Desert Parks Bulletin
Know before you go

Desert Parks Bulletin

Before visiting parks in the Flinders and Outback region check the latest Desert Parks Bulletin and road condition report for information about access, closures, campgrounds and roads.

No. 713 | Updated: 12 January 2022

  • Simpson Desert and the K1 Warburton, Walkers Crossing and Halligan Bay Point Public Access Routes are closed between 1 December 2021 and 15 March 2022.

ALERT: COVID-19 information

Before travelling, check the SA COVID-19 restrictions online.

COVID Safe Check-In is South Australia's QR code check-in system.

All travellers should download the mySA GOV app from Google Play or the App Store before travelling to South Australia. You are required to use the COVID Safe Check-In whenever you enter a business or premises displaying an approved QR code.

If you do not have a smartphone, you must complete a manual check-in.

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.

Find out more about visiting parks during COVID-19.

Find out more about COVID-19.

South Australian COVID-19 Information line: 1800 253 787

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.

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 2021, re-opens 16 March
Level Post Bay Public Access Route – closed due to public safety.

Tallaringa Conservation Park

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: 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: Please remain on tracks, the surrounding ground can be wet, boggy and treacherous.

Extreme caution at ponded water, washouts and corrugations, plus rutted sections from visitors driving on wet tracks.

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.

  • Coongie Track to Kudremitchie – Open to 4WD
  • Coongie Track Kudremitchie to Malkumba-Coongie Lakes National Park – Open to 4WD
  • 15 Mile Track– Open to 4WD
  • Merninie Loop – Open to 4WD
  • Cullyamurra Waterhole – Open to 4WD
  • Burke’s Grave – Open to 4WD
  • Queerbidie – Open to 4WD
  • Policemans – Open to 4WD
  • Kings Marker – Open to 4WD
  • Ski Beach Campground – Open to 4WD
  • Wills Grave – Open to 4WD
  • Minke Waterhole Campground – Open to 4WD
  • Old Strzelecki Track (on Innamincka Regional Reserve only) – Closed due to floodwater still sitting on track
  • Bore Track North – Open to 4WD
  • Bore Track South – Closed
  • Walker Crossing Public Access Route – Closed 1 December 2021, re-opens 16 March

Witjira National Park

  • ALERT: t 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.
  • Witjira National Park – Open to 4WD
  • Dalhousie Campground – Open to 4WD
  • Three O’Clock Creek Campground – Open to 4WD
  • Dalhousie Campground to Purni Bore – Closed 1 December 2021, re-opens 16 March
  • Pedirka Public Access Route – Open to 4WD Only
  • The Dalhousie airstrip: Closed to public use.
  • Binns Track: Open to 4WD only

Tracks in the park are graded in June.

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.

The Dalhousie airstrip: Closed to public use.

Binns Track: Open to 4WD

  • 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

Closed 1 December 2021, re-opens 16 March

  • Warburton Crossing Public Access Route – Closed 1 December 2021, re-opens 16 March
  • 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.

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.

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 NO CURE and NO VACCINE 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.