Lone gum

Visit the thriving Coolabah that stands alone alongside the Rig Road. The solitary tree, far from the nearest watercourse, generally grows in heavy clay soils. There is no other tree of its kind in the region and how it comes to be here still remains a mystery.

Approdinna Attora Knolls

The knolls are rare gypsum outcrops which once were the highest dune crests in the area. Due to fragility and great scientific importance, management works have been undertaken to protect them from the impacts of vehicles and animals.

Poeppel Corner (Simpson Desert Conservation Park)

Stand in three different states within a few steps at the junction of the borders of South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. A replica of Augustus Poeppel's original marker stands near the current surveyors peg (the original is now in Adelaide, as part of the South Australian Historical Relics Collection) where these three states meet. Not far away you might find some of Poeppel's original mileposts and historic markers.


Desert vegetation depends on seasonal conditions. Many plants have short life cycles, growing, flowering and setting seeds within a couple of months of rain. Sandhill canegrass and other grasses and herbs grow on the mobile sand areas, such as the crests of dunes. On more stable sands you will usually find lobed spinifex, grasses and shrubs, particularly wattles (acacias).


A variety of small marsupials such as dunnarts and mulgaras live in this harsh environment. Dingoes and red kangaroos may also be seen. More than 150 species of birds inhabit the desert, including two rare species - the eyrean grasswren and the Australian bustard. The military dragon, a common lizard, is often seen sunning itself on high ground, and you may well even see a perentie, Australia's largest goanna.