Sunday Drive out of Birdsville

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 08:07
ThreadID: 66455 Views:2891 Replies:8 FollowUps:12
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Went north on Sunday on the road to Bedourie, specifically to see the water in Lake Machattie. When you drive north under normal conditions you would notice a sign saying Bedourie (via Lake Machattie) but not many people take that road just for the drive - we didn't have a choice, as you will see in the first photo. There had been storms around last week to the north and the evidence on the road (mud puddles) and water still lying in the paddock - very patchy though.
Ian had been up there and warned me about how much water was there - I have to say I was totally blown away by the amount. I have seen water in the Lake previously but enough to say there's water there. No this incredible inland sea. Whilst standing on the eastern edge looking to the west, for some reason I made the comment to Ian, that if Christopher Columbus was sailing west he would surely think he would drop off he edge of the known universe!
Part way between Birdsville and Bedourie is the Cutaburra - usually a good spot amongst the lignum to stop and admire the water in Eyre Creek and the birdlife - this photo shows you:

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Between the No 3 Bore (smoko stop) and Cluny Airstrip - which is as far as you can go - the Airstrip is almost surrounded by water and separated from the homestead I found the next photograph just waiting for me. Interestingly the emus were feeding in the water. Check out the red dune which is completely covered in vegetation :

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We were at the Lake by sun up - as later in the day the light changes and heat rises and it is hard to tell what is dune sand, flat country or coffee coloured water and driving back south around 11:00 am a lot of the country we saw coming up was under mirage. Some of the pilots are talking about flying over the water in the middle of the day and the difficulty they have with land and water - sounds bizarre doesn't it?

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For those who aren't too bored with flood stories - the Diamantina River is having it's fourth rise - began rising here yesterday so we will be cut off again from the south in a few days.
We are cut off from the east as the Cooper is flooded at Windorah, the north because of Eyre Creek at Bedourie and the west because of Eyre Creek (River!). We did see a TOURIST yesterday - a Landrover Extreme with a T-van, gosh it was exciting. Still haven't had a fuel delivery tho and Jet-A and Av-gas in very short supply - plenty of diesel for the power house. Weather has been very hot but a cool change due tonight (probably after a dust storm). No fish yet, still too much water.
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Reply By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 08:37

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 08:37
Great pics Ruth...... LOVE the one of the emu's! Would love to be out there to see it in person.....

Cheers

Brian
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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 07:20

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 07:20
Brian, when we first saw the emus they were actually feeding in the water - we went past and continuned on when we came back I just had to take the photos - hiding behind the back of the car and using telephoto. You don't usually get them to pose so well or stay still for so long!
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 08:49

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 08:49
Hi Ruth and Ian
Great read and the photos are great. The country will look unreal when all that water subsides. Keep your great photos coming.

Best Regards

Stephen and Fiona
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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 07:26

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 07:26
Hello you two, on the drive up we couldn't get over the feed on Roseberth - they had heaps of rain before the flood - it was the run off from their rain which caused the first flood (mostly). The grasses and vegetation are beautiful - in the spinifex country the seed on the top of the strands is thick and heavy. The cattle we did see look shiny and fat and lots of little calves. Very nice to see as most of the properties have been heavily de-stocked.
The fourth flood rose quickly yesterday and will be over the dip in the road just before the bridge today - looks like we'll be going for our Sunday drive this week in the boat. Hmmmm, might have to go south to Pandie Pandie (via the river) - just for something different.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 07:33

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 07:33
We've been having 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45 (yesterday) but the weather chart told me a trough was coming through last night. So this meant a dust storm first - well we watched it coming for about two hours last night and it hit at 7:30 pm - it's still blowing dust and can't see much across the road but at least the temp has changed - 25 now (quite nice). Poor Ian has been painting the window sills - luckily the paint had dried enough because all sills and around doorways are grainy red now! This storm is quite high - mostly you can see blue sky above.
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Reply By: Robert H (SEQ) - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 09:13

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 09:13
G/day Ruth,great photo's & i am now very envious of you (being stuck out there) but them's the break's.
Hope you are all well too.
Cheers bob.
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Reply By: Robert H (SEQ) - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 09:23

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 09:23
G'day Ruth,great pic's, & now i am very envious of you being out the at this time, but not of the fact of being stranded for so long.But it show's us just how the scenery changes so much & we do not get to see it.
Enjoy it while you can & keep safe.

Cheer's Bob.
Ps is your profile signiture deliberate or accident.(downded)
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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 15:25

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 15:25
Sorry Bob, I'm a bit warped really - my signature is what one of our kids would have said if he'd seen the water!
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Follow Up By: Robert H (SEQ) - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 16:48

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 16:48
Ruth, no need to apologise, i was just curious is all & now you have explained it,all is understood.
Thanks again for the pics.
Cheers bob.
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Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 14:37

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 14:37
G'day Ruth

Great pic's - thanks for sharing with us poor unfortunates who still have road access.

Certainly a bit more water there than when we visited in July last year.

Planning a visit and a double crossing before the National Gathering at St George - hope to be in Birdsville about 10th of Sept all things going well. Will introduce myself then.

Cheers
John T (Lifetime Member)
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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 07:35

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 07:35
John, thanks for your comments. Will be looking forward to meeting you in person. How come we didn't see you in July?
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Follow Up By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 11:49

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 11:49
Morning Ruth

We were very new to the outback when we were there last year and were driving all over the place and just forgot to call in and do the intro's thing. Won't make that mistake this year. Look fwd to meeting yourself and Ian.

Cheers
John T (Lifetime Member)
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Reply By: Kirks - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 15:48

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 15:48
Hi Ruth

Love your photo's, keep them coming they are wonderfull, flew over Lake Ayre in 1985 when there was plenty of water, it was a beatifull site,I am in central Vic where we havent had rain for about 2 or 3 months, it is very bloody dry.

Thank you.
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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 07:43

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 07:43
Kirks, we don't have to have rain here - just get other people's floods. From listening to a weather expert on ABC radio the other day it looks as though Victoria is to expect completely different weather conditions for the next few years.
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Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 18:03

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2009 at 18:03
Hi Ruth, great seeing your pics, makes me want to get out there, if only we could, heay?

Looking at your pics it certainly is different to what it was when we were out that way last year.

Keep the photo's coming, I think they're great.

Cheers

Deanna


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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 07:47

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 07:47
Hello D & B! Hard to believe, isn't it? You should see the grasses in the sandhills - all colours, types - have taken some lovely photos of the spinifex in flower.
D - bit of sad news up there in your signature. Our two are turning 11 this month and we are noticing things about them - and we are thinking about a future time.
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Follow Up By: josi - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 22:08

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 22:08
Yes Ruth it was a sad day, both of the 'girls' were just over 12 yrs old, Simba had the cancer, we had to have her put down last March. and they are not sure the problem with Bonnie her sister, her system just closed down.

Cheers

Deanna
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 09:50

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 09:50
Hullo Ruthy,

how's my favourite Birdsvillite (and I an of course)?

Those temps must be harder to put up with than the flooding.

I hope the town isn't running out of beer.

cheers from the sunny West
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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 10:56

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 10:56
Hi Stephen - some beer came up the Birdsville Track early last week, dropped at Clifton Hills Station then brought by ute to the racetrack and across the flooded bridge in the Fire Truck (high clearance) for the Pub. Ian's not worried about the beer tho - he's still got 1/2 a pallet and if things get bad he'll sell it to the Pub at an enormous profit.
Really nice today - can't see out the window for the dust haze and howling SW'ly but the temp is only 25 - very pleasant.
Two of our Birdsvillians (from a property) have been disporting themselves in your part of the country for the past month and loving it. They mightn't come back!
We are ok - Ian's busy at work tidying the town. We are looking forward to Dusty getting back to open the Bakery at the end of this month - everyone needs a pie and cappuccino - been a long summer.
Wolfie's back - he's been up in your northern parts somewhere along the Gibb River for the summer rains.
You selling your Ute - what you going to show off in now?
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 12:15

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2009 at 12:15
Show off ?? Me ??

You must be thinking of someone else.

Upgrading the van (the Trakkie's on the market too) and we will use Robyn's 200 as a tow vehicle.

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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