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SA Outback National Parks

Witjira National Park

776 900 hectares

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.

Dalhousie 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.

Access into Witjira is via Oodnadatta or from Birdsville.


Simpson Desert Conservation Park

632,680 hectares

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.

Access should only be attempted by four-wheel drive vehicle.


Lake Eyre National Park

1,228,000 hectares

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).

Innamincka Regional Reserve

1,382,765 hectares

A large part of the land around Innamincka including the Coongie Lakes, is now a regional reserve.

Simpson Desert Regional Reserve

2,364,200 hectares

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 NPWS.

Further Information

https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Home

Phone: (08) 8204 1910

Visit: Ground Floor, 81-95 Waymouth Street, Adelaide, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Park passes