Simpson Desert is a vast sandy plain, the fourth largest desert on the continent, encompassing a large area of land that stretches into the Northern Territory, Queensland, and South Australia. This desert is a particular wilderness known as an erg or sand sea, an extensive region of sandy terrain lacking in much vegetation, if any exists at all, where the wind sweeps the sand freely into great dune fields; Simpson Desert features the longest parallel sand dunes on the planet. Beneath the desert lies an immense natural drainage reservoir, one the biggest in the world, known as the Great Artesian Basin, which surfaces in various locations, such as Dalhousie Springs and bores from oil drilling operations.
In 1967, the Simpson Desert National Park was founded by the government of Queensland, one of the varied efforts to protect this natural ecosystem, which is veritably important to the wildlife in and around the area; other protected landscapes in this region include Lake Eyre National Park, Simpson Desert Conservation Park, Simpson Desert Regional Reserve, and Innamincka Regional Reserve.
Many tourists seek excitement and adventure in a desert safari across this land, and there are a variety of tours available to visitors, especially in the winter season, when jeeps trek across the wasteland with focal attractions at various locations, such as natural springs and ruins. Because the heat is so intense during the summer months, tours of the Simpson Desert are closed to protect visitors from potentially harmful experiences in the severe weather conditions.