Latest Cooper Creek Pictures

Hi All
I hope everyone has had a great long weekend, because I sure did. I posted a Members Gathering on the banks of the Cooper Creek and was joined by Greendog and Ruth D. As it is late and I am still unpacking here are a couple of pictures before I get time to write up my blog.

My only advise for any person who wants to see one of the most spectacular sights of the Cooper over the Birdsville Track is put your plans into action. Our only regrets is that we only spent 3 nights on the Cooper, as we could have spent a week or even longer.

Also to the people who posted replies to my earlier posts, sorry that I have not replied, but we were up there with the action.

Please feel free again to ask any further question, but do yourself the biggest favour and get up there yourself and you will see why we were left for words.

Cheers to All

Stephen

PS:::Happy Anniversary Ian and Ruth

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Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 23:37

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 23:37
Wow, great shots Stephen; you're a lucky B I have to say.

I am too far organised with my CSR and desert tracks trip to rejig but I'd love to see the Cooper as well. What a p. of a life we lead!

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 23:48

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 23:48
Hi John
All I can say is you can do the Canning any time, but this event is a one in twenty year event and you will not be able to come back next tourist season to do it. It would be well worth the visit, as the Cooper is running fast and is no where near its peak, with it expecting to rise well over another metre higher. There is more water than the 1990 floods and even the ferry operators are expecting it to run for at least 8 months, if not longer.

Make your trip over to see this unreal event of nature and you to will be lost for words when you see the sheer volume of water, that is stretching as far as the eye can see.


Cheers


Stephen

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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 23:57

Monday, Jun 14, 2010 at 23:57
Thks Stephen but I'm commited to the CSR as I've sponsored a small gathering.

And, two weeks after we come back, we're booked on flights to northern Europe for a month. However, instead of our annual Novemberish WA Goldfields trip, we could flash across around then if it's all still happening.

If so I'll be in touch for advices.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 00:03

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 00:03
Hi John
Yes I can see why. If you have time in November, it will be well worth the trip over and should still be running quite well.


Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 00:19

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 00:19
Oh to be retired!!!!!!!!!!! Lucky B's

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Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 00:52

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 00:52
I can see where you're coming from Dunc, but, a timely caution; retirement's not as easy as it seems. It can be, psychologically speaking, very hard indeed. Very hard yards!

Don't rush it too early!! Please!!! Too many other retirees are also clogging the roads - enuff already.

And..planning is a subjective nightmare with so many options.

Just now we two were having a serious debate on whether we fit in my brother for the first half of the year May'ish 2011 in the Phillipines vs going across the top to Weipa and environs - then back thru the Alice and the Anne Beadell vs Maine USA in Spring for spouse's sister ; which then has to be built around our annual Jurien craypotting three week epic, which itself has to fit with the dark moon.....

I won't sleep again tonight.... worry worry worry.........

Don't, don't do it Dunc. Please...

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 13:54

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 13:54
Gee thanks a lot John, you have made me feel much better about stil lworking ....

NOT

:o)

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Dasher Des - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 15:11

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 15:11
I'm not retired yet and have a few more issues to deal with facing retirement. For instance, no more weekends, no more holidays, no more long service leave and no more flexi's. Won't get sick leave either so won't be able to get crook either. It's all a bit of a worry.
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Reply By: peterll - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 00:23

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 00:23
Hi Stephen,

Great pictures and even just the one I was hoping to see..how wide is the ferry. I am delivering "stuff" to the pub this week and was wondering about the max vehicle width..now I know.

Good to hear that you met Ruth and Ian on their "honeymoon" LOL

Maybe we can catch up next time as I am sure you will be up there again soon.

Peterll
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 00:43

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 00:43
Hi Peter
When we left Ian and Ruth at the ferry this morning, Ian had the two solar showers out and heating up and was going to have a shave. The lucky buggers are up there for another night before heading up to Birdsville.

You have seen it, but that volume of water is just unreal.

I hope your next trip goes through smoothly

Cheers


Stephen
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Reply By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 06:51

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 06:51
Many thanks again Stephen, those are brilliant photo's! And Happy Anniversary to Ruth and Ian! (I have swapped emails with Ruth over the years and have found her advice on all things "Desert" to be second-to-none! Unfortunately, we still haven't met face-to-face!)

I have posted a thread with a question on track conditions between Innaminka & Coober Pedy. We are altering our plans in order to head "up" to see the floods and the ferry, agreeing with you that it is a sight NOT to be missed. I'm wondering if the tracks between Cameron Cnr and the floods are passable? I have advice from the other thread to ring the Innaminka Roadhouse, and I will do this, just thought you might have an idea.
Many thanks again,

Cheers

Brian


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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 07:11

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 07:11
Hi Brian
We have personally known Ruth and Ian from the days when they ran the Caravan Park in Birdsville and they are a top couple. If you can keep a secret, I have planted the seed with Ruth regarding a members gathering around this time next year, so will have to see if Ruth goes ahead with my location.

As for the track from Cameron Corner, we met a couple that had come that way and were heading for Alice Springs. They said the road was in first class condition and the Strez was a super highway to drive. They drove over 600 kilometres in one day as the roads were in such good conditions, driving from Tibooburra via Cameron Corner and down to Copley.

Providing that you are not taking a camper and heading north up the Birdsville Track from Marree, cross the ferry and there are some top camping spots right on the Cooper (where we camped with Ruth and Ian for 2 nights).

You are in for an unreal trip, but plan for extra nights on the Cooper, it is just so unreal.


Cheers

Stephen

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Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 07:39

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 07:39
Stephen,
That is excellent news Stephen. Again, many thanks!
We are towing our c/t, and our travelling companions are towing their c/t as well, so crossing the Ferry to camp will be out. But we will make do somehow, somewhere. Depending on the traffic, our initial plan is to at least unhitch, set up, and at some stage do the ferry crossing, maybe make a day trip or something like that, then return to camp. Even if we don't get to actually make the crossing, just being there will be worth the effort!!

Cheers

Brian


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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 07:48

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 07:48
Hi Brian
There are many places where you can camp and take in the atmosphere. Make sure that you drive to both locations of the actual Birdsville Track crossings, you will not believe your eyes.

Set up camp around Lake Kopperamanna, only a short distance from the actual ferry crossing. You have to make a vehicle crossing, as this is part of the experience. Our vehicle made 4 crossings and it was a fantastic.

Make sure that you take mega photos, as I took nearly 400 photos and it so hard to pick out photos that people can comprehend to.


Regards

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 18:33

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 18:33
Again, your enthusiasm of this has excited me! I'm countin' the hours till we're outta here!


Cheers

Brian
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 18:46

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 18:46
Hi Brian
Have a fantastic trip, as I know you will.


Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 07:22

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 07:22
Great pictures Stephen.

I considered joining you but 3 days was just too short a time.
I calculated a nine hour drive from Adelaide and I couldn't get the Friday off work.

Looking forward to reading your blog.


Bill.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 07:34

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 07:34
Hi Bill
We headed up on Thursday, but was still too short, but well worth the drive, our only regret not being up there longer. We just wish that we could have stayed another week or more up on the banks of the Cooper. If you can time off, it is a sight that will last with you for the rest of your life.


Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Fab72 - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 09:50

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 09:50
Stephen,
Were there many cars waiting to cross? What was the delay?

I've heard stories of a 3 day wait/line up last time it flooded back in 89/90. How accurate are these figures?

Fab.

P.S. I have a week off work in July, so guess where I'm heading!!!!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 14:13

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 14:13
Hi Fab
The second time that we used the ferry there were 6 vehicles in front of us and we had to wait an hour before it was our turn to cross. Having said that, we were talking with every one there about the flooded Cooper and the time went very quick. When we crossed back over on Monday morning, Larry the ferry operator said that he ferried 44 vehicles on the Sunday. If you do not have a camper, cross over to the other side on the ferry and there are some great spots over the other side.

Make sure that you spend the week there and check out both ends of the Birdsville Track where the Cooper has cut it, the sight of the water is unreal. It is still to rise around another metre, so it will spread out even greater, as they now claim that the body of water is over 5 kilometres wide, so it will spread out even further.

Cheers


Stephen

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Reply By: Member - John & Sally W (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 12:08

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 12:08
Hi Stephen,
Thanks for all your info and photos. We hope to get out there in a few weeks time. Hoping to find a spot to park the van and then maybe a ride on the ferry. Don't want to take up someone's spot if they need to get across though. Hopefully if we camp there for a few days we might be able to have a ride on the ferry. Missed out on seeing the water last year (John smashed his ankle) so hope to get there this time.
Thanks again
Sally and John
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 14:19

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 14:19
Hi Sally and John
It is a sight that one can not believe until they see it themselves. The last time the Cooper was like this was 20 years ago, and they claim that this body of water is even greater. You will not be wasting any time, as during the weekend, many people left their vehicles at the crossing and just went over for the ride.

Still take your vehicle over, as then you will be able to see the amount of water over the track from the northern side.

You are in for a real treat. Have a safe trip.


Cheers


Stephen
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Reply By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 13:57

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 13:57
Thanks for the photos Stephen,

I would have been there but we had relatives visiting for the weekend. We hope to get away in late July for a look.

regards

Pete
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 14:26

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 14:26
Hi Pete
It is not going to go away in a short time, so there is still many months of the Cooper in action. Make sure that you can get away, as we will never know when it will be like this again.


Cheers


Stephen
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Reply By: TerraFirma - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 14:52

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 14:52
Wow that is truly spectacular..! Thanks for the pictorial. I am doing my best at the office so I can get up there sometime.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 15:17

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 15:17
Hi TerraFirma
Those are just a fraction of the pictures that I took and is so hard to post them all. You will be in for a real treat.

Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 16:07

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 16:07
Hi Stephen, thanks yet again for the pics, only makes me more eager to get out there, going to be a while but it will still be there when we arrive. Looking forward to your blog.
Nice to put a face to Ruth & her husband, have had emails from her and looking forward to hopefully catching up with her if they are in Birdsville while the races are on.
We are expecting to be waiting a few days to cross the ferry when we get there as it will be during the exit from the races.
What do you know about the state of Walkers Crossing, I am trying to work out how we are going to get to where we want to go after Birdsville, Our friends who we are traveling with want to go to Innamincka so will do that through Cordillo Downs and if Walkers Crossing is open by then we will come through there to the Birdsville track. Don't want to miss that. The one disappointment will be not being able to get to Coongie Lakes to show our friends, one of my favourite places.

Cheers

Deanna


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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 18:58

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 18:58
Hi Deanna
Like I have said many times now, you will have a ball. Ruth and Ian are fantastic people and if you want to get on the good side of them, Ruth and Ian loves these little critters, fresh from the cooking pot.


Have a fantastic trip.


Regards

Stephen

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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 22:33

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 22:33
Hahaha, we are a little partial to them ourselves, thanks Stephen,

Cheers

Deanna


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Reply By: Black Cobra (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 16:20

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 16:20
Hi Stephen,

Great photos so maybe trying to get some time off and travel up that way maybe late July early August taking about 4 weeks off and see it in person. The last time I was there was in 2007 so it would be great to see it in flood.

Just some info if possible. I can see by the replies that taking camper trailers across is not possible due to the all up length of the combination and possibly the weight for the ferry.

As I will be coming from Perth and taking the Anne Beadell H'Way I was going to come in from the south so can you tell me what is the maximum length a vehicle can be for the ferry as I have a F250 crew cab which is just over 6 metres long, will this fit on the ferry.

The other option as I will be towing a camper trailer is to come in through the Simpson to Birdsville and then travel south down the Birdsville track, do you know if you can get all the way down to the Cooper from this end.

Any info will be appreciated.

Stewart
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 19:18

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 19:18
Hi Stewart
All I can say is you have seen it in normal times, and you will not believe what is there now. The Cooper is still rising, so you will see an even greater volume of water than what we did, which was unreal.

You will have no problems with your vehicle, as there was an OKA on the ferry on Sunday, as well as the maximum length is 7.8 metres, so you will have room to spare - just.

With you camper, the best way to arrive is from the north, as there are better camping locations right on the Cooper on the northern side. Ian and Ruth came in that way with no problems at all.

Have a great trip.


Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Member - Wayne B (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 17:58

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 17:58
Fantastic Pictures.
How many vehicles dose the Ferry take. One at a time???
Camper Trailers allowed or not???

I am thinking about going for a look. What are the conditions like approaching from Cameron Corner (NSW) and what do you recommend as the best rout to get to the Cooper from there.

Thank you
Wayne B
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 19:24

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 19:24
Hi Wayne
Yes the ferry will only take one vehicle at a time, with a maximum length of 7.8 metres.

If coming in from Cameron Corner, you have two options.

Up to Innaminka, Birdsville then down the Track to the Cooper, OR down the Strez and come out at Lyndhurst (The cheapest fuel in the area from the Hotel) then up to Marree and the southern approach to the Cooper.

Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Aussiecam - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 22:19

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 22:19
Hi Stephen,

I do believe dad and I were on the same ferry crossing as you, I thought the yellow kayak on the roof looked familiar :)

We had a fantastic time exploring round the cooper, and have some great photos as well. I would have said hello at the time had I know it was you we shared the crossing with, had been watching your posts on the Cooper for the few weeks prior to our trip with much interest.

Cheers
CAM
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 22:24

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 22:24
Hi CAM
Yes there was only one kayak on the Cooper at the ferry crossing, and it was my yellow one. I am glad that you have enjoyed my posts, and like you the best part was getting out there and seeing it in the flesh.

It is one sight that I will never forget.

Regards

Stephen
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Reply By: Member - GREENDOG - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 22:44

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010 at 22:44
Hi Stephen thanks for the pic's mate and it was great to catch up with you and Fiona hope you enjoyed our company by the fire on friday night.cheers GREENDOGImage Could Not Be Found
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010 at 07:50

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010 at 07:50
Hi Pete
It was great to catch up with you and Tony and hope you had a good trip back home. We shifted camp and spent 2 nights with Ruth and Ian over the other side of the Cooper. Do you know who this silly bugger is??? LOL For those that do not know, it was taken only about 200 metres from the edge of the track, showing just how deep the was is.

Cheers

Stephen

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Reply By: Members Pa & Ma. - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010 at 14:19

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010 at 14:19
Thanks for the beautiful pictures Stephen,
My grand parents used to mannage cattle stations along the Cooper and Diamantina Rivers back int the 1800s. We've visited some of the stations and used to take a gift to Ian and Ruth at the Birdsville caravan Park.
It's been ages since we've been that way and we're still at work.
There has been several flood and rain events in the N.T. this year too which we would have loved to have been able to drop tools and go. Not so, too busy digging potatoes and now we're to busy grading and packing them.
The Desert areas will be the most beautiful you could ever wish to see them at present.
We have backpackers working on the farm where we work(legal ones) & as they left for The Alice and Darwin we told them just that, as we turned green with envy.
Our holz come up late Aug. Plans are already set and permits obtained for west of the Alice.
So your photos have been the next best thing , Well done and thanks heaps.
Take care, safe travels.
Best wishes, Ma,
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010 at 19:20

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010 at 19:20
Hi Ma
I hope have a great trip to the west of Alice, as it is great country out that way. I have started writing my blog for the weekend, so there will be more interesting pictures and a more detailed write up, which should be ready to put up shortly.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Friday, Jun 18, 2010 at 14:48

Friday, Jun 18, 2010 at 14:48
Well, well, Ma - isn't it interesting who pops up on here! Just got back at 5:00 am today after an 18 hour rushed trip back east for family reasons. Check out my Profile as my private email is on there. Catch up with all the news!
Ruth and Ian
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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Monday, Jun 21, 2010 at 13:07

Monday, Jun 21, 2010 at 13:07
Hi Stephen'
My day off today.
Now we're torn between the two! We could take a bit of long service & do both.
It's a long way though, between the two sides.
We"d like to see the Diamantina Lakes area after all the rain, We visited the station homestead because my grandparents worked there in the 1800s.
We didn't get out to the Lakes though.
We've crossed the Simpson three times and are at present thinking of another short way around. We don't want to go back to the Alice via the Plenty highway because we use to live on a place there & we've travelled it many times. My job on my days off now will be to have a good look at the maps.
Hubby is suffering a bit with his CLL. at present and may soon not be able to go way out bush in the tent, so we'd like to do them both.
We're doing the SBJ then down to Blackstone and that has to be this year because of hubby's health.
Any Ideas on the best way to achieve both without so much travelling time or going back over where we've been before?
Keep up the good work with your pictures etc.
Take care, safe travels.
Kind regards, Ma.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Jun 21, 2010 at 14:02

Monday, Jun 21, 2010 at 14:02
Hi Ma
The Sandy Blight Junction track is a very good drive indeed. I have been planning yet another Great Victoria Desert Trip for over 12 months, but after seeing all that water up there, we will put it in the next years trip to do and are heading back up for a longer stay. We will also include a trip over the Simpson, even though we have travelled it many times.
It will be very interesting in the difference in water levels, as when we went to the Cooper in June, it had only crossed the Birdsville Track for little over 9 days, with the expected levels to rise at that stage well over another metre higher.

Where ever you do get to, have a great trip.

Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Members Pa & Ma. - Monday, Jun 21, 2010 at 13:47

Monday, Jun 21, 2010 at 13:47
Hi Ruth D,
Yes it is amazing,
I loved Stephen's photos and you both looked well.
I used to like Yabbies bought after they were cooked, I can't throw them live into boiling water.
Can you hit them on the head first or something!?
Take care, safe travels.
With best wishes Ma.
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