Giles Weather Station Tours - a question for you

Submitted: Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:24
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What time would suit you for tours? I recently posted about staffing changes and possible closure of the Weather Station tours (sorry i can't find the thread). In negotiations to try and get something happening after the changes late October, two possible tour times have been suggested. What would suit GCR travellers better - 11 am or 4 pm? I hope that they can get something going - the tour was the highlight of our GCR trip. Camping area at the Warakurna Roadhouse is acceptable.

Discussion welcomed on this thread.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:35

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:35
Hi Motherhen, 4pm has the advantage of toward the end of the day whereas 11am places it in the middle of the day requiring cooling the heels waiting through the morning or reducing the travel time left available after the tour.

Yes, Warakurna Roadhouse camping facilities are OK. Good kitchen and acceptable amenity block.

Would be a pity if the Met Station tours ceased.

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:40

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:40
Thanks for kicking this off so quickly Allan. 11 am was the suggestion the powers-that-be made but the Senior Meteorologist suggested 4 pm for that reason.

My personal thoughts were that I'd rather wait until 11 am that risk being late when the travel times on that road can be so variable - especially if coming through the NT section.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 11:48

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 11:48
Yes, good point about the uncertainty of arrival time MH. Anyway, 11am is an easy start and the Aboriginal Art Gallery is now open again in the roadhouse to kill some time. And of course viewing Len's grader and.... is The Shoe still there for photos?
Can I change my vote please?

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 15:27

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 15:27
Note that this all changes since my realisation that those times are SA times.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 16:27

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 16:27
Errr, I'm missing the point MH. How does that change it?

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 16:33

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 16:33
Hi Allan - when thinking of 4 pm or 11 am - the afternoon may have been a better option as near the end of the day, and 11 am a long wait - but when in WA time 9:30 am is not much of a wait and probably more desirable to most than a 2:30 start. In may depend on direction of travel as to how one's body clock is running (NT/SA or WA time).

Mh

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 17:45

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 17:45
Ah, I see. I never seem to have an issue with "body clock" or jet-lag etc. I seem to instinctively adapt to local time, perhaps as a consequence of irregular working times. But I guess you farmers are geared to the sun-clock. lol

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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:48

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:48
I have now found the previous thread Giles Weather Station Tours may cease

Mh
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:52

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:52
Hi MH,

Do you know how long the tour lasts? For some, time to prepare meals, have a shower etc might be an issue and therefor may effect convenient times. I guess it's going to be like an umpire's descision at the footy, half the crowd will cheer, the other half might not be quite so happy (;-)). I guess it depends on what time you arrive.

Oh by the way, thank you very much for your extremely informative blog (if that's the right term).

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 12:54

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 12:54
Thanks Pop :)

If the new tours get approved, they will not coincide with the weather balloon release and that was a big part of the tour. I recall we were there for an hour or two, but that involved see the balloon, all the readings done at that time, and how they are processed and sent to Adelaide. All very informative and the staff member took a lot of his time explaining it all to us.

Mh
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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 13:15

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 13:15
Hi Motherhen, after reading the other responses I think the 11am time probably has
more merit. We hope to travel the GCR next year & had this tour down as a must do.
We will follow the result closely. cheers....oldbaz.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 14:05

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 14:05
I had a thought after posting that as Giles runs on SA times - that they are probably the times being quoted. On checking that is so hence on WA time the possible morning tour would be WA time 9:30 am, with the later suggested time being 2:30 pm. This changes the whole concept.

Mh
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Reply By: Member - Hugh D (WA) - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 14:31

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 14:31
Thanks for the thread.

I am planning to go via GCR to Cape York in 2014 so very interested in the tour times.

keep the news flowing.
Camper.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 14:39

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 14:39
Hi Hugh

As per the earlier thread, staffing changes were looking like stopping the tours altogether, however there are people working on getting something happening but it is not guaranteed.

I hope it all comes off but it won't be the same as the attention we got.

Mh
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 15:39

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 15:39
Hmmmmm....just wondering if they would be interested in a "camp host". Maybe on a rotating basis. Not paid only somewhere to park the van and maybe water and power supplied. Tours conducted every second day or so. That way the hosts could have a bit of time to tour around the area and the staff would only have to worry about the important stuff.

Just a thought (:-))

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 15:51

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 15:51
Good lateral thinking Pop, but it is not a place many travellers would want to spend much time in. Even the BOM staff are seconded on 6 monthly rotations to ensure staff there. With all the Occ Health and Safety stuff these days, the training would probably take longer than the people would want to stay.

Mh
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Reply By: Shaker - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 16:16

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 16:16
Having previously done the tour, 11.00am would be preferable.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 16:19

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 16:19
Thanks Shaker - note my realisation that it is 11 am SA time so 9:30 WA time, which makes the morning time more desirable.

Mh
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Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 16:29

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 16:29
Hi Motherhen,

I've been out of touch for a while so didn't see your original thread. It would be very disappointing for the tours to end. Like you it was a highlight of our trip.

Re times: if you really want to do the tour then you'll do it when it is but probably 11.00 is good but only because of the unpredictability of getting there on time. To not see the balloon go up and the readings taken would be a shame.

Another thing to consider is that permits require you to get through within 3 days if I understand the rules correctly. We found this a pain because we would like to have spent more time on the GCR. I just loved it.

Min
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 13:31

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 13:31
Hi Min

Regarding the unrealistic time frame for travellers, who cannot be certain of the exact dates when applying, i recall the previous proprietors of the Tjukayirla roadhouse who were members here setting up a fax in system from the roadhouse to adjust dates. I i hope it is being continued by the present proprietors. Similar could already be done from Yulara, but in both cases it is required to be within the office opening times of the Ngaanyatjarra Office in Alice Springs. Ngaanyatjarra would not consider a longer time frame than the three days. Central Lands Council are far more realistic for the short Northern Territory side; the travel window can be as long as two weeks.

Mh
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Reply By: Happy Frank - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 20:24

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 20:24
We did the morning tour, I think it was 11 am WA time. We saw the balloon release and then had lunch at the roadhouse, did some washing and traveled to a bush camp between Docker and Ayers Rock, so the morning tour was ideal for us, and well worth it.
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Reply By: wizzer73 - Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 12:05

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 12:05
I would vote for a morning tour. It wolud be a shame if there was no balloon release on the tour. This tour really was the only reason to overnight it in Warakurna.

wizzer
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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 12:25

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 12:25
Thanks for all the feedback. It won't coincide with the balloon release, which was a big feature of the tour we had.

Mh
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 13:49

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 13:49
hi motherhen
i was last there in july 1987 the blue streak rocket bits and the grader was there and you could get fuel but no balloon releases or tours by bom staff to give details there was a wet canteen there called 'gafa' (but i wont mention on here what that stood for) where we had a few tinnies one night but no art gallery either
we made camp just west of giles as it wasnt permitted to stay in giles itself and it wasnt safe to do so
petrol sniffing was a big problem at that stage which we saw evidence of
the 11am time frame sounds ok to me after all one has to have a lunch break and that can be included to suit some but not others
just my two bobs worth
cheers barry
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 15:26

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 15:26
Hi Mazcan

With 11 am being SA time, that comes to 9:30 am WA time. It depends on which direction you are travelling as to when lunch time might be be.

Mh

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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 19:11

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 19:11
hi motherhen
yes i did realise the time zone diffs but anyway my lunch time is any time and /or when i get hungary same for morning or afternoon breaks its what ever suits or fits the daily movements
never been one for set schedules or regulated stops my home is where i hang my hat on the day so to speak
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