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Burke and Wills Trek 2015

16th to 26th August 2015

See you at the Dig Tree for an experience of a lifetime!


Travelling west from the Dig Tree beside Cooper Creek, past Innamincka and north-west across the Walkers Crossing and Birdsville Track, heading steadily north through the Diamantina floodplains and into Birdsville.

The longest walking day is 40km and the shortest 15km, so you'll need to be in decent shape, but it's an achievable goal for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and a fair whack of determination.  


The trekking surface is a mix of terrain with a common thread – a lot of the walking is on rough and soft surfaces. Trekkers should prepare by walking long distances on rough trails, sand and broken surfaces. Strong ankles are built by walking on uneven surfaces and slowly increasing the challenges. 

Arrival - 15th August.  Trekkers arrive at the Dig Tree, settle in to camp, check equipment and attend a pre-trek briefing night on 15th August, 2015.

Trek Day 1 - 16th August - 40km. Trekkers cross Coopers Creek near the Dig Tree and follow the south bank of the Cooper heading towards Innamincka township. 

Trek Conditions – Mix of walking beside long, Cooper Creek waterholes and open plains beside the Cooper Creek channels. Much of the day is trekking close to the 18km-long Cullyamurra Waterhole. Some firm earth and some soft surface with occasional rocky areas. Lots of dry side gullies to cross as you follow the main channel. Vegetation varies from bare floodplains to grasses to coolabah groves near the creek. There are some sections with low, scratchy scrub.

Camp 1 - Spend your first night on tour near Innamincka at Burke's Memorial.


Trek Day 2 - 17th August - 32km. Follow the Cooper to Innamincka  and walk across floodplain and station tracks belonging to Innamincka Station and Innamincka Regional Reserve.

 Trek Conditions – More mixed walking conditions from camp, then some rocky ground into Innamincka. Open walking again along the south bank of the  Cooper with a few dry gullies to cross to reach the Wills grave site. Cross the Cooper here (often a dry crossing) and walk across open savannah with  occasional scrubby sections to reach Camp 2.

Camp 2. Tonight you will rest next to old cattleyards belonging to Innamincka Station.


Trek Day 3 - 18th August - 30km.  Trekkers cross floodplains on north side of Cooper River. 

Trek Conditions – Trek across fairly open floodplains with occasional scrubby patches on the north side of the Cooper. This section of the creek is often dry and this could be a warm and dusty day. The surface undefoot will be broken and a mix of hard-packed blacksoil and soft sandy surface. The final section into camp crosses some beautiful small sandunes and camp is found nestled in a nice little valley between dunes.

Camp 3. Rest among sand dunes a couple of kilometres from the Cooper Creek main channel (often dry).


Trek Day 4 - 19th August - 34km.  Cross dunes and follow the north bank of the Cooper River. 

Trek Conditions – Lots of sandy terrain under foot today with a mix of sand dune crossing and some flood-out county. After lunch there’s a dry lake to cross (dry in most years!), some dunes and then camp is reached on a dry lake bed with grasses growing from the black soil.

Camp 4.  Camp four is on the verge of a dry lake just north of the track.


Trek Day 5 - 20th August - 30km. Northwards through more sand dunes and the station track. 

Trek Conditions – Today is a mix of sand dunes and the dry, cracked surface of the floodout country between creek channels as you approach Christmas Creek. Camp is in a clayplain surrounded by low sand dunes close to the main channel of Christmas Creek.

Camp 5.  The final night in Innamincka Station and Regional Reserve, among sand dunes just off the track.


Trek Day 6 - 21st August - 32km.  You'll reach the edge of the gibber plains (flat areas covered in loose rocks and stones).

Trek Conditions – The morning is spent trekking across floodout country with cracked black soil plains and then heading into an extensive sand dune area and  the most remote lunch spot on the whole trek. More sand dunes after lunch and finally dropping out of the dunes to the stunning Camp 6 at the base of the last dune with a huge horizon to the north with gibber plains as far as the eye can see.

Camp 6.  First night in Clifton Hills station camping on gibber plains at base of dunes. 


Trek Day 7 - 22nd August - 36km.  Trek north across amazing, huge gibber plains.

Trek Conditions – Gibber plains all day today. This beautiful rocky surface looks daunting yet is mostly pleasant to walk on.

The pebbly surface rests on a softer layer of earth that gives a little under foot and is easy on the feet. Some gibber areas have larger rocks scattered around that keep you watching where you place your feet. 

Camp 7.  Camp on open gibber plains.  


Trek Day 8 - 23rd August - 37km.  Walk across more gibber, then east through dunes, across the Birdsville Track and more dunes.

Trek Conditions – More gibber for most of the day then over some sand dunes, across the Birdsville Track and across a substantial dune field to reach Camp 8 on the egde of a huge dry lake.

Camp 8. Camp beside a big dry lake on Pandie Pandie Station. 


Trek Day 9 - 24th August - 24km.  Varied terrain today, via dunes, dry lakes and station tracks.

Trek Conditions – Lots of dry lake walking today where the smooth looking surface can be surprisingly cracked and rough. Between lakes you’ll cross some sand dunes. Ankles and feet will work hard today. 

Camp 9.  Camp is near Double Head Point close to the Diamantina River.


Trek Day 10 - 25th August - 26km.  Today's route follows the river and station tracks.

Trek Conditions – More cracked ground following beside the Diamantina River with some scrubby patches until passing the Pandie Pandie homestead. After the homestead there’s an old station track to follw to giuve the ankles a rest that leads to our final camp tucked amoung dunes close to the deep and wide Diamantina River channel (probably dry by the time we arrive).

Camp 10.  The last night in Pandie Pandie in the dune valley east of the river. 


Trek Day 11 - 26th August - 15km.  Join the Birdsville Track for the final 15km into Birdsville and a well-earned celebration at its famous pub.

Trek Conditions – A kilometre or so of rough cracked river flood plains and then we follow the verge of the Birdsville Track all the way into town. 

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