Posted 22 November 2017.
The Simpson Desert in the state’s outback will be closed over the hottest months of the year to ensure the safety of visitors and emergency personnel.
The closures will apply from Friday 1 December 2017 to Thursday 15 March 2018 and affects the Simpson Desert Conservation Park and Regional Reserve.
Witjira National Park and the campground at Dalhousie Springs to the west of the Simpson Desert will remain open, as will Malkumba-Coongie Lakes National Park and Innamincka Regional Reserve.
Natural Resources SA Arid Lands Manager Parks and Co-management Tony Magor said it was necessary to close the areas during summer due to extreme conditions
“Daytime temperatures in the far north of the State typically range between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius during the summer, posing significant risk to visitors in these remote and isolated areas.“
High temperatures can also lead to an increased chance of vehicle failure, which increases the risk to visitors at this time of the year. Mr Magor said emergency personnel are also placed at risk when called in to help stranded visitors.
Information signs have been placed around the park to inform visitors of the Simpson Desert closure.
All regional communities and visitor information centres are aware of the seasonal closure, which has been occurring for a number of years.
Also closed for the same period 1 December 2017 to 15 March 2018) are a number of Public Access Routes. These are:
Halligan Point Public Access Route from the Oodnadatta Track to Lake Eyre National Park;
Warburton Crossing Public Access Route from the Birdsville Track to the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve; and
Walkers Crossing Public Access Route from the Birdsville Track to the Innamincka Regional Reserve.