A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: matt74maximus

Day 15 - White Cliffs

Up early and pack up then head back to the Roadhouse for some hot breaky...


Fuel up and back on the road, a stop off at Milparinka to check out the old town and grab a beer in the pub...


Off again... next stop the tool tree...


After a reasonably long day of driving we finally reach White Cliffs. Stop in at a local Opal shop before checking into the Underground motel for the night...


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Day 14 - Tibooburra

via Camerons Corner

Waking up early I jump out of bed to get some early shots of the sunrise....


Grab a coffee and pack the van up to head back into Innamincka to grab some supplies before heading out to check out Wills Grave and Kings site...


Back on the road again we head off onto the Stresleki Track on our way through Merty Merty to Camerons Corner...


Stop at Merty Merty for a quick sandwich and a drink then Camerons Corner the geodetic point at which the states of Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia meet...


Leaving South Australia we cross back into NSW and continue onto to Tobooburra... Slight delay as I have to help some wildlife across the road then we are back off again...


We get into Tiboorburra on dusk and set up the vans then head into town to the pub for some dinner and a cold beer....


After dinner we head back and hit the sack for the night.

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Day 13 - Innamincka

Burke and Wills Dig Tree

Bit of a sleep in this morning before up and a coffee and pack the vans up for the last 100km's to Innamincka....


Hitting the road we are glad to find the last 100km's is no where near as rough as the previous day. We roll into Innamincka, refuel, check out the information centre before popping into the pub for a beer...


Leaving Innamincka we plan to visit the grave sites of Burke and Wills as well as the site where King was found and camp at the Burke and Wills Dig Tree.

The Burke and Wills expedition passed through this area on their journey across Australia from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria. They established a Depot Camp on Cooper Creek at Camp LXV, (their sixty-fifth camp since leaving Melbourne), at a place now called The Dig Tree. There was a depot at the Dig Tree from 6 December 1860 to 21 April 1861.

Before the base camp party deserted the depot (stockade Depot Camp 65), only hours before Burke and Wills did return from the Gulf, they had buried some provisions in the remote chance of Burke and Wills return and instructions to dig were carved into the trunk of the tree. The three blazes on the dig tree were:

B LXV Trunk, creek side
Dig 3FT NW Trunk, land side
Dec 6 60 April 21 61 Limb upstream

These Blazes have now been covered to help preserve the tree. Burke's face was carved into another tree (the ‘Face Tree') about 30m downstream of the ‘Dig Tree' by John Dick in 1898 and is still clearly visible. Apart from the boardwalk structure built around the tree to help protect it, the site as you view it now is as Burke and Wills and companions would have viewed it nearly 140 years ago.

First stop was Burke's grave, Howitt's camp and the Dig Tree on Cooper Creek upstream of Innamincka.


We set up camp then head over to see the Dig Tree....


Set up for dinner and pop gets another raging fire going....


Try and get some shots of the stars and milky way before hitting the sack...


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Day 12 - Cordillo Downs

Cordillo Downs Campsite

Up nice and early and head off to the Birdsville Bakery for a Curried Camel Pie for Breaky....


Onto the Birdsville Development road to Cordillo Downs Road on our long trip to Inniminca... Cross back from Qld to SA again....


Stop in and check out Cadelga ruins on the way....


Next stop is Cordello Downs Station, and the old Historic Woolshed...


This would have to be the roughest road I have ever driven on... We decide to stop 100km out of Innaminca, tired and battered we set up camp for the night... Great sunset but lots of little prickly things...


Layla and Addison cook us dinner tonight, Spaghetti Bolognese.... It was yummo...


Pop had a raging fire tonight..... we cooked damper and had some beers before bed...


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Day 11 - Birdsville

Big Red and Tour of the Town

Up nice and early for some breaky before we head of to tackle Big Red. We stop in at the information centre first and grab some souviners and information on the towns history...


Leaving town we make the 35km trip out to Big Red... Had fun hitting the sand dunes and getting the balance of tyre pressure and speed to finally make it back up Little Red to get back to the right side of the road.... Then hit Big Red, up first time... Great fun...


Tour of the town next, Birdsville Court House..


Artesian Bore, Birdsville’s water supply comes from an Artesian bore sunk in 1961 (into the great Artesian Basin) to a depth of 1292 meters. Water comes to the surface under immense pressure, with a surface temperature of 98º Celsius. and the Waddi trees... Roughly 12 kilometers north of Birdsville, you'll come across the Waddi Trees on the Birdsville-Bedourie road. They're an extremely rare, slow-growing desert tree, found in only three locations in Australia. The timber is so hard that it's said to be extremely difficult to cut and the trees are now protected.


The old Geothermal Power Station... The Birdsville geothermal power station is one of the few low-temperature power stations in existence world wide! The plant derives its energy from the water flowing out of the town's Artesian Bore at 98 °C (surface temperature). The steam from this water is collected and used to power the generator that provides electricity for the town


The Bourke and Wills Tree, On the 20th of August 1860, Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills set out from Melbourne to chart a course to the Gulf of Carpentaria, which was the first south-north crossing of Australia. The team of 13 men and 20 camels carried over 20 tonnes of provisions. Though successful in their quest, both Burke and Wills perished on their return journey. Seeds from a Waddi Tree found in the diary of Wills verify their passage through the Birdsville region. The Burke and Wills Tree is located approximately three kilometers from Birdsville and is said to mark one of their final campsites before they reached the Innamincka area, where the famous Dig Tree stands.


Stop into the Pub for a cold beer before dinner...


Back to camp and cook up some chicken and pasta before we pack up and hit the sack ready for a big day tomorrow...

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Day 10 - Birdsville Track - Birdsville


Up early, hot cup of coffee then pack up for a long day on the last leg of the Birdsville Track to Birdsville...


First stop we find a hot artesian bore flowing from the ground down to a little catchment area... The water is at boiling point....


Stopped to strech the legs... good timing as the cattle road trains were on the road...


We cross the border into Queensland... not far to Birdsville now...


A few more kms down the road and we made it !!! Finished the Birdsville Track....


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Day 9 - The Birdsville Track - Mungeranie

Mungeranie Hotel / Campground

Bit of a sleep in this morning, not a huge day of driving. Cook up some omelets and coffee before packing up the vans then back on the track on our way to Mungeranie...


Stop for lunch at the M.V,Tom Brenon Barge Historic site. "M.V Tom Brennan" barge was used during major floods between 1949 and 1956 for transporting mail, stores and drovers across Cooper(s) Creek at Kopperamana Crossing, to stranded settlers on the Marree/Birdsville travelling stock route.

One of the early operators of the punt was Tom Kruse, the well-known Marree to Birdsville Mail Contractor. The barge was named after Dalgety’s Livestock Manager, Mr Tom Brennan, who was instrumental in providing it for the settlers. Dalgety & Co. Ltd presented the punt to the settlers on the Birdsville to Marree travelling stock route in 1949.


Finally, Mungeranie Campground.... refuel before setting up then off to the pub for a cold beer and some good pub grub for dinner...


After dinner we sit down at the bar where we are entertained by the publicican.... this man is the true spirit of the outback... kept the kids entertained for almost an hour... the kids also had a lock of hair cut off and stapled to the roof of the pub... there forever....


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Day 8 - The Birdsville Track - Clayton Station

Wilpena Pound - Blinman - Farina - Maree - Clayton Station Campground

Waking up to a brisk -1 degrees this morning, we pack up the vans and grab some souvenirs, speaking at the Rangers Station it got to -5 at 5:45am this morning and it showed on our water hoses....


We leave Wilpena Pound and make our way north towards Blinman, but a quick stop at the Great Wall of China.. Looks amazing...


Turning left at Blinman we hit the dirt again on our way to Lyndhurst then onto Farina for lunch at the historic underground bakery. Back on the road again towards Marree... the start of the Birdsville Track...


Leaving Marree we begin our drive on the whole reason for this trip... The Birdsville Track. We make our way along the track to our first stop, passing a camel draw cart to the Clayton River Campsite. This place is amazing.... Hot showers, toilets and a spa bath.... Kids jump in while we set up for dinner and get the fire raging.... looks like we were lucky here, had the whole place to ourselves..... After a good feed of hamburgers its head to the pillow for a short squirt the Mungerannie...


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Day 7 - Wilpena Pound

Sacred Caynon -

Up after a little sleep in we cook up some omlettes for breaky and a cup of coffees before packing the cars up and heading out to Explore the gorges of the Flinders Ranges.... Visit from a local first...


First stop is the Sacred Canyon... Aboriginal carvings in the stone....


Next stop Bunyeroo Gorge onto Arkaroo Rock to cook up some lunch then head back home again...


Time to get some washing in and check the car out before heading to the first day on the Birdsville Track..

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Day 6 - Wilpena Pound

Menindee - Peterborough - Cradock - Hawker - Wilpena Pound

Up early and on the road onto Wilpena Pound first stop will be Peterborough. Crossing the NSW and SA border we stop for a stretch and a few pics...


Travelling into a headwind and chewing through the fuel we were tracking well then all of a sudden BAM !!!! Nathan collects an Emu.... Come out of no-where he said... After cleaning up the poop and feathers we are back on the road to Peterborough. Arriving at lunchtime, we do some shopping for fruit and vegetables after leaving then at the quarantine drop off.
Lunch from the pub, great snitty burgers and chips we fuel up and head off again...

Next town we hit is Cradock, small little town, blink and you will miss it then onto Hawker to refuel and grab some fire wood for when we get to Wilpena Pound then back on the road for the hours drive to Wilpena.

We arrive about 330pm and get our sites and set up for 2 days... Cook up some chicken stir fry and crash early due to its raining and ready for an early start tomorrow checking out the gorges..


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