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

BMX riders left 'heartbroken' following devastating floods

The Caboolture BMX Club have set up a Go Fund Me account which they hope will cover the costs of rebuilding following the floods. Find out how you can help here …

Award honours program for carers

The work of the Carers Foundation honoured at the Moreton Bay Region business awards. Find out what they do……

More you might like:

Trending

Local News   •   30-6-2022  •   Nick Crockford

New free water refill stations open

Unitywater has installed five new water refill stations in the Moreton Bay Region - ahead of Plastic-Free July - to help keep the community hydrated for free.…

Local News   •   30-6-2022  •   Jodie Powell

Major upgrade, retirement complex for Bongaree Bowls Club

The Bongaree Bowls Club is poised for a major refurbishment – including a new retirement complex. See what's in store...…

Local News   •   30-6-2022  •   Nick Crockford

Using artistic aid to boost eye care

Specsavers Morayfield has again teamed up with the The Fred Hollows Foundation to help make eye care more visible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.…

Local News   •   30-6-2022  •   Nick Crockford

Work starts on new $6 million park in Caboolture

The first sod has been officially turned on the new $6 million Riverbank Parkland in Caboolture South.…

Local News   •   30-6-2022  •   Jodie Powell

Nathan's epic new ride for charity rolls on

Nathan McDowall starts day two of an epic ride from Kingaroy to Redcliffe today, raising money for research into a rare disease. See the video...…

Local News   •   30-6-2022  •   Nick Crockford

Comedy club fills town square with laughter

Laughter filled the square as Caboolture Festival welcomed the Sit Down Comedy Club for the annual Open Air Comedy Night on Saturday.…

Close