mount Dare on day 5 to catch the plane home. We have specifically planned the trip so you can experience the awesome Dalhousie hot springs on both the first night and the last.

There are no facilities along the route, so adequate food, water and fuel supplies will be carried by our support vehicles for the entire journey. Your cell phone will not work out there, however we will provide you with our sat phone numbers for your office and family prior to the trip.

A series of marked tracks have been established within the parks of the Simpson Desert. The rules state that all vehicles must stick to these tracks. The only time you can go off the tracks is for camping. This is the number 1 rule of crossing the Simpson. The sandy track is so much fun to ride that you will have no desire to venture off it anyway. This is what quad bikes were made for.....bring it on.

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