Simpson Desert, Australia, photographs, travel.

© Bill & Peg Chartres

All photos © Bill Chartres unless otherwise acknowledged.
Beautiful Australia

SIMPSON DESERT

The Simpson Desert is a large, uninhabited arid region covering over 143,000 square km (55,000 sq miles) in central Australia.
Situated mainly in the south eastern corner of the Northern Territory, it spreads into Queensland and South Australia.
It is bounded by the Finke River in the west, the MacDonnell Ranges and Plenty River in the north, the Mulligan and
Diamantina rivers in the east, and Lake Eyre to the south. There are sand dunes about 450 metres apart and up to 37 metres high,
running parallel from north-west to south-east for about 160 km, with Ephemeral salt lakes common throughout the southern areas.


As the sand dunes age iron in the clay oxidises causing the grains of sand to become coated with iron oxide giving them a red colour; the longer weathering progress the darker red the sand appears. The southern sand dunes are white and they become progressively redder to the north, as the northern dunes are much older than those in the south.


The best known dune is “Big Red”, approximately 70 kilometres west of Birdsville, it is the one that is found most difficult to cross. There is an alternative (angled) crossing for those that fail.




Big Red-Simpson Desert - July 1989


Big Red, Eastern side - Simpson Desert
July 1989


Big Red-Simpson Desert - July 1989


Worburton Creek - July 1989


White sand dunes on the south eastern
edge of the Simpson Desert
Sept. 1987

Simpson Desert

Near Poolawanna - Simpson Desert - Sept. 1987

Simpson Desert - Wild Flowers - Sept. 1987

Poolawanna No.1 Well- Simpson Desert - Sept. 1987

Simpson Desert - Sept. 1987


Birdsville Hotel - July 1989


WBY Line - Simpson Desert - Sept. 1987


Simpson Desert - 1989


The Old Birdsville Hotel - Sept. 1987


Simpson Desert - 1989

Freeth Junction, Simpson Desert SA - July 1987
Along the track into the Simpson Desert from Dalhousie Springs, just before reaching Purnie Bore, is freeth Junction. At this point Rocks Road heads south through Macumba Station to Oodnadatta



Purnie Bore Wetlands - Simpson desert - June 1994



Freeth Junction, Simpson Desert SA - July 1988
Although we did travel Rocks road in the late 1980's
it is now open, with permission, for emergency use only.

Camp Site - Alka Seltzer Bore
Simpson Desert - June 1994


Approdinna Knolls - Simpson Desert - Sept. 1987


Bill, Peg & Jason Chartres
Camp site - Simpson Desert - July 1989


French Line - Simpson Desert - July 1989

Jason Chartres - Poepples Corner
(Junction of NT, SA & Qld) - Simpson Desert - 1989

Simpson Desert - Sept. 1987


Simpson Desert - 1989

Simpson Desert - 1989


Simpson Desert - 1989


Alka Seltzer Bore - Simpson Desert - July 1988

Oasis Bore - Simpson Desert - July 1988


The Everglades - Simpson Desert - July 1988

Rig Road Turnoff - Goyders Lagoon Sept. 1987

Rig Road
Simpson Desert - Sept. 1987

QAA Line - Simpson Desert - Sept. 1987

QAA Line - Simpson Desert - Sept. 1987

QAA Line - Simpson Desert - Sept.1987

WBY Line - Simpson Desert - Sept. 1987

"The Glue Pot", near Dalhousie
Simpson Desert - July 1988

Bill Chartres
"The Glue Pot", near Dalhousie
Simpson Desert - July 1988

Bill & Jason Chartres
"The Glue Pot", near Dalhousie
Simpson Desert - July 1988

"The Glue Pot", near Dalhousie
Simpson Desert - July 1988

"The Glue Pot", near Dalhousie
Simpson Desert - July 1988

Bill Chartres
"The Glue Pot", near Dalhousie
Simpson Desert - July 1988

"The Glue Pot", near Dalhousie
Simpson Desert - July 1988
(Twice in two days!)

Bill Chartres
"The Glue Pot", near Dalhousie
Simpson Desert - July 1988

"The Glue Pot", near Dalhousie
Simpson Desert - July 1988

Please note:- We travelled these areas in the 1980’s& 90’s, at that time there were very few restrictions on access. Today permits and permission are required for many of these areas and fire bands may apply. If visiting please check requirements before entering private property (Stations), Aboriginal Lands and National Parks etc.

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These pages contain many photographs and may take a while to load, please be patient — Thanks, Bill

Flinders Ranges Lake Eyre Mt.Chambers Gorge Dalhousie Springs
Simpson Desert Old Andado Bushland Park Coongie Lakes
Coopers Creek & Innamincka The Australian Outback Ayres Rock Palm Valley
Other destinations...




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