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Sturt Stony Desert Information


The red iron clad plains shimmering in the heat haze gives the impression that Sturt Stony Desert is perhaps the most inhospitable place on earth. The Diamantina River flowing into Goyders Lagoon, and beyond that the Simpson Desert borders Sturts Stony Desert to the west. To the south are the dunefields of the Strzelecki Desert. Nothing could have prepared the explorer Captain Charles Sturt for his 1845 encounter with the desert that is named in his honour. Iron clad treeless plains stretch to an eternity, baking in the shimmering heat. The only trees appear to be the occasional grevilleas that line the dry creek lines. Occasionally the iron coloured horizon is punctuated by an orange sand dune that appears through the mirage. Plants and shrubs, especially saltbush and bluebush dominate this hard country, but to the casual observer all one can see is stones. Surprisingly the succulence and nutrients of these plants sustain millions of kangaroos and some profitable cattle stations, like Clifton Hills, the largest on the Birdsville Track, and the historic Cordillo Downs to the east. The southeastern border of the desert includes parts of the Moomba and Jackson gas and oil fields and there are numerous exploration sites,well sites and seismic lines.

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Diamantina cross Sturt Stony Desert on their Ultimate Outback Expedition


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