Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Beyond Big RedBeyond Big Red

The vast sea of red sandhills that stretch for hundreds of kilometers across the Simpson Desert are part of what makes this area unique. Crossing the Simpson is not a venture taken lightly, but the rewards are high.

Story and photos Geoff Thiel

Travelling across the Simpson Desert from Birdsville in Queensland to South Australia's Dalhousie Springs at the end of the French Line takes you through some amazing country - and over some 1300 sandhills, which run across the horizon from south to north. The distance between these hills varies from 100 metres to a kilometer, though they are most tightly-packed through the middle of the desert. It is important to be well prepared, but the rewards are there in the scenery, which in it's own special way is spectacular, and in time spent in such a different and strong environment.

Beyond Big RedThe crossing begins with an easy drive on a solid road to the first large sandhill, 'Big Red', which is well over 50m high and lies about 35km west of Birdsville. This east to west route is the more difficult. The natural slope of the sandhills, formed by the prevailing westerly wind, means you are always climbing their 'steep' side. Story end

Full story Issue 31 Oct/Nov 2003

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