Redcliffe Pier

Monday, December 6, 2010

A WALK IN THE DESERT (South Australia-PART 5)

After the flight over Lake Eyre we flew further north to Cowarie Station (Ranch). We were now in Central Australia where 3 deserts meet: the Simpson Desert, the Tirari Desert and Sturt Stony Desert.
The airstrip is on the station, which is as big as a small country. This year with all the rain the cattle have had so much feed available that they are getting too fat too fast and the owners are having trouble rounding them up fast enough to get them to the markets. We were supposed to go on a tour of the station homestead but that was dropped from our itinerary. However, another coach picked us up from the airstrip and drove us through part of Cowarie Station to the adjoining property, which was the Kalamurina Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a million acre conservation area.

A ranger took us for a short guided walk through the desert to the banks of the Warburton Creek. Even though it was the end of the wild flower season there were still some about.

It was about 40C/105F so there weren't many animals out and about but we saw their trails and burrows. The feral camels, which have become a pest in Australia, have been eradicated from this area giving back the habitat to our native animals.

There are a million camels covering a third of the continent. They were introduced in the 1800's to aide exploration and later to haul freight to the inland. During the early 20th century, when motor vehicles began replacing camels, they were turned loose and the feral population began.



The rangers and cattlemen are excited to see water in the creek as it is often a dry creek bed.

It is a harsh but captivating landscape. We headed back to the plane for our return flight over the flooded Cooper Creek.

13 comments:

  1. Well done Diane.
    An excellent commentary on the region.
    Colin (HB)

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  2. Goodness me, walking in that heat would exhaust me. It's fun to see the transformation in the desert this year.

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  3. Must have been very hot there to walk. I like the photo of the yellow flowers on the salt.

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  4. Caught up on yesterday's post also. Those were some amazing photos from the airplane. The colors are fabulous.... WOW!!!!

    Bet you all were hot --walking down there in that desert --during the summer. Glad they have gotten some rain --so that there was water in the creek... I'm sure that is rare, according to what you have told us.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  5. Your photos today are exuding lovely warmth as I sit here on a cold winter morning, huddled with my hot cup of tea. Your country is certainly a fascinating place...so....did you see any of those one million camels?

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  6. Doesn't travelling gives you tremendous satisfaction ? I wish I could also do hat sometime.

    The photos from the plane are wonderful.

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  7. I love the varied and beautiful terrain of your home:-)

    And I thought we had it bad with feral cats! Camels?! Too funny...though probably not..

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  8. That photo of the yellow wildflower surrounded by so many animal prints is especially wonderful Diane :)

    Such a shame the camels were just abandoned like that, to become feral. They played such an important part in our outback history.

    Beaut to see the full creek.

    "...a harsh but captivating landscape" says it all.

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  9. Even though it was the end of the season, you did capture some beautiful blossoms. It must have been thrilling to walk through that part of the desert and even more wonderful to see water flowing through that creek.

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  10. Fantastic pictures...You do have a lot of fun in your time of dementia?!

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  11. I had no idea about the feral camels ... what an interesting bit of history. Your group looks so cool and collected for walking in such hot weather.

    Thanks for the nightly Chapter!

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  12. OOh, hot hot hot. Nice wildflowers esp the yellow ones.

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  13. Nice post, Diane! The wildflowers are beautiful and it is great that the water is there for the cattle. Very interesting to read about the feral camels. We have the feral cats here. Thanks for sharing your trip report. I am off to read the others.

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