Covering more than 170,000 square kilometres, it is the world’s largest sand dune desert and attracts thousands of adventure hungry tourists each year.
But it seems a prankster could be hungry for something else after a mysterious sign was set up in the Simpson Desert Conservation Park.
Midway along the most popular ‘road’ that crosses the Simpson, more than 200 kilometres into the desert, a large sign has been erected atop a 15-metre high dune.
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Easily seen for kilometres in every direction it leaves visitors to believe that some time soon they will be able to ditch damper for a double cheeseburger.
Rosaline Poohey, from Bunbury, Western Australia was making the crossing along The French Line track with a group of friends recently and described the sign as an eyesore.
“It’s not in keeping with the value of what you think you’d find in a national park … I think it’s completely inappropriate or not the right sort of sign for a landmark,” she said.
And it seems, McDonald’s agrees.
McDonald’s spokesman Chris Grant said the sign was a mystery to the company.
“This one has us all intrigued,” he said.
“I can assure you it is nothing to with us. The font and the style used on the sign is not consistent with our branding and it serves us no purpose.”
So despite the professional look of the sign, complete with an emergency bag of burgers stashed behind a breakable case, it seems that someone has gone to considerable time and expense to install the now well-photographed prank.
“It’s beyond us why anyone would go the time and effort to install a sign like this,” Mr Grant said.
It is not the first time northern South Australia has been faced with a mysterious installation.
In 1998 a 4.2-kilometre geoglyph depicting an Indigenous Australian man hunting with a boomerang was carved into the plateau west of Marree and was visible from the air for more than a decade.
Despite the size of the carving, not a single witness saw the work being carried out and to this day its creator remains a mystery.
Somewhat less cultural than the Marree Man, the ‘Maccas’ sign is destined to a far shorter life span.
SA Environment Minister Ian Hunter said he would have Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources staff investigate the sign and its removal.
So if you plan to cross the Simpson in search of fast food, hurry, it is for a limited time only.