The Simpson Desert, Northern Territory, Australia

The Joe Mortelliti Gallery, Simpson Desert, Northern Territory, Australia

Outback Australia. The Simpson Desert spanning a territory and two states - the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland. Four hundred and sixty thousand acres. Vast spaces of enormous quiet. Sights you cannot see in urban Australia. Dry. Arid. Unforgiving. Yet beautiful, in it's own stark way. Joe Mortelliti had the gift of capturing that beauty with his camera. Take a tour with these pics and descriptions and it will almost feel as though you've been there. Be careful ... it might get you longing to go yourself!

Really useful info on tracks across the Simpson Desert from Diamantina Touring

Aussie Stories - telling about Australia in words and pictures

Joe Mortelliti's life long love, from when he was first given a Brownie camera as a boy, was photography. It was the focus of his work life for many years. He loved to travel with his wife Marion to as many parts of Australia as he could. He had the ability to 'see' the beauty of our land in such a way that he could photograph it for the delight of others. These photos are a legacy that he has left us. Used by permission and with appreciation.
Aussie Stories - telling about Australia in words and pictures

Ghost gums in the Hay River bed, Simpson Desert, Northern Territory, Australia
Ghost gums in the Hay River bed, Simpson Desert, Northern Territory, Australia. The Hay River in the North Simpson Desert is lined with majestic ghost gums. The smooth white trunks look stunning against bright blue skies.

We drove the river bed for 2 days doing gentle slaloms in and around the ghost gums as we travelled north toward Jervois. July 2005.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

For sale as Greeting Cards, Photographic Prints, Matted Prints, Mounted Prints, Canvas Prints, Framed Prints and Posters

Devil's Marbles, Northern Territory, Australia
Devil's Marbles, Northern Territory, Australia. The Devil's Marbles are a collection of gigantic rounded granite boulders, many of which are precariously balanced on top of one another. Scattered heaps of these 'marbles' occur across a wide, shallow valley.

The original granite masses from which the 'marbles' were fashioned had three main sets of joint planes at right angles to one another, breaking each mass into rectangular blocks three by seven metres square. Erosion along the joints and the flaking away of thin slabs from the surface over long periods of time, has rounded the corners to the extent that most blocks are now egg-shaped or spherical. August 2005.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

For sale as Greeting Cards, Photographic Prints, Matted Prints, Mounted Prints, Canvas Prints, Framed Prints and Posters

Goyder's Pillar, North Simpson Desert, Northern Territory, Australia
Goyder's Pillar, North Simpson Desert, Northern Territory, Australia. Named after George W Goyder, who was the government Surveyor General from 1861-1863. The sun sets spectacularly red on Goyder’s Pillar.

We crossed the North Simpson Desert and camped at Batton Hill, with traditional owner Lindsay Bookie. Lindsay took us for a short drive to Goyder’s Pillar, but with the skies heavily clouded we did not expect to get a photo. Suddenly the Pillar turned red for about 30 seconds as small gap in the clouds opened up. July 2005.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

For sale as Greeting Cards, Photographic Prints, Matted Prints, Mounted Prints, Canvas Prints, Framed Prints and Posters

The QAA Line, Simpson Desert, Queensland, Australia
The QAA Line, Simpson Desert, Queensland, Australia. The Simpson Desert remains Australia's one true desert, over 460,000 acres in size and spanning the corners of three Australian mainland states.

Big Red. Standing at 30 metres in height, this awesome sand dune provides a challenge for any four wheel drive enthusiast. This is the biggest and last dune to be crossed before entering Birdsville when traveling east. July 2005.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

For sale as Greeting Cards, Photographic Prints, Matted Prints, Mounted Prints, Canvas Prints, Framed Prints and Posters

The French Line, Simpson Desert, South Australia
The French Line, Simpson Desert, South Australia. The Simpson Desert remains Australia's one true desert, over 460,000 acres in size and spanning the corners of three Australian mainland states.

French Petroleum and it’s prime contractor, Brisbane-based Compagnie Generale de Geophysique (CGG), built a road to facilitate the movement of oil search crews across the desert dunes. Today their handiwork is known universally as the French Line. Oil discovered in the Simpson was waxy and congealed, of poor quality and therefore, as yet, of no commercial value. July 2005.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

For sale as Greeting Cards, Photographic Prints, Matted Prints, Mounted Prints, Canvas Prints, Framed Prints and Posters

Poeppel Corner, Simpson Desert, Northern Territory, Australia
Poeppel Corner, Simpson Desert, Northern Territory, Australia. Notable among the early surveyors was Augustus Poeppel who located the junction of the borders of Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia.

The original peg marking Poeppel Corner, as it is still known, was removed to Adelaide for preservation in 1962 and replaced by a replica. Some of Poeppel's original mile posts and other historic markers can still be seen in the Park. July 2005.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

For sale as Greeting Cards, Photographic Prints, Matted Prints, Mounted Prints, Canvas Prints, Framed Prints and Posters

The Red Centre, Northern Territory, Australia
The Red Centre, Northern Territory, Australia. Red is the colour of central Australia. It is very striking how vast the red plains are. You fly for a long time and all you see below is red.

There are roads in this pic, but often you can fly for quite a while and not see any roads, or even tracks. Near the western edge of the Simpson desert. July 2013.

Copyright © Rob Duncanson.