Desert Passes

Submitted: Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 18:39
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Do l require to purchase a Desert Pass to visit Innamincka and do l have to pay to camp out at Cullyamurra Waterhole?

Thank you.
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 18:54

Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 18:54
Innamincka itself isn't part of the park so you dont need a pass to visit Innamincka but the surroundings is a different matter. Cullyamurra is part of the park and you would need a pass and is listed as a pay campsite
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 20:15

Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 20:15
Culyamurra waterhole requires a Parks pass. You can book and pay at the Trading post for one or more nights, as you need.
There are other camps along the river within the Innamincka "town common" (not in the Park) that are $5 per night (from memory) via honesty box.
I would not visit that area though without spending a few nights out at Coongie Lakes. That is also in the Park.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: GaryT53 - Monday, May 28, 2018 at 08:33

Monday, May 28, 2018 at 08:33
Hi Peter,
What is the road [track] like out to Coongie?


Thank you,
Gary
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, May 28, 2018 at 09:31

Monday, May 28, 2018 at 09:31
We were there last in August '17. Not a problem, but there were some sections of quite bad corrugations and the best camping areas (in our view) are over one dune although all sorts of vehicles were getting over that without difficulty.
It is not so far, so just take it slowly with reduced tyre pressures.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: GaryT53 - Monday, May 28, 2018 at 11:26

Monday, May 28, 2018 at 11:26
What amount of time would l need to drive the 100-ish km out there?
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Follow Up By: Member - DOZER - Monday, May 28, 2018 at 13:00

Monday, May 28, 2018 at 13:00
2 hours tops, the common was overgrown and nowhere near the river last year (dry bed) but congee never lets you down....
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 18:21

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 18:21
Did the drive to the lake last week , 2 hours max , road was in reasonable condition .
Great camps around the lake well worth the drive .
Cheers
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Reply By: Candace S. - Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 20:20

Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 20:20
From the Nat'l Parks SA site:

"It is mandatory to have a Desert Parks Pass if you are visiting Simpson Desert Conservation Park or traveling east of Dalhousie Springs in Witjira National Park. For any of the other desert parks below, you can choose to purchase a Desert Park Pass or purchase individual vehicle entry and camping as you go."

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 21:49

Sunday, May 27, 2018 at 21:49
Hi Gary

As the others have said, no you do not need a Desert Parks to see and stay at Innamincka , but yes for Cullyamura.

One great place you have not mentioned is the famous Dig Tree, but over the border in Queensland. There is a $10 entry fee payable at the honesty box, but this also includes your camping fee weather it be for 1 day or 1 week.

You have a few kilometres of Cooper Creek frontage to choose from, so you will be well away from other campers.

Have a great trip.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Cheryl & Ian (NSW) - Monday, May 28, 2018 at 09:17

Monday, May 28, 2018 at 09:17
I have to agree with Stephen, the Dig Tree is well worth a visit. Plenty of spots by the creek to camp and the local ranger gives a good talk on the history of the tree. Learn't a lot from him and it wasn't just the vanilla version that I remember of Burke and Wills from my school days.

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Reply By: ChrisVal7 - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 04:07

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 04:07
Bear in mind that SA National Parks now require the camping permit if you are camping out at Cullyamurra Waterhole, but if you are approaching from the East (that is from Thargomindah) you will need to apply for the permit online. Cullyamurra is too far from Innamincka to first drive in there, pay for your pass and drive back out to the Waterhole. And that requires you to know the exact dates of arrival and camping. A silly system and one they didn’t 5hink through properly.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 09:22

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 09:22
Between the Cullyamurra turn off and Innamincka is 6km.
It is another 7 km to the river.

Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: dean ( SA ) - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 16:14

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 16:14
$10 to enter and $12 per night to camp at Cullyamurra.
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Reply By: Candace S. - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 19:23

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 19:23
I'm headed that way soon. Sounds like I can pay any needed fees in Innamincka, is that correct?

If so, maybe I should avoid making campsite bookings, etc. online, and just wait until I reach Innamincka. But will it be possible to book campsites on such short notice?

My must-do's in the area include the Coongie Lakes, and the Dig tree.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 19:57

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 19:57
Hi Candace

There is great camping in the Common at Innamincka at only $5 per night, with large flat areas right on the Cooper Creek.

Its the same for the Dig Tree, which is only just across the border in Queensland.

All they charge is $10 entry fee and that cover you camping costs.

Both of the above does not require any Desert Parks Pass and as one local told me, why give the Government you dollars when all money collect at the Common goes back into the Innamincka Progress Association and supports local events.



Cheers



Stephen






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Follow Up By: dean ( SA ) - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 21:23

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 21:23
That's correct, park fees can be paid there and unless it's school holidays you reckon you'd be ok.
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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 10:26

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 10:26
Are there any school holidays coming up ib the first half of June? :)

Stephen--good point about spending locally. :) But, I still need to pay the vehicle entry fee to Innamincka and Coongie Lakes. Plus camping fees if I camp at Coongie Lakes.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 14:18

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 14:18
Hi Candace

No school holidays until July, so you will be lucky.

For the settlement of Innamincka, it is a public town, so no you do not have to pay any money to the National Parks for staying in the Common, getting fuel, having a great meal at the pub or purchasing supplies at The Trading Post.

If you want to visit other places around Innamincka, then yes you will have to purchase your permit at The Trading Post, with the same as visiting Coongie Lakes.

The Did Tree is just over the border, and is not part of the SA National Parks, but you do need to pay at the honesty box there.



Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Trouper (NSW) - Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 14:53

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 14:53
Cullyamurra is quit a large area along the length of the waterhole. I'd be surprised if you couldn't find a nice spot. But I'd go the common, as someone said 'why give it to the Govt"
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Follow Up By: ChrisVal7 - Friday, Jun 01, 2018 at 07:25

Friday, Jun 01, 2018 at 07:25
As Peter_n_Margaret show above, it is quite a way from Innamincka out to Cullyamurra, and so people coming from the East may be tempted to simply not pay, rather than drive the extra kms. I don’t think Peter is suggesting it is a long way- that is my own interpretation!

But as for reasons to stay at the Common, each of the several times we have been there, always at peak season I admit, it has been crowded, whereas Cullyamurra has been scenic and peacefully quiet. Cullyamurra is my pick of the places to stay. If however what you are after is socialising and a good time, then the Common is a great spot to stay.

What I think would help is for the SA Government to allow online booking for a period, rather than a specific set of dates. As in book for “four days in the month of June” rather than “16 to 19 June”.
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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Friday, Jun 01, 2018 at 20:37

Friday, Jun 01, 2018 at 20:37
No, they need to simply allow people to occupy an open site, then pay by putting some cash in an envelope and dropping that into a secure container. :)

Nat'l Parks SA states they have Rangers patrolling, who can issue fines on the spot if you didn't pay your entry fee or book your campsite online. If they are out there regularly doing that, seems like they could just as easily be collecting the cash, etc. JMHO :)
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Jun 02, 2018 at 20:28

Saturday, Jun 02, 2018 at 20:28
Yes Candace, How easy was that old system. I guess the online system gets all the money electronically and no cash handling by others lower in the chain and a bonus when you pay and fail to turn up. Michael
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Follow Up By: Nacho - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 13:18

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 13:18
Or they they don't get anything. We recently camped in SA...plenty of people camped in the park but know one was booked in. According to online booking, every site was available. The guy at Salt Creek roadhouse is not happy as he knows plenty free camp in the park knowing there aren't any rangers to check.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Jun 09, 2018 at 08:30

Saturday, Jun 09, 2018 at 08:30
My hunch is the arithmetic says it's financially a lot better not to have the ranger. There's a bucket load of camp fees required to pay a ranger's wage, so much that it would probably always be running at a loss. Make it only online and anything that does come in from honest people is profit. Then get the fewer rangers who's job priority is maintenance not collecting fees, to book a few illegals, and you get more profit. Factor in people not going to the park because they don't like the system, and you have less maintenance to worry about as well.
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