AUSTRALIAN  DESERT  EXPEDITIONS

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

WATTI WATTI / GREAT CENTRAL LAKES EXPEDITION

 

 

 

 Duration:

 Dates:

 Breakup:

 Difficulty:           

 Max group size:

 Start point:

 Finish point:

 Cost:

 

15 Days

May 27 - June 10 2019

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

Moderate

9

Brisbane

Adelaide

AUD$11790

Includes flight from Brisbane to Birdsville, accommodation in Birdsville plus 4WD transfers, flights to Adelaide including Charter flight over the Warburton River, southern Simpson Desert salt lakes, Poeppel Corner

Watti Watti / Great Central Lakes Expedition

Summary

Map

Practicalities

 

This survey is part of the Watti Watti Songline.

 

This survey will be a follow up to a 2018 survey that explored the extensive salt lake system that straddled the centre of the Project 138 survey corridor. Combined with the preceding Great White Dunes Expedition, the expedition will document this important land system of the world's largest sand-ridge desert.

 

One fascinating aspect of the journey is that you will start the trip in 'white dune country' and finish it where the dunes are turning red to crimson.

 

With the longest salt lake stretching nearly 80 kilometres, and many dozens more over 40 kilometres long, our survey traverse will be alongside or near to these shimmering dry expanses for each of the 12 days of trekking. The lakes seldom fill with water (and only from local heavy rain) but the surface is usually soft and so we won't be taking our camels across the lakes, unless they are firm underfoot as a fully loaded packcamel can weigh nearly 1 tonne, and can easily become bogged. We only ever walk across lakes if there is a pad to follow and these 'salt highways' are made by feral camels.

 

Our ecology team will be setting pitfall traps every night as well as recording all bird sightings.

 

The white sand ridges at the beginning of the trip hold many unique attributes compared to the broader red dune field in the north of the 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.

 

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.

 

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

X

General survey corridor

THIS EXPEDITION 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

- Domestic flight from Brisbane to Birdsville

- Charter flight from Poeppel Corner to Olympic Dam

- Domestic flight from Olympic Dam to Adelaide

- All specialist safety equipment & communications

- Swags & tents

- Trek kit bag for your personal gear

- Desert silence!

 

NOT INCLUDED

- Your flights to Brisbane and any other transport in Brisbane prior to the survey

- Your flights from Adelaide and any other transport in Adelaide after the survey

- Accommodation and meals in Brisbane and Adelaide

- 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 South Australia. You will transfer via 4WD to the camel camp which will be located near the K1 4WD Track in the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve. The return transfer will be via a chartered aircraft from the desert airstrip near Poeppel Corner in the Northern Territory to Olympic Dam, then by scheduled domestic service to Adelaide.

 

FULL EXPEDITION NOTES WILL BE ISSUED WITH YOUR EXPEDITION 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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Australian Desert Expeditions is an Australian registered charity with tax-deductable status.

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