Team Plans Jeep Expedition Across Australia

A team of journalists will embark on a 3,106-mile coast-to-coast Jeep expedition in Australia next month. The purpose of the trip is to retrace Ian McDonald's 1969 route across the Simpson Desert. McDonald and his friends were the first group of people to cross the entire Australian continent by vehicle. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the expedition.

The expedition will kick off on July 4, with our very own Rick Pewe in the group. He will be joined by Chris Collard, Sue Mead, and Ben Davidson. Original team members Ian McDonald and John Eggleston will also be part of the expedition. The team will drive Jeeps from different eras—a Wrangler TJ, Jeep JK, and 2019 Jeep JL. All are currently being outfitted with the necessary equipment to make the trek happen.

The team will start near Byron Bay in New South Wales, which is the most easterly point on the continent. From there they will head through the Outback areas of Birdsville and Alice Springs and eventually end up in the Simpson Desert, which hosts some of the largest north-south-facing dunes in the world. The dunes have been closed to the public for decades, but the team worked closely with governing agencies to get a special pass for the expedition. The journey will end in Steep Point, the most westerly spot on the continent.