Delays at Cooper Creek Ferry

Hi All

Heading towards Birdsville in about 10 days, before crossing the Simpson and onwards to the Canning Stock Route.
I agree with all that experiencing Cooper Creek in flood and using the ferry is not to be missed, but can anyone advise what sort of delays are being encountered at the ferry?


Tom H
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michael - Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 at 13:26

Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 at 13:26
Hi Thomas,

I have actually just gotten off the phone with Bronwyn from the Birsdville Roadhouse. She advised that the delay was very minimal (if any) and not worth worrying about. I dont know how much will change in 10 days, but at the moment it is a non-issue.

Hope this helps.

AnswerID: 421183

Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Friday, Jun 18, 2010 at 14:07

Friday, Jun 18, 2010 at 14:07
Michael, I spent the last two days in Birdsville and made sure that everyone in business there knew that the delays were very short and a wonderful adventure. As Stephen may have mentioned a number of people arrived at the southern and northern sides for a look - we encouraged them to cross the ferry and go to Marree for a night or an afternoon or if coming from the south to go to Mungeranie or Birdsville for the night or two and a good look around.
Something to mention about going up to Birdsville is the 11klms of water in the Moongera Channels - like driving around the Great Ocean Road - spectacular. Bronwyn was pleased to get my information because she'd been hearing negative stuff - and the small business people either end of the Track do not need negativity they need positive action.
FollowupID: 691627

Reply By: Member - colin M (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 at 13:28

Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 at 13:28
Suggest you read the latest Exploroz newsletter 208 for great photos and information
AnswerID: 421184

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 at 14:26

Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 at 14:26
Hi Thomas
The ferry crossing takes around 8 minutes, but the biggest timing is when you will be there????????

The first time we crossed from the southern side it was only about a 20 minute wait, as most people are making the crossing from the southern side.

The trip back over from the northern side was only less than 10 minutes.

The second time we crossed from the southern side it was around an hours wait, as there were 6 vehicles in front of us.

There are some big events up there within the next months, eg Lake Eyre Yacht Club Regatta, The West End Outback Odyssey and school holidays, which they are expecting big crowds.

On the Sunday of the long weekend, the ferry ferried the largest number of vehicle in 1 day, 44 vehicles and the operators did not have time to scratch themselves.

Outside if these times, it will be minimal. Do not be fooled by the number of cars when you get there, as there are a lot of vehicles that were just driving out to the site, just to see the ferry. The picture below shows such a crowd, with only 2 vehicles actually wanting to cross over.



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AnswerID: 421192

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 at 16:27

Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 at 16:27
From memory when we crossed in 1990 it took approximately 2 hours from when we arrived at the ferry crossing till our group of five vehicles were all across. At the time there was only one vehicle ahead of us heading south and about five or six heading north.
As was discussed in an earlier thread in 1990 there were probably 24 vehicles a day crossing, now in 2010 there could be more than that in an hour in peak periods. Personally I don't think you would want to be there in school holidays or as Steven said when there are local events on. It could quite possibly extend to day(s) if heaps turn up.
AnswerID: 421206

Reply By: Member - Rod D (VIC) - Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 at 21:20

Thursday, Jun 17, 2010 at 21:20
Last Saturday it took us about an hour and a half to get over from the south side.
Didnt really notice how long the wait was as we were chatting with others waiting for the ferry.

On Sunday morning crossing from the northern side we were lucky and arrived at the ferry just as another car was coming off and drove straight on.

Definitely an experience not to be missed if you get the chance.

AnswerID: 421247

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jun 18, 2010 at 14:00

Friday, Jun 18, 2010 at 14:00
Hi Rod
Yes indeed it was a sight to see. You should have dropped in for a chat with Ian and Ruth.

Trust you arrived home at a good time, seeing the distance you had to come. It was great to have a chat with you.

All the Best.


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Follow Up By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Friday, Jun 18, 2010 at 14:09

Friday, Jun 18, 2010 at 14:09
Yes Rod, we watched you come over and fully expected you to turn up for coffee, tea, rum or beer (even red wine) - would love to have met you.
Next time.
FollowupID: 691629

Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Friday, Jun 18, 2010 at 14:03

Friday, Jun 18, 2010 at 14:03
Thomas, I arrived back at 5:00 am this morning from spending a week waiting and watching - I have not checked Stephen L.'s stories and pictures yet but we camped together for a few days.
It is very important that MISINFORMATION not be put about = there is quite enough. As for the ferry - it was FANTASTIC! Those men on the ferry are doing a wonderful job - they go from daybreak to dark and if they can see the other side of the water then they will take you over or come and get you - their biggest restriction is Work Place Health and Safety compliance - and they are interesting and obliging.
If you have to wait 20 minutes at the ferry - so what - you are all on holidays and would normally stand around a camp site chatting to everyone else (well I hope would hope you did) about where they were going and so on. Do not believe the 'naysayers' (and there are a few around believe me) - it is the best fun. I was camped there for nearly a week - and watched what was happening.
VERY IMPORTANT - if you do happen to be at the ferry about lunchtime - would you spare a thought for the men on the ferry who get so busy they can't get back to camp so they really appreciate a sandwich and even just a cup of hot tea (black and sugar please).
Remember, you are on holidays - enjoy it all and take it in your stride. Happy travels to you all.
AnswerID: 421301

Reply By: Member - Thomas H (VIC) - Friday, Jun 18, 2010 at 19:27

Friday, Jun 18, 2010 at 19:27
Thanks for the responses. It could obviously get a bit busier over the next week or so, but it doesn't look to be an issue.
Appreciate the guys are working hard, and I'm more than happy to wait, was just seeking reassurance that it wouldn't be a 3 day wait!


AnswerID: 421345

Reply By: bushman401 - Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 09:26

Saturday, Jun 19, 2010 at 09:26
Hi Tom,
The delays are very minimal i have just read what others have said its all true just enjoy the experience. Ruth is very kind in what she said about the operators.
Ruth does very nice sandwiches i know as i was the first ferry master this time and i know Stephen enjoyed the paddle he had also.
AnswerID: 421392

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