Package- 8 Day Simpson Desert + 10 Day Hay River

From AUD $2,795.00
  • Duration: 9 Days (approx.)
  • Product code: packagesimpsonhay

Note: We expect all interstate travel restrictions to be lifted when the country reaches 80% vaccination (November to December 2021). Given the uncertainty that some people have regarding this, if you wish to indicate your desire to travel on this trip, you now do not have to pay a deposit until a later date when there is more certainty. Don't miss out, put your name down.


Tag-Along Tour. Participants provide their own vehicle or hired vehicle. Trailers are not permitted.

This tour combines our two favourite trips, the 8 Day West to East Simpson Desert Crossing and the 10 Day Hay River travelling north through the Simpson Desert and then into QLD Channel Country. 


Birdsville accomodation can be booked out more than 12 months ahead. If you would like a cabin in Birdsville, book early.  

Located within the driest region of the Australian continent, the Simpson Desert is one of the world's best examples of an erg or dunal desert, a sea of parallel red sand ridges some 300 - 500 kilometres long covering a total area of more than 170,000 square kilometres. The mean annual rainfall of 130 millimetres is very variable and unpredictable. Summer temperatures can exceed 50° C.

The Simpson Desert lies across the corners of 3 States, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory, with the South Australian section divided into 3 protected areas, Simpson Desert Conservation Park, Simpson Desert Regional Reserve and Witjira National Park.

Although many people imagine the Simpson desert to be a huge sea of sand void of plant and animal life, the truth is very different. The desert changes almost continuously as you travel across it. The views are often breathtaking. The sky is immense and so is the landscape. This is big sky and big dune country at its best.

Early risers will be greeted with the most incredible colours at dawn, and the calls of numerous birds including the Crested Bell Bird. A morning walk along the dune crests will reveal tiny footprints of the hopping mouse, lizards and small marsupials.

The journey to the Simpson Desert via the Old South Road and the historical Ghan railway line is perhaps one of the most interesting and picturesque desert journeys you can do. The route abounds in history, both aboriginal and european and some of the most amazing geographical formations tell of a much wetter past.
The Hay River track is in the once closed Northern Simpson Desert. Located within the driest region of the Australian continent, the Simpson Desert is one of the world's best examples of an erg or dunal desert, a sea of parallel red sand ridges some 300 - 500 kilometres long covering a total area of more than 170,000 square kilometres. The mean annual rainfall of 130 millimetres is very variable and unpredictable. Summer temperatures can exceed 50° C.

The Hay River is a unique experience. There are five rivers that empty into the desert. We are basically driving into the mouth of a river in the way a boat may do, just the river is dry.


Early risers will be greeted with the most incredible colours at dawn, and the calls of numerous birds including the Crested Bell Bird. A morning walk along the dune crests will reveal tiny footprints of the hopping mouse, lizards and small marsupials.

This tour travels perhaps the remotest track in the entire desert, running from Peoppel corner,  north along the QLD NT border then along the dry remnent river bed of the ancient Hay River.

Once completely inaccessible, the Hay River area of the Simpson Desert is now accessible due to the efforts of Jol Flemming and the traditional owners. Traditional owners run a neat, tidy and very welcome camp facility at Batton Hill where we overnight. Our host then takes us on a bush tucker tour of his land.  Depending on the season, we may dig for yams and witchety grubs; collect bush bananas, bush tomatoes and fruits like native cucumber and the yalka, a type of onion found in the area.

An evening spent relaxing around the campfire with Lindsay, is an unforgettable experience as he talks about his country, the old people, their traditional ways and some of their stories.

Step back in time to when aboriginal people populated this arid region of the continent.  The Hay River tour is perhaps the most interesting of all tours. Retrace the steps of the earliest explorers, learn of aboriginal life in the desert. Seee artifacts left where they were last used perhaps thousands of years prior.

This is a track that simply could not be attemped by the inexperienced without the help of a tour guide. The track improves each year but still navigation is by GPS alone in some parts, as there are simply no landmarks.  In other areas, knowledge of the few landmarks available is necessary for safe travel. If you really want to experience the Simpson desert, then this is the trip for you.


Once out of the desert, we head for the Queensland channel country and camp on the Diamantina River, before making our way to Lark Quarry, site of the largets set of dinosaur footprints in the world.

The Hay river trip is one you will remember and talk about for a lifetime.

Traveling the Simpson Desert via motor vehicle is not for the inexperienced, that is why a tag-along tour is one of the best ways to experience the desert. I personally have witnessed a convoy of eight vehicles reduced to a convoy of just three due to inexperience. Given that vehicle recovery costs from the desert could be more than $4000, a tag along is a great investment.

Cross the desert the smart way, with our tag-along tour. Get your head out of the maps, and enjoy the scenery.


Birdsville accomodation can be booked out more than 12 months ahead. If you would like a cabin in Birdsville, book early.