Search:



Maree's 10 desert ride to make history

Posted: 7am 07 Apr 2021

Maree Stephenson will leave her Griffin home on May 1 on a 10 Desert Challenge - which could see her ride into the history books.

The 53-year-old plans to return in mid-September as the first woman to cycle 10,000kms on tracks across all 10 Australian deserts.

She will face some of this country’s harshest terrain, with no support team, temperatures down to minus 5 degrees and limited access to water and services on the way.

Maree's planned route on the 10 Desert Challenge

Edgy adventure

The driving force behind this 140-day adventure is to raise $10,000 for Beyond Blue, the mental health and wellbeing support organisation.

“Basically, out there I’m it,” said Maree, whose only companion will be Banjo, her “fat-wheeled bike” named after an Australian dinosaur.

“I thrive on edgy adventures in the natural world putting me outside my comfort zone.

“There is no better time to promote mental health. Living with COVID is a mental challenge for all of us to build resilience together.”

Maree Stephenson and 'Banjo' - her bike.

Now is the time

While the route is new, Maree is no strange to marathon rides having cycled around Australia and to Mongolia. It was on the former that the idea of a desert challenge began.

Maree went through part of the Great Sandy Desert: “I loved those parts of WA and realised you could do a bike ride across desert. Now is the time to do it.”

This adventure will start in Brisbane, taking the Adventure Way to Birdsville and then heading down to Maree in South Australia, up to Alice Springs and then the northern most point of Halls Creek in Western Australia (WA).

Maree then turns south to Leonora and east across the Great Victorian Desert finishing in Birdsville on September 17, to be met by her partner and their seven-year-old son.

Food parcels

Maree will send food parcels ahead to towns which have a postal service but said: “Water is the main thing. Physically, I don’t sweat much, but get dehydrated and next day is a horror.” 

She will drink on the hour to ensure her fluid intake is sufficient and will have two-way communicators in case of emergencies.

“Landscape out there can be deceiving on the tracks,” Maree said, “orientation is crucial, very, very important. I really don’t want to get lost.”

Maree welcomes donations and sponsors to her fundraising target to help Beyond Blue’s 24/7 support services.

Visit the10desertchallenge.com

10,000KM | 10 DESERTS | 10 TRACKS | $10,000

Toowoomba to Birdsville – via the Adventure Way 1650km

Birdsville to Marree – via the Birdsville Track 518km – traversing Sturt Stony and Strzelecki Deserts

Marree to Oodnadatta – via the Oodnadatta Track 613km – traversing Tirari and Pedirka Deserts

Oodnadatta to Alice Springs – via the Old Ghan Heritage Railway Trail 1050km

Alice Springs to Halls Creek – via the Tanami Track 1051km traversing the Tanami Desert

Halls Creek to Wiluna – via the Canning Stock Route 1764km traversing The Great Sandy and Little Sandy Deserts

Wiluna to Leonora – via the Goldfields Highway 299km

Leonora to Yulara – via The Great Central Road 1260km traversing The Great Victorian and Gibson Deserts

Yulara to Mt Dare – via the Red Centre Way 571km

Mt Dare to Birdsville – via K1 and Rig Road 709km traversing the Simpson Desert

Australia's 10 deserts

Great Victoria Desert (348,750sq km)

Great Sandy Desert (267,250sq km)

Tanami Desert (184,500sq km)

Simpson Desert (176,500sq km)

Gibson Desert (156,000sq km)

Little Sandy Desert (111,500sq km)

Strzelecki Desert (80,250sq km)

Sturt Stony Desert (29,750sq km)

Tirari Desert (15,250sq km)

Pedirka Desert (1250sq km)

There's more news here

Share

Trending

fire Station Gallery Redcliffe enriching lives

It's a building that has been integral to saving lives for decades, but its focus in retirement has shifted to enriching lives.…

Good Egg Gallery cracks it

The Good Egg Gallery has cracked the formula for bringing local artists together in a welcoming space in just its first few weeks of operation.…

More you might like:

Trending

Local News   •   1-8-2021  •   Kylie Knight

COVID-19 UPDATE: Nine new cases

There have been nine new cases detected of COVID-19's Delta variant in the community in the past 24 hours and all are linked to the Indooroopilly cluster. Here's the latest from this morning's press conference.…

Local News   •   31-7-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Community rallies to support producers

The community has rallied to support producers devasted by the snap lockdown and cancellation of this weekend’s Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival. They have bought about $10,000 worth of produce and will collect it tomorrow at Dayboro and Samford.…

Local News   •   31-7-2021  •   Nick Crockford

Students ready to hack into data for skills test

USC Engineering and Computer Science students will hack into open government data next month to find solutions to real-world problems at GovHack, which is being hosted by USC Moreton Bay for the first time.…

Local News   •   31-7-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Lockdown forces events to cancel

The snap three-day lockdown, which takes effect at 4pm today has forced the cancellation of many big and small events across the region. Here’s a list…

Local News   •   31-7-2021  •   Nick Crockford

Snap three-day lockdown from 4pm

Moreton Bay Region is one of 11 council areas going into a snap three-day lockdown from 4pm today. It comes as Deputy premier Steven Miles announced seven new cases in Queensland in the last 24 hours.…

Local News   •   31-7-2021  •   Kylie Knight

‘80s party vibe strikes a chord

Redcliffe-based band the Killtoys have found inspiration in the pop/new wave vibes of the 1980s for their latest single and it seems the punters are loving it.…

Your free local community newspaper, home delivered fortnightly.

Read Latest Edition

Close