The Great Victoria Desert is looking unreal

Hi Everyone

We have returned for just over 3 weeks travelling through the Great Victoria Desert, and it is looking at its best in many areas, while other area have been stripped bare through bush fires.

We travelled to many remote areas and again we were the first tourists to visit certain areas, including the Wilkinson Lakes area, Forrest Lakes area and many other areas in between and were the group of tourists to drive into the remote 1988 crash site of a Cessna 310 twin engine plane that crashed and claimed the pilots life.

The once enjoyable drive on the Connie Sue Highway is now as badly corrugated as the Anne Beadell Highway from travellers not dropping tyre presses and driving to the conditions.

So if you are heading that way in the very near future, you will be in for an unreal experience.

Here are some images of what we saw, and now it will head down and bum up until I get the full Blog complete.


Cheers



Stephen




























































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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 21:38

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 21:38
Oh bugger Stephen,

I have only recently returned from a six week trip to the Kimberley and back and already you have got me wishing I was elsewhere than little old Adelaide.

Some great pictures as usual mate. Hope you enjoyed your trip as much as we did ours.

Actually, my mate advised he is yet to travel the full length of the Birdsville Track.
We went as far as the Cooper Creek crossing area when it was last in flood and now he wants more.

I am planning a trip next year that will take us up the Birdsville track to Mungerannie, Birdsville itself, then on to Bullia, across to Longreach, down to Windorah, Haddons Corner, Innamincka and back down the Strzelecki Track, with visits to many places along the way.
With three couples sharing an experience of outback travel again, that should keep the old bugger happy for a bit.

He is still dirty we "cut" our Kimberley trip short, as I was about to become a Grandad and he had to come back to wintery weather. (We told him he could stay up north by himself, but his other half was feeling maternal herself and wanted to return home with us, to catch up with her own grand kids).

The grumpy old bugger is a late starter to 4WDing and now wants to make up for lost time he experienced when he had nothing but a "normal" car.
He is harder to please as he is fully retired and able to spend extended time away, without the need to return to a work environment like us "normal" folk.

Bill


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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 21:50

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 21:50
Hi Bill

Yes it was a great trip thanks, and I read how you were up in the warm country.

Congratulations on becoming a Grandad and you should be in for another great trip next year.


Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Freshstart - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 22:02

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 22:02
Oh bugger you and in spades. We just got home from a CSR drive and I wanna go!!!!!!!!
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 22:06

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 22:06
Gday Stephen,
One word...........NICE!!!
Thanks for the huge number of photos as usual!
Maybe next year!
Cheers
Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 22:16

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 22:16
Hi Phil

Thanks for that and I know you would have had a ball.

Hope things are going well your way.


Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 22:59

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 22:59
Nice photos Stephen.

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 06:44

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 06:44
Hi John

Thanks for that, and see what the full Blog will bring out.


Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: The Landy - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 23:35

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 23:35
Hey Stephen

I look forward to the full report.

We enjoyed our recent trip out there and it looks like the flowers have come out in force.

Some great photos, and I especially like the moon setting, I always think a full moon setting is so much better than it rising!

I look forward to getting back out that way next year...

Cheer, Baz
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 06:51

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 06:51
Hi Baz

When the Outback puts on a full floral display, nothing can beat it, thats for sure. We have never seen such large displays of Sturts Desert Peas and even out on the Range at Maralinga, they are in full bloom in places that Robin has never seen them flowering before.

We were very privileged to see some very special country and I can not wait to show everyone the full story.



Cheers



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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 00:32

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 00:32
Hi Stephen, Pt Lilian is definitely one of my favourite spots and the Mini Richies on top of the bluff are quite spectacular. The wild flowers when we were on the ABH in early July were just coming out with only the odd patch of Sturt Desert Peas and all were the blood red coloured variety.

Oddly enough we only saw 4 camels on the entire run from Nealle Junction to Coober Pedy.

WRT the corrugations between Emu & the Dog Fence all I can say is thank whomever for all the alternative side tracks.

Look forward to reading the full account. By the sound of things you did the trip later than when we first talked about it?

Cheers

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 07:03

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 07:03
Hi Dunc

It was another fantastic trip and we saw many new places that we had been wanting to see for a long time.

As for the corrugations, it is a real shame that the Connie Sue, north of Neale Junction is now shaping up to be up there with full sections of major corrugations, and I am glad we driven it a number of years ago when it was a smooth drive.

The section of Anne Beadell between Emu and the boundary of Mabel Creek is one section that I will never drive again for that very reason and now that the Emu Road is open north from Maralinga, it is a far better way to get to leave Emu.

Now the big job of the full story.....lol



Cheers



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Reply By: Phil B (WA) - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 04:04

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 04:04
Sounds and looks like you guys had another fabulous trip out in the GVD, give the deserts a good soaking and the wildflowers are a sight to behold and as usual your photography is superb.

Do I spy a few of my former travel mates in the group; gee those guys get around - lol.

Thanks Stephen.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 07:08

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 07:08
Hi Phil

Any trip out into the Great Victoria Desert is always a fabulous time away and the Wildflowers just top off any trip.

You have eagle eyes to spot those faces that you know and you will see them more in the blog.



Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: Member - Heather L - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 06:44

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 06:44
Thank you, Stephen, for bringing back memories of our trip in 2000. The wildflowers were so wonderful then we reckoned any half acre could win an ABC Garden Contest.
Heather
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 07:19

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 07:19
Hi Heather

When Mother Nature puts on a display, it does not do it half hearted and puts our humble garden efforts to shame.

There were also many hundreds of acres that have been burnt out, but true to the resilience of the Australian bush, is recovering nicely after a good drink.

Thanks for your reply.



Cheers


Stephen
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Reply By: TTD1 - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 08:56

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 08:56
Hello Steven,
We opted for a trip to Europe in lieu of our usual bush trip. After looking at our 1500 photos and then you blog perhaps we made the wrong choice.
What a wonderful country we live in and may it remain that way for our grandchildren.
Thank you for the trip down memory lane and reminding of the beauty of the bush.
Looking forward to the complete story.
Kind Regards,
Terry D.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 19:12

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 19:12
Hi Terry

Yes I agree that we live in the best country in the world, and while we were out in the desert, we never heard any outside news and we were oblivious from all the world troubles that have been happening.

The great part about the area that we travel, is the lack of tourists and to be honest, the only other people that we met while travelling was a party of 3 vehicles at Neale Junction, after we had been on the road for over 2 weeks. Where else can you go for over 3 weeks, never lock your vehicle, never take the keys out of the ignition and not hear around at night, except the crackle of the campfire and the bats and crickets as they worked at night.

The Blog will cover every aspect of the adventure, and will have dozens of photos.


Thanks for the reply.



Cheers


Stephen

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Reply By: Mick O - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 09:50

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 09:50
What a great trip Stephen. I’ve been home three days and have only just skimmed through my 2,500 photos and 2 hours of video. A big thanks to you and Fiona....you for your research, route planning, attention to detail and effort in getting permissions/permits etc. Fiona for putting up with the many hours you must have put into making this trip the enjoyable tour that it was. Very different country and I’m totally sold on the GVD. May be some time before I get back to more familiar haunts like the GSD now lol.

I’ll look forward to your blogs and more photos. Unfortunately after several months away from home, Vik has a list of chores for me a mile long. It’ll be a while before I get to mine.

Cheers and thanks

Mick

P.S. Your photos were an unreal pictorial summary of 4 weeks travel. Great work.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 19:19

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 19:19
Hi Mick

It was an absolute pleasure to have you and Russell as part of the group. If you and Russell are like me, I am not looking forward to donning respectable work clothes and heading off to work on Monday.

I will keep you posted before the Blog goes live and by then we will all wish were back out in the desert.


Once again, thanks again for being part of the group.



Cheers




Stephen
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Reply By: equinox - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 11:16

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 11:16
Hi Stephen,
Looks like a great trip you have had.
I hope the Motley Crew I see following you didn't lead to astray too much lol.
Cheers
Alan

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 12:10

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 12:10
Hey, I resemble that remark!

;-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 19:18

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 19:18
"the motley crew" yep sussed it up in one Al.

Truth tho Stephen, your photos are just a vivid memory of places visited. Well done!!!

I am guessing that it was another enormous trip...waiting on your blog...

Shame I could not be there..

Regards
Michael J
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 19:30

Saturday, Aug 30, 2014 at 19:30
Hi Allan and Michael

Whats this motley crew bit......lol, We only had responsible gentlemen on the trip.........who never drank, smoked, went out with bad women and only drank the finest English Tea from China cups..........ha ha


It was a great trip and the company made it better. Like all trips, we saw some unreal country, met fantastic and 100% dedicated people that worked in the 2 remote Aboriginal Communities that were were honoured and privileged to visit.

Now for the Big Blog job...



Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: RobMac (QLD_Member) - Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 09:14

Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 09:14
Fantastic Photos and info....

In one of your photos, you mentioned "Along the BMR"

What does "BMR" stand for ??

cheers....
Rob
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 15:48

Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 15:48
Hi Rob

Thanks for that, it was a fantastic trip and there are mega more photos to come in the Blog.

The reason why I stated we were travelling along the "BMR" was for the fact that is what the Track is called. In 2011 the Canadian Oil and Gas Exploration Company, Rodinia built a series of new roads and exploration Tracks in the Officer Basin, and these tracks were named BMR 3, BMR 5 etc, and we we travelling in the BMR 5 Track at that stage. Any Traveller along the Anne Beadell Highway will come across this were strange, and well signposted Sign, show the intersection of the BMR 3.

I hope that explains the meaning of BMR.


Cheers



Stephen


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Follow Up By: equinox - Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 21:23

Sunday, Aug 31, 2014 at 21:23
Hi - I think it stands for Bureau of Mineral Resourses


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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 10:21

Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 10:21
Gday Stephen,
BMR 6 and BMR 4 went in in around 1991 from earlier exploration. They were straight shotlines - can't do that anymore, so the newer roads are more likely to deviate around marblegums and oaks, and steer clear of sacred areas, in particular lakes.
Rodinia turned BMR 6 into a major claytop highway in 2007 to get their seismic gear and later, the drilling rig up there.
BMR 3 and 4 were new in 2007.
Out of interest, from 2007, Rodinia bulldozed 2500km of seismic line through that part of the GVD. It is a pity to see that much of a pristine desert ripped up in a fruitless search for oil.
Cheers
Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 14:48

Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 14:48
Cheers Phil


Thanks for the updates and the correct information.



Cheers


Stephen
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Reply By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 16:28

Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 16:28
Stephen,
What a great trip and a wonderful part of Australia. Great photo's.
Maralinga/ GVD is becoming quite popular,worth considering an EO gathering.

Regards Mike.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 18:49

Monday, Sep 01, 2014 at 18:49
Hi Mike

Yes indeed itis coming a very popular outback location to visit. I am working with another member, and yes keep an eye out for a possible gathering at Maralinga.



Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 10:46

Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 10:46
Hi Stephen

Would certainly try and make it to something like that if it was on offer. A great country to explore out there, and we only touched the surface on our trip.

I've come back with plenty of notes on what else I want to see in the GVD, just need to find the time!

Cheers,
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 21:20

Thursday, Sep 04, 2014 at 21:20
Hi Baz

I have tried to give you a call tonight. I have been speaking with both Robin and Leigh tonight, the we are talking about making it happen.


As you say...........watch this space.......lol



Cheers




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