" Bushman and Heroes - Australia's most respected outback adventurer, Denis Bartell, takes us on a fascinating journey in the tracks of a lesser known explorer"OVERLANDER MAGAZINE May 1983

Overlander Magazine

December, 1977
"His feat is the stuff legends are made of"...

Australasian Post

October, 1980
"If Denis Bartell of North Adelaide had been born a century ago, there’s little doubt his name would be in our history books"...

Australasian Post

September, 1982
"The King in a Shoe Box” Madcap adventures and epic journeys are all in a day’s work to Denis Bartell, an Adelaide businessman"...

Overlander Magazine

"Three Tracks Across the Simpson” We thought it would be in the readers’ interest to ask the greatest outback adventurer of the all, Denis Bartell, to mark out three safe ways to attempt the crossing"...

Overlander Magazine

May, 1983
"Bushman and Heroes” - Australia’s most respected outback adventurer, Denis Bartell, takes us on a fascinating journey in the tracks of a lesser known explorer"...

Ampol Marketing News

May, 1984
"Adventurer Denis Bartell cannot resist a challenge - that is why he took on the Mole, Demaresq, MacIntyre, Barwon, Darling and Murray Rivers – and won"...

Australasian Post

July, 1984
"Tackling seemingly impossible tasks is becoming a habit with 51 year old Denis Bartell"...

People Magazine

September, 1984
"This dingo was ghosting along beside me in the moonlight, stopping when I stopped, moving when I moved"...

Overlander Magazine

May, 1985
"The Simpson Desert still holds an allure for most Overlanders. Here Australia’s best known Desert Explorer Denis Bartell provides some detailed notes for a journey along one of the less used routes, The Colson Track"...

Australasian Post

November, 1985
"For this great adventurer, once across the Simpson Desert just wasn’t enough"...

Womans Day

November, 1985
"This modern day Marco Polo is always setting himself seemingly impossible goals"...

Australian Geographic

June, 1986
"The figure below was unmistakeable – a lone figure pulling a hand cart. Dick Smith landed his helicopter and climbed out to meet the adventurer he had been seeking"...

More in the media...

Denis Bartell OAM – Outback Adventure Book Author


I have always had a great interest in and empathy with the early explorers and of the hardships and disappointments they endured during their exploits to open up our magnificent country.

Having personally retraced the footsteps of many of these courageous men using information gleaned from their journals and archival material, their ventures have been woven into some of my own adventure stories.

Although generally brief, it is hoped that readers will be encouraged to delve more deeply into their lives and our past history as a whole, both aboriginal and European.

In 1989 I was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the general division. Dick Smith, founder of The Australian Geographic magazine, presented me with their Adventurer of the Year Award Gold Medallion 1994.

I have featured numerous times in a wide variety of magazines: The Australasian Post, People, Woman’s Day, Prime Time, Bush Driver 4WD Magazine, Overlander Magazine, 4X4 Australia and The Australian Geographic.

My press cuttings are extensive and over the years I have done many television interviews including Bert Newton, Ray Martin and Kerri-Anne Kennerley and also numerous radio talk shows and interviews.

I have featured Australia wide in TV commercials and magazine advertising for Monroe Wylie Shock Absorbers and the Suzuki Motor Company.

Documentaries made and screened on commercial television by Channel 9 The Desert Walker and Panorama Australia Journey to Australia’s Inland Sea on Channel 10 relate to chapters in my manuscript.

Over the years via the Press, TV and radio, I have tried to encourage the young to get out and experience our great outback and our heritage, to challenge life in general and to be participants of life and adventure, not just spectators. For the not so young and the middle aged, I have endeavoured by example to show that age is not a barrier, it is merely an excuse and that dreams and aspirations can become a reality if one is prepared to give it a go.

Whether it be at school, work or play, winners always make things happen.

Some of my achievments


• The first solo cross-country vehicle crossing of the Australian continent between its widest points – both ways

• First solo cross-country vehicle crossing of the Simpson Desert, the largest parallel sand dune desert in the world, from east to west.

• Boated solo 1460 miles (2350 kms) down the Murray River.

• Boated solo 2170 miles (3500 kms) down the Darling-Murray River system

• 3 week solo unaided walk from west to east across the fiery heart of the Simpson Desert 245 miles (390 kms) – no backup vehicles.

• At 53 years young, completed a five and a half month solo walk across Australia north to south , again passing through the centre of the Simpson Desert. To give some idea of the isolation on this journey, one section involved 350 miles (560 kms) cross-country (no road, no tracks, compass only) and the greatest distance between towns, a beer or an icecream was a massive 900 miles (1450kms) – a journey of true isolation.

• Drove the first solar powered vehicle 2000 miles (3200 kms) to cross the continent from north to south and in so doing set a solo world driving record for distance travelled using only the sun’s rays for propulsion.

• Two month solo canoe journey down the flooded Cooper Creek to finally reach Lake Eyre accompanied only by his pet dingo pup.

• At the age of 62: re-enacted by camel the journey of the first white man to completely cross the Simpson Desert. During this journey he launched the Optus Satellite phone system by carrying their mobile phone strapped to his camel, from which he could phone anywhere in the world.

• At age 64: canoed solo 550 miles (880 kms) down the Murrumbidgee River.

• In 2006 Denis guided his daughter Susan and three of her closest friends on their walk across the Simpson Desert following his footsteps of 22 years before. The girls, dubbed The Desert Mums, raised over $170,000.00 for breast cancer research.