The French Line - Simpson Desert
With over 90% of Australia desertyou need to visit at least one. The Simpson is the most accessible and the closest to what we picture as a desert - red sand hills as far as the eye can see! If you are lucky enough to visit after recent rain then the desert will be in bloowm with vast expanses of wild flowers. You can drive accross, by 4WD from Birdsville to Dalhousie in the Northern Territory via the QAA line and the French Track. Location: Far SW Qld. Access by 4 WD only with OTHER vehicles.
An hour or so drive out of Winton in western Queensland lies Lark Quarry where you can view the Dinosaur Run - the tracks of smaller dinosaurs fleeing from a predator. The tracks are frozen in stone forever. There are many fossil sites around Winton and a museum devoted to fossils. This is wild desolate and beautiful country. Location: Central western Qld. Access: Vehicle, 4WD preferred.
Just west of the Atherton Tableland in FNQ lies Cobbold Gorge, good cheap camping with a short trip up this "boutique" gorge. Have a close look at the "freshies" (fresh water or Johnson River crocodiles) as you take the short ride through the gorge. On the way have a look at the gold mines, old and new. Location: FNQ. Access: Vehicle, 4 WD preferred.
North of Finke off the track following the Old Ghan line is Chambers Pillar close to the geographic centre of Australia. Camp here among the desert oaks and feast your eyes on the sunset. Location: Central NT. Access: By 4 WD.
Now it is very unlikely that you will ever get here since it is a gravel road shortcut between the Western Highway and the Stuart Highway turning off the Western at Timber Creek. If you do you will have been through one of the most spectacular National Parks and past Victoria River Downs - what a drive ! You have earned your beer and pie as you put up your tent at Top Springs which consists of a pub - and that is all. You will get to talk to a few stockmen as they drift in for an evening beer. And of course if you are very lucky you will have heard Slim Dusty sing about the Top Springs Hotel. Location: NT close to the WA border on the "Buchanan Highway". Access: Best by 4 WD.
If you have got to here then you are on the Great Central Road which runs from Laverton to Ayers Rock, desert all the way! I hope you are well prepared because do not expect to find any (useable) water here, that is even if you prepared to crawl head first into a very small hole at the bottom of a rock hole. Still if you were dying of thirst you probably would. Well over 100 kms of the most spectacular deserts in Oz. Good luck and go with some one else. Location: Central WA/southern NT. Access: 4 WD.