Scientific & Ecological Surveys
SONGLINES & SHARED JOURNEYS Knowledge Mapping the Simpson Desert


The Land Where Time Began

With Guest Trekker Tim Cope

Full details here

Australian Desert Expeditions partners with Indigenous Australians, leading universities, state and national government land management authorities, national conservation organisations and private research institutions to conduct scientific and ecological survey expeditions into remote regions of the Central deserts.


There are two components to our research surveys - the ecological and scientific documentation, and the desert trekking experience with our camel team. Walking alongside traditionally outfitted packcamels, delivering the smallest environmental footprint possible, is ideal for traversing the arid zone and learning about the desert flora & fauna and the people who have called the desert home for thousands of years.


Our surveys are a direct living link to the historical spirit and cultural heritage of scientific desert exploration of the 19th and 20th Centuries.


Why do we conduct our surveys like this?

Because walking the desert is timeless. Every single step reveals the story of this ancient landscape.


In 2014 we began The Central Australia Transect (CAT) in the Simpson Desert, a major and dedicated survey of the remote sections of the world's largest parallel sand-ridge desert and Australia's driest area.


Stage One of CAT was Project 138, a five year program that used the 138th meridian as the basis along which to examine the current status of desert flora and fauna.


And in 2019 we commenced Stage Two, embarking on our most ambitious series of surveys - Songlines & Shared Journeys from the Heart of Australia.


Due to the major travel restrictions in Australia in 2020 we were unable to conduct any surveys at all, but as travel restrictions are now lifting and state borders have reopened, we are looking forward to a full season of desert trekking in 2021. And whilst our international border remains closed, we are hoping to welcome travellers from New Zealand once the Trans Tasman Travel Bubble comes to fruition for travellers in both directions.


You can join our research surveys in 2021 and assist the ecologists with their important fieldwork, which may include collecting and documenting botanical specimens, assisting with marsupial trapping surveys or anthropological, archaeological & palaeontological documentation and recovery, all whilst travelling in the grand tradition of the early explorers and pioneering Afghan cameleers.


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