Birdsville Track and Big Red
About the Track
Track Description

The Birdsville Track starts at Marree in South Australia where it leaves the Oodnadatta Track and heads for 525 km in a NNEast direction. It crosses over the border into Queensland for a short distance reaching Birdsville at the eastern edge of the Simpson Desert.

It is an easy run that in dry weather can be driven by normal cars but the durable tyres of a 4wdrive vehicle are an advantage. Birdsville is the starting point for many great adventures in all four directions so many people find themselves here on many occasions, often to coincide with the annual Birdsville Races. The early exploration and history of this hostile environment is amazing so do some research beforehand in order to fully appreciate this iconic Aussie track.

Two days or three days are sufficient for the journey. Bush camping is great at Clayton Wetlands with its hot artesian spa. Further on is a barren camp at Cooper Creek but I would suggest you push on to Mungerannie Roadhouse with its artificial wetland that attracts much birdlife. Hot showers, fuel and the pub make this stopover welcome even though you have to pay. The next days travel has some bad corrugations amongst sections of good track.

Birdsville has good facilities including of course “the pub”, a large caravan park, museum and a calorific bakery. No trip to Birdsville would be complete without the buzz of 4wding the largest sand dune in the Simpson Desert. Big Red is 35 km west of Birdsville and is quite a challenge to a lot of people, most of whom don’t lower their tyre pressures sufficiently, if at all. If you do it late in the day you can experience a desert sunset as well.

Map Hema Great Desert Tracks South East Map (Paper & Digital)

Track Logs
User ID Log Vehicle Date
13661 watch the water holes, they have lots of rocks in them... Toyota Landcruiser Jun 6, 2015
51151 Apart from a few rough dry creek beds, it was like a dusty highway. Flat and smooth. There was some evidence of recent rain (ruts in low spots), but was all dry by the time we passed through. Big red was fun too. The Mrs Captiva walked up the middle track without an issue. Holden Captiva Oct 10, 2014
26113 Did in a single day with a lunch stop at Mungeranie Pub. Took the inside track at the top. It's super rocky - 1 puncture repaired on the side of the track. Nissan Xtrail Aug 20, 2013
11304 hooked on from walkers crossing Toyota Landcruiser May 4, 2013
38435 Loved it, spectacular dunes Toyota Landcruiser Oct 2, 2012
19977 A bit wet but lots of fun Hyundai Terracan Jun 8, 2012
10301 Completed both September 2011, loved it Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sep 27, 2011
664 Challenging but got there, Great spot Nissan Patrol Sep 4, 2011
30921 At the time we went, there was a 48km detour over 6 or 7 dunes to get to Big Red due to extensive flooding. Birdsville Track was pretty good, but Cooper Creek was in flood and the detour to the punt very sandy and rough. Toyota Landcruiser Jun 27, 2011
29251 Took BIL up to see Cooper Creek in flood - one off his bucket list. Got attacked by thousands of bugs next to the Creek from about 8pm until we packed up & left at 10pm Nissan Patrol Jun 23, 2011
19377 Toyota Landcruiser Jun 5, 2011
29251 8 Hours to get from Birdsville to Mungenrannie mostly sideways - last vehicle in before roads closed, stuck 5 days in Mungerannie Hotel - that was tough Nissan Patrol
2864 Nissan Patrol Dec 12, 2008
10633 easy drive just dodge the big gibbers mungarannie pub a must for a stop over Ford Courier Oct 5, 2008
12619 More of a road than a track when dry. But a great way to see the outback. Big Red is heaps of fun, those dunes get pretty big, makes your car look very once on top. Ford Maverick Jul 25, 2006
5367 Toyota Landcruiser
29251 Road condition was fantastic like driving on bitumen - accidentally sat above 110kph for a while before realising Nissan Patrol
29251 The first Birdsville Races - man o man just how much can a man drink - I certainly can't remember Nissan Patrol
975 Loved Big Red! Toyota Landcruiser Jun 1, 2000