Desert Parks Bulletin

Desert Parks Bulletin

No. 794 | Updat­ed: 27 Feb­ru­ary 2024

  • Munga-Thirri Simpson Desert and the K1 Warburton, Walkers Crossing and Halligan Bay Point Public Access Routes are closed from 1 December 2023, re-opening 16 March 2024.

Safe­ty in the Outback

  • ALERT: Water across tracks has resulted in electrical faults being reported in a number of vehicles. High clearance 4WD’s recommended and extra care is required when navigating these areas.

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 Trans­port SA.

Kati Than­da-Lake Eyre Nation­al Park

  • 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.

Hal­li­gan Bay Point Pub­lic Access Route Closed 1 Decem­ber 2023 – 15 March 2024


Lev­el Post Bay Pub­lic Access RouteClosed by order of the Pas­toral Board 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 cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene products with them.
  • 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 13 Novem­ber – 18 Decem­ber 2023

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


Closed due to rain and flooding

Witji­ra Nation­al Park

  • 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 disabled toilet is closed pending repairs.
  • ALERT: 100mm rain
  • Witji­ra Nation­al Park – Closed 
  • Dal­housie Camp­ground – Closed
  • Three O’Clock Creek Camp­ground – Closed
  • Dal­housie Camp­ground to Purni Bore – Closed
  • The Dal­housie airstrip: Closed
  • Bloods Creek Ruin to Fed­er­al Water­hole Track: Closed 
  • Binns Track: Closed
  • Pedir­ka Pub­lic Access Route – Open — 4WD Only, 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. Vis­it Nation­al Parks for 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 reserves.

  • 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 — Closed 1 Decem­ber 2023 — 15 March 2024

    • 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 Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
    • 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.

    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 does not not rec­om­mend tow­ing 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 –Closed

    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 Trans­port SA Out­back Roads hot­line on 1300 361 033.

    The DIT out­back Road Warn­ings web­site can be accessed here https://​dit​.sa​.gov​.au/​O​u​t​b​a​c​k​Roads

    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 man­ages 14 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.