About The Challenge

About The Simpson Desert Challenge

The Simpson Desert Challenge was the ultimate adventure challenge. For nine days, bold Youngcare supporters took on a 225km journey across the desert, conquering over 1,000 sand dunes and enduring harsh weather conditions.

The completely isolated environment and tough conditions, where there was little control over personal choice, provided a striking reflection of the challenges that young people with high physical support needs faced on a daily basis. The daily mental and physical struggles of the trek simply paled in comparison.

Information Brochure

Location: The Simpson Desert

The Simpson Desert is right at the heart of Australia, a vast landscape with harsh weather and endless horizons. The desert spans the corners of three Australian states: the Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia. It is over 460,000 acres, making it the fourth largest desert in Australia. The surface of the desert is mostly lightly vegetated, red sand dunes or salt-crusted lakes. The top of each dune is usually windblown sand that is soft underfoot. 


Our fearless trekkers trekked over 225km over 9 days

Core Message

The completely isolated environment, and tough conditions, where there is little control over personal choice, provides a striking reflection of the challenges that young people with high physical support needs face on a daily basis.

How your dollars count:

By trekking or donating to the Youngcare Simpson Desert Challenge, you are helping Youngcare to:

·   Build more relevant and age-appropriate housing in Australia
·   Provide information and support via our Youngcare Connect service
·   Provide grants to young people with high physical support needs who are at risk of entering aged care to keep them at home, or transition them from aged care back into their community
·   Undertake world-first research to better understand the needs of young people with high physical support needs

Be part of the SDC community that has raised over $4.5 million since 2011!

Reflection from a two-time trekker

"Stumbling into Birdsville with swollen, blistered, throbbing feet, surrounded by my fellow ‘desert warriors’ and tears cascading down my cheeks - I will never forget the feelings of isolation, exhaustion, wonder and excitement I had experienced throughout our arduous journey. Endless, dusty desolate terrain coupled with breathtaking views, captivating wild flowers, plagues of flies, excruciating bitter cold mornings and comforting blazing campfires. We finished unbroken, victorious and more determined than ever to support those with high care needs live quality lives."

- Julia Joseph (SDC19 & SDC21_Trekker)

About Youngcare

Too many young Australians with high physical support needs are being left behind. These young people deserve the freedom to live where and how they want — and it’s up to all of us to make that happen.

Youngcare is fighting for freedom, dignity and choice for young people with high physical support needs to choose where they live, who they live with, and how they live their lives.

Youngcare achieves this through developing aspirational Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA), advocating for much-needed policy change, delivering vital grants programs, and providing education, advice and pathways through our free support service. 

Simpson Desert Challenge Sponsors