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Published: July 26th 2012
Sorry for the delay in posting... We've been out of mobile and internet range for the past week.
19/7: to Brachina Gorge, Flinders Ranges
Dani started the morning off with a hike up Ohlsenn Bagge for 360 degree views of Wilpena pound. While AJ sorted out camp. We then headed north through Bunyeroo valley up to Brachina Gorge in hopes if seeing yellow-footed rock wallabies, and low and behold 5 yellow footed rock wallabies bounded across the road in front if the car when we arrived there. We found a nice bush camp site within a 5 minute drive of the Brachina gorge and watched the rock wallabies browsing at dusk... Beautiful animals, amazingly agile on the rocky slopes.
20/7: North to Gammon ranges
Woke to an icey morning... Ice covered every surface including the tent! Although, amazingly cozy inside the tent.
We started the day with an easy 8km hike in the Trezona range in Flinders Ranges, followed by a dusty drive 150km north to the Gammon ranges. Which are far more spectacular but less visited than the Flinders ranges. We found an awesome bush camp site in the Weetootla gorge. Only a 300m walk from the campsite
we came across half a dozen yellow-footed rock wallabies just on dusk on the rockface at the entrance to the gorge.
This was a remote, peaceful campsite with only one other party there.
21/7: North to Arkaroola
Woke to sounds of cockatoos and emus and a euro hopping through camp. Set off for a hike through the Weetootla gorge... An amazing gorge comprised of various rock formations, spectacular colors, and old, gnarly river red gums.
We then headed up to Arkaroola village... A privately owned wilderness sanctuary. Although adjacent to Gammon ranges much more commercial. We opted to stay in basic accommodation at an exorbitant price for a nice warm shower and a real bed... We were lucky to get a room as a 4WD club making the trek from Adelaide to Noosa had booked for the night... A rather rough and blokey group.
We spent the afternoon venturing out on some of the 4WD tracks exploring the terrain... And a small 3km walk the Bata... gorge and a drive on dusk to look for wildlife but only saw Euros and 1 yellow footed rock wallaby.
22/7: to Lake Eyre
Woke to the sound of revving engines, mostly
an unmaintained V8... Was amusing watching a guy in an old decked out Holden station wagon trying to adjust the timing of his car before tackling the Strezlecki track to Innimincka with the rest of the 4wd crew... Wonder if he made it!
We started off with a 8km hike just near Arkaroola village... Nothing spectacular... But a challenge for AJ who hasn't found her hill climbing kegs yet. All in all, not that impressed by Arkaroola.. Some nice gorges, and only a few wildlife sitings.
We had to retrace steps south through part of Gammon ranges, before head west through a spectacular part of the Gammon ranges - Italowie gorge... If we had time would have liked to have explored further, as this looked amazing
We were looking forward to hitting the Sturt highway to reprovision with some fresh food at Lyndhurst, which on the map appeared of reasonable size, only to discover it was little more than a petrol station.
We hit the Oodnadatta track at Marree... A dusty and rutted track that follows the old Ghan railway. We bush camped at Muloorina station, 50km north of the track, a peaceful spot set on a waterhole with a
variety of birdlife. We were just 46km south of Lake Eyre and looking forward to an early morning visit to the lake in the morning.
23/7: Lake Eyre to William Creek
Rose before sunrise for the 30min drive up to Lake Eyre hoping to view an abundance of birdlife.... Was disappointed to arrive and find not only no birds... But no water either... Oh well! Should research these things first.
At least we managed to have a peaceful breakfast back at our camp watching the birdlife there...
Got back on the Oodnadatta track traveling NW through rather desolate landscape... However, the track passed the southern end of Lake Eyre and we thought, but were not convinced, that we saw water off in the distance... Turns out water indeed was still in this part of the lake but was drying rapidly. We ventured out on foot to explore the lake and to sink our feet into the muddy shore... To only then realize how sticky the mud actually was.
After another 2 hrs on the road we reached William Creek, population 10, and decided to call it a day... A cold beer was just what we needed at the pub,
long and monotonous
come service station, come caravan park, come restaurant... Basically an outpost in the middle of nowhere.
Made the decision that we would cut across country to Coober Pedy tomorrow instead persevering on the Oodnadatta track for the remaining 440km... Especially as my shocks were in a bad way.
24/7: William Creek to Uluru
We had camp packed up and were on the road by 8am, heading towards Coober Pedy... On a newly graded dirt road. Breezed through Coober Pedy, as there appeared to be nothing to hold our interest and another 800km left to travel in order to reach Uluru. By 5:30pm, and having travelled 730km, I was ready to call it quits. Luckily we found a nice bush camp site off the main road.
25/7: To Uluru
Was woken several times throughout the nite to the sound of road trains passing by on the road... Seemed to hear them for an entire km and felt like they were going to come through the tent.
Had Major Mitchell Cockatoos fly through camp... Absolutely beautiful birds.
Got into Uluru around midday... Exorbitant price for a camp site... But no other option. Had a quick look at the rock and
then took our first shower in days!
AJ organized a sunset camel ride for Dani's birthday present... Although the sunset wasn't spectacular, it was a very memorable b'day for Dani.
Didn't get up early enough to see the sunrise over Uluru. Spent the day exploring the Olga's (kata kjuta).. pretty unique rock formation. Hibg around to see the sunset, but again underwhelmed. Oh well, can't get it right everytime.
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