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In This Issue........
Coongie Lakes pics
John & Genevieve Hammond
Jeff Morgan Gallery Hawker
Geodynamics Innamincka
Sir Sidney Kidman
Open for business
Trip itineraries 2014
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Issue: 31July 2014
 Dear Subscriber,

Two trips in June to Coongie Lakes, with the first closely following a rain band which delivered some reasonable falls to a number of outback areas. The Strzelecki Track had been closed for a few days prior, and I wondered if we would have a repeat of our 2013 trip, where we deviated for a day to Arkaroola, waiting for the Track to open. Fortunately it opened on the day of our departure from Adelaide, and we had no problems, although the Coongie Lakes track remained closed and there was no definite advice as to when it would open.
Arriving in Innamincka, we changed the itinerary and visited Camp LXV (The Dig Tree), and local attractions the next day.
That afternoon we received word from the National Parks Ranger the Coongie Lakes track was open, enabling us to visit next day!

A fortnight later and my second trip was with Bev and Don who had wanted to visit Coongie Lakes for the past 3 years! Flood waters in the Cooper Creek had inundated the track and on each occasion it was closed. This, the fourth attempt was successful, and we enjoyed a great day !
You can read Don's article on the trip by clicking this link.   

I am now preparing for a Birdsville and Windorah trip in a few weeks time through the Channel Country of south west Queensland !! (there is still a seat available!)

We appreciate your continued interest in Desert Sky tours and 

I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter!


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Coongie Lakes trips 



View an album of our Coongie  Lakes trips by clicking here 

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Other images of Coongie Lakes can be found in our website Album.


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With Love from The Outback


Many readers will remember
John and Genevieve Hammond 
who ran the Mungerannie Hotel, half way along the  Birdsville Track.

We have recollections of many happy visits, and their welcome and help particularly in the early days on our Birdsville trips was greatly appreciated. 

ABC Radio South Western Queensland has been running a
10-part series, in which outback Queensland couples share their romantic tales with the ABC.

John and Genevieve featured on a recent episode, and their story can be viewed by clicking this link.

They now run the Desert Sands Motel in Boulia.

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Jeff Morgan Gallery - Hawker

Last October Miriam and Jeff decided to go ahead with another Panorama next to the existing Wilpena Panorama.
The new one is to be almost twice the size as the original one  built just over 10 years ago .

It will be of a scene found in the far northern Flinders Ranges at the amazing Wilderness Sanctuary of Arkaroola.

Unlike most panoramas that are usually painted and viewed as from a high vantage point, this one will be painted and viewed as if the viewer is standing in an almost dry creek bed, surrounded by the beautiful Arkaroola hills and Gum trees.
It will also include the Arkaroola Flora and fauna.

The concept of viewing as if you are down in the scene has worked well with the 15 metre Ron's Creek painting (above)  that is also part of the Wilpena Panorama complex.

The three existing sections and the new 360 degrees panorama will be all connected so that the viewer can walk from one to the next to increase the pleasure of the  experience .


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Geodynamics - "Hot Rocks Project"


Geothermal exploration and development company Geodynamics has entered into an agreement with Beach Energy for the sale of its Habanero logistics and operational support base located near Innamincka, South Australia, for a total consideration of $1.5 M.




Beach will acquire camp accommodation, operating support facilities for drilling, and associated equipment suited to its current field activities.



Geodynamics will retain ownership and responsibility for all geothermal permits associated with its Innamincka granite resource, and ownership and responsibility for geothermal wells, brine pipelines and geothermal facilities, including its

1 MWe Habanero pilot plant.


The agreement could see geothermal energy used to power gas and oil development in central Australia and Geodynamics will also look at using CO2 emitted during the gas production process as a heat transfer fluid in the geothermal process.  


There is potential for significant energy efficiency, cost benefits and carbon emission reductions through the integrated development of the geothermal resource and a future gas development.  

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Cattle baron's birthday bash

An interesting article by Tim Lloyd of The Advertiser, describing Sir Sidney Kidman's 75th birthday celebrations in 1932.
It is remarkable that the event was captured on film by Sir Sidney's son in law Sidney Reid.

The story, which appeared in "Heritage Matters" of the weekend paper 21st June can be viewed here.

Also, the  poem "Kidmans Boys" was written especially  for the occasion by Les Daly.

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Buildings with new life!....

The old hotel in MurrayTown was closed for years, but is now under renovation and open as a coffee shop, with the hope of regaining the licence in the future.

Heather, the proprietor is obviously a brilliant cook. If you are ever in Murray Town, do yourself a favour and drop in for coffee and cake.  

Banking services in Melrose were provided in this building from 1881. The building was sold in 1989 and leased by the ANZ Bank as an agency service until 1995.

It has now opened as "The Old Bank House Bed and Breakfast",  incorporating
Wozza'z Vault Cafe.

It offers bed and breakfast rooms to guests seeking a window on the past - but with spotlessly modern facilities.  Each morning a continental buffet breakfast is served in the vault cafe, which opens up to balmy breezes in summer.

Bank themed suites include the NAB Room, Westpac Room and Commonwealth Room. And yes! - there are authentic Bank signs on the door of each suite.

Further details:  The Old Bank House Bed and Breakfast

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Personalised 4WD trips 2014

These trips are in a Toyota Landcruiser vehicle with a maximum of 4 passengers:

                 CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW Itineraries 2014 !


            Yorke Peninsula
           & Southern Flinders
         Saturday 25th October 

                   (5 days)  




Ardrossan, Port Julia, Port Vincent, Edithburgh, and Wool Bay. Scenic drive to Troubridge Point and Marion Bay. Innes National Park includes Cable Bay, Cape Spencer and Pondalowie Bay. Corny Point, Warooka and Yorketown.

Moonta and Wallaroo.  Banking museum Kadina.

Southern Flinders Ranges, Alligator Gorge, Melrose.

Bridle Track to Port Germein. 


es Hill Circuit
                           on demand    

                        (2 days)  






Gilbert Valley, Terowie, Peterborough (overnight and we visit Steamtown's  Laser Light Show), Franklyn, Ketchowla, Dares Hill, Mt Bryan, Clare Valley.





          Kangaroo Island
        Thursday 5th November   
                (4 days)

        (Includes Sealink ferry)



Penneshaw, Antechamber Bay, Cape Willoughby,    

American River, Kingscote, Flinders Chase National Park,  

Cape Borda, Admirals Arch, Cape De Coudic, Seal Bay, Emu Bay, Stokes Bay, Snelling Beach, Western River Cove.  



          The Gawler Ranges
          Tuesday 14th October 
                   (5 days)          

Port Wakefield, Port Germein, Port Augusta, Iron Knob, Corunna, Siam, Nonning, Mt Ive, Lake Gairdner, Yardea, Hiltaba, Paney Station, The Organ Pipes, Pildappa Rock, Tcharkuldu Hill, Minnipa, Wudinna, Kimba, Wilmington, Melrose, Gladstone, The Clare Valley.

                Lake Eyre
                   on demand
                      (3 days)
      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 & Windorah
             Sunday 10th August 
                    (9 days)

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


            Flinders Ranges
       Wednesday September 17 
                    (4 days)
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. 

           Flinders R
     Wednesday 24th September
                  (5 days)
Rawnsley Park, Wilpena Pound, Bunyeroo Valley, Brachina Gorge, Blinman, Arkaroola,  Ridgetop Tour,  Nooldoonooldoona Waterhole, Gammon Ranges, Moralana Scenic Drive.

             Flinders Ranges 
                    & Outback
                   on demand
                  (8 days) 




Rawnsley Park, Wilpena Pound, Bunyeroo Valley, Brachina Gorge, Blinman, Arkaroola,  Ridgetop Tour,  Nooldoonooldoona Waterhole, Gammon Ranges, Moralana Scenic Drive.
Marree, The Oodnadatta Track, William Creek, Coober Pedy,
The Painted Desert, Woomera, Roxby Downs.

                Tumby Bay  
               The Eyre Peninsula
           Friday 14th November
                     (5 days)                    
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.

                 Head of Bight
The Eyre Peninsula         Friday September 5*  
          (8 days)   

*fully Booked 
Port Germein, Arno Bay, Port Neill,Trinity Haven Scenic Drive, Poonindie , Port Lincoln, Sleaford Bay, Whaler's Way, Coffin Bay, Lock's Well, Elliston, Talia Caves, Venue Bay, Murphy's Haystacks, Point Labatt, Streaky Bay, Smoky Bay, Ceduna,
Penong, Cactus Beach, Fowlers Bay,Nullarbor Roadhouse,
Head of Bight Whale Centre, Minnipa, Wudinna, The Gawler Ranges National Park, Kimba, Iron Knob, Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens, Wilmington, Melrose, The Bridle Track to Port Germein, Clare Valley.
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Thanks for your continued interest in Desert Sky Tours

Howard Humby
Desert Sky Tours
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