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In This Issue
Arkaroola - Greenwood Lodge
Desert Parks Update
Cooper Creek Ferry Stats
Orroroo Sculptures
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Issue: 17October   2011
Dear Subscriber,

Wow! It has been a while since our last newsletter, because of the number of trips away during the last few months!!

Trips include - 9 Lake Eyre; 2 Birdsville; 2 Flinders Ranges/Arkaroola; and 1 Skytrek - so it has been a little busy.


On 15th October I leave on a 5 day Tumby Bay/West Coast trip, (one seat available), then off to Perth with the VKS737 4WD Radio Network on 17th November for 5 days to attend the 4WD and Adventure Show at McCallum Park!   


Our 2012 itinerary is included in this newsletter and there are several changes. 


Following past interest in "Skytrek", I have set a new 4WD trip which takes in the Oratunga Track. This is on private property and is part  of  Di and Ian Fargher's Angorichina Station - about 10kms east of Blinman.

The track culminates in a steep ascent to the top of Mt Lucius (815m) with some splendid views of the Flinders Ranges!


We now have an alternative Birdsville itinerary - still travelling up the Birdsville Track, but with an option to either travel on to Innamicka and through Cameron Corner to Tibooburra and Broken Hill, OR via the Birdsville Development Road through Betoota to Windorah and then to Bourke via Quilpie, Toompine, and Thargomindah.  

We arrive in Broken Hill through Cobar.   


The Gawler Ranges trip is back, and will follow much of the former  

bus itinerary, but with additions including "Kath's Castle" on Mt Ive Station and the "Organ Pipes" on Paney Station.   


I have a Flinders Ranges day trip on Sunday March 4 with a couple  

visiting from USA.  The trip includes the Clare Valley, Quorn and Warren Gorge to Hawker and the Moralana Scenic Drive. The return is through

Orroroo, Peterborough and Burra. Cost is $350pp which includes morning/afternoon tea and lunch. View a  detailed itinerary here.

Anyone interested in joining us?  


Enough for now - hope you find something of interest in this  

newsletter !


Cheers for now....Howard


By the way - past editions of our printed newsletter can be accessed from our website ....click here 



Arkaroola - Greenwood Lodge upgrade

Many of you will know the Greenwood accommodation wing at Arkaroola - it has recently gone through an update and refurbishment. The interior "Ballroom" has been re-designed and two 6 metre panoramas showing some of the spectacular country on Arkaroola Sanctuary have been installed on internal panels.

Greenwood Mural

The centre will give visitors a chance to learn, at their leisure about the area beyond the village which has such significance to South Australia, as well as use a lounge area where they can sit and read from a library of magazines and books.

The two photographs were taken by Peter MacDonald, and installed with the help of artist Jeff Morgan and his son Alex from Hawker.

The renovations have made the wing more private and less noisy.

More pics of Greenwood Lodge

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Desert Parks Update

  • Floodwaters have receded at Innamincka and the causeway is now open again!
  • A grass and stubble fire along Dillon's Highway has been brought under control, although caution is still required.  
  • A grass fire at Mungerannie Station is also now considered safe.
  • The Coongie Lakes Track remains closed due to floodwaters, and the National Park may be inaccessible for the remainder of 2011.
  • The Simpson Desert has re-opened after a recent fire crossed into South Australia and the French Line.
  • Lake Eyre surface coverage is now less than 50%.     The water is receding from the shoreline at a rate of 20m per week.   The Warburton Groove is damp, Madigan Gulf has 1.7m and dropping, whilst Belt Bay  (the deepest part of the Lake) has 1.9M and dropping.    Many of the birds have now left the Lake.  


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Cooper Creek Ferry Statistics
Ferry Stats sign

The ferry commenced operation for the second time in 2011 on the 22nd June 2011 and these are the figures to 12th September.

Total vehicles that crossed from the 22nd June until 30th June 2011: 

227 vehicles, 585 people and 375 crossings with the busiest day on  the 29th June and 42 vehicles ferried.


From the 1st July until the end July 2011:
1513 vehicles, 4215 people, 2245 crossings and busiest day on the 12th July and 71 vehicles ferried.

From 1st August until the 31st August 2011:
1504 vehicles, 3964 people, 2337 crossings and the busiest day on the 31st August with 107 vehicles ferried.

1st September until until the 12th September 2011
801 vehicles, 1949 people, 1369 crossings and the busiest day on the 1st September with 107 vehicles ferried.  


TOTALS for period 22nd June to 12th September: 

Total Four wheel drive ferried until 12th September 3493
Total Number of Car ferried until 12th September 91
Total number of Buses ferried unit 12th September 295
Total number of Motor Cycles ferried unit 12th September 166
The 10,000 person crossed on the 6th September 2011.


These figures do demonstrate how busy the Birdsville Track is! 


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Orroroo Sculptures!

If you are travelling through Orroroo, keep an eye out as you enter from the western side of town along Morchard Road.
Council commissioned Artworx metal sculptor Dudley Siviour to create a welcoming family of Kangaroos at the entrance, and a little further along the main street two horses and plough (my favourite!)

The sculptures are formed from recycled corrugated iron and have a unique rustic and Australian look.The horses heads will move with a slight breeze providing a life-like impression.

Orroroo Sculptures
 Details of the artist and a gallery of his work can be found at "Corrugations".

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

Itineraries 2012    

Close Up Emu

s Hill Circuit
                 (2 days) $695pp
               Saturday February 18 







Gilbert Valley, Terowie, Peterborough (overnight), Franklyn, Ketchowla, Dares Hill, Mt Bryan, Clare Valley.


 Frenshmans Rock
         (4 days) $
         Monday February 27

         (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.  



 Wilsons Promontory 

          Wilson's Promontory 

        (9 days) - $3275pp 

         Tuesday March 6 






Grampians NP, Halls Gap, Penshurst, Mortlake, Colac, Queensciffe Ferry, Sorrento, Meeniyan, Tidal River, Waratah Bay, Walkerville, Agnes Falls, Strzelecki Ranges, Tara Bulga NP, Grand Ridge Road, Skenes Creek,  

The Great Ocean Road, Mt Gambier, The Coorong.               



Sapphire Coast


    The Sapphire Coast 

                (8 days) - $3150
                Monday March 19                



Portland, Great Ocean Road, Otway Tree Top Walk, Apollo Bay, Metung, Lakes Entrance, Eden, Twofold Bay, Pambula, Merimbula, Bega, Victorian coastal towns, Meeniyan, Camperdown, Dunkeld, The Coorong.

Gawler Ranges
        The Gawler Ranges
        (5 days) $1575pp 
            Friday March 30


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
                          Lake Eyre
                    (3 days) - $995pp   

                     Includes Plane Flight!


Wednesday  April 11 



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

              Back O'Bourke
        (9 days) - $3300 pp
         Saturday April 21

Broken Hill, Mutawintji NP, White Cliffs, Wilcannia, Tilpa, Louth, Bourke
(accommodation Bourke Riverside Motel), Lightning Ridge, Gilgandra, Cobar, Balranald, Murrayville, Pinnaroo.

The Painted Desert
                 The Painted Desert
                 (9 days) - $3295pp
                  Saturday May 5

Clare Valley, Leigh Creek, Marree, William Creek, Coober Pedy,
The Breakaways, Painted Desert, Woomera, Roxby Downs, Andamooka,
Port Augusta, Arid Lands Botanical Gardens, Horrock's Pass  to the Flinders Ranges, Orroroo and Burra.

Mungo NP 
          Mungo and Hattah Kulkyne
          National Parks
          (5 days) $1525
           Saturday May 19

Pinnaroo, Kow Plains Homestead and Cowangie, Murrayville, Pink Lakes, Underbool, Mildura, Wentworth, Old Zanci Station, Mungo Woolshed, Walls of China, Grand Canyon, Vigar's Well, Perry Sandhills, Paddle Steamer through Lock 11 Mildura, Red Cliffs, Lake Hattah, Lake Victoria, Rufus River, The Riverland.



Coongie Lakes
                   Coongie Lakes
                   (7 days) - $2500pp
                    Saturday June 2
                    Saturday June 16

Old Strzelecki Track, Innamincka, Coongie Lakes, Cmp LXV, Cameron Corner, Sturt NP, Tibooburra, Broken Hill, Loch Lilly and Quandong Stations, Burra.

Birdsville Hotel         

               Birdsville & Innamincka
                 (9 days) - $3300pp              
                     Saturday July 14


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
                 Saturday August 4


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

Oratunga Creek
                    Oratunga Track
                               (4 days) - $1525pp
                               Saturday August 25 

This 4WD loop commences 10km east of Blinman, on the private property of Di and Ian Fargher. The track passes Nildottie Gap and on towards Patawarta Hill. The scenery changes from cypress pines to ancient eucalypts through the Artimore Valley, culminating on the summit of Mt Lucius (815m).
This is some of the best country the Flinders has to offer.
Includes Parachilna Gorge, Brachina Gorge, Bunyeroo Valley, Hawker.

Skytrek Logo
                        Flinders Ranges & Skytrek
                        (4 days) - $1475pp                  
                         Saturday September 1


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 & Arkaroola     
                    (5 day
s) - $2025pp                  
                     Sunday   September  9
                     Tuesday September 18  


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 Peninsula

                    (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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Desert Sky Tours | PO Box 683 | GLENELG | SOUTH AUSTRALIA | 5045 | Australia