This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2005 Travels September 20

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TUESDAY 20 SEPTEMBER   BIRDSVILLE TO COOPER CREEK   385kms

The morning saw a quick pack up, then we headed out of town, across the Diamantina River channel.

Finally, we were on the Birdsville Track – a long held goal of mine. This was the last of the three desert tracks in this region, and the only one we had not previously driven.

Resize of 09-20-2005 02 on the Birdsville Track

I was hoping that we could take our time going south to Marree, camp at least a couple of nights along the way, sidetrack out to Kalamurina on the Warburton channel – but John was not so inclined. Once he became fixated on an end goal, he was not to be moved, and in this case the goal was getting south fast!

Left to my own devices, I would have camped at least a night at each of Kalamurina (probably two or three nights!), Mungerannie, Cooper Creek, Clayton Station – and taken a week to do the track.,

It did not take long before we were seeing sand dunes running parallel to the track.

Much of the way was flat and dry, as one would expect, but not without its own beauty.

Every so often we would cross a dry, shallow water course, marked by a line of low trees – variety in the landscape.

Resize of 09-20-2005 07 Tree by Birdsville Track

It was getting late in the tourist season for people to be travelling the Birdsville Track. We only encountered one lot of traffic for the day.

Resize of 09-20-2005 03 other travellers Birdsville Track

The dust of other travellers on the Birdsville Track

The track was in much better condition than I had anticipated – but with some areas of corrugation, and – surprisingly – a short, wet section. The water was not very deep, and the base of the track was still firm though.

Resize of 09-20-2005 08 Water over Birdsville Tk

We had a couple of short stops, to look at the country, stretch our legs a bit.

Resize of 09-20-2005 04 Corella tree Birdsville track

Corella tree

One of the stops was to look at some budgerigars that appeared to be nesting in a tree hollow. There were not that many trees along the northern part of the track, so that was a novelty.

Resize of 09-20-2005 06 Budgie Tree Birdsville Track

Had a slightly more extended break at Mungerannie Roadhouse. The little camp area there was quite pleasant, beside a wetland created by the bore outflow.

Resize of 09-20-2005 11 Mugerannie RH wetlands

Mungerannie

We walked around and took photos.

Resize of 09-20-2005 13 Mugerannie RH wetlands

Bought cold drinks at the roadhouse and refuelled – we had done 326kms. Fuel was $1.70 cpl.

Resize of 09-20-2005 12 Mugerannie RH wetlands

There were some relics here of the time of the Birdsville Mailman, who plied this track, keeping the really isolated station people in touch with the outside world. They were the days before mail planes!

Resize of 09-20-2005 10 Birdsville Mailman relics Mugerannie

It was getting to late afternoon, by the time we came to the Cooper Creek crossing.

This was quite prominent, in that a belt of low trees and scrub extended for some distance  – the result of the occasional big floods of the creek. There were a number of shallow channels. But now it was totally dry.

Resize of 09-20-2005 19 Camp in Coopers Creek crossing

Cooper Creek

It was time to stop for the night, so we pulled slightly off the track, in amongst some trees.

Resize of 09-20-2005 20 Camp in Coopers Creek crossing

Good place for a camp

After the minimal set up for overnight, I had a walk around the area. The profusion of little bush flies were really annoying.

Resize of 09-20-2005 22 Wendy Coopers Creek

Wendy – with passengers!

The colours of the sky and the bush, as the day faded, were beautiful.

Resize of 09-20-2005 24 Dusk at Coopers Creek

The night was quiet and still – like being back at Pungalina.

Resize of 09-20-2005 to c ck

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