Desert to the surf

September 25 - October 2, 2021

Desert to the Surf +<br> Simpson Desert Bike Challenge

Desert to the Surf +
Simpson Desert Bike Challenge

Alice Springs to Brisbane- 11 days taking in The Simpson Desert Bike Challenge
September 25th to October 5th 2021

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The Simpson Desert is the largest parallel sand dune desert in the world, covering some 143,000 square kilometres, so to ride across it is definitely an amazing achievement! Red Sand dune country, despite its designation as desert is actually alive with fascinating specifically adapted wildlife like the giant Perentis that surf down dunes, Marsupial Moles, Thorny Devils, Hopping Mice, Hairy Footed Dunnarts, even Spencers Desert frogs that burrow under the sand and live in suspended animation for years. After a night under the incredibly starry desert night skies one wakes to find the dunes crisscrossed with tiny tracks and its clear the Animal Kingdom has been busy!

Riding a fatbike through this red dune country is a unique experience and the camaraderie and hubris of The Race adds an extra element of fun whether you want to be serious or just enjoy!

The Simpson Desert Bike Challenge has been running since 1987 and with today’s fatbikes its probably a little easier than back then. There’s nothing like a 5 inch tyre at 6psi to help you roll over thick sand.  Even so the Simpson Desert Bike Challenge definitely lives up to its name, so one needs to be prepared and the Race Committee has careful supervision including medical checks. We are very happy to accept non riders for this trip as well.

Day 1 -Meet us in Alice Springs on September 25th and we’ll enjoy a campfire dinner and introductions before heading off early the next morning for Mt Dare, Purnie Bore and the start of the Simpson Desert Bike Challenge. We’ll be travelling through a variety of ecosystems and interesting country, from desert sand dunes to shimmering gibber plains with a swim at the green and lush Dalhousie Hot Springs to help wash off the red desert dust.

Day 2-3 – We have a full day at Purnie Bore to orientate and prepare for the race, check gear and fill up on fuel for the race. Our bus has a great camp kitchen and will be well-stocked with good food for the duration of the trip and we can cater for specific diets and nutritional needs for the riders (although you will need to provide your own food for on the bike).  Take the time to enjoy the hot springs before we head to Purnie Bore to meet the Race Convoy, participate in the Race Briefing and get to know the fellow racers and support crew.  Don’t worry, this won’t be your last shower, we’ve got enough water on board to make sure you can have a short shower each day.

Days 4 – 7 –  The amazing adventure of The Simpson Desert Bike Challenge where you get to compete in what is one of the most truly unique bike challenges of the world. The Simpson Desert is the largest parallel sand dune desert in the world and you’ll get to know each dune intimately!.  The bus will go ahead of the riders each stage and be ready to offer food and drinks at the lunch stop and end of the day while the sweeper vehicle will wait for you to set off with any last-minute needs and be ready to pick up exhausted riders from the course with air-conditioning blasting and cold drinks waiting. The crew will ensure your water bottles and food goes in to be available at each race water stop and will be ready to greet you at the lunch break and end of day stop with cold drinks and snacks at the ready.  

Non-competitors will ride in the bus, enjoying the scenery, excitement and hopefully snapping fun photos of the competitors at the finish of each stage!  One of the best parts of the race is being able to be part of the race village and meet like-minded people from every walk of life.  Whilst we’ll maintain the privacy we need, we’ll make sure we’re well integrated into the group to enjoy the fun as well!

Day 8 – The last sand dune, Big Red and the final stage of the race to arrive at the famous Birdsville Hotel where surely a cold beer never tasted so good! One can only imagine the celebrations and stories to be shared this night.

Days 9-11 A leisurely start the next morning and we begin the bus journey back to the east coast, travelling through desert, savannah and grazing country, all 1600kms or so. We’ll spend our last night camped on the beach at the Sunshine Coast and enjoy a beach ride and surf in the Pacific Ocean before drop-offs at Brisbane airport or as required.

What’s included:

  • Airport or hotel transfers.
  • All meals and camping gear, except sleeping bag.
  • Bike maintenance facilities.
  • Limited water for a bush shower each night.
  • Limited drinks…a couple of beers or similar per night. We need to be very conscious of weight. Plenty of drinking water though.
  • USB charging facilities.
  • On request, we may be able to help with Fat Bike rental.
  • Options for pick up or drop off along our route.

What’s not included:

  • Race fee.
  • Please BYO sleeping bag suitable for minus 5 degrees centigrade.
  • Sports gels, energy drinks, and similar for consumption during the race stages.
  • Spare parts specific to your bike. Greg will discuss with you what he suggests.
  • Flights to or from Alice Springs and Brisbane.
  • Personal insurance including evacuation.
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