TRAVELLING through the hot heart of the country loses its appeal as the summer months approach, and conditions are so extreme the Simpson Desert is officially closed to travellers.
Yet the Simpson remains a bucket-list trip for most Australian four-wheel drive enthusiasts, and now is the time to start planning your 2018 trip for the cooler months between mid-March and November.
The 170,000km² Simpson Desert is the largest parallel dune desert on the planet, and its 1100-odd north-south running dunes make for a challenging drive.
An east-west desert crossing either starts or finishes in Birdsville, Queensland, with Mouth Dare being the only other civilisation, some 505km away near the SA-NT border.
We tackled the trip in August in a convoy of Mercedes-Benz G-Wagens along with explorer Mike Horn, and we took in some of the many places worth visiting. After crossing the desert and arriving at Mount Dare, we ventured to Old Andado Station, the Finke Road and finally to Uluru.