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In This Issue........
Birdsville Bakery sale
Hattah Roadhouse open
Merrang Homestead
Cooper Creek Homestay garden
Trip itineraries 2017
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Issue: 41
April 2017

A busy but interesting March with trips to Wilson's Promontory and Mungo/Hattah Kulkyne National Parks.

Having four nights in Foster Vic, and using it as a "base" to explore the Promontory, Strzelecki Ranges and around Waratah Bay works well. The Promontory Gate Motel was most welcoming and made sure we had a comfortable stay.
An additional night at Port Campbell allowed us to spend more time at the attractions along the Great Ocean Road, (including Cape Otway Lighthouse) and it was interesting to see the large number of overseas tourists in the area - busy with cameras, selfie sticks, mobile phones!
The warm weather did not stop us doing a number of "extended" walks!

The Mungo NP trip was based in Wentworth NSW  and again the Two Rivers Motel provided comfortable accommodation.
Similar to the Wilson's Prom trip - unusually warm weather for a couple of days!   With the closure of the Wentworth Services Club, our evening meals were at the nearby Coomealla Club. 

You will see in the itinerary section of this newsletter details of our Longreach/Winton trip in July. An additional day has been added, making it a 12 day itinerary. The extra day allows more time to visit the Stockman's Hall of Fame, Qantas Museum etc.

The trip has a guaranteed departure, and I have a couple of seats available if you would like to join us. Full details will be forwarded upon request.

I thank you for your interest in Desert Sky Tours!
Stay safe and catch you next time!

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Birdsville Bakery

The Birdsville Bakery, an iconic establishment in Queensland's most-remote town, is set to re-open under new ownership after it was sold for $1.2 million on March 2.

Former bakery owner and co-founder Dusty Miller handed the keys over to Townsville tour operator Martin Josselyn after 12 years of operation. The bakery was the first for the town, which only has a regular population of 120 people.

It's set to be back up-and-running by Easter 2017, and Josselyn has confirmed the curried camel pies that have made it famous will be on the menu when doors open on April 1 (in fact,the recipe was included in the sale).

The new owners also plan open the bakery's licensed Hard Road Café in the evenings for camp oven and bistro-style dinners, with long-time friend,French-born chef Sebastian Badey at the helm.

According to The Courier, the sale represents the biggest investment in tourism in the area in a decade.

Hattah Vic Roadhouse
Hattah General Store sits on the Calder Highway about halfway between Mildura and Ouyen. It was bought to Hattah 60 years ago by the Lampard famil, and it celebrated its 60th anniversary last year. It was originally an old farm house 17km south at Trinita

Owners Alex and Judy Dowsley ran the business for 17 years before retiring last year. An offer to purchase was made by the Hattah Roadhouse. With youth and imagination on their side, the new owners turned a well-made tin shed about 20 metres from the original shop into a roadhouse with refrigeration, lined walls, the full outfit. The original shop, with house at the back, will close.

Hattah Roadhouse with original store to left

Hattah has a grand population of 18. When the shop first came here, there were more people and more shops.

It's not uncommon for 6000 trucks to come through here in a three-month period - semis and B-doubles going between Mildura and Melbourne   
MERRANG HOMESTEAD - 1830 Woolsthorpe-Hexham Rd Hexham Vic.
The Woolsthorpe Road from Hexham, takes you past the heritage listed Merrang Homestead.
Built in the architectural style of the Victorian Period (1851-1901) Italianate,with impressive Ionic entrance portico.

The iron verandah, gatekeeper's lodge and station outbuildings were all erected in 1875 to a design by Warrnambool architect Andrew Kerr.

A fire in 1917 reduced the large bluestone stables to a fraction of their former size. 

Merrang was famous as a Lincoln sheep stud in the 1870s and renowned for its Polwarth stud which was started from the Merrang Lincolns in 1924.

The homestead, picturesque gatekeeper's lodge and outbuildings are notable elements of this early Western Victoria district property

The Gatekeeper's Cottage

Cooper Creek Homestay Innamincka
Well done Chris and Ali at Cooper Creek Homestay!
They have been very busy lately landscaping the front of the home with flower beds and even LAWN!!!
(No more jokes about Geoff having to mow the lawn ).

Looking great!

Personalised 4WD trips 2017

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

                 CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW Itineraries 2017 !


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
       Saturday 4th  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
          Saturday 23rd September  
                   (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. 

               Back O'Bourke       
             Sunday 8th May    
                   (9 days)
Broken Hill, Mutawintji NP, White Cliffs, Wilcannia, Tilpa, Louth, Bourke(accommodation Bourke Riverside Motel), Lightning Ridge, Gilgandra, Cobar, Balranald, Murrayville, Pinnaroo.

           The Painted Desert           
             Friday 19th May
                       (9 days) 

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.

           Coongie Lakes
               Coongie Lakes
                Friday  2nd June
                      (7 days)

Old Strzelecki Track, Innamincka, Coongie Lakes, Cmp LXV, Cameron Corner, Sturt NP, Tibooburra, Broken Hill, Loch Lilly and Quandong Stations, Burra.
   Legendary Longreach
                 & Winton
          Saturday 8th July                          (12 days)               

Strzelecki Track, Innamincka, Windorah, Lark Quarry Dinousaur Trackway, Winton, Waltzing Matilda Centre, Longreach.
Visit The Stockman's Hall of Fame, Qantas Founders Museum,
Sunset Cruise on the Thomson River.
Barcaldine, The Tree Of Knowledge, Blackall Woolscour, Tambo, Charleville. Cunumulla, Currawinya National Park, Hungerford, The Darling Track to Yantabulla, Fords Bridge and Bourke.
A day exploring Bourke visiting Mt Oxley and local attractions and a cruise aboard the Jandra paddle-steamer on the Darling River.
Wilcannia via The Darling River Run through Louth, Tilpa and on to Broken Hill. Old Pastoral route to Burra, Adelaide


          Birdsville & Innamincka 
              Friday 16th June 
                       (9 days)  

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

             Birdsville & Windorah
                 Friday 28th July 
                    (9 days)

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


            Flinders Ranges
        Friday 1st  September 
                    (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
     Saturday 9th 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
           Saturday 21st October 
                     (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         
    Wednesday 16th    
          (9 days)  

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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Howard Humby
Desert Sky Tours
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