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. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
This adventure will begin at the iconic heart of Australia, Uluru. We will meet at the Ayres Rock Airport (AYQ) at 1pm, so please book your flight to arrive any time before then. If you are arriving much earlier in the morning or even the day before the trip, you can catch the free shuttle to the Ayres Rock Resort where we can arrange a place to pick you up from at the resort. Once the group is all together we will hop straight in the bus and drive in to the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park! We will provide a packed/picnic lunch today. Today you will get to marvel at the majesty of Uluru as we walk the Uluru Base Walk. This walk will be partially guided by your trip leader Madi who will explain about the local aborigional culture, geology of the desert and Uluru's significance in the outback. You will also have some time to enjoy the walk at your own pace. After the walk, as the sun gets low in the sky we will go to a picturesque lookout to watch the sunset and magical colour change on the rock.
This morning will be a very early rise as we want to make our way to Kata Tjuta in time to catch sunrise on the mountain! You will be amazed at Uluru's lesser known neighbour Kata Tjuta as we walk through the "Valley of the Winds". The name Kata Tjuta translates to "many heads" in the local Anangu language, named after the 36 giant round domes that make up its feature. This walk will take us aproximately 2.5 hours, after which we will head back to our campsite to have lunch and pack up our swags. Now its time to wave goodbye to Uluru and Kata Tjuta as we hit the road and start heading east, to the Simpson Desert! We will drive for about 3.5 hours before stopping for the night to camp at a road house on the Stuart Highway called Kulgera. Here there is a pub, petrol station, bar, and shower/toilet facilities. This will be our last taste of civilisation for the next 5 days, so make sure you stock up on all the snacks you need and enjoy your last shower!
Okay, theres no getting around it, today will be a looong and bumpy drive! This is where the adventure really begins as we put the bus in 4WD and journey into the desert along the straight red roads. We will aim to leave Kulgera around 8am and have a lunch stop around midday, but of course we will stop the bus regularly for a stretch and pee break. At a crossroads in the middle of seamingly no-where, we will be met by our lead explorer Andrew Harper in his landcruiser who will lead us the rest of the way into the simpson desert to where he currently has the camel camp set up. It will be another hour or 2 driving before we reach the camp site, where we will then be introduced to the other expedition leaders, cameleers, and of course, the camels! The expedition party will have already been in the desert for over a month at this point, as they spend more than 4 months exploring the Simpson Desert every year from Kulgera to Birdsville. Tonight will be a relaxed evening as we settle in to the camp, get to know the cameleers, and enjoy the feeling of zen that wide open spaces bring.
Day 4, 5 & 6.
The next 3 days will be spent walking, talking, learning, walking, eating, and walking some more as we meander our way across the endless red dunes.
- Wake up at dawn, and be ready for breakfast shortly after
- Pack up your swag
- 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
After rolling your swag up one last time and watching the burning sunrise it will be time to say goodbye to the camels and your new desert family. We will have breaky, pack the bus and then begin the journey back to Alice Springs. It will be aproximately a 6 hour drive to return to civilisation, with a stop for lunch along the way. When we return to Alice Springs you will be dropped off at your hotel of choosing between 3-5pm. I bet a shower and comfy bed will have never felt so great!