Simpson Desert Challenge 2017

Challenge yourself like never before #SDC2017

The 2017 challenge is complete! Well done trekkers! 

It’s the ultimate Australian adventure challenge, conquering a vast, rugged landscape with harsh weather and an endless horizon whilst walking more than 250km across the Simpson Desert.

The completely isolated environment provides a striking reflection of the challenges that young people with high care needs face on a daily basis. These treks will be a daily and mental physical challenge, but it is one that will have a profound impact on the lives of young Aussies in desperate need.


It’s all for an important reason; right now, hundreds of thousands of young people with high care needs are living in inappropriate accommodation simply because there are few other options to receive dignified, relevant and age-appropriate care and housing.  Youngcare work to create real choices in care and age-appropriate accommodation for young people with high care needs.

“There were things that you had no control over… the isolation and some of the day-to-day challenges like going to the toilet, having a shower – or not having a shower – they were some of the challenges that gave us a small insight into what young Aussies with high-care needs have to deal with for the rest of their lives.” Melissa Downes, Simpson Desert Trekker 2016

Fast Facts

Date: 25 May – 4 June 2017

Duration: 11 days (8 days of trekking)

Difficulty: extreme/high

Cost: a fundraising target applies

Simpson Desert Highlights

  • Spend eight full days and nights in the Desert, exposed to the elements
  • Climb more than 1,000 sand dunes over approximately 250km
  • Finish at the iconic Birdsville Hotel to celebrate your achievement


2016 trekkers at geo centre

“The experience as a whole has been one of the best of my life.”
Sonia Giusto, NAB


The Simpson Desert Challenge is not for the feint hearted, the trek is both physically and emotionally challenging. Trekkers will find themselves in a completely isolated environment where there is little control over personal choice – a reflection of the challenges that young people with high care needs living in inappropriate accomodation face on a daily basis.

Youngcare Simpson Desert Challenge 2017 Trekkers – Find out more about their motivations and support them by clicking on their profile below