We tiptoed onto the dirt of the Great Central Road and toward camp. Eager to escape our city lives in Perth quickly, we’d made an early start, and as day became night, the excitement of a few weeks on the road kicked in.

Connecting the magic of Central Australia, and Uluru, with our stunning South-West is the shortcut known as the Great Central Road. At 1,126 kilometres, it’s not so short, but compared to its bituminised colleagues, it’s a clear winner.

While the Great Central Road is far from a technical drive, it is a remote country. The Gibson Desert lies to the north, and the Great Victoria Desert to the south.

The side of the road is littered with hundreds of wrecks, both classic and modern. A combination of bingles and breakdowns in a place where the cost for recovery and removal is often too expensive. A push with the grader gets them clear of the road, and then it’s over to nature to attempt the slow job of breaking them down.

While some still navigate the Great Central Road in a 2WD, for us without LT construction tyres, 4WD spec shocks to absorb the corrugations, and a get-out-of-gaol easy satellite phone – no thank you (soft, I know!).

We found some secluded camping spots along the way. Surrounded by stars and firewood – the desert camping out here is a solid pass!

The Hoffman Range is a great place to stop and explore some of the early histories of the landscape.

For the growth of tourism and the improvement of freight, plans are well underway to bituminise the Great Central Road. Some sections have already been completed, so if you’re after a more adventurous trip on this classic road, you may wish to grab a permit from the Ngaanyatjarra Council and go, sooner rather than later.

Approaching the Northern Territory, the Petermann Ranges jutted out of a landscape that for more than 1,000 kilometres had been flat, a sign of things to come.

Crossing from Western Australia into the Northern Territory our trip up the Great Central Road finished at sunset at Kata Tjuta, it couldn’t have been a better finish to a great road trip!

  • Madigan Line

    Madigan Line

    The Madigan Line ended up on my bucket list after my first Simpson Desert trip with Gen. We had headed down the Hay River Track to Birdsville and then back...

    Madigan Line

    The Madigan Line ended up on my bucket list after my first Simpson Desert trip with Gen. We had headed down the Hay River Track to Birdsville and then back...

  • Anne Beadell Highway

    Anne Beadell Highway

    On a whim, I decided I needed some desert time. I had my eye on the Madigan Line in the Simpson Desert and settled on the Anne Beadell Highway as...

    Anne Beadell Highway

    On a whim, I decided I needed some desert time. I had my eye on the Madigan Line in the Simpson Desert and settled on the Anne Beadell Highway as...

  • Hay River Track

    Hay River Track

    The Simpson Desert is without any doubt an amazing landscape. The Hay River Track in the northern reaches is especially pristine and with luck you’ll have the place all to yourself....

    Hay River Track

    The Simpson Desert is without any doubt an amazing landscape. The Hay River Track in the northern reaches is especially pristine and with luck you’ll have the place all to yourself....

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