Simpson Desert Camel Trek
Wild Women Journeys is teaming up with the Outback Camel Company to create a once in a life time trekking experience across the Simpson Desert, accompanied by 16 friendly camels who will be carrying the supplies. You will be joining desert explorer Andrew Harper and his team of ecologists and cameleers as they journey through the red sand dunes connecting with country, nature, and spirit.
Start this journey with a "wow" visiting the iconic Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
Experience a guided walk around the base of Uluru learning about the indigenous culture and rock art, geology of the rock and local history.
Travel as the early pioneers did trekking through the desert with camels.
Learn about the flora, fauna and science of the Simpson Desert from leading desert ecologist Dr Max Tishler.
Discover indigenous artifacts and learn about the history of this area.
Sleep under the most incredible desert stars in a swag.
Enjoy sharing stories and laughs around the campfire with like minded adventurers.
Experience SERIOUS disconnection from the "real world" as you are immersed in the nature of the desert. No power, no lights, no gas, no reception, no technology, just us and the raw earth.
*We do not ride the camels, they carry the gear for the expedition and we lead them walking*
Duration: 7 days
Trip 1: 14/6/22 - 20/6/22
Trip 2: 1/7/22 - 7/7/22
Finish: Alice Springs
Group size: 9 trekkers plus 5 cameleers & leaders
Cost: $2999 (deposit of $500)
Transport to Simpson Desert from Alice Springs.
All meals: 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners; plus lots of yummy snacks.
2 expert desert scientist guides.
All camp gear.
National Park and camp site fees.
Transport to Uluru.
Guided base walk at Uluru.
What is a camel trek?
This experience is far from any "camel ride"/"outback safari" tour, it is a trek through the desert using camels to carry our supplies, allowing us to venture further into the desert than any other mode of travel. No cars, no 4wd's, no road trains can see these remote areas; they are only accessible by foot. We will be lead by Australian explorer Andrew Harper and desert scientist Dr Max Tischler who have several decades of experience between them exploring and surveying deserts. Our expedition team will also consist of 5 cameleers who care for the 16 camels that will be carrying our supplies. Along this journey you will get to help out in all aspects of the exploration, from packing camels to learning the local ecology, you will experience the Simpson Desert in the most deep and unique way possible.
This is a walking journey, so it is completely sensible that you must be adequatly fit to walk for several hours each day. However, the walking is at a very reasonable pace (camel pace) with lots of breaks. The sand also makes for an easy walking terrain.
This trek is in June which is one of the cooler winter months in Central Australia. Most days are clear, warm and sunny with an average temperature of 23 degrees Celsius. During the night temperatures can fall to zero or below. Most rainfall in Central Australia occurs during the summer but wet weather can be expected during the winter as well. Random storms, rain and minor flooding are all part of living in Central Australia during winter and you should be prepared for wet weather.
You will be surprised to find the variety of food we can prepare on our treks. Menus are constructed around healthy food that provides energy for the daily routine. Breakfast is usually cereal or porridge, tea, coffee (and perhaps toast) or sometimes there is a cooked meal. Lunch normally consists of bread/wraps and/or biscuits, salads, tea or coffee and fruit. Dinner is a two or three course meal followed by a hot drink. Water is available before every meal for washing
hands. With prior notice, we can cater for vegetarians and those people who may have special dietary requirements such as lactose intolerance etc. Please make note on your Personal Details Form and return to us.
Water / hygiene
Naturally enough, water is a precious commodity in such a dry landscape. Hand sanitizer is available before every meal for washing hands. Baby wipes a very useful additional item to bring along as these help to keep the body clean. Our drinking water will come from station bores or nearby towns such as Birdsville and Alice Springs, and although it will probably taste slightly different to the filtered water you find coming out of taps in urban/regional Australia, it is of course perfectly safe to drink. In fact, many bores have beautiful sweet tasting water. Occasionally we also use water from homestead rainwater tanks. As far as drinking is concerned, there will be no water rationing during this trek, and common sense will prevail, however there will be no daily opportunities for complete body washing and you should be prepared for this.
When it is necessary to ‘duck over the sand dune’, please bury everything to a depth of 30 cm. Take matches or a lighter and burn the paper, but only if it is safe to do so. Spinifex burns readily and intensely and we don’t want to start a bushfire! We provide toilet paper, hand sanitizer, matches and a small trowel for the trek.
Outback Camel Company operates in mostly uninhabited country where it is important to make as little physical impact as possible on the landscape. Obviously, please do not drop litter in the bush and dispose of all rubbish at the treks conclusion. If bathing or washing in creeks or dams, never introduce any soaps or detergents into the
water. We provide plastic wash bowls that should be used at least 50 metres away from the water source to prevent contamination.
The trek carries a minimum of two satellite telephones. In an emergency we can be in instant contact with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and other state emergency services.
Please note that whilst it is possible for us to contact the outside world, it is not practical for members of your family to contact you whilst you are on the trek.
This adventure will be begining at Uluru, so you should book your arrival flight to Ayres Rock Airport (AYQ) on the first day of the trip. Most flights land between 10am-1pm every day, so your trip leader Madi will be arriving to the airport to pick everyone up at 1pm. It is a very small airport so it wont be hard to find the group of women when you land, but Madi will be waiting there with a sign, and you will have her phone number to contact her if you need. If you choose to fly in the day before the trip or are landing very early on the first day and dont want to wait at the airport till 1pm, there is a free shuttle which takes you to the Ayres Rock Resort and we can arrange to meet you there. The Ayres Rock Airport does not have any shops or cafes so bring snacks to get you through your travels. There are many cafes, IGA, a post office and more at the Ayres Rock Resort.
We can also arrange a transfer from Alice Springs to Uluru before the trip if you will be travelling from there. Please contact Madi to discuss your travel route. email@example.com.
This trip will finish in Alice Springs at approx 4pm on the final day. So you should book your departure flight from Alice Springs Airport (this is a different airport to Ayres Rock Airport, and they are 500km's apart, so dont get them mixed up!). Please book your departure flight the day after the trip just incase anything happens and we are delayed arriving back to town. This will mean you need to book a nights accomodation in Alice Springs. We recommend the Aurora motel for a mid range and close to town place.
Welcome to the outback! If you have flown in to Alice Springs, you will be collected from your accommodation at 6am to drive to Uluru. It is a 5 hr drive and we will make several stops along the way including a breakfast stop. For the rest of the group who are flying directly to Uluru airport, we will arrive at about 1pm to pick you up from the airport, and then head to our campsite at Ayres Rock Resort for introductions and lunch.
This afternoon will be an experience not to forget as you explore the many features of Uluru walking around the base walk. This section of the walk will be self-guided so you can enjoy the marvels of Uluru at your own pace.
After a big day of travelling you’ll be ready to relax with a cheese platter and watch the sunset over Uluru, laughing and chatting with your new friends!
Rise and Shine! It will be an early start today as we awake in time to see the sunrise at Uluru and continue the rest of the base walk. We will be joined by a local Indigenous guide to take us through part of this mornings walk and teach us about the local culture and art.
After our walk, we will visit the cultural center and have a picnic lunch in the park.
In the afternoon we will venture over to Kata Tjuta/Mt Olga to go for a short hike in the Walpa Gorge before heading back to our camp at the Ayres Rock Resort for dinner and a marshmallow around the campfire.
Theres no denying it, today is a big drive! We will pack up and leave our camp around 7am to begin driving eat into the Simpson desert. We will have about 3.5 hours driving on the sealed road to Kulgera Roadhouse before turning onto the sandy track for another 3-4 hours to meet our camel trekking party who will already be in the desert.
When we arrive around 5pm we will be introduced to the cameleers, explorers and of course the camels! Tonight will be a relaxing night around the fire as we settle into life in a camel camp in the Simpson desert and get to know the camel trekking group.
Day 4,5 & 6:
For the next 3 days we will be trekking in the Simpson Desert. Here’s an example of what a ‘normal’ trekking day may consist of:
- Wake up at dawn, and be ready for breakfast shortly after
- Pack up your camp - you are responsible for rolling your swag which can be quite cumbersome but you’ll get the knack by the second morning!
- Assist with packing up of camp
- Assist with loading of camels when ready - you will be assigned to a camel string on the first day and will work with the cameleers to saddle, load and generally prepare for departure.
- Walk - stop - explore - stop
- Lunch - for an hour
- Walk - stop - explore - stop
- Make camp (anytime from lunchtime to mid afternoon)
- Set up your swag, perhaps help the cameleers shepherd the camels
- Dinner - usually before sunset or just after
- Sit around the campfire - perhaps in silence & reflection, perhaps in conversation
- Swag time - most people are in bed within an hour after sunset
Please note that we are working with a team of large animals and flexibility is therefore critical on our treks.
After 6 incredible days in the outback, today we will sadly say goodbye to the camel trekking group as they stay in the desert and continue their journey through the Simpson Desert, whilst we make our way back to Alice Springs. We will leave shortly after packing up camp and having breakfast, as it will be approximately a 6 hour drive back to Alice Springs via Santa Teresa. We will arrive back to civilization around 4pm and will drop you at your accommodation of choice in Alice Springs.