A Desert Only In Name
I spent 2 days exploring Little Desert National Park. It was a spur of the moment decision to take the drive through. The Quades Rd in gradually changed from bitumen, to gravel, then to sand. Once I reached the park boundary I pulled up and deflated my tyres ready to tackle the sandy tracks that lay ahead. The tracks are all in good condition, with only a few sections of deep sand and a few waterlogged sections that might require caution. The landscape alternated from low lying grass and shrubs to stands of River Red Gums. The occasional salt lake also added to the diversity. It is really only a desert in name as the whole area is built on sand, a remnant from the ancient inland ocean that once occurred in the centre of Australia millions of years ago. It is a beautiful peaceful landscape.
For the 2 days I saw no one else on the tracks. There are not too many landmarks to visit but I managed to find a salt lake and Dahlenburgs Mill. I tasted the salt lake water and regretted it the rest of the day. I only put a couple drops on my tounge to taste the saltiness, but the rest of the day my mouth had a salty muddy taste, despite trying to get rid of it by eating various foods. Dahlenburgs Mill is a remnant from the pastoral days with a rusty water trough and broken windmill.
My first night I camped at Kiata campgrounds which had pit toilets, water tanks and some shelters. Several short walks depart from here. The second night was at Broughtons Waterhole, which only had some rough cut seats and firepits. Once I crossed west over the Nhill-Harrow Rd onto the McDonald Highway a fire had recently been through with vast areas of blacked earth. A shower swooped past and the atmosphere became somewhat eerie and doomsday like.
Little Desert national park is a great place for a beginner four wheel driver to build up their experience of sand driving.