Desert Parks Update Bulletin

Desert Parks Bulletin

No. 684 - 27th April 2021

Check out Simpson Desert information for general resources, books and maps.

ALERT: COVID-19 travel and border restrictions

A Cross Border Travel Registration is required for all travellers wishing to enter South Australia https://www.police.sa.gov.au/online-services/cross-border-travel-application.

People traveling from Hi Community-Transmission Zones and Prohibited Locations have further restrictions on travel.  Check SA COVID-19 restrictions at https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/travel-restrictions before you travel. 


Visitors are reminded that social distancing rules still apply in SA, and park visitors must consider these restrictions when making bookings. Please check the State Coordinator’s directions on social distancing and relevant limits on gatherings.

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.

For more about visiting parks during COVID-19 go to www.parks.sa.gov.au/know-before-you-go/covid-19-faqs

More information about COVID-19: www.sa.gov.au/COVID-19

South Australian COVID-19 Information line: 1800 253 787

You can also download the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join the WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

Campsites and accommodation within South Australia’s national parks are open. Bookings are now available online and through our booking agents.

Safety in the Outback

Outback daytime temperatures can reach the high 40°Cs. 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. 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 parksFor up to date public road information outside of National Parks, please call the Transport SA Road Condition Hotline on 1300 361 033 or visit the Transport SA web site on http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/OutbackRoads

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 Track Open to 4WD - It is a bush track, not a road.  Drive with caution along the entire track as the landscape is fragile and the track will deteriorate with the number of vehicles using it.  Please drive to track conditions. Driving on the Lake surface is an offence and dangerous. Trailers and caravans are not recommended.

Level Post Bay Track –  Closed - For 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. Details can be found at http://www.defence.gov.au/woomera/permit-tourist.htm

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 cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene products with them.

ALERT: Innamincka Regional Reserve has had two large flood events so far this year resulting in significant damage to tracks and campgrounds. Where tracks are open please observe caution at washouts, creek crossings and where water is ponded on the track. Please remain on tracks at all times.

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 Malkumba-Coongie Lakes National Park : Open to 4WD

15 Mile Track Open to 4WD

Merinie Loop - Open to 4WD

Cullyamurra WaterholeOpen to 4WD 

Burke’s GraveOpen to 4WD

Queerbidie - Open to 4WD. NOTE the Cordillo Rd remains closed.  No public access north of the campground turnoff

PolicemansOpen 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)Open to 4WD.  NOTE Caravans not recommended

Bore Track NorthClosed due to rain damage

Bore Track SouthClosed. No visitor access across Bollards Lagoon station.

Extreme caution at ponded water, washouts and corrugations. 

Walker Crossing PAR Closed due to rain

Witjira National Park and the Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert Reserves

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.

Pedirka Public Access Route Closed due to rain

Witjira National ParkOpen to 4WDExtreme caution at ponded water, washouts and corrugations, plus rutted sections from visitors driving on wet tracks. There is severe rutting and pot holing. High risk of roll over at deep rutting and wash-a-ways for vehicles towing trailers and caravans.

Tracks in the park will be 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. See the National Parks website at www.parks.sa.gov.au for more information. 

Wood fires are not permitted in Witjira, with the exception that wood fires are still permitted at Mt Dare. This does not apply to the Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert reserves in South Australia and wood can be carried through Witjira to be used in the Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert reserves.

The Dalhousie airstrip is currently closed to public use.

Binns track is closed indefinitely between Mt Dare and Old Andado. Travellers wishing to access the Binns track from Mt Dare to Old Andado will need to detour via New Crown station.


Pink Roadhouse (Ph: (61 8) 8670 7822) – Agent for the Desert Parks Pass. Provide 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. Provide diesel and unleaded fuel, accommodation, meals, hot showers, fuel, minor repairs, camping, travel supplies and phone cards available for travellers. Satellite phones are available to hire from Mt Dare Hotel for trips across the Simpson Desert

Munga-Thirri – Simpson Desert Open to 4WD. Extreme caution at ponded water, washouts and corrugations, plus rutted sections from visitors driving on wet tracks.

Warburton Crossing Public Access Route –  Open to 4WD.

Colson Track Northern Territory section closed until further notice

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) 8287 6222. 

Fight the Bite - a health warning from SA Health

Even though conditions are dry, mosquitoes can still 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 www.health.sa.gov.au.

On-line park entry and camping bookings 

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.

ALERT: Limited mobile reception exists across the Outback.  Please book prior to leaving where possible.


 

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. Privacy, Disclaimer, Copyright © 2021


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