This Diamantina expedition travels into this remote and beautiful country, taking the path less travelled. It also includes the extraordinary opportunity to travel and camp on country with members of the "Pintubi Nine", the last nomads to wander the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts, who stepped into the 20th century just 30 years ago. We pick up at Uluru airport or Yulara resort (there is also an option to start with us from Alice Springs) and travel west into the Petermann Ranges. We take the Sandy Blight Junction Road north through the Gibson Desert to Kintore. We then travel west to Kiwirrkurra, Australia's most isolated Aboriginal community, and north to Lake MacKay. We follow the unmapped Lake Mackay track deep into the Great Sandy Desert, eventually arriving at Balgo. We then travel through Tanami Downs Station on the old original Tanami Track before joining the Tanami Road to return to Alice Springs. This is a great adventure through Outback Australia in country seldom seen by anyone - it's always better along the path less travelled.
Explorer Michael Terry mounted several expeditions through Central Australia. In 1932, With 5 men, 12 Camels and provisions for nine months they headed for Lake Mackay, home of the Pintubi People. He titled his journal "Into the Big Paddock". Some thirty years later anthropologist David Thomson mounted the Bindibu Expedition, a series of three field trips to discover Pintupi Indigenous Australians between 1957 and 1965. The Pintupi (Bindibu) were the last Aboriginal group to make contact with Europeans over the period 1956 to 1984. Many Pintupi people still remember this experience. For many, Thomson was the first white man they had ever seen.
The Pintubi Nine were a family group of nine people who lived a traditional hunter gatherer existence near Lake MacKay until 1984, when they finally made contact with their relatives in Kiwirrkurra. Most live in Kiwirrkurra today. They are considered to be the last desert Aboriginals to come in. Legend in Kiwirrkurra says there are still people living out there, and tracks are occasionally seen. Given the remoteness of the country, whilst highly unlikely, it is remotely possible. More here.
In 1960, after completing the Gunbarrel Highway, Len Beadell commenced work on the Sandy Blight Junction Road, so named for a bout of Trachoma he contracted during the construction that made it very difficult for him to do the astro fixes he used to determine his location. After completing this road, he constructed a road west that is now knows as the Gary Junction Road. His network of roads serviced the Woomera Rocket Range.