Flinders Ranges and Outback Visitor Guide : Flinders Ranges and Outback Visitor Guide
flindersoutback.com 69 Mutonia Sculpture Park is situated at Alberrie Creek, 30 kilometres west of Marree. Mechanic turned artist, Robin Cooke has used recycled air craft and car bodies to create entertaining sculptures, such as 'Plane Henge', 'Dream Catcher', 'Spinning Car' and 'Time Tree'. Lake Eyre rarely fills but frequently receives water from a massive inland catchment that incorporates one sixth of Australia's landmass. The Lake Eyre Basin covers around 1,170,000 square kilometres of arid and semi-arid Australia, and is the world's largest inland drainage system. Flows in the basin are highly variable and unpredictable. Just before William Creek, experienced and well-prepared four- wheel drivers can turn on to a 67 kilometre track to Halligan Bay for a viewing spot on the edge of the salt lake. The Overland Telegraph Line was constructed in 1872. You can still see the remains of the stone repeater stations at The Peake and Strangways ruins, 110 kilometres north and 40 kilometres south of William Creek respectively. These were two of 11 repeater stations along the line between Adelaide and Darwin. The now abandoned Old Ghan Railway line was constructed during 1884--1891 from Marree to Oodnadatta. At 16 kilometre intervals you will see ruins of the many fettler cottages, some, such as Margaret and Beresford sidings just near Coward Springs and two buildings at Coward Springs, have been stabilised for viewing. Before European contact, the track now known as the Oodnadatta Track was a well-trodden trading route for Aboriginal people, interconnecting with other routes through Outback Australia to coastal areas. Precious permanent spring water along this route provided for traditional owners for thousands of years. Useful information on Lake Eyre National Park Just 57 kilometres away, William Creek is the closest settlement to the Lake Eyre shoreline. Lake Eyre National Park is a massive 8430 square kilometres and rarely floods but when it does, following exceptionally heavy rainfall in far eastern Queensland, it's a magnificent sight and attracts thousands of visitors. Flood waters travel down the Diamantina, through Goyder Lagoon and the Warburton, to fill Lake Eyre North before it overflows into Lake Eyre South. The Cooper Creek system may also flow into Lake Eyre from Innamincka if there is enough water. The sheer variety of native and international birdlife that travel thousands of kilometres to the Lake to breed is simply spectacular. In times of big rains and floods, the region attracts intense media attention due to the beauty of the phenomenon. Underlying the surface is the massive Artesian Basin, one of the world's largest aquifers. The water that squeezes to the surface in the string of springs along the Oodnadatta Track is around two million years old! Access to Lake Eyre National Park is by a seldom-maintained 4WD public access route, and you'll need a Desert Parks Pass to camp. Before you enter the park, tell a family member or friend where you're going as there's no mobile phone coverage. Make sure you don't drive on the surface of the salt lake, as it's fragile and needs to be treated with care. If you really want to venture out on the surface, do it on foot. Alternatively, charter a flight to see the massive Lake Eyre, only 15 minutes away from local townships by air. Experience Lake Eyre and the Anna Creek Painted Hills! WRIGHTSAIR SCENIC FLIGHTS TO: • Lake Eyre • The Anna Creek Painted Hills • Marree • Simpson Desert • Innamincka • Coober Pedy • The Painted Desert • Oodnadatta • William Creek • Birdsville • Alice Springs • Ayers Rock • Mintabie • Personalised Flights are available on request. Aboriginal art tours through the APY Lands. 'A division of Freycinet Air' Information and bookings Ph/Fax: (08) 8670 7962 Mob: 0433 767 727 Email: email@example.com www.wrightsair.com.au WRIGHTSAIR A dingo-proof fence existed as early as the 1930s in South Australia as the result of a government-sponsored initiative to create vermin-proof fenced areas to protect sheep from dingoes. In 1946, the cross-border Dingo Fence was completed and managed under a single authority. You'll come across this fence 40 kilometres west of Marree at Poole Creek. William Creek 210 kilometres from Marree map reference D4, page 9 With a population of 10, William Creek is a tiny Outback town, found on the world's largest cattle station -- the 32,500 square kilometre Anna Creek Station, which is part of the Sidney Kidman & Co empire. Located at the halfway point between Oodnadatta and Marree, the town now has its own power supply, as well as ensuited units. Every April, the town hosts the dusty fun of the William Creek Races. Attractions The timber and corrugated iron William Creek Hotel, built in 1887, is like a giant visitor's book. Over the years it has been adorned with business cards and hand-scrawled notes. The William Creek Progress Association has set up a small collection of rocket memorabilia from the Woomera Rocket Range. There's also a new bitumen runway, with scenic flights travelling between Lake Eyre and the Painted Hills. Visitors can take a walk along the Old Ghan Railway line to the Bridge at Breakfast Time Creek, which is about a 15 minute walk from the William Creek Hotel.
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