AUSTRALIAN  DESERT  EXPEDITIONS

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

WATTI WATTI / GREAT WHITE DUNES SURVEY

 

 

 

 Duration:

 Dates:

 Breakup:

 Difficulty:           

 Max group size:

 Start point:

 Finish point:

 Cost:

 

13 Days

May 16 - May 28 2019

1 day flight / 1 day 4WD / 9 days trekking / 1 day 4WD / 1day flight

Moderate

10

Brisbane

Brisbane

AUD$8890

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

Watti Watti / Great White Dunes Survey

Summary

Map

Practicalities

As with the preceding Koomarinna East Survey, we will be spending the first days of this survey visiting the numerous small salt lakes that lie to the east of the K1 Line, benchmark and document some of the ecological responses to the current conditions in the South-Eastern Simpson Desert, which will help us to understand the often complex ebb and flow of its cyclic ‘boom-bust’ dynamics, before venturing north into an area that is largely dominated by towering white dunes and sparse swales.

 

We have not documented this area before, so this survey is an important part of our Shared Journeys transect. We will need every one of the 9 days to explore this huge area as we gradually work in a northerly arc back towards the K1 Line.

 

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.

 

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.

X

General survey corridor

And it's a full moon on May 18th...

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

- Return domestic flight from Brisbane to Birdsville

- Pre and post survey accommodation in Birdsville

- 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 Brisbane and any other transport in Brisbane 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 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 the same route.

 

 

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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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