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In This Issue
Dirty business
Western River Cove footbridge
Blinman Mine
Other news
Datsun 1600 climbs Big Red!
Trip itineraries 2012
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Issue: 25 April 2013

Dear Subscriber,

We have had several trips in the last few months, beginning with Kangaroo Island, where it was good to catch up with Manager Chris at the Kangaroo Island Seaside Inn.
Many of you would remember the motel by it's former name "The Wisteria".

A couple of days home, and then we were off to The Flinders Ranges, and the 4WD adventure "Skytrek" on Willow Springs Station. We use Rawnsley Park as a "base" for 3 nights on this trip and here we met Cynthia and Peter Frey, who have taken over from Sally and John in management of the Woolshed Restaurant. They started on the 1st December last year  and have had many years experience in hospitality.
We thoroughly enjoyed their hospitality and great meals!

Another couple of days home then off on a trip to the Flinders Ranges, Arkaroola and The Painted Desert.
Accommodation at William Creek was in the  "Pelican Cabins", which were opened November 2011. (Bookings through Wrightsair)

These suites feature flat screen TV, airconditioning and ensuite .......with shower and toilet!!

Read on for more news and our trip itineraries!

Cheers for now...........Howard

PS - I leave for the Back O'Bourke on the 27th of this month!

Not all dust and flies!

As we departed William Creek for Coober Pedy, a shower of rain began and it continued to rain as we passed Lake Caddy, and Balta Baltana Creek. Around Engenina Creek the road became paticularly greasy and slippery, making progress rather slow! 

Arriving at Coober Pedy, it took time to clean mud off the vehicle to make entry/exit for passengers a little easier.

It did not help that the coin operated car wash was out of action. It was the weekend of the Opal festival and there was a crowd in town.


The Opal Festival pageant down the main street was postponed to the next day (Sunday) due to the weather.

We had a good vantage point to view the really great fireworks display after dinner on the Sunday. 


Ou accommodation - the Look Out Cave Motel is under new management, and Nick and staff made us feel very welcome.  


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Western River Cove .....Kangaroo Island

The footbridge at Western River Cove has been replace and a plaque on the bridge acknowledges the support of the Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese through the $2.6 million funding of the Kangaroo Island Council's Camping and Day Visitor Strategy, by which the new footbridge was built.

Taking the footbridge access across the river., this beautiful cove has high rocky cliffs on either side and contains two beaches. The main beach is a sand beach, backed by dunes. The small river flows down the eastern side of the beach and
boats moor in the cove at times and use the beach to land their dinghies. On the eastern side of the cove is a boulder beach, bordered and fronted by rock platforms and bedrock reefs.
Our visit coincided with many schools of small fish swimming close to the beach. 

An entertaining  time  watching John the Pelican Man giving a lively and informative talk about the birds before feeding them near the small Fisherman's Jetty  on the Kingscote wharf..

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Blinman Mine


The Blinman Mine has been redeveloped for tourism and opened on 13th October 2012 - it's 150th anniversary! 

It features an innovative sound and light system, along with storytelling, light boxes, music and a mix of theatre and mining history. 


Here we met up with Mary from Terowie, (known to many) who is working as a Governess on one of the properties, and also training as a guide for the new Blinman Copper Mine tours.


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Other news from around the outback

  • The latest Desert Parks Bulletin from Parks SA advises Coongie Lakes road is now open, and I look forward to our departures on June 1st, 15th and 30th.    
  • The 18 hole Minimincka Golf Course was officially opened Saturday 30th March 2013 and  .......  


  • Innacruises has commenced taking trips on the Cooper Creek. These two activities are at Innamincka!   

The mighty "Kingfisher" is a flat bottomed punt purchased from an operator in Cairns.
  • Alinta Energy- operator of the Leigh Creek Coalfield has closed access to the visitor viewing area which featured the Bucyrus Eyrie walking dragline and other exhibits. This follows an incident with children climbing on the   equipment. The dragline is in the process of being dismantled.  
  • The Quandong Cafe and Bakery at Copley has relocated to the Copley Caravan Park. (at the other end of main street). Those terrific pasties are still available! 

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Datsun 1600climbs Big Red !
who needs 4WD?
This caught my eye and I couldn't resist sharing it in this newsletter.  It is a post on You Tube and shows a Datsun 1600 climbing Big Red (Nappanerica Sandune)
Datsun at Big Red
See this Datsun climb  Big Red !

Upcoming Personalised 4WD trips 2013

                   CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW Itineraries 2013 


            Yorke Peninsula
           & Southern Flinders
         Saturday November 2nd

                   (5 days)  


            definite departure           

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. 





          Kangaroo Island
       Thursday 31st October   
                (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
          Sunday 13th October 
                   (5 days)          
            definite departure  
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
               Friday 10th May 
                      (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       
          Saturday 27th April 
                   (9 days)
definite departure          
Broken Hill, Mutawintji NP, White Cliffs, Wilcannia, Tilpa, Louth, Bourke(accommodation Bourke Riverside Motel), Lightning Ridge, Gilgandra, Cobar, Balranald, Murrayville, Pinnaroo.

           The Painted Desert           
             Wednesday 15th 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.

            Mungo and Hattah  
             National Parks  
                   (5 days)            
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
       Saturday   1st June
       Saturday 15th June
       Sunday     30th June
             (7 days)
      definite departures         

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


          Birdsville & Innamincka 
              Saturday 20th July
                       (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
              Saturday 10th August 
                    (9 days)
              definite departure  

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


            Flinders Ranges
      Thursday 5th 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 14th 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
                     (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
         Monday 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.

           Headof Bight

        The Eyre Peninsula 

    Sunday 22nd September

                   (8 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.



         Coongie Lakes
      Mount Samuel            
        Alpana Station
              (4 days)
      Sunday 25th August 


       definite departure


 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.

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Thanks for your continued interest in Desert Sky Tours

Howard Humby
Desert Sky Tours

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