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In This Issue
Birdsville trip
Birdsville Races
Better be quick!
Head Of Bight trip
Trip itineraries 2012
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Issue: 24August  2012
Dear Subscriber,

A quick newsletter to update our activity during July!

At the foot of this newsletter are itineraries of some of the trips we have done, and I have left them there for interest. There are others with specific departure dates,which are coming up later this year. If any of the itineraries are of interest to you. let me know and I can provide further details. 

We recently moved to an upgraded internet facility and now have only the one email address - "

I leave tomorrow morning (3rd) for a trip to Birdsville and the Channel Country. so will say "cheers"  until next time!


Birdsville -14th July

The itinerary of our Birdsville trip 14th July was changed due to a road closure, and instead of travelling to Innamincka from Birdsville, we headed to Windorah and the Channel Country, returning through Thargomindah. and Bourke to Broken Hill.

Travelling up the Birdsville Track, we stopped overnight At Mungerannie and met with a group of Nissan Patrol vehicles which were heading to Birdsville for the 50th Anniversary of the first vehicle crossing of the Simpson Desert.  


Geologist and explorer Dr Reginald Sprigg, his wife Griselda and their two children, Doug (then seven)
and Margaret (10), made the pioneering trip from Andado Station to Birdsville in 1962.

The vehicle (pictured above) was a short wheelbase Nissan Patrol G60 which went ahead of a small group of other four-wheel drive vehicles.

Once again there is a detour on the road from Birdsville out to Nappannerica Sandune (Big Red).
There is a "permit" which is purchased ($2) at the Wirrari Tourist Information Centre and this has a mud map of the detour around
a large lake on the eastern side of Big Red.
We drove up the sand dune and watched a number of the Nissan Patrol owners  trying out their vehicles!

Our trip normally goes from Birdsville to Innamincka, however with both the Cordillo Downs (SA) and Arrabury (Qld) roads closed , we decided to travel east through Betoota to Windorah.

There are some interesting stops beyond Deon's Lookout and  Betoota, including the Native Wells between the J C Hotel ruins and Windorah. These wells were used by the Mithaka people as a source of water during their travels. The wells which were used for hundreds of years are thought to be man made and are filled by irregular rains.

I am often reminded of lines from that wonderful poem - "The Cooper Coming Down" by Bob Magor when he speaks of...

"The Thomson and The Barcoo on the rise,
Till they mingle near Windorah to become the Cooper Creek"

It was a great sight to see the number of birds on  Cooper Creek
at Windorah.

At Quilpie we joined The Dowling Track which  follows the footsteps  of Vincent James Dowling and other early pioneers who over 100 years ago discovered this area, known as the ""Plains of Promise""- people travelled the track looking for a new life and new opportunities.
The Australian author, Henry Lawson walked from Bourke to Hungerford and back in the hellish summer heat looking for work.

The Track passes through Toompine - "The hotel without a town" and this was an ideal place for lunch!

An overnight stop in Thargomindah provided opportunity to join a tour of the Hydro Power Plant - the first in Australia and third in the World!

In 1891 drilling commenced on a bore to supply the town with water and in 1893 an exceptionally good supply was struck at 795 metres (2650 feet) with the water at 84 degrees Celsius. The bore was the source of energy for Australia's first hydro-electric scheme when in 1893 Thargomindah's streets were lit by means of a generator coupled to a water turbine driven by the bore's natural water pressure.

They are third in the world to Paris and London to have street lighting generated by Hydro Power!
Next day we took the Adventure Way to Eulo on the Paroo River,  calling into the Date Farm and Winery and enjoying the hospitality of Ian and Nan Pike who have worked with dates for over 30 years.

The road to Hungerford passes through Currawinya National
Park, and we made detours to the ruins of a pastoral settlement and woolshed.

After a great lunch at the Hungerford Hotel we were back on the Dowling Track through Yantabulla and Fords Bridge to  Bourke.

The Dowling Track provides a great opportunity to experience something different and enjoy an unspoilt land!

I leave next Friday (3rd August) with another group to do the same trip again!



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Birdsville Races

Preparation is well underway for one of the country's major outback events - the Birdsville Races on 31st August and 1st September. 

Last year, day one of racing was cancelled due to a wet track, but this year organisers are pleased the weather forecast is looking promising.


Birdsville Race Club president David Brook says they've received more than 200 nominations from as far as Darwin.

Entertainment at Birdsville in 2012 will head skyward with RAAF Roulettes set to amaze racegoers from above.


The Roulettes are the Royal Australian Air Force's aerobatic display team and they will perform their high show display above the race course. Throughout the display each pilot will maintain their aircraft only 3m from each other whilst conducting aerobatics and flypasts down to 200ft above the ground and at speeds up to 550km/h.

Betoota Races are the previous week - Saturday 25th August.

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Better be quick!


The iconic Barrier Reef and unique ecosystem of the South Australian desert have been named among the top 10 places to visit before they disappear in a list compiled by news website Mother Nature Network.


The site has listed our Aussie icons at number three and nine, respectively, of natural wonders that will vanish during our lifetimes due to climate change and natural disasters.

America's Glacier National Park topped the list, while the South Australian outback was ranked a higher must see destination above the European Alps.


Mother Nature Network warns the Barrier reef is disappearing at an increased rate because of climate change and natural disasters and says if tourists want to see it, the time is now.


What took 8000 years for nature to create could disappear within our lifetimes," the site says.

And it also warns tourists to get in quick and see the South Australian outback, which is being continually threatened by desertification.

"Across the region, fresh water supplies are rapidly drying up.  


Meanwhile, the parched landscape increases the occurrence of wildfires, threatening agriculture, wildlife and hundreds of Australian homes," it warns.



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Eyre Peninsula and The Head of Bight
I have a personalised trip departing late September to Eyre Peninsula and Head of Bight.

The 8 day itinerary will travel to Tumby Bay and Port Lincoln (via Sea SA ferry from Wallaroo), then drive up the coast to attractions including Murphy's Haystacks, the sea lions at Point Labatt, and on to Streaky Bay, Ceduna and Yalata to Head of Bight and the Bunda Cliffs.
Bunda Cliffs - Nullarbor
We have an overnight stop at Nullarbor before returning along the Eyre Highway to Wudinna and the Gawler Ranges then to Adelaide via the Flinders Ranges and Clare Valley.

This trip takes in many of the attractions of the west coast, plus some great scenery and I will look to making it a regular itinerary. If you have an interest let me know!


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Upcoming Personalised 4WD trips 2012
These trips are in a Toyota Landcruiser vehicle with a maximum of 4 passengers:

Itineraries 2012     
Coongie Lakes
                 Lake Eyre
         (3 days) - $995pp   

        Includes Plane Flight!



Clare Valley, Leigh Creek, Marree, One and a half hour plane flight over Lake Eyre, Farina Ruins, Ochre Cliffs, Hawker, Orroroo, Terowie, Burra.   

Birdsville Hotel         

               Birdsville &
               (9 days) -

Clare Valley, Leigh Creek, Marree, Mungerannie, Birdsville, Innamincka, Cameron Corner, Sturt National Park, Tibooburra,Broken Hill,
 Old Pastoral route to Burra, Adelaide.

Toompine Hotel
             Birdsville & Windorah
            (9 days) - $3300pp


Clare Valley, Leigh Creek, Marree, Mungerannie, Birdsville,
Betoota, Windorah, Quilpie, Toompine, Thargomindah, Cunnamulla, Bourke, Cobar, Broken Hill.

        Coongie Lakes
            Mount Samuel 
            4WD Alpana Station                       (4 days) - $1525pp 
             Monday October 22

Clare Valley, Wilmington, Quorn, Hawker and
Oraparinna to Alpana Station. Using Blinman as a "base" we travel Glass Gorge to Oratunga Creek and Alpana Station.
Splendid views which include Mt Samuel, Mt Samuel Proper,
Lake Torrens, Nilpena Sandhills, Mt Buggery, Mt Deception and Patawarta Hill!
Picnic lunch Green well Creek before continuing to Valley Bore where it is common to see kangaroos, emus, feral goats.
The Parachilna Gorge Road takes us past Angorichina Station and back to Blinman.

Skytrek Logo
                         Flinders Ranges &

                         (4 days) -
                         Saturday September 1
                          Definite Depature

Rawnsley Park, Wilpena Pound, Willow Springs Station, Skytrek, Bunyeroo Valley, Brachina Gorge, Blinman, Parachilna Gorge, Moralana Scenic Drive, Melrose, The Bridle Track. Port Germein, Laura, Orroroo, Burra, Eudunda, Kapunda. 

 Sillers Lookout - Arkaroola
               Flinders R
anges &
                (5 day
s) -
                Sunday   September  9
                Tuesday September 18  
                 Definite Departure 

Rawnsley Park, Wilpena Pound, Bunyeroo Valley, Brachina Gorge, Blinman, Arkaroola,  Ridgetop Tour,  Nooldoonooldoona Waterhole, Gammon Ranges,  

Moralana Scenic Drive.

 Tumby Bay
                    Tumby Bay
                    and The Eyre

                    (5 days) $1595pp
                     Saturday October 13

Port Germein, Arno Bay, Port Neill,Trinity Haven Scenic Drive, Poonindie ,
Port Lincoln, Sleaford Bay, Whaler's Way, Tod Reservoir, Cummins, Mt Hope, Point Drummond, Greenly Beach, Dutton Bay, Coffin Bay, Koppio Museum.
Enjoy a Clydesdale Horse and trolley ride!
Return is via Horrock's Pass 
to Flinders Ranges, Orroroo and Burra.   
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Thanks for your continued interest in Desert Sky Tours

Howard Humby
Desert Sky Tours
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