Andrew Harper

desert walker : explorer : conservationist : photographer

Andrew Harper has been walking and exploring the Australian deserts since 1995 and has journeyed over 15000 kilometres across all of Australia's nine major deserts either as a solo explorer or as leader of commercial camel expeditions with the Outback Camel Company.

In 1999 he brought to fruition a 17 year dream of walking across Australia along The Tropic of Capricorn, a 229 day, 4637 kilometre journey raising funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Stage 2 of Capricorn Expedition, a two stage walk across South America began in October 2017. More information here -

In 2007 he founded Australian Desert Expeditions, a Not-For-Profit Registered Environmental Organisation that partners with leading universities and national research institutions to conduct scientific & ecological surveys in the far reaches of the inland deserts. Andrew believes that Australia's long cameleering exploration heritage can successfully partner with modern science to further our ecological knowledge of Australia's great arid wilderness.

A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, he has crossed the Simpson Desert - the worlds largest parallel sand ridge desert - 12 times in various directions, the latest solo journey being  reconnxpedition, a 35 day, 700 kilometre crossing in 2012. 

On Australia Day 2015, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), for his service to environmental science, research and adventure tourism.

When not walking deserts, he takes to the water and kayaks the inland rivers and has been actively campaigning for the introduction of a container recycling scheme in NSW. 

"The desert deserves to be approached gently, so its mood is revealed. The way people have always approached the desert was on foot, as we have done today. That reveals the country - the continuum of country."

Capricorn Expedition 1999

Outback Camel Company Expeditions

reconnxpedition 2012

Australian Desert Expeditions

These photographs represent the type of scientific & ecological fieldwork that is conducted on ADE surveys.
Disciplines include

  • ornithology, archaeology, palaeontology
  • surveys for small mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and invertebrates
  • track analysis & scat collection surveys
  • bat surveys
  • botanical specimen collections
  • sampling of soil carbon

Images are sourced from Andrew's collection and from participants of the surveys.