This huge desert park begins 120 kilometres north of Oodnadatta and takes
in gibber plains, salt pans, sand dunes, flat-topped hills, numerous mound
springs and breakaway country. The mound springs, part of the Great Artesian
Basin, bring life to the desert and create eases in a hostile environment.
Pastoralists and Aboriginal communities rely on them for sustenance as well
do many desert animals and birds.
Springs is one of the best-known of the mound springs and the largest in Australia.
Its tepid waters are suitable for swimming, although the fragile environment
requires sensible behaviour - no detergents or soaps are allowed. In Witjira,
vegetation consists of red mulga and gidgee trees around the dry riverbeds,
while around the springs, melaleucas and in some cases palms grow.
into Witjira is via Oodnadatta or from Birdsville.
Desert Conservation Park
This park is in the centre of the Simpson Desert. It consists of an endless
series of red sand dunes, salt lakes, spinifex grass and gidgee woodland whilst
after rare bouts of rain, wildflowers add a stunning range of colours.
A variety of birds and marsupials unique to this part of Australia - including
eyerean grass wrens, zebra finches, Australian bustards, hopping mice and
marsupial moles - inhabit the park.
should only be attempted by four-wheel drive vehicle.
Eyre National Park
This vast park takes in all of Lake Eyre North and the Tirari Desert. It Protects
an important desert wilderness. Lake Eyre has international significance,
both for its large expanse of salt pan and its occasional floodings. The Tirari
Desert is noted for its vast north-south dunes and salt lakes and in one,
Lake Ngapakaldi, important fossil deposits have been discovered. Vegetation
in the park tends to be low and stunted, consisting mainly of samphire, saltbush
and bluebush, with some acacia and cassia. Lake Eyre has only been full of
water three times in living memory (and those only in the last fifteen years).
A large part of the land around Innamincka including the Coongie Lakes, is
now a regional reserve.
Desert Regional Reserve
Much of those parts of the Simpson Desert not covered by the national park
have since been declared a regional reserve and is under the control of the