The 10 desert challenge 10,000km, 10 tracks, $10,000

Roads are built for Journey’s not destinations


The Challenge

My name is Maree Stephenson. On the 2nd of May 2021, I cycle from Brisbane (Woodford) out to Birdsville in an attempt to cross all 10 Australian deserts. I take on this challenge on my fat tyre bicycle called ‘Banjo.’  The challenge will take 139days.

Our route covers 10 tracks including the Birdsville Track, Oodnadatta Track, Stuart Highway, Red Centre Way, Great Central Highway, Marble Bar Rd, Great Northern Highway, Tanami Track, Old Ghan Heritage Rail Trail, and the Simpson Desert Crossing (via Rig Rd and Ki Line). 

The Canning Stock Route (CSR) is now closed until further notice so we have re-routed from Wiluna to Halls Creek via Marble Bar Rd and Great Northern Highway. The alternate route still traverses the Little Sandy Desert and Great Sandy desert. We’ll do the CSR the next time around 😉

Adapted from “Maree’s Desert Ride to Make History” by Nick Crawford, published Moreton Daily, 7 April, 2021

There is limited access to water and services on route. This means carrying multiple days of food and water at times. Food and other supplies will be mailed ahead to towns with postal service and I can carry up to 35Litres of water. The 10 desert challenge is a true adventure.  If successful I will be the first woman to do so.   

On the 17th of September 2021, I cycle back into Birdsville where I meet my partner and our boy to celebrate whatever happens. It’s a journey about human growth and evolving our best selves through sharing the experience with you.

Fundraising for Beyond Blue

This is a registered fundraising event for Beyond Blue

Beyond blue helps people achieve their best possible mental health. Right now, over one million people in Australia have depression and two million experience anxiety. On average, eight people take their own lives every day

We aim to raise over $10,000 to help Beyond Blue deliver its 24/7 Support Services. Your donation will improve the lives of individuals, families and communities affected by anxiety, depression and suicide. 

Every donation helps and makes a significant impact to mental health in Australia

You will automatically receive a receipt when you donate

Thank you for supporting Beyond Blue!


Sponsorship enables us to undertake this challenge safely. It counts to feel part of a bigger team. It helps us find that bit extra especially through the tricky times. But ultimately all support helps Beyond Blue. I thank our sponsors for their generosity and community spiritedness.

Please support our sponsors like they support us.

About us 

Banjo & I are two adventure predators.

Banjo is a beast of a bike named after the Australian raptor dinosaur discovered in Winton (Australoventator). With his 4.8 inch tyres, he is built for adventures in all terrains. I value self awareness about the person I am and want to be. I thrive on edgy adventures that challenge my comfort zone. This helps me build self awareness and language to express my experience. Together Banjo and I call ourselves ‘shecyclesaurus’ – evolving our best selves through adventuring.


I have grown up with anxiety and learnt to approach life this way; as an adventure.

Desert country will test our bigger, stronger, wiser, kinder selves with its raw beauty & extreme conditions. It’ll take spiritual, physical, mental and social resolve to face the daily trials. It’s all about the journey.

Connecting with what matters to me creates energy far greater than a hit of lollies or caffeine 🙂 In this state, energy flows and is limitless. I want to explore this place and understand more about what connection means. I will stick a lens into the raw experience and share the unfiltered version with you

I hope our challenge inspires you to experience the mental health benefits of undertaking adventure challenges safely in our great outdoors.

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