Alice Springs to Old Andado Return

29 May 2022

A side trip from Alice Springs we have wanted to do for many years is the run to Old Andado via Binns Track. Stewart Brash on the Alice Springs ABC has been talking about rain falling generally in the southern NT from about the 1st of June.

So with one eye on the weather, we headed off past the airport into the Simpson Desert. We have not made this trip before because our previous idea of this trip was simply a lot of driving alongside dunes.

The first part of the trip takes you east towards Santa Teresa. The mountain ranges here are stunning. I guess we are running along the southern edge of the East MacDonald Ranges.

The road threads its way through the ranges and along the edge of ancient rivers. As you start to clear the ranges the road develops bulldust holes which we found the cattle love to dig holes in.

As the road turns south, you find yourself traversing alongside the dunes of the Simpson Desert. The Old Andado Track (also known as Binns Track) was not graded until the 1990s and it appears to have been graded recently. Along your way, you pass several station water points and notice there are quite a few cattle on these lands and dunes. The birdlife is also plentiful at this time of year.

Strangely, there is a recently broken down vehicle, and judging by the hoof prints, it must be a place of interest to the local cattle. We checked out the vehicle to ensure no one needed help before continuing on our way.

Our next stop for the day was Mac Clark (Acacia Peuce) Conservation Reserve. Here the wattle trees are up to 700 years old and have become a protected species.

Our last stop for the day was Old Andado Station. The one thing that struck us most about the trip here was just how green the desert is currently.

20 May 2022

Today we explored the homestead and its surrounds. Molly Clark lived here and it is as if the building has been snapped in time in a photograph. It is truly incredible in this day and age that a place like this exists. Surely it’s because of its isolation, that it has escaped the vandals and trophy hunters.

31 May 2022

We haven’t seen a day since leaving Alice Springs which hasn’t been the typical cloudless blue skies that the NT is famous for. We decided to head back towards Alice Springs in case the weather changed. The number of birds here in the desert, particularly around the water points, was incredible.

Met a lovely group doing a Camel experience near Santa Teresa, their tour/experience sounds amazing, walking with Camels for 7 days in the desert. Mind you with how cold it is, I hope they rugged up good. Australian Desert Expeditions

1 June 2022

The rain started at 4 am this morning. We feel fortunate we cleared the bulldust holes before finding a campsite for the night. Due to the conditions, we have decided on a rest day away from the roads and the mud. Max 11 degrees today. Back home in Jurien is 18! At least 4WDAUS is not muddy and a mess to clean up. Hoping for it to dry out a little tonight!