Skip to main content

Simpson Desert

See the brilliant wildflowers, rare pine trees and unique wildlife that thrive in the deep red sands and rolling dunes of the Simpson Desert.

The Simpson Desert is a vast expanse of rolling dunes, seemingly endless horizons and deep red sand. See the brilliant wildflowers, rare pine trees and unique wildlife that thrives in the harsh desert environment.

This vast desert covers the southeast corner of the Northern Territory, and extends over the South Australia and Queensland borders. Many attractions located on its fringes can be accessed on a day trip from Alice Springs. A four-wheel drive vehicle is required to navigate the sandy terrain. If you don’t have a vehicle or the confidence to head off-road there are organised tours into the Simpson Desert from Alice Springs.

Landmarks in the landscape

Rainbow Valley is a spectacular sandstone bluff with bands of colour that is at its most spectacular in the early or late light of the day. Chambers Pillar is a towering 50-metre column of pebbly sandstone – all that remains after 350 million years of wind and rain erosion. At Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve ancient rock carvings and petroglyphs are a fascinating record of the beliefs of the local Arrernte people.

Things to see & do in the Simpson Desert

Australia vacation packages

Sunrise over Katherine Gorge


Sign up to receive the latest news, deals and travel information about the Northern Territory. Data privacy