Longreach Waterhole Elliott NT

Submitted: Friday, Aug 04, 2017 at 23:19
ThreadID: 135344 Views:3523 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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When we passed through in May, we found to our disappointment that access was closed to Longreach Waterhole at Elliott.

Is this permanent?

What happened?
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Reply By: Meridith D - Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 19:07

Saturday, Aug 05, 2017 at 19:07
Apparently people were seen (and videod) emptying their toilet canisters in and around the waterhole. Also people were shopping down trees for firewood. Unbelievable - yes!!! I wrote an email to the council but never received a reply. So disappointing. I think it was our favourite stop on our whole 14week trip last year.
AnswerID: 612882

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 08:16

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 08:16
This is not uncommon. Wonder how long before Cape York is shut down because the southern ferals dont know how to wipe their bums or respect others properties..
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 21:47

Sunday, Aug 06, 2017 at 21:47
We've dropped in there a number of times as we're usually passing on the way to or from South/East/West. Always was a favourite for watching the thousands of Ducks, Pelicans etc. Unfortunately when last there a year ago we found that Cane Toads had arrived in large numbers and it seamed that some Pelicans were dying from them due to the way they were feeding along the shore line at night.

The site has now even been removed on Wikicamps. Sad also that locals had not realised the terrific asset they had for attracting people to stay a while and spend money there. A place that has always been in need of some self help.
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Reply By: Will 76 Series - Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 08:17

Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 08:17
What a shame!! It is such a magnificent location. We stopped there mid last year and there were a lot of vans camped but rubbish -firepits with stubbies, cans, cardboard boxes, plastic containers - but particularly toilet paper lying, caught in trees and blowing around was disappointing. It really is not that hard to protect and look after the environment so all can enjoy. Like our parents there parents and their parents said - try and always leave the bush as you found it and for goodness sake take you rubbish and bury your toilet paper!!
AnswerID: 612920

Follow Up By: Member - Dalb (SA) - Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 11:38

Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 11:38
We were there (again) in July last year and someone in the park told us he had heard the Elliot Aboriginals were going to take over the land and run it as a park, and charge $10 a night.
We saw an Aboriginal team emptying rubbish bins and keeping the place tidy. The whole place looked spic and span, although this time we did not get to see the condition of the more remote camping sites at the 'back'.
It would be a terrible loss if access remained closed.

Cheers Dalb
Cheers, Dalb

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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Thursday, Aug 10, 2017 at 23:18

Thursday, Aug 10, 2017 at 23:18
I'm not sure that all locals agree with it being opened up again as a few times in the past the sign at the Highway has been removed. There may also be issues with ownership of the land as comment has been made that it is actually part of Newcastle Waters Station and I've seen one Pastoral map that supports that position. Even if the Eastern side isn't part of that Station they may have input anyway as there is cattle grazing on the other side and anything affecting water quality would be of interest to them. I first heard of people going to Lake Woods back in the mid 70's for water skiing but it was only on our first camping stop 5 years ago at this site that I realised where they were actually going to. I believe that this possibly has still continued each Easter and a sign at the Northern end of the camping zone testifies to this.

It would be good though if it were reopened with locals involved with more grading of the access and even more toilets and a possible smoko van type operation to provide some basics. We would happily pay, but as I mentioned before the Cane Toad issue may result in a lot of deaths of Pelicans etc and that would not be a good for the health of the waterway.

Any increase in facilities though would have to be with consideration of potential flooding. It certainly doesn't happen very often, but would be during Northern Wet Seasons. The last I know of was during the 74/75 one but it was a big one. This may be why there is only the one set of BBQ's, water tank and toilet and on high ground. This stretch of water and Lake Woods is fed from Newcastle Creek which is crossed by the Stuart Hwy a bit further North. In that flood the Stuart Hwy was closed for some time and resulted in the construction of the high level George Redmond Crossing now used. It was so bad that any road traffic could only access Darwin via the Tablelands and Carpentaria Highways. As they were narrow bitumen and it was feared that they may become more water affected and possibly being blocked if any trucks got bogged they became alternating one way roads for a while. One day open one direction then closed for a day to clear traffic then opened the other way. No passing was allowed. There was apparently some limited use of a makeshift ferry at the flooded Stuart Hwy section for small vehicles or just people. We had some staff that had to get them, their vehicles and materials between 2 work sites not far from either side of the flooded section and they had to travel from Daly Waters all the way around the Carpentaria, Tablelands and Barkly Hwy's then up the Stuart Hwy.
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Reply By: Meridith D - Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 18:39

Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 18:39
I'd happilt pay $10pn to stay there!
AnswerID: 612929

Follow Up By: Rober B - Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 18:45

Monday, Aug 07, 2017 at 18:45
I would pay $20 a night was a great spot
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FollowupID: 883286

Reply By: braincell - Tuesday, Aug 08, 2017 at 15:36

Tuesday, Aug 08, 2017 at 15:36
Think that's the answer ,make people pay if they can't do the right thing .I happily pay 10 or dollars a night if it's a good camp ,some tight people wont though and insist trying to do there whole trip free camping .

AnswerID: 612943

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