Mount Hopeless, SA

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 13:02
ThreadID: 100714 Views:5980 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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Anyone been to Mount Hopeless in South Australia?

I've identified where I think is the right place. 126m ASL. South of Lake Blanch. West of Lake Callabonna. About 15 or 20 km off the Strzlecki Track.

Coordinates: 139.6746,-29.7018

Would I get out there in my 2wd tray back ute? Shouldn't be too much of a climb on foot at 126m. Is it worth the climb?

Looks like it's on station property on a station track. Permission needed?

Mount Hopeless, as many would know, is where Edward John Eyre formulated his horseshoe lake theory that was accepted and held in exploration for quite a few years. Eyre thought Lake Torrens stretched right around from near Port Agusta, around the north of the Flinders and south to Lake Frome and maybe further.

From the journal of Edward John Eyre:

"September 2.—At thirty–five miles we reached the little elevation I had been steering for, and ascended Mount Hopeless, and cheerless and hopeless indeed was the prospect before us. As I had anticipated, the view was both extensive and decisive. We were now past all the ranges; and for three quarters of the compass, extending from south, round by east and north, to west, the horizon was one unbroken level, except where the fragments of table land, or the ridge of the lake, interrupted its uniformity

The lake was now visible to the north and to the east; and I had at last ascertained, beyond all doubt, that its basin, commencing near the head of Spencer’s Gulf, and following the course of Flinders range (bending round its northern extreme to the southward), constituted those hills the termination of the island of South Australia, for such I imagine it once to have been. This closed all my dreams as to the expedition, and put an end to an undertaking from which so much was anticipated. I had now a view before me that would have damped the ardour of the most enthusiastic, or dissipated the doubts of the most seeptical. To the showers that fell on the evening of the 31st of August, we were solely indebted for having been able to travel thus far; had there been much more rain the country would have been impracticable for horses,—if less we could not have procured water to have enabled us to make such a push as we had done."

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Reply By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 15:17

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 15:17
Yes that is it, a low hill in a very barren landscape. It is private property Mt Hopeless Station. You can't go anywhere without permission from someone :-)
AnswerID: 505388

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 16:08

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 16:08
OK, thanks, Olson's!

Keen to know if I can get there with permission in the ute and if it's worth the effort.

I've been to quite a few of Eyre's landmarks, mostly across the Nullarbor and the last few days before he reached Albany. Also a few in the Southern Flinders.

I've never expected to visit Mount Hopeless but it looks like the opportunity may come, later in the year.

FollowupID: 782331

Reply By: equinox - Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 21:43

Saturday, Feb 23, 2013 at 21:43
Hi Laurie,
It looks to be a very unassuming hill on the map.
No doubt when you get there you will get some insight into and be an empathist as to the level of hopelessness that Eyre was feeling at the time.

Good luck

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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AnswerID: 505412

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 06:13

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 06:13
Yes, that's about it, Equinox!

To stand where the explorers stood and see what they saw, take the compass bearings they took, make a cup of tea and a damper from their waterholes.

It really brings their journals to life to be there and see the events described in the journals, in my imagination.

My grandson, going on 11, accompanied me on a trip following John McDouall Stuart. By the campfire at night we'd read from the appropriate part of his journal.
FollowupID: 782349

Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 12:03

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 12:03
HI Laurie, thats a very romantic thing to do. Here on Ex Oz in Places it shows Mount Hopeless as only 104.61 m but a track goes right over it. With your noble intentions I would hope that the property owners will let you visit. Then you can add a pic or two to Places. Good luck...... W

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Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 23:29

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 23:29
G'day Warrie!

Yes, I suppose I am a bit of a romantic about these things.

I reckon I'm looking at the right hill. I got the elevation of 126 metres from a topo map that I made from downloaded map data from Geoscience. It's a spot elevation and would nearly have to be Mount Hopeless.

It could be that if the surrounding country is around 20m ASL, then 104 metres high would be right. Dunno.

Thanks for the suggestions about Places.
FollowupID: 782417

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 14:03

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 14:03
G'day Laurie,

We walked there in 2001, a continuation for us of the Heysen Trail, that part we walked Arkaroola to the Strz Track near the abandoned Mt Hopeless homestead . . .
Mt Hopeless and Mt Hopeless Stn (abandoned) is now part of Murnpeowie, and they are really nice folk.

We topped Mt Hopeless and left a note in the cairn tin, along with a couple of others and C Warren Bonythons note from 1968.

Murnpeowie contact details I have from then are Murnpeowie (Mt Hopeless Station) - Phone / Fax 8648 4824 . . . Peter / Bronwyn.

Their fellas up there (Barry and Brendon) towed a water cart down to the abondoned homestead (some distance along the Strz Trk from Murpeowie) for us to have a wash and also have some drinking water after some 9 days walking.

Not sure if you can easily get access drive in there, but I'm fairly sure they will be agreeable if approached right.
If you drove in to Mt Hopeless Stn, then walked down and back the the mount itself, it is probably going to take 3 - 4 hours total across the gibber plain.

Interestingly, Mike Sheehan at Moolawatana Stn to the south (near Mt Babbage / Terrapinna waterhole), was a lad of about 14 or 15 when he was tasked to go and pick up Warren Bonython and his walking companion from Mt Hopeless at the end of that leg. He recalled that story to us on a visit for another trek up there.
AnswerID: 505444

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 23:42

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 23:42
G'day Les!

Sounds like you're a bit of a walker!

I saw the Haysen Trail when in the Flinders last spring. Couldn't help but think what a great walk for those who fancy that.

Thanks for the contact info and walking suggestion.

I've travelled on several stations out west of Lake Torrens and found the station people to be most helpful. No doubt these ones will be no different.

Our travelling companions will be in a Land Rover, so we should be OK getting out there. I expect the owners will advise.
FollowupID: 782420

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 06:37

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 06:37
No worries Laurie.

The Heysen Trail is a great walk, so much awesome looking country to trek through.

I really enjoyed those several big walks we did towards the end of the Flinders, then into more of a desert region.

Good luck with your quest, I'm sure you'll be standing on Mt Hopeless sometime later in 2013.
FollowupID: 782423

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