FRIDAY 16 APRIL CEDUNA
After breakfast, drove into town and mailed daughter’s birthday card, cheque, and a Crossing the Nullarbor polo shirt.
Earlier in the week, when looking at information and maps of the area, had noticed Googs Lake, roughly to the north. This seemed an interesting destination for a day trip. I was able to buy a Westprint map that we could navigate, reasonably accurately, from.
The skies over Ceduna were overcast and rather threatening, but we didn’t want to keep hanging around Ceduna waiting for better, so decided to do this expedition today, hoping the day might improve a bit.
So, after the Post Office visit, set out, taking a packed picnic lunch with us.
The main Quarantine check point was just on the western edge of town, as we’d found the day we went out to Denial Bay. We had some fruit with us, for lunch and snacks, so stopped at the checkpoint and mentioned to the man that we would be returning in the afternoon and might have some leftover fruit with us. He was very pleasant.
Just past the checkpoint, we took a road to the north, towards Lone Oak Farm. Googs Track was built by the Denton family, from this farm, between 1973 and 76, working mostly at weekends. “Goog” was the dad. His idea was to link his farm to the Trans-Australian Railway, to the north, hence giving him access to wider markets than he had through Ceduna.
Lone Oak Farm was about 30kms from Ceduna. It was just a bit before we went through the new electrified Dog Fence – 6000 volts! I had to open and close the access gate, and was cautious about what I touched.
After the gate, we were soon into the proper Mallee scrub of the Yumbarra Conservation Park. Very interesting – scrub on red desert sand – just the sort of country we love.
There was much variation in colour and texture along the track. We saw no-one else.
In places, there were sections of red sand dunes – up to 25 metres high. Most of these were quite straightforward driving and nowhere near as tricky as, say, the Simpson Desert. It would have been a challenge for truck to have pulled the van out here though.
We stopped to look at some small pools of water that had collected in hollows in large rock slabs. These were water “holes” for aboriginals. Good believed that he was the first white man to have seen them.
At one point, there was a diversion in the track, to take it around a large mallee fowl nest area.
About 50kms from Lone Oak we came to the track junction where Googs Track continued north, but the side track from there to the Lake branched east. At this point, there was a memorial to Goog and his son. The latter died in an accident in 1993, and Goog died in 1996.
The lake was about 5kms from the memorial corner. There was a little water in the lake, which was salt. It was a fair size – about 1km wide and stretching off into the distance for about 15kms.
Surrounding the lake were scrub covered red dunes – very photogenic.
It would have been a great place to camp for a few days.
We ate our lunch at the lake, and wandered about on foot, exploring around the edge and taking photos.
The solitude was superb.
All too soon it was time to commence the fairly slow trip back to camp, retracing our route of this morning.
The man at the Quarantine Station let us keep our leftover lunch fruit.
It was a great day’s outing – I loved it.