This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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1999 Travels May 25

TUESDAY 25 MAY     MARREE

Today was not as windy, thus it felt warmer.

I posted the letter to K, wondering how long the mail will take to get there from Marree.

We had earlier decided that, whilst passing through here, we would take a day and drive out to Muloorina Station and on to Lake Eyre. One can access Lake Eyre  at Level Post Bay, on the Madigan Gulf section of the Lake.

It was a very interesting drive, in both directions, and well worth doing, on a good gravel formed track. The gate-opening passenger got a bit of a work out! The country was unremittingly flat, for the most part, with shrub and sparse tree lines marking out dry watercourses. This is certainly arid country.

05-25-1999 01 muloorina gate.jpg

Muloorina Station

Muloorina Station homestead is found by a very pretty waterhole on the Frome River – the same one that we had encountered at Angepena. It winds its way around the range country of the area, as a series of mostly dry channels,  and northwards past here enters Lake Eyre.

05-25-1999 02 muloorina camp waterhole

Wetland at Muloorina, formed by bore outflow. Lots of birds in trees.

The Muloorina waterhole and wetland results from a bore outflow. The force of the water exiting this bore hole powers the 240v power plant at the station! It has created an oasis of greenery in the dry country – a place obviously appreciated by the birdlife we saw.

From Muloorina, drove on a track that took us to the shores of Lake Eyre South, then alongside the Goyder Channel that links this with the main Lake Eyre, and finally to Level Post Bay, the end of the track. This section of track was rougher, and slower going, and sandy in parts – but not enough that we had to let down the tyres.

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The track near Level Post Bay

Lake Eyre was dry, of course, and we walked out on it, on the salt crust. It was so impressive, just to be there, in this salty immensity. We were below sea level by some 15 metres, here.

05-25-1999 03 j on l eyre south

John walking on Lake Eyre at Level Post Bay

05-25-1999 04 seen from Lake Eyre bed

Taken from out on the Lake, looking back to Truck and the Information Bay

After our walkabout on the Lake, drove back to the Goyder Channel section and ate our packed lunch there.

05-25-1999 07 Goyder Channel looking sth.jpg

The Goyder Channel that joins Lake Eyre South with the main Lake

We dawdled back to Marree, stopping sometimes to look at birds, and to take photos. Up close, as we wandered around a bit away from Truck, there were interesting aspects to the scenery – low hills, dunes, depressions and the like.

05-25-1999 08 high tech windmill.jpg

Interesting to see new technology arriving in the Outback

It was a great day out and an excellent drive. We covered 210kms.

05-25-1999 mulorina.JPG

The country we traversed on our day out at Muloorina and Lake Eyre

Back at the van, John settled in for an afternoon nap.

I read the Adelaide Advertiser paper, which I’d picked up from the shop earlier. Had an early shower and washed my hair – the local water is alright for that. I got talking to the only other campers here – a retired NZ couple doing a 4 month trip with a 4WD and camper trailer, going the same way as us.

John reported in to the 4WD Radio Network at the 5.30pm sched slot.

Watched the news on TV, and needed the heater on, even that early.

Tea was more of the kumara soup; bacon, egg, tomato and crumpets, followed by strawberries, which were awful.


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1999 Travels May 21

FRIDAY 21 MAY     COPLEY

We woke to a warm day with some blue sky, some cloud – and a radio forecast for possible rain.

After a rather late breakfast, we packed the requirements for a BBQ sausage lunch.

Somewhere, John had come across mention of an old goldfield at Angepena, off the Copley to Balcanoona road, and he was determined to go find this, because it might prove to be a good fossicking area for his metal detector. I was rather less enthusiastic, in view of the possible rain, and only having a rather vague idea of where it was. I was not sure I was ready for another of John’s “little adventures”!

We drove to Leigh Creek to get the paper, then headed out the unsealed Balcanoona road towards Angepena Station homestead, some 55kms away.

We were not sure about being able to access the track to the old fields, through the station, even assuming we could find it. So we called in at Angepena homestead, but there was no one there.

Our map was not much help – no tracks were shown. Eventually, we guessed and took a track that headed south just before the Frome River – and we were right.

05-21-1999 01 frome river on angapena track.jpg

The Frome River and the track to the Angepena diggings

Drove about 20kms over quite a good bladed track and came to an area where there were some old diggings. We could only assume these were part of the old Angepena goldfields. There were a number of former digging areas, and tracks everywhere – all rather confusing.

05-21-1999 02 old diggings Angepena.jpg

The country in the area of the old Angepena diggings

We looked at old dirt heaps – really all that was there. But the area was a really pretty one, and worth visiting just for that.

We drove a bit further along the track to a creek bed and cooked our lunch there.

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Our picnic lunch spot at the old Angepena diggings

John was not feeling all that well – he’s had some reflux lately. So he was rather touchy today.

After we had wandered about the area for a little while, we headed off again. John insisted on continuing to follow the track along the creek bed, because he was convinced it would take us through to the Warraweena-Beltana track, even though our compass  showed it was trending NW, rather than the SW we needed.

We came to an old square stone well/tank and troughs – empty – and the track deteriorated after that. Then we came to a gate with a “No Public Access” sign, so turned around and retraced our way.

05-21-1999 05 Angepena old well.jpg

Old stone well and troughs on Angepena

We saw some great Frome River spring and gorge country along the tracks today.

We’d had some spits of rain come on and it was getting quite late in the afternoon, so it was a relief to find our way back to the Balcanoona road.

Because of the time, John was probably going faster than he should have on the unsealed road, and it was not far from Angepena Homestead when we went too fast through a dip in the road, and got an instant flat tyre. A sharp stone had cut right into it.

We have not had to change a wheel before on the Truck so it took some messing about to find all the necessary gear and work out how to operate the jack that came with Truck. It is a high lift type and takes ages to get the needed height. So by the time we had changed the tyre and driven back to Copley – more slowly – it was dark. John’s mood had not improved! The day’s outing had cost us a tyre that was almost new!

We drove 222kms today.

Tea was soup and salad.

John wanted to phone S. He couldn’t get through on the Radphone – I am not sure we can do overseas calls on that. I suggested he try the pay phone up the street – he came back and told me it wasn’t working either!

There continued to be spits of rain off and on.