It’s been a month since trekkers through Australia’s Simpson Desert were promised a McDonald’s was “opening soon”, but now the dream is over.
Of course, the sign rising from one 15m high red dunes was a prank. An installation by a Melbourne artist which took him, and some mates, 12 months to plan and install.
A month later, the SA government dispatched a park ranger from Port Augusta to make the 12-hour drive in order to save tourists from themselves.
“We do see the funny side of this,” SA environment minister Ian Hunter told the ABC.
“It is very humorous, but we particularly don’t want people searching for a sign off the tracks, damaging the fragile landscape and putting themselves potentially at risk in a very remote location.”
It’s been a popular addition:
There’s even a box at the bottom containing an “emergency” meal, but if anyone ever broke the glass, they would have found toilet rolls.
“We put some solar powered lights on it so that it powers up at night and it’s even more obvious,” the artist responsible told the ABC last month.
A McDonald’s spokesman at the time distanced the fast-food franchise from the prank.
“The font and the style used on the sign is not consistent with our branding and it serves us no purpose,” the spokesman said.
The sign has now been moved to a new home outside the Mungerannie Hotel at Marree, on the Birdsville Track.
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