Desert Parks Bulletin

Desert Parks Bulletin

No. 802 | Updat­ed: 9 May 2024

  • ALERT: COVID-19 information | People traveling to the outback should check the latest SA COVID-19 information on COVID-19. Visit sahealth.sa.gov.au
  • ALERT: Woomera Prohibited Area Periodic Suspension of the Standing Permission to access the Stuart Highway from 6 May to 9 June 2024 The standing permission allowing access to travel on parts of the Stuart Highway is to be suspended from time to time during the period from 6 May to 9 June 2024 inclusive, during such times as access control points are established and warning signs are in place. Access to the highway will be re opened at the earliest opportunity. To check daily information about any access restrictions please contact the Woomera Test Range on 1300 972 335 (select option 1).

It is impor­tant that campers and oth­er park vis­i­tors are self-suf­fi­cient, and car­ry their own cook­ing, clean­ing and per­son­al hygiene prod­ucts with them.

Please respect oth­er campers and park vis­i­tors by keep­ing a safe dis­tance and prac­tic­ing good hygiene.

Safe­ty in the Outback

    Out­back day­time tem­per­a­tures can reach high 40s. If you are trav­el­ling in the Out­back, you should bring appro­pri­ate cloth­ing, ensure your vehi­cles are prop­er­ly pre­pared and equipped for out­back trav­el and any emer­gen­cies or delays. Take extra water, food and fuel sup­plies. Ensure good com­mu­ni­ca­tions equip­ment, either HF Radio or Satel­lite Phone and an EPIRB or PLB. Ensure you noti­fy a respon­si­ble per­son, such as a fam­i­ly mem­ber, of your plans pri­or to trav­el­ling into remote areas, and seek local advice.

    If you attempt dri­ving in sandy con­di­tions and get bogged, do not attempt to get the vehi­cle out with­out ensur­ing 4WD and hubs are engaged, tyre pres­sures are decreased and sand is removed from the path of the tyres. If you become stuck, do not leave your vehi­cles to walk for assis­tance as this can have fatal consequences.

    Speed lim­its

    Check road and weath­er bul­letins and local con­di­tions before trav­el­ling into the Out­back. Speed lim­its of 40km per hour apply with­in all parks. For up-to-date pub­lic road infor­ma­tion out­side of Nation­al Parks, please call the Trans­port SA Road Con­di­tion Hot­line on 1300 361 033 or vis­it the Trans­port SA web­site.

    Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre Nation­al Park

    Hal­li­gan Bay Point Pub­lic Access Route Open to 4WD


    Lev­el Post Bay Pub­lic Access RouteClosed For Pub­lic Safe­ty, by order of the Pas­toral Board of South Australia

    Tal­laringa Con­ser­va­tion Park — Open to 4WD 

    • ALERT: It is important that campers and other park visitors are self-sufficient, and carry their own firewood, drinking water cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene products with them.
    • ALERT: The Anne Beadell Highway west of Tallaringa crosses the Amber Zone 2 in the Woomera Prohibited Area and is subject to annual closures by the Department of Defence. For the latest information please check the Department of Defence website at: www.defence.gov.au/woomera .

    Future clo­sures of the Anne Bead­ell High­way by the Depart­ment of Defence are 6th May 2024 to 9th June 2024

    Extreme cau­tion at pond­ed water, washouts and cor­ru­ga­tions, plus rut­ted sections. 

    The tracks with­in Tal­laringa Con­ser­va­tion Park are un-main­tained 4WD tracks and con­di­tions can change unpre­dictably.

    Online park book­ings or a Desert Parks Pass is required, as well as a tourist access per­mit to access this area from the Depart­ment of Defence.

    Innam­inc­ka Region­al Reserve and Malkum­ba-Coongie Lakes Nation­al Park

    • ALERT: Japanese Encephalitis has been detected in feral pigs in the Cooper and Diamantina catchments including pigs within Innamincka Regional Reserve. This disease is spread by mosquitos so prevent its spread by covering up, using insect repellent, ensure screens are installed and in good repair on caravans and tents and use mosquito nets. More information can be found at the PIRSA website here Current alert (pir.sa.gov.au)
    • ALERT: It is important that campers and other park visitors are self-sufficient, and carry their own, drinking water cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene products with them.
    • ALERT: It is important that campers and other park visitors are self-sufficient, and carry their own firewood, drinking water cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene products with them.
    • ALERT: Brucellosis (Brucella suis) has been detected in feral pigs in the Cooper and Diamantina catchments including pigs within Innamincka Regional Reserve. This disease can cause serious illness and in some cases death. Avoid contact with feral pigs and do not let dogs eat from feral pig carcases or faeces. For more information please check the PIRSA website at Brucella suis - PIRSA.

    Extreme cau­tion at pond­ed water, washouts and cor­ru­ga­tions, plus rut­ted sec­tions from vis­i­tors dri­ving on wet tracks. Access to camp­sites can vary, some are not suit­able for large car­a­vans.

    Please note that chain­saws and fire wood col­lec­tion is pro­hib­it­ed in Innam­inc­ka Region­al Reserve and Malkum­ba-Coongie Lakes Nation­al Park, with no wood fires per­mit­ted at Malkum­ba-Coongie Lakes Nation­al Park. Bring fire­wood with you and take your waste mate­r­i­al home or deposit it at the Innam­inc­ka town­ship refuse site.

    Dogs, gen­er­a­tors and pow­ered water craft not per­mit­ted with­in Malkum­ba – Coongie Lakes Nation­al Park.

    Coongie Track Innam­inc­ka to Kudriemitchie Camp­ground –
    Open to 4WD only – No Tow­ing, Cau­tion at washouts and silt­ing. Dri­ve to con­di­tions.
    Coongie Track Kudriemitchie Camp­ground to Malkum­ba-Coongie Lakes Nation­al Park – Closed due to localised
    15 Mile Track – Closed due to flood dam­age
    Merninie Loop – Closed due to flood dam­age
    Cullya­mur­ra Water­hole – Closed due to flood dam­age
    Burke’s Grave – Open to 4WD

    Queer­bi­die – Open to 4WD
    Police­mans – Closed due to flood dam­age
    Kings Mark­er – Closed due to flood dam­age
    Ski Beach Camp­ground – Closed due to flood dam­age
    Wills Grave – Closed due to flood dam­age
    Minkie Water­hole Camp­ground – Closed due to flood dam­age
    Old Strz­elec­ki Track (on Innam­inc­ka Region­al Reserve only) – Closed due to flood dam­age
    Bore Track North – Closed due to flood dam­age
    Bore Track South – Closed indef­i­nite­ly.
    Walk­er Cross­ing Pub­lic Access Route – Closed For Pub­lic Safe­ty, by order of the Pas­toral Board of South Australia

    Witji­ra Nation­al Park — Open to 4WD Only

    Witji­ra Nation­al Park – Open to 4WDCau­tion at pond­ed water and washouts

    Dal­housie Camp­ground – Open

    Three O’Clock Creek Camp­ground –Open

    Dal­housie Camp­ground to Purni Bore – Open

    The Dal­housie airstrip — Closed

    Bloods Creek Ruin to Fed­er­al Water­hole Track: Closed

    Binns Track: Open

    Pedir­ka Pub­lic Access Route – Open to 4WD No Towing

    Tracks in the park are grad­ed in May/​June every year.

    Rub­bish tips are locat­ed 3 kilo­me­tres east and west of the Dal­housie camp­ground or at Birdsville for dis­pos­al of rubbish.

    Check local con­di­tions before trav­el­ling into this area. See the Nation­al Parks web­site at www​.parks​.sa​.gov​.aufor more information.

    Wood fires are not per­mit­ted in Witji­ra, with the excep­tion that wood fires are still per­mit­ted at Mt Dare. Wood can be car­ried through Witji­ra to be used in the Munga-Thirri – Simp­son Desert Nation­al Park.

    • Pink Road­house (Ph: (61 8) 8670 7822) – Agent for the Desert Parks Pass. Pro­vides diesel and unlead­ed fuel, accom­mo­da­tion, food and gro­ceries, meals, minor repairs, tyres, trav­el sup­plies, and alcohol.
    • Mt Dare Hotel (Ph: (61 8) 8670 7835) – Agent for the Desert Parks Pass. Pro­vides diesel and unlead­ed fuel, accom­mo­da­tion, meals, hot show­ers, minor repairs, camp­ing, trav­el sup­plies, alco­hol, and phone cards avail­able for trav­ellers. Satel­lite phones are avail­able to hire from Mt Dare Hotel for trips across the Munga-Thirri – Simp­son Desert.

    Munga-Thirri – Simp­son Desert Nation­al Park — OPEN to 4WD

      • ALERT: This bulletin applies to the South Australian Munga-Thirri – Simpson Desert National Park only. It does not apply to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service’ Munga-Thirri National Park. For up to date information on this park please check https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/munga-thirri.
      • ALERT: The disabled toilet is closed pending repairs.
      • ALERT: It is important that campers and other park visitors are self-sufficient, and carry their own cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene products with them.

      ALERT — Advice from Queens­land Police: The Eyre Creek is now mak­ing its way south and will soon impact the QAA line. The riv­er is expect­ed to remain with­in its banks as it con­tin­ues to flow south. Changes are being mon­i­tored by QPOL and Queens­land Nation­al Parks. The North­ern Eyre Creek Bypass must now be used by per­sons trav­el­ling into the Simp­son Desert Nation­al Park East/​West. The bypass has been checked and mark­ings placed to assist trav­ellers across the riv­er at the top of the bypass by QLD Nation­al PArks. 

      Flood water around Adria Downs Sta­tion has affect­ed trav­el on the Madi­gan Line. Per­sons trav­el­ling on the Madi­gan Line West-East are request­ed to trav­el North or South on the Hay Riv­er Track at Camp 16 as trav­el past this point on the Madi­gan Line is not pos­si­ble at this time.

      ALERT: War­bur­ton Track is closed by order of the Pas­toral Board due to flooding

      ALERT: It is impor­tant that campers and oth­er park vis­i­tors are self-suf­fi­cient, and car­ry their own fire­wood, drink­ing water cook­ing, clean­ing and per­son­al hygiene prod­ucts with them.

      Extreme cau­tion at pond­ed water, washouts and cor­ru­ga­tions, plus rut­ted sections.

      The tracks with­in Munga-Thirri – Simp­son Desert are un-main­tained 4WD tracks and con­di­tions can change unpredictably.

      Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice South Aus­tralia do not rec­om­mend the tow­ing of trail­ers or campers with­in the desert.

      War­bur­ton Cross­ing Pub­lic Access Route – Closed For Pub­lic Safe­ty, by order of the Pas­toral Board of South Australia

      Col­son Track –Open to 4WD

      Con­di­tion updates

      As con­di­tions change a fur­ther update bul­letin will be issued. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion on SA Desert Parks and Far North­ern South Aus­tralian road and track access, please call Desert Parks on (61 8) 8648 5328 or the Depart­ment for Infra­struc­ture and Trans­port Out­back Road Warn­ings web­site Out­back Road Warn­ings — Depart­ment for Infra­struc­ture and Trans­port — South Aus­tralia (dit​.sa​.gov​.au)

      Alter­na­tive­ly con­tact local Police where applic­a­ble for con­di­tion updates. For trav­el com­mu­ni­ca­tions, con­tact the Aus­tralian Nation­al 4WD Radio Net­work Inc on (61 8) 7325 2600.

      Pub­lic Access Routes

      Pub­lic Access Routes (PARs) pro­vide pub­lic access over pas­toral lease­hold land, from pub­lic roads or tracks to points of pub­lic inter­est, which in some cas­es include parks and reserves, with­out the need for trav­ellers to seek per­mis­sion to trav­el along these routes. PARs are not part of the for­mal road net­work, they are unsealed and unformed dirt tracks intend­ed to pro­vide four wheel dri­ve access in dry con­di­tions only.

      The Min­is­ter for the Pas­toral Act manages14 PARs in the desert parks area:

      • Cur­dimur­ka
      • Strang­ways Springs
      • Lake Cadibar­rawirri­can­na
      • Tal­laringa
      • Lake Eyre/​Kati Than­da — Hal­li­gan Bay Point
      • Lake Eyre/​Kati Than­da – Lev­el Post Bay
      • Old Peake
      • Pedir­ka
      • Arckaringa Hills
      • K1 War­bur­ton Cross­ing Track
      • Walk­ers Crossing
      • Alge­buck­i­na Bridge
      • Beres­ford Bore
      • Munger­an­nie Bore

      Camp­ing on PARs

      Camp­ing is per­mit­ted (tem­porar­i­ly) on PARs. Camp­ing is not allowed on pas­toral lease­hold land with­out the per­mis­sion of the lessee. If the lessee grants per­mis­sion to camp on the lease, you must not camp with­in one kilo­me­tre of home­steads or oth­er build­ings and not with­in 500 metres of stock water­ing points.

      Trav­el­ling on PARs

      PARs are unsealed, unformed, dirt tracks designed for 4WD use in good weath­er only and should there­fore be treat­ed with cau­tion. The fol­low­ing tips will help you to trav­el safely:

      • Use a high clear­ance 4WD
      • Car­a­vans and trail­ers are not recommended
      • Beware of washouts, cor­ru­ga­tions and oth­er road hazards
      • Beware of wan­der­ing stock – these routes are not fenced and are usu­al­ly part of the net­work of tracks used by lessees to man­age their pas­toral properties
      • Dri­ve to road conditions
      • Leave gates as you find them
      • In case of emer­gency ensure you have ade­quate food and water, and appro­pri­ate com­mu­ni­ca­tion devices, and in the event of a break­down stay with your vehicle.
      • Tracks may tem­porar­i­ly close as required (i.e. due to rain), so ensure you check pri­or to leav­ing at www​.dit​.sa​.gov​.au/​O​u​t​b​a​c​k​Roads.

      Please avoid trav­el dur­ing or imme­di­ate­ly after rain – this can cause sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the track and put oth­ers that fol­low at risk. It can also cost many thou­sands of dol­lars to make basic road/​track repairs.

      Trav­el­ling through pas­toral land

      In the South Aus­tralian out­back, most land not in the Depart­ment for Envi­ron­ment and Water’s parks and reserve sys­tem is pas­toral lease­hold land. If you wish to trav­el through pas­toral prop­er­ty on tracks that are not PARs or main pub­lic roads or tracks, then pri­or approval from the pas­toral lessee of the respec­tive pas­toral lease must be obtained.

      Fight the Bite – a health warn­ing from SA Health

      Mos­qui­toes can be active around water­bod­ies in north­ern South Australia.

      Mos­qui­toes are not only a nui­sance but some can spread seri­ous dis­ease such as Ross Riv­er virus (RRv) and Barmah For­est virus (BFv) when they bite (symp­toms of RRv and BFv can include joint pains, rash, fever, fatigue or mus­cle pain).

      There is NOCURE and NOVAC­CINE to pro­tect against these mos­qui­to borne dis­eases. The only known and effec­tive way to reduce risk of mos­qui­to borne dis­ease is to pre­vent mos­qui­to bites.

      If you are a vis­i­tor, or if you live in north­ern South Aus­tralia, it is impor­tant that you pro­tect your­self, your fam­i­ly and friends against mos­qui­to borne dis­ease by Fight­ing the Bite. Key strate­gies include:

      • Cov­er­ing up – wear long, light coloured, loose fit­ting cloth­ing (mos­qui­toes can bite through tight clothes like jeans)
      • Apply per­son­al insect repel­lent con­tain­ing DEET or Picaridin (avoid using on babies and tod­dlers and ALWAYS read and fol­low instruc­tions on the label first).
      • Ensure insect screens cov­er open­ings in hol­i­day hous­es, boats, car­a­vans or tents.
      • Cov­er sleep­ing areas or beds with mos­qui­to nets if necessary.

      For addi­tion­al strate­gies and infor­ma­tion about how to Fight the Bite and pro­tect against mos­qui­to borne dis­ease vis­it SA Health.

      Travis Gotch
      Dis­trict Ranger Out­back
      Flinders & Out­back
      DesertParks@​sa.​gov.​au

      While every attempt has been made to pro­vide up to date infor­ma­tion in this bul­letin, all trav­ellers are respon­si­ble for ensur­ing that they obtain accu­rate and detailed infor­ma­tion and are prop­er­ly equipped and pre­pared for all emer­gen­cies pri­or to trav­el­ling into remote out­back areas.