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In This Issue
Lake Eyre
Queensland Icons
Cooper Creek
Lake Gairdner challenge
Upcoming trips
Sign of humour
Quick Links
Birdsville weather
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Issue: 2 March 2009 

Welcome to our March 2009 electronic newsletter!
This newsletter is published to supplement our quarterly "Desert Sky News", and provides a means to distribute current information more quickly.
It is also a good way to "keep in touch" with the growing number of people who have internet access.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about this newsletter, please do not hestitate to contact us.
Our first enews last month received a number of positive comments - any feedback or suggestions most welcome!
Lake Eyre
"Wait and see"  on Lake Eyre flood volume  
Waters from the Georgina and Diamantina River systems in south-west Queensland are flowing into the usually-dry saltpan's central channel.
Following media reports on the rare sight of water in Lake Eyre, we have received several enquiries from people wanting to see the the bird and animal life such an event attracts.
The present status of the Lake can be viewed on the  Lake Eyre Yacht Club website. It is expected most of the water will flood into Belt Bay, which has the lowest geographical point in Australia.
At this stage, it seems the best way to view the Lake is by air, and pilot Trevor Wright of William Creek's Wrightsair is certainly enthusiastic. He has a wonderful photo gallery of flood water updates which is well worth looking at.
Most of the water that began coursing into Lake Eyre this week is from the Georgina River, which rises near Mount Isa in north Queensland and is in fierce flood. The Diamantina, further to the east, is not flowing as heavily; a third river draining to the lake, the Cooper, has not run into it since 1990.  
Environmental Scientist Professor Richard Kingsford, from the University of New South Wales, doubts this flood will be enough to inundate Lake Eyre.
"Lake Eyre doesn't fill that often. My view is that we probably haven't got a big enough flood yet to do that. It certainly is as significant as the 2000 flood event - we'll just have to wait and see how big a flood it is," he said.
"In terms of the Lake Eyre ecology, it really does need to get probably a fair bit more water in there to give it this tremendous pulse that can come from a Lake Eyre flood.
"There's an environmental boom going on anyway but it's happening a bit further up the river system. There'll be tremendous activity there from the vegetation to the microscopic invertebrates and the frogs, the fish species and obviously the water birds that come in."
 Queensland celebrates 150 years of independence from NSW on 10 December 2009 Q150
From 2 March 2009 Queenslanders will have a once-in-a-150 year chance to vote on what they think are Queensland's top 150 icons out of a list of 300 potential icons.
Included in the list for voting are:
  • The Burke & Wills Dig Tree
  • Birdsville Races
  • Great Artesian Basin
  • XXXX Beer

Public voting on the Q150 website www.q150.qld.gov.au begins on 2 March and closes on 30 April.

A significant Q150 Legacy infrastructure project will be
the Birdsville Wirrari Information Centre extension ($580k)
Coongie Lakes
Cooper Creek update 
Floodwaters in the Lower Thomson River and Cooper Creek system are presently between Windorah and Nappa Merrie. This has caused some moderate flooding at Windorah with the Cooper Creek at 4.3 metres and falling. The floodwaters are expected to reach Nappa Merrie in the next few weeks, with most of the water entering  Coongie Lakes.
A reminder of our "Personalised" 4WD tour to Coongie lakes, Innamincka and the Corner Country departing 21st May. 
We have 2 seats only available on this personalised trip.
Gawler Ranges - Mt Ive Station
Coongie Lakes Lake Gairdner
The annual Dry Lakes Racers Speed event will be held at Lake Gairdner this (long) weekend.
"Lake Gairdner is 39ft above sea level" explained President Rob Carroll, "and Lake Eyre is 49ft below, so we don't think we'll be flooded out like we have been for the past 2 years"
The nearest human habitation is at Mt Ive, Joy and Len Newton's family owned sheep station 200kms west of Pt Augusta in the stunning Gawler Ranges. This weekend however, people won't come for the scenic views and historical sites. The fastest machinery is the "Lakester" - a type of open wheeled, cigar shaped speed machine.
Entrants have 2 miles to accelerate (3.21km), although the whole event leaves metric measurements at the gate, 3 miles (4.82km) for the timing section, and then 3 miles to brake - often with the help of a parachute out the back.
A brave fellow called John Lynch has recorded Lake Gairdner's fastest time - 301mph- thats 484km/h
Upcoming Trips
Departures in the next few months:  
  • Kangaroo Island                  March 31
  • Mungo/Hattah Kulkyne        April   18
  • Painted Desert                    May    1  (filled)
  • 4WD Coongie Lakes            May   21  (2 seats)
  lone ranger logo       hi-yo Silver !!
A little humour!
The "Flinders Rangers"
It is amazing how often
this happens on signage in the Flinders Ranges.
(Click image to enlarge)
If there is something you would like to see featured in our e_news, drop us a line and we will endeavour to include it in a future issue.
Thank you for your continued interest in Desert Sky Tours 

Howard Humby
Desert Sky Tours
PS - If you are having problems understanding the
Global Financial Crisis, check out this video for a really interesting explanation!  - Crisis of Credit
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Desert Sky Tours | PO Box 683 | GLENELG | SOUTH AUSTRALIA | 5045 | Australia