11 Day Sturt Stony Desert Trek
Our second 2024 trek is a longer journey than the May trek, and this will give us more time to explore and absorb what the desert has to offer. There's little doubt that the longer one spends on a trek, the better it is, as your mind and body really start to adjust to this slower pace of living.
On this trek you will walk alongside our team of packcamels accompanied by 5 cameleers who are your crew for the duration of the trek. Our cameleers are not 'tour guides', they are seasoned stockmen/women who are specialists in handling and working with camels, and have a wealth of experience in walking the desert and knowledge of its flora & fauna, and are respectful of our First Nations people who call the desert home.
We will be walking in the dune fields and swales of the Sturt Stony Desert and Strzelecki Desert on Clifton Hills Station in South Australia. The Sturt Stony Desert is aptly named by explorer Charles Sturt in 1845 whilst enroute to the north.
Burke & Wills trekked through this very landscape in 1860 whilst enroute to the gulf and we will be walking in more or less the exact same area as they did just over 163 years ago. Please note that this is not a re-enactment of any type, merely just an incredibly rare opportunity to get a very real sense of what it must have been like to walk in this landscape on Australia's first camel expedition. It's very appropriate that we are able to acknowledge Burke & Wills , as our camels represent the last team of desert packcamels left in Australia, and our heritage stretches right back to that groundbreaking expedition.
Read more about Burke & Wills here
This is a fascinating landscape consisting of small red/washed out white dunes and includes the floodplain of Cooper Creek which winds and curls its way from NSW, past Innamincka township, and onwards to Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre. However on this trek we will be staying mostly to the north of the floodplains.
Walking in this landscape is on firm sand and occasional claypans and gibber (small stones) flats. The remnants of cyclone Kirrily soaked most of the desert with good rain in early February (Innamincka has recorded 142mm for the year) so there may be a profusion of yellow flowers such as poached-egg daisy & 'Yellowtop' covering the landscape, and supplying our camels with fresh feed....however it's not until we actually get out there in late April that we will know the extent and impact of any rainfall.
June is ideal walking weather in Central Australia and over the course of a 5 to 6 hour walking day you would walk approximately between 8 to 10 kilometres. Our pace of travel is determined by the camels and their ability to negotiate the dunes and other landforms in the landscape. They carry all your personal gear, and all you have to carry is a healthy attitude and your day pack. Best to leave everything else behind.
This is a unique and very Australian desert experience. Camels are the perfect cross-country vehicle and so we don't follow roads or tracks, and there is no vehicle back-up. Camps are chosen for the availability of camel feed, and we never camp in the same place twice. And in addition, as we are Australia's only trekking company that specialise in remote desert travel, you won't 'bump into' any other groups of trekkers.
All of our treks are active participation-based experiences and the cameleers will involve you with loading and unloading the camels as much as you wish to be involved. Similarly, your assistance is always greatly welcomed with the numerous camp chores to be done at the end of the day such as collecting firewood or helping to shepherd the camels as they feed.
Please note that the entire trek will be on Clifton Hills Station, a working cattle property of 16,500 square kilometres, so we may see occasional evidence of cattle and some station infrastructure.
Slow Travel: Pack-free Desert Bushwalking
Maximum group size: 9 trekkers
Sturt Stony Desert Trek
11 Day Trek - June 7 > June 17, 1 day 4WD/9.5 days trekking/half day 4WD
Incorporating walking near the route of explorers Burke & Wills
4WD transfers to/from Birdsville to the Strzelecki Desert
All camping equipment - swags, stools, tents. You bring your own sleeping bag and eating utensils
All meals, though we do not provide snacks
LOTS of space...
Survey RFDS Medical Chest, First Aid and emergency communications equipment
Crew of 4 to 5 cameleers
Trekking with an environmentally aware responsible business
(A detailed Trek Information Guide is sent to you when you book)
What's not included
Pre and post survey airfares and accommodation. You are responsible for arranging your travel to/from Birdsville and any accommodation. We can help organise this for you
Please look at this page How To Get To Birdsville
What else is required?
Travel Insurance. You have the option to arrange your own travel insurance, or you can contact us for a quote.
Where are we trekking?
In the shaded area of the map in the Sturt Stony/Strzelecki Deserts, South Australia