Cooper Creek - What to Expect

Heading to Cooper Creek at the Dig Tree and Innaminca, among other places. Not at all sure what to expect.

Will there be water in the creek and if so, is it drinkable? Would you boil it to drink? Would you fill the water tank?

Would you swim in the creek?

Is it tree lined? Redgum, coolabar, myall, mulga?

Can you just wander off and camp on the banks anywhere?

Is it ethical to burn local firewood? Is there any firewood there anyway?

I'm guessing some of it is station land while other may be national park or the like.

Is it the sort of place you'd camp and photograph for several days or would you say you've seen it and move on in the morning?

Will there be flies there? Just joking. I know the answer to that one! ;)
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: ChrisK - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 16:18

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 16:18
OK, we camped at the Dig Tree reserve a couple of years ago for 5 night until the weather chased us out. There will probably be someone that has been there more recently but I can answer some of your questions. Here goes:-
Will there be water in the creek and if so, is it drinkable?
Probably yes and I wouldn't drink it as there is lot's of live stock in the area. This is answered better later on.
Would you boil it to drink? Would you fill the water tank?
Don't drink it and make sure you are self sufficient with water & food
Would you swim in the creek?
Absolutely as long as it is safe of course. Don't forget the fishing gear and the Yabbie nets. We were catching at least a dozen good sized yabbies every day at leaset.
Is it tree lined? Redgum, coolabar, myall, mulga?
Coolibah mainly.
Can you just wander off and camp on the banks anywhere?
Not really, if your going to the dig tree you'll havve plenty of room to camp.
Is it ethical to burn local firewood? Is there any firewood there anyway?
The local caretaker (Bomber is his name) supplied us with plenty of wood even though we had a lot when we arrived. had some great fires
I'm guessing some of it is station land while other may be national park or the like.
It's part of a station named Nappa Merrie which when we were there was part of the "S Kidman & Co" empire.

Enjoy it, we loved it and it's on our "to back to" list.


AnswerID: 517682

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 18:22

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 18:22
Thanks ChrisK! Great info!

Sounds like we'll like it.
0
FollowupID: 797402

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 16:36

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 16:36
Have a look here in "Places" wher at least you can have a look at some photos. They will show you plenty of water in the creek, so you can swim if you dont mind muddy feet. Would not suggest drinking the water though - go prepared with plenty of water and firewood.

Cooper Creek is lined with Coolabah, River Red Gums and lignum, though away from the creekline the vegetation becomes sparse. Apart fom the Dig Tree there are a number of other sites around Innaminka that are related to the Burke and Wills saga, and its worthwhile to have a look at all of them, and Cullyamurra Waterhole too.You will need to spend a few days in the area to see it all and take it in.

Cheers,

Val.

J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 517684

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 18:55

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 18:55
Thanks Val!

No, I don't mind muddy feet and the mud squelshing up between my toes. Reminds me of once when I was a kid.

I'm looking forward to seeing the coolabars. I think I know what a coolabar tree is. I once went looking for where Babbage had his depot west of Lake Torrens (when Stuart was passing by) and found a likely looking spot by the creek with some trees, the leaves of which had an acrid smell when crushed.
0
FollowupID: 797404

Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 21:01

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 21:01
The Dig Tree is a coolabah - its one species of Eucalyptus so the leaves have a gum tree smell.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 797419

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 22:48

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 22:48
Thanks Val! I guess what I've seen is not a coolabar. Won't be long and I'll see one though.
0
FollowupID: 797425

Reply By: Bob R4 - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 17:29

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 17:29
Definitely be sure to take your own drinking water, as stock and wild pigs are all around. Creek water OK for washing etc. Some firewood can be found if left by others in campsites, but don't collect it from the local area, especially around Cullyamarra waterhole as it is part of national park and is important animal habitat.
I'd recommend some research on Cullyamurra Waterhole as we found it such a special place. There are some great photos on Google earth, and a really good over view. National parks have installed some excellent composting toilets in the right places. there is a fee to camp there, payable to National Parks and Wildlife Dept (check their website) We spent 12 days there, and I'd go back in an instant. Good fishing for grunter, yellowbelly, catfish and yabbies, with about 10kms of campsites in beautifull redgum and Coolabah country. I believe Cullyamurra W/H is up to 90 feet deep in some places.
Wildlife and birdlife is sensational. We had birds joining us in camp, dingoes around camp at night (pack up food bait, scraps etc)
Cheers, Bob
AnswerID: 517688

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:01

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:01
Thanks Bob!

If you were happy there, it should do us for at least a few days.

I don't catch fish myself but our travelling mate does. I'm pretty good at eating fish though!

I'll send him this link. Some great info here. Thanks!
0
FollowupID: 797405

Follow Up By: Member - VickiW - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:45

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:45
Hi, I'd support Bob's comments regarding Cullyamurra. It is just beautiful & has been one of my favourites over the years. Also I was there last October & it was very (very) quiet there.

0
FollowupID: 797414

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 22:45

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 22:45
Ooh thanks Vicki! What a grand spot!

We're leaving home on 23 September, two days to Broken Hill and a week up the Dog Fence to Tibooburra, then north to Cooper Creek, so it will be October by the time we're there.

How big are these waterholes? Big enough to paddle a kayak?
0
FollowupID: 797424

Follow Up By: Member - VickiW - Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 00:54

Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 00:54
Hi Bega, definitely big enough (at about 4k long) I paddle my little inflatable canoe there. Be warned though - can be noisy at night from lots of Corellas. Last Oct (mid / late) there was almost no one there but in other years have been more.
0
FollowupID: 797437

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 00:09

Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 00:09
I guess when the creek is running at a safe level, you'd be good for hundreds of kilometres.
0
FollowupID: 797490

Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:39

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 19:39
Hi Bega P, the Cooper stopped flowing in the first week of June so only big waterholes like Cullyamurra will have water. But it never dries up. So no flow at the Innamincka causeway nor at Nappa Merrie. Get yourself onto the Burke and Wills Bridge and try and visualise it underwater in Jan 2010. Click on link to see pix. Head out to Coongie Lakes then let us know if they have any water........W
Warrie

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 517693

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 23:00

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 23:00
Thanks Warrie!

I guess the video in the linked page answers my other question about the kayak. A long way to take a kayak, but worth the effort maybe.
0
FollowupID: 797426

Reply By: Robyn R4 - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 20:10

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 20:10
Yes it's part of Nappa Merrie station. My friend taught at Tibooburra School of the Air a few eyars ago now and one of her students lived on this station, so she once took some other students on a history excursion there!
But, being of significance, this part is open to the public and controlled. I had no issues with paying the honesty box to support the upkeep and protection of such a significant area, esp the fact that there is tar road to within about 70km (if I recall) when coming from Thargomindah on the Bulloo Dev Rd!! Something that was once so remote can be almost accessed by my 2WD these days!
Cullyamarra was serene and lovely but be aware that you're on your own if all hell breaks loose in any way. Cost a bomb, and then a big storm hit. We were registered so people knew we were out there (along with about another dozen groups). An 8 hour storm hit at 10pm and with no warning, we could only ride it out in our tent, camped unknowingly under big trees (to escape the day's heat). The tent was almost destroyed (the sides blew in so far that it was like spending 8 hours in front of a spinnaker and the walls and floor on 2 sides weren't connected by much by 6am!) and the nearest tent shop to Innamincka is...?!
No warning signs were posted in "town" that day and we were all ignorant of what was to come, or to re-pitch out from the trees!
In contrast, that same storm...the Birdsville cop had warning and went to the caravan park to warn the campers and then did the rounds of town to tell them to batten the hatches.
Still cranky about the lack of warning, 12 months later.
AnswerID: 517695

Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 20:54

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 20:54
To be fair though Cullyamurra is a fair drive from Innamincka.
We had a similar situation in the early 80's, we camped at Cullyamurra and arranged to do a plane flight early the next morning from Innamincka.
We had a doozy of a storm for several hours, hail, lightning and torrential rain for several hours, so much rain that we had to winch out to the road and then slip and slide into Innamincka to meet the plane.
We were late for the plane and the ground was bone dry about 5k out. The town had had a clear night and didn't even know that a storm had passed over Cullyamurra.
In fact they didn't really believe us until we flew out over the waterhole when we could see the rainwater sitting in every depression.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

0
FollowupID: 797417

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 23:16

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 23:16
Thanks Robyn and Ozhumvee!

I sure hope we don't get storms like those. I'm in a 2wd trayback ute but our friends have a landrover.

A couple of months back I was camped near the north west corner of Pernatty Lagoon, east of Woomera. Got 35mm of rain soon after I arrived. Marooned there for 10 days. Had to get across a gully that had got quite boggy, as well as an arm of the lagoon.

Had the quadbike and could get out on that after a few days, but you can't ride a quadbike down the Stuart Highway to Port Augusta or even up to Pimba.
0
FollowupID: 797427

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 12:01

Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 12:01
Cullyamurra w/hole is about 11km drive from Inna.
0
FollowupID: 797501

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 16:12

Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 16:12
Thanks sigmund, that sounds great! Will fit that in, I reckon!
0
FollowupID: 797620

Reply By: Barbera72 - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 20:15

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 20:15
Coooper Creek at Innamincka. One of my fav camping spots ever.

AnswerID: 517696

Reply By: Mick O - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 22:10

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 22:10
Yes,
Yes,
Yes,
Yes,
Yes
All of them,
No (and getting more restricted all the time),
No - everyone else has burn't it before you. Good idea to collect and bring your own, especially at the Dig Tree/grave sites,
Yes and Regional Reserve as opposed to NP,
Photograph...spend time there? My addage is this;

"Time spent on the Cooper is time that is not deducted from ones lifespan"!

It is truely an iconic Australian location. You can not possible spend enough time there. Bird and wildlife at any time of the day would keep any photographer happy for weeks. The history of the place is simply an added bonus.

Check the treck notes, places and blogs on the site. There is a wealth of info there.

Cheers Mick

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 517704

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 23:22

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 23:22
Thanks Mick!

The more I hear about the Cooper, the more excited I get.

I photograph trees, myself, especially dead ones.

My picture of Coopers Creek is so much clearer now. Thanks everybody!
0
FollowupID: 797428

Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 23:49

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 23:49
Micky is spot on!
The Cooper is a marvelous place, take your time, explore & enjoy.
VKS737 - Mobile 6352 (Selcall 6352)

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message
Classifieds: Water Tank 55 Litre

0
FollowupID: 797434

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 23:55

Thursday, Sep 05, 2013 at 23:55
Thanks John!

I'll be talking to our travelling companions about whether we can bend out plans a bit to extend out stay around the Cooper.
0
FollowupID: 797435

Reply By: rumpig - Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 18:19

Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 18:19
we camped at The Dig Tree back at the start of July, below is the pic of our campsite. the closer you camp to the toilet block area nearer the entry, the higher up you are from the water, and most of those areas have less of a view of the creek itself IMHO. keep heading right down the back of the camp area when you get there, and the embankment opens up more to allow better views of the water. it's to far to walk to the toliet block when camped right down the back though, so be sure and be self sufficient like we were whilst there, or be prepared to drive to the toliets.

OUR CAMPSITE





AnswerID: 517741

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 00:16

Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 00:16
Thanks rumpig! I'll keep that in mind.

Yes, we're pretty self sufficient. Toot, shower, matches.

I guess we'll find an old campfire spot somewhere.
0
FollowupID: 797491

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 18:48

Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 18:48
One little item that hasn't been mentioned.
If you are camping anywhere in the Innamincka Regional Reserve (NP), which is most places apart from the Town Common camping area, you will need a Desert Parks Pass.

This can be purchased online from the SA Government website Desert Parks Pass or maybe the Innamincka Store when you arrive and before heading out to one of the camp sites.

Last time I was at Cullyamurra Waterhole, there was an abundance of water weed along the banks which detracted a little from the otherwise beautiful location.


Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 517747

Follow Up By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 21:55

Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 21:55
I was at Innamincka last Monday [2/9] Diesel was $2.10 L. store opens 0800 to 1700. Camped on the common, drove to the Dig Tree, tar road stars 100m into Qld, [cattle grid on the border had very bad holes either side].
Turn off to Dig Tree then 14k of very bad gravel /gibbered road, but worth it. Just before entering the Dig Tree area is a very deep [no water] creek crossing. Leaving this crossing brought me to disaster, When I got 14k back to the tar road I discovered I only had 3 wheels on the 5'er. The RHF wheel outer bearing had collapsed and the wheel and drum had gone. About 40 people searched for the wheel but could not find it. I had to drive 350K to Thargomindah on 3 wheels and I am sitting in the c/van park waiting for parts to arrive [might be M,T,W ?].
I was in a Safari of 50 [CMCA] motor homes heading for Birdsville races [Oh well there is always next year].
The new Rangers name is DUCK and a nice bloke, he stays on Napper Merrie Station. The mob from the station came and cooked a BBQ for all of us [90 people] at $20 head all proceeds to the RFDS.

PeterH



Pet-els
aka PeterH

Member
My Profile  Send Message

1
FollowupID: 797482

Follow Up By: traveln round - Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 22:23

Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 22:23
and dont forget to pay at the entrance or duck will be chasing you for sure
0
FollowupID: 797486

Follow Up By: Robyn R4 - Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 22:25

Friday, Sep 06, 2013 at 22:25
Good points, Sandman and Peter. Couldn't find my note book with petrol references (remembered it was damn dear!) or the price of the Desert Pass. Just remembered it was $2 cheaper per night than the Birdsville Caravan park...
We bought ours at the Innamincka Trading Post. Make sure you tell them that you're staying for x nights. I didn't state this, and he assumed I was just doing a day visit, so I had to go back in and pay more. He was happy for us to go and look first and come back to pay the rest when we had worked out how long we wanted to stay.
The water weed is still rampant, eh? We'd lie on it like an airbed until the billion ladybugs drove me out!

0
FollowupID: 797487

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 00:23

Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 00:23
Thanks Sand Man!

I'd seen the reserve on the map but didn't realise it included the creek near Innaminca.
0
FollowupID: 797492

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 00:28

Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 00:28
Thanks for the road info and fuel price, Peter!

We're in a 2wd Trayback but our friends have a landrover.

Hope you're mobile again soon, Mate!
0
FollowupID: 797493

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 00:29

Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 00:29
OK traveln round, we'll remember to pay!
0
FollowupID: 797494

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 00:32

Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 00:32
Thanks Robyn R4! Heaps of great info here. Much appreciated!
0
FollowupID: 797495

Follow Up By: prado 01 - Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013 at 16:16

Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013 at 16:16
Heh Bega you dont need the desert parks pass as you can purchase nightly camping permits. Suss out the cost and see which works out better.
Cheers
0
FollowupID: 797685

Reply By: Member - Graham Watson (SA) - Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 01:38

Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 01:38
We stayed at Cullyamurra waterhole for 4 days in 2011 and that was not enough time to see all we wanted. Were planning to go back again this year, but couldn't co-ordinate holidays with our friends. Maybe next year.The dig tree was an easy half day trip from where we camped.
I won't repeat the answers others have given you, but on the basis a picture is worth a thousand words the photos of our trip are on Flickr here
The Strezleki track begins on page 2
Photos of Montecollina Bore start on page 3
Innaminka/Cullymurra Waterhole photos commence on page 6
Our trip to the dig tree commences on page 17
We leave Cullymurra Waterhole heading to Camerons Corner and Sturt National park on page 24
Graham Watson

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 517761

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 16:25

Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 16:25
Hey Graham! Thanks for the link. Worked my way right through your trip photos. Really enjoyed them! Gave me a good idea of what to expect!
0
FollowupID: 797624

Reply By: Sigmund - Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 12:08

Saturday, Sep 07, 2013 at 12:08
If you're a birdwatcher, photographer and/or canooer and have the time (and the track is open) I'd highly recommend you go to Coongie Lake as well. It's about 75km NW of Innamincka. There are campsites on the Cooper leading into it as well as on the Lake itself. It's a stunning spot.
AnswerID: 517770

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 16:35

Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 16:35
Thanks sigmund!

I don't worry too much about birds but I can see plenty around there that fits my photographic style.

Won't be taking the kayak this trip but maybe another time.
0
FollowupID: 797626

Reply By: The Bunyip - Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 14:32

Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 14:32
For what it's worth, in October last year we had a look at Cullymurra Waterhole. But mindful of the fact our children were only 8 & 10 year old, for the most part we couldn't find anywhere decent/safe to swim. So we chose the Town Common where there were plenty of camping spots. The water was waste deep & very refreshing after a long drive in 35c heat.
The last thing my wife was expecting when driving into the Sturt Stony Desert was a swim & a cold beer!!!
AnswerID: 517870

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 16:20

Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 16:20
Thanks Bunyip! That's great info, Mate.

We won't have any children with us so won't have those considerations, but the swimming spot sounds good.

I'm getting a good idea of what to expect at The Dig Tree and surrounding area which is what I asked.
0
FollowupID: 797623

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 17:01

Monday, Sep 09, 2013 at 17:01
I've camped at Cullyamurra waterhole and like others found it a great spot. After that the Dig Tree area appeared a little dull and bare IMO. The Town Common is handy to the store and pub but gets a fair amount of traffic. And you can buy a shower in 'town' - though it's amazing how quick 3 mins goes.

The Cooper is the water supply for Inna but if it's not flowing it doesn't look all that appetising! A water filter or a few spring water casks would be the go.

Bill at the Trading Post will fill you in on camping options and costs and on road closures/restrictions.
0
FollowupID: 797632

Follow Up By: Bega Photographer - Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013 at 14:50

Tuesday, Sep 10, 2013 at 14:50
Thanks Sigmund!
0
FollowupID: 797681

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)