Birdsville Track is one of Australia’s best 4WD tracks

Birdsville Track is one of the most iconic dirt roads in Australia. Barren and isolated, drivers need plenty of water and fuel as they make their way from Maree all the way to Birdsville. It’s an icon amongst Australian Outback tracks and one of Australia’s best 4WD tracks.

Birdsville Track

When was the Birdsville Track built?

This notable outback road in Australia was opened up in the 1860s.

How long is the Birdsville Track?

The road is 517 km (321 mi) long and links Marree (a small town in northern South Australia) and Birdsville (in southwestern Queensland).

What’s the condition of Birdsville Track?

The road conditions can vary. It is an unsealed road but maintained. Surface water is rare unless there's been flooding. It is a stony track covered with large pebbles (gibbers), few dune crossings which don't cause problems. It is essential to drive according to conditions. 4WDs are more convenient than 2WDs for managing the rough ride.

How long does it take to do the Birdsville Track?

It will take approximately two days to complete the road, traveling through remote and inhospitable desert country, as it traverses three deserts: Strzelecki Desert, Sturt Stony Desert, and Tirari Desert.

Is the Birdsville Track suitable for caravans?

It is an unsealed road but maintained, so you can travel in either a 4WD or SUV with a caravan or camper trailer. Note that most car hire companies won't allow you to drive a conventional vehicle on routes like this.

Is the Birdsville Track remote?

The drive is pretty remote. Dry, desert-like conditions await those who drive the track. The area is extremely barren, dry, and isolated, and anyone wishing to travel the track must carry fresh water, supplies, fuel, and spare parts for their vehicle with them in case of emergencies.

How hard is the Birdsville Track?

Heavy or prolonged rain can cause local flash floods that cover the road with water or wash out. It is still an absolute requirement that your vehicle is in tip-top condition and that you make ample provision of fuel, water, and supplies. The desert can be a very inhospitable place when you are in trouble. The track is reasonably well maintained and generally fairly smooth. However, like any outback track, its condition can change, especially after rain. Large stretches of the track can still be destroyed by flash flooding and drifting sand. The road is often unpredictable, and stone guards on your trailer and rear window are recommended if you're towing. Avoid night driving. Don’t expect phone reception. Make sure you have adequate fuel, water, and supplies. You will be traveling through desert country with no natural water sources other than after rain. It’s recommended you take a two-way radio, GPS, and maps with you in case of emergency.

What is the best time of year to drive the Birdsville Track?

The track is arguably the most iconic dirt road in the country and the best-known and loneliest road in Australia. It’s surrounded by Australian deserts and is a full-scale dirt road running through some of Australia's driest country. The best time to drive it is between May and September.