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The Best Deserts in Australia that are Worth Visiting

8 mins. read

Australian deserts are awestriking, to say the least. These deserts are home to tens of thousands of species, dynamic landscapes, dune fields, rocky terrains and indigenous groups. When you visit sand fields in Australia, you will not only witness vast swathes of sand but also many other attractions that are equally fascinating and exciting. So, if trekking or an organized tour in a desert is on your bucket list, here’s the list of must-visit deserts in Australia:

Great Victoria Desert

The Great Victoria Desert is the biggest desert in Australia that stretches from Eastern Australia to Western Australia. This dynamic expanse of sand hills in the desert contains several elements such as rocky surfaces, grassland areas, salt lakes, and ridges. The Great Victoria Desert receives sparse annual rainfall that leads to summer temperatures touching 40 °C during the daytime. This desert is home to Indigenous Australians who belong to regional groups such as Pitjantjatjara, Mirning, and the Kogara. The majority of this vast wilderness is uninhabited, as the unexpected climate makes this place difficult for human settlement. The Great Victoria Desert boasts a large number of Australian desert animals, such as the great desert skink, the crest-tailed mulgara, monitor lizards, and the sand goanna.

There are several dominant features in this largest desert in Australia that make it one of the most scenic places in the world. Limitless beauty in the form of landscapes, vegetation, and salt lakes makes it nature’s artwork. Serpentine Lakes, Nurrai Lakes, Wyola Lakes, and Plumridge Lake are some of the salt lakes that exist in this diverse desert. If you are a desert lover and long for an exciting holiday in the dune fields, then this is a must-visit place for you. Some of the places that you can cover during your trip to this place are Mumungari Conservation Park, Aboriginal wells, Lake Ballard, Queen Victoria Springs, and Antony Gormley Sculptures. It is surely a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to visit this vast land of desert.

Great Sandy Desert

Next on the list is the second-largest desert in Australia – the Great Sandy Desert. This desert is spread across a ginormous area of 284,993 square kilometres, located below the Kimberley region in Western Australia. The Great Sandy Desert is surrounded by other deserts such as the Tanami Desert and the Gibson Desert. Surprisingly, this desert receives plenty of rainfall and witnesses quite a few thunderstorms in the rainy season. However, the weather is usually very dry in other seasons due to a high evaporation rate. The desert has long summers that are very hot and short winter months with pleasant weather. It is home to the Martu and Pintupi people, two of the ancient groups of the region. Here, you can spot several Australian desert animals, such as bilbies, bearded dragons, chested parrots, and feral camels.

The Great Sandy Desert is home to two of Australia's most famous national parks: Rudall River National Park and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The desert has a marvellous landscape, gorgeous red sand dunes, wetlands, and beautiful lakes. If you want to experience the desert, you can do so by taking bus tours or tagalong tours. However, keep a week reserved to explore the desert, as it takes several days to visit landmark places and try different activities in the Great Sandy Desert. Make sure to participate in cultural tours, cruises, and water tours in Great Sandy National Park to make the most of your time.

Simpson Desert

Simpson Desert

The Simpson Desert is yet another magnificent desert in Australia with 68,000 miles of desert area in Central Australia. Interestingly, this desert is comprised of 1100 parallel sand dunes that are tens of kilometres long and known as the world’s longest parallel sand dunes. It stretches across South Australia and the Queensland border. Home to gorgeous wildflowers, unique pine trees, and rare Australian animals, the Simpson Desert is one of the greatest deserts in Australia. One can spot water-holding frogs, musk ducks, glossy ibis, and species of fish.

Many tourists visit this place to see Dalhousie springs, Pickel Corner, and the Knoll. However, exploring the Simpson Desert is not for the faint of heart, as it is not accessible by highway or well-constructed roads. To add to the difficulty, summer temperatures are harsh. This is why the government allows tourists to travel in the desert during the winter and spring months when the temperature is pleasant. If you are an avid explorer and want to add an adventurous journey to your list of accomplishments, then visiting landmark places in the Simpson Desert is a good idea. The only way to cover these places is by planning an off-road trip on a four-wheeler or through organized tours. Include a visit to the Simpson Desert in your Australia tour package. Some of the tourist attractions are accessible from Alice Springs and can easily be covered in a day or two. Other worth-exploring places in the Simpson Desert are Rainbow Valley, Chambers Pillar, Ewaninga Rock Cravings Conservation Reserve, and Aboriginal Art Centers.

Gibson Desert

The Gibson Desert is counted among some of the largest deserts in Australia. It covers an area of 60,000 square miles in Western Australia. It's worth noting that its name is derived from a passionate explorer, Alfred Gibson, who visited this desert in 1874. Encircled by the Little Sandy Desert, the Great Sandy Desert, and the Great Victoria Desert, the Gibson Desert is largely unexplored and away from mass tourism. This makes it a great place to visit for zealous explorers who want to witness rocky crests, Greenland, dune fields, and salt-water lakes. One can also witness ancient culture as indigenous Australians live in this region and practice traditional ways of living. As extreme climate and desert usually go hand in hand, this desert is not an exception. The summer temperature in the Gibson Desert reaches 40°C, whereas the winter temperature dips to as low as 6°C.

During your visit to the Gibson Desert, you can visit Greenwood Gator Farm and Tours, Cajun Man’s Swamp Tours & Adventures, and Bayou Black Airboat Swamp Tours.

Tanami Desert

Tanami Desert

The Tanami Desert is one of the largest deserts in Australia and is located in Western Australia. It is one of Australia's most majestic and unique deserts, with rocky terrain and sand hills crossed by Tanami Track, a gravel road. This place is a playground for keen travellers who want to experience the true zest of desert life. There are many attractions in the Tanami Desert, including Tilmouth Well Station, Newhaven Sanctuary, and Lake Gregory. There are some gorgeous camping sites, such as Passover Site in the eastern region and Yunpu Site near Canning Stock Route. The entire region is a golden paradise where the view changes every few kilometres. Large landfills and flora and fauna can be spotted during the journey.

Some of the aboriginal groups are also based in this desert. Other than this, one can spot many Australian animals, such as the little native mouse, the grey falcon, and the freckled duck.

These deserts are some of the best places to explore in Australia and will give you memories to last a lifetime. The uniqueness of these deserts in Australia comes from the topography, climate, and culture.

January 20, 2023


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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