Sunday, 13 May 2012

Oz Trip - Day 12

Day 12 – 13/5/2012 – SkyTrek

This morning was the coldest that we had had so far. The temperature dropped down to 0.7deg over night. Not the sort of temperature you want when you have to get up relatively early, again!

It was also going to be another bumpy day on the road. We were going to do the Skytrek self drive tour today from the Willow Springs Station. It use to take you to the highest point in the Flinders Rangers that you could drive too, but some greedy conservationists put an end to that (purely my take on it, you can make up your own mind). Don't get me wrong, I am all about conservation and protecting the endangered animals, but to me it looks more like a bit of a money grab than anything to do with the well-being of the yellow footed rock wallaby. You can read all about it on the Willow Springs web site http://www.skytrekwillowsprings.com.au/resources/media1202.pdf.
So now the tour is all on the Willow Springs station.

We were only able to do about half of the tour because the caretakers said that the back half of the track was so dry and the bull dust was so thick that they didn't want to risk anybody getting stuck out there. As it was we still managed to find some pretty thick patches of it. The Pajero was absolutely coated in it. It was so think on the rear tailgate I had to use a brush to try and scrape it out once we were back at camp.

The first part of the tour took you through the gorges and out to an old homestead building.



An easy part of the track

Dry creek bed
Old Moxans Hut was built around the turn of the Century and was permanently occupied by a station employee until around the 1960's. You would have really like to have been the employee that drew the short straw for this posting!

Old Moxans Hut
The mountains in the background are part of the Bunkers Conservation Park that the track no longer accesses. We weren't too worried about not getting to the Bunkers section as we had driven through the Bunkers on our way into Wilpena a few days before.


Inside Old Moxans Hut - Lavish employee accommodation
The second part of the tour was the real 4WDing part. It was rough. You could see why they specified high clearance and low range was necessary. There were some pretty steep and rocky climbs to the tops of some hills for some fantastic views and some steep and twisty descents as well! 

Us on top of the lookout to the edge of Wilpena Pound



I am not sure if the video will be accessible via the e-mail so you might have to go to the blog web page to watch it.

These were some of the best views of the Wilpena Pound that we had see from the ground.  A lot better than any of the other lookouts in the area.

The descent and track off into the distance
A video of one of the descents


After 4½ hours we finished bumping around the track. As a bit of an indication of how rough it was, Jodie doesn't get car sick, but she said that by the end of this trip she was starting to feel a bit queezy in the stomach.  I think I managed to pick up a bit more bush pin striping on the sides of the Pajero. I can't really tell at this stage because it is so dusty. I am hoping with the dust that it looks worse than it is :-).

As a bit of a treat we had some drinks and dinner at the Resort restaurant. It was a nice atmosphere sitting in the dinning room beside the wood fire. A nice way to finish a dusty day.

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