The Birdsville Track

This legendary track was once Australia’s most hazardous stock route, stretching from Queensland’s Channel Country to the railhead at Marree. These days, you can journey along its maintained road and enjoy many sight-seeing wonders, including the gibber plains of the Sturt Stony Desert, the 5 km-wide Cooper Creek crossing, and the vast beauty of the Simpson Desert.

The Strzelecki Track

This historic track was once a stock route, and is best accessed from Arkaroola, via Mt Hopeless. It runs all the way to Innamincka, the old customs post on the Cooper Creek. Take this route and you’ll be travelling in the tracks of Harry Redford, one of the most colourful and daring drovers in Australian history. This man stole 1,000 cattle in the 1870s and forged this route through unchartered territory to evade the law.

Paddle a canoe or fish in Cooper Creek.  Or sit quietly beneath the famous Burke and Wills Dig Tree and contemplate the tenacity and bravery of Australia’s most famous explorers.

The QAA Line

This unsealed desert sand dune track can be used to travel from Birdsville out to Poeppel Corner, the corner that marks the meeting point of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland.  On the way, you can introduce yourself to Nappanercia, better known by its nickname Big Red – a towering dune that reaches 90 metres above sea level and is the highest sand dune in the southern hemisphere.

Safe Travelling

Along the Outback Loop, road conditions can vary with the season and with weather conditions. Generally the roads are safe, wide, dusty desert highways and are well maintained by South Australian and Queensland government road crews. Desert tracks are all single lane, designated tracks.

Desert Parks Permit

Before entering any of the national parks on The Outback Loop, you will need a desert parks permit. You can buy permits at the following places:

Innamincka Hotel P: 08 8675 9901

Birdsville Roadhouse P: 07 4656 3226

Wirrari Information Centre P: 07 4656 3300

Mt Dare Hotel P: 08 8670 7835

Online at (keep in mind that delivery of your permit may take a couple of weeks if you buy online)

Handy Telephone Numbers

Northern SA Road Conditions (Automated Service)
1300 361 033

Outback Queensland / Diamantina Shire Road Condition Report
Contact the Visitor Information Centre on 1300 794 257

Simpson Desert Conservation Park & Witjira National Parks
Desert Parks Information – Phone: (+61 8) 8648 5328
DEWNR Port Augusta office – Phone: (08) 8648 5300

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