AUSTRALIAN  DESERT  EXPEDITIONS

Scientific & Ecological Surveys
"...walking with purpose..."

KANGKUWULUNHNA / WHITE DUNES SURVEY

From the red dunes of the north to the white country in the south

 

 

 

 Duration:

 Dates:

 Breakup:

 Difficulty:           

 Max group size:

 Start point:

 Finish point:

 Cost:

 

13 Days

August 29 - September 10 2019

1 day flight / 1 day 4WD / 12 days trekking / 1 day 4WD / 1 day flight

Moderate

10

Brisbane

Brisbane

AUD$8890

Includes return flights from Brisbane to Birdsville, flying over the Channel Country and western Queensland plus accommodation in Birdsville

Kangkuwulunhna / White Dunes Survey

Summary

Map

Practicalities

The preceding 5 weeks of the three Watti Watti / Kangkuwulunhna Explorer Surveys and Watti Watti / Kangkuwulunhna East Survey will determine exactly where this survey will explore.

 

A similar survey in 2018 (though in a different area) discovered significant areas of habitation and so this transect will be an important part of our Ancient Stories theme. Who knows what we will find!

 

The country will morph from the red crested dunes and gidgee forests in the north to white dunes with broad and sparse inter-dune corridors and smaller salt lakes as we near the Warburton River. The survey will terminate approximately 25km north of the river.

 

The white sand ridges of the south-eastern portion of the desert holds many unique attributes compared to the broader Simpson. Made up of sediments deposited by ancient river channels and paleo drainage lines the area now sits atop the remnants of these long gone land systems. Characterised by jumbled and often towering white dunes, ephemeral salt lakes and expansive claypans, this part of the desert abuts the famed Warburton River floodplain - creating an ecotone (or transition) between desert river system and the wider dune field.

 

There are many unique plants and animals that had/have evolved to live in this part of the desert. The flora can be a mix of floodplain and desert species, creating a varied and interesting suite of plant communities. Birds can readily move across and between land systems, whilst some mammals like the Dingo and Long-haired Rat (Rattus villosissimus) take advantage of the varied landscape to move in and out of the desert when conditions suit. It is presumed many of the now extinct medium sized mammals (e.g. bandicoots, hare wallabies and rat-kangaroos) would have exploited these areas in similar ways.

A prime survey objective is to assess the impact of feral predators (i.e. cats and foxes).

 

It creates a fascinating land system that can offer many discoveries and insights into the general ecology of desert fauna and flora.

 

Walking in this landscape is on firm sand and occasional large claypans. Spinifex, the dominant plant species to the north, is virtually absent in this part of the desert, so walking is easy. The eastern Simpson will probably be dry and mostly devoid of any wildflowers unless there has been sufficient rain in March/early April, in which case a profusion of yellow flowers such as poached-egg daisy & 'Yellowtop' will be covering the landscape, and supplying our camels with fresh feed.

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Note: General survey corridor is approximate only

THIS SURVEY IS RATED AS MODERATE

See here for a guide.

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?

We will issue you with a comprehensive Survey Information Guide that details everything you need to know about what to bring and what to expect on your trek. This will be sent to you both as a PDF document and printed hard copy.

 

DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?

Yes, travel insurance is compulsory.

 

INCLUDED

- Scheduled domestic return flight from Brisbane/Birdsville/Brisbane

- Accommodation in Birdsville before and after the survey. Please note: This may be twin or triple share accommodation

- All specialist safety equipment & communications

- Swags & tents

- Trek kit bag for your personal gear

- Desert silence!

 

NOT INCLUDED

- Your flights from Brisbane and any other transport in Brisbane before/after the survey

- Accommodation and meals in Brisbane

- Personal trekking equipment you may wish to use such as walking poles etc

- Eating and drinking utensils

- Waterbottle

- Sleeping bag, sheets & pillowcase. (You need to bring these items and they will be put into our swag)

- Day pack

 

FOOD

You must notify us upon booking if you have any known medical and/or food allergies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GETTING TO THE SURVEY

The camel team will be in the Munga-Thirri National Park near the South Australia border. You will fly via scheduled domestic service from Brisbane to Birdsville and stay in Birdsville that night. The next day you will transfer to the camel camp via 4WD.

The survey finishes in the lower reaches of the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve in South Australia. The return transfer to Birdsville is via 4WD then the scheduled domestic flight to Brisbane the next day.

 

 

FULL SURVEY NOTES WILL BE ISSUED WITH YOUR SURVEY INFORMATION GUIDE

 

IMPORTANT! PLEASE NOTE

Apart from vegetarian or vegan diets, we only cater for dietary allergies and not preferences.

The survey is definitely not the place or time to 'try out a new diet' regime!

We may ask for a medical certificate detailing any known allergies.

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A donation to the Australian Desert Expeditions Public Fund goes directly to the scientific & ecological research of Australia's Deserts