About 200km south of Alice Springs and 40km north of the South Australian border lies Lambert Centre of Australia. The geographical centre of the continent. Down Under’s dead centre.
We acknowledge that this adventure is located on Arrente Nation, the traditional Country of the Arrente people who have occupied and cared for this land and water for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.
- Visiting the true geographical centre of Australia
- Surreal camping in never-ending scrub
- Peace and quiet like never before
- Making it out alive
Alone at Lambert Centre of Australia
Endless red sand surrounded us as we set up camp for the afternoon. There wasn’t a soul for who knows how far, and that’s exactly what we wanted.
We’d made it to the Lambert Centre of Australia. There’s no campground and no water… just a putrid set of drop toilets and a single flag – it felt like the end of the earth.
We put some music on, made an early dinner and were having some drinks. I went for a walk to check the place out and looked back at the car – the headlights were on!
I ran back and turned them off. They must’ve been on since we got here… will the car still start?
Stuck in the Middle of Australia With You
I let it sit for five minutes and turned the key – a few cranks and then, silence. Kate looked at me with disbelief. We’d been on the road for six months and never had a flat battery. This was the worst possible place for it to happen.
It was so eerie to look around at the seemingly never-ending red dirt and dusty shrubs, not knowing when or if we could leave.
The next morning the desert sun was beaming down on us. I had one trick up my sleeve, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to work.
I set the solar panel up in the full sun, charged the deep cycle battery to full and connected the jumper cables to the starter battery.
This was the moment of truth. With my eyes to the sky I turned the key, vroom! It worked! We were chuffed. And just like that we took off through the sand to explore another day.
How To Get There
From Alice Springs, the easiest way to get to Lambert Centre of Australia is to follow the Stuart Highway south 275km to the Kulgera Road House.
There you can fuel up before hitting the dirt and going 126km east towards Finke. The turn off is on the left and is poorly signed.
After the turn off there’s 14km of narrow, windy, criss-crossing 4WD tracks that lead to the centre.
If you’re coming from Witjira National Park like us, it’s a very harsh 230km stretch along Mt Dare Road and Finke Road.
It requires an intermediate knowledge of 4WDing – knowledge of driving in sand and recovery techniques is a must.
Read more: How To 4WD For Beginners
We drove 230km over heavy corrugations and rocks from Witjira National Park to the Lambert Centre of Australia.