Thursday 20 June 2024

The Breakaways National Park and William Creek...............


The next day we decided to tour The Breakaways Conservation Park, which is an Aboriginal Heritage Site, 23 km north of Coober Pedy. We needed a permit to go through this area and this cost $10 per car. It is a beautiful scenic area and was a 70km round trip back to the town past the Dog Fence and Moon Plain.
On the drive into the park we saw a car parked on the side of the road, and the owner was photographing an eagle as it flew upwards. We saw another 2 eagles sitting on fence posts soon after.












There was a slight breeze blowing, but it was not hot.  This was the first time for this trip to be doing what I am calling the "aussie wave". It might not be as graceful as the queen's wave was, but it does move the flies away from ones face. (We have now purchased nets to put over our hats to use as we go further north.)
WILLIAM CREEK

The next day was a trip to William Creek, which was 160km of unsealed dirt road. Some parts were quite good, some ordinary. This road would be impassable in some sections after rain. We did not take the van on this trip.


William Creek is a bit like most outback towns, and has a caravan park, a pub and little else.....

William Creek is the smallest town in South Australia and is situated between Marree and Oodnadatta on the historic Oodnadatta Track.

This is the route that Aborigines used for thousands of years to travel into the interior of Australia. John McDouall Stuart came this way when he succeeded in the first south-north crossing of the continent in 1861-62. The Overland Telegraph Line was built along the same track and also the original Ghan railway.

                              

                                                     This is the dining room in the Hotel..............


................and this is the front bar, and you can see it is heavily decorated on every surface, even the ceiling.


William Creek does have a new building for the Royal Flying Doctor base..........


.....and we laughed at this old vehicle, which wasn't going anywhere in a hurry, let alone take someone for a driving lesson!!


.......and maybe you would like to play 9 holes of golf?,.............


William Creek does boast an airfield though and this was our reason to make the trek out.
We had booked seats on this plane for a flight over Lake Eyre and the Painted Hills.

We were joined by another couple from Port Augusta. and this is the plane we flew in.


Lake Eyre was amazing, and so vast. Something that you could really only appreciate from the air.


The lake was hard to get a good photo of from the seat I was in, but there are some great photos online if you Google Lake Eyre or Kati Thanda is it's native title.


Stretching a mind-boggling 144 kilometres by 77 kilometres, South Australia’s Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre in the Flinders Ranges and Outback, truly is a natural wonder.
Once every few years, networks of channels, streams and floodplains converge in Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park, bringing with them an abundance of wildlife, stunning natural beauty and dreamlike pink and orange hues. 

The next few pics are taken from the plane of the surrounding countryside, and you can see the watercourses where the water flows after rain.......


                                                         
                                    

This is the dog fence which stretches for thousands of kilometres from Queensland through outback country to Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. This was built to keep dingoes out of sheep country.


This photo shows part of the Oodnadatta track and the old railway line.


THE PAINTED HILLS was the next destination on our plane flight..............

Note that the Painted Hills are different to the Painted Desert. The Painted Desert is north east of Coober Pedy and accessible to vehicles and the Hills are south of William Creek. 

Info from the internet..............
The Anna Creek Painted Hills is a spectacular and recently discovered section of the pristine Breakaways country in the far north of South Australia. Breakaway country appears around Coober Pedy, Oodnadatta, Copper Hills, Arckaringa Hills, William Creek and Evelyn Downs.

The Anna Creek Painted Hills offers an amazing sight by air. It is a rocky outcrop of large and small hills, which emerge suddenly out of a flat, desert landscape. The area can only be accessed by air, due to its fragility and natural beauty.
Air access tours to the Anna Creek Painted Hills is available through Trevor Wright of Wrightsair, from William Creek, Coober Pedy and Arkaroola.

The painted Hills are approx 20km x 18km in size. It is believed the hills are the leftover effects of millions of years of climate change, with the climate going from glacial to wet and semitropical over many years. The changing colours of the hills are believed to be a result of oxidation.

Anna Creek Station is the world's largest working cattle station, with an area of roughly 6,000,000 acres (24,000 sq km; 9,400 sq mi) which is slightly larger than Israel.


The plane landed at the Painted Hills.........


.............and our pilot and guide took us on a walk..............





...........and pointed out the different types of rocks that make up the hills..........



..............here you can see the different coloured layers of the hills............
I had not expected the hills to be made up totally of stones.


There is little vegetation, but here and there you can see some determined plants, growing mainly in the creek beds............



........this cute little purple plant added some colour..........


..............and this one was growing in the protection of the larger plant............


After our walk, we boarded the plane again, and this time Barry sat in the front with the pilot......


3 hours from when we left, we arrived back at William Creek, and as the journey back to Coober Pedy was more than 2 hours, we headed off. 


There are no fences along the track, and we occasionally came upon some cattle. They were in no hurry to move. You can see that the sun was going down by now, and we didn't want to be on the road after dark. I loved the sunset...............


...........and it is amazing to see the whole horizon as a flat line, without trees, buildings or towns obstructing the view. The clouds are always changing.


It was an amazing day, and I feel so fortunate to have been able to see it all from the air. I guess you could call it a 'birds eye' view!! It was a highlight of the trip so far.

***************
Today we have had a day of domestic duties before setting off again tomorrow morning. I spent the day washing, shopping and sorting photos for blog posts. Barry has been  busy with a couple of jobs on the car and van, filled up the gas bottle and a trip to the shops.
No wonderful photos to show unless you want the laundry or the refilled gas bottle!!

 A day to catch our breath before the next stage. Stay tuned for future updates of newsfromjude.

Blessings, from Jude







 





6 comments:

Denice Barker said...

On a zoom meet I was asked if I could ever come to Australia what I wanted to see most. You just answered the question for me. And I said I wanted to feel that heat. Everyone laughed at that but it's what we read about when reading about the Outback. The heat. The space. William Creek. Thanks for this post.

Susan Smith said...

Oh my.........you are certainly having fun from the sound of this & bringing a ute load of memories back for me. We did our first big trip in our restored Morris Minor utility to the Flinders Ranges in the early 90's & were camping with a 3 man tent, but we loved it. Then some years later we went to Alice Springs in said MM as well. Have fun & I look forward to seeing/hearing more. Hope you aren't as cold, (though it can be of a night) as we are, was -3 yesterday morning. Take care & hugs.

Raewyn said...

Fascinating Jude - thanks for such a great travelogue!

Maria said...

Great post Jude….
We did that trip many years ago and actually camped on the edge of Lake Eyre as it was dry.
So good you got to to it full.

ButterZ said...

Fantastic so far. Enjoy

Janice said...

What a wonderful day’s outing. You’re making the most of your time out that way.