Hamilton Downs Youth Camp – (2)

May 5th 2023 – a full moon arising. It was a beautiful night, the cloud didn’t hang around for very long so the sky was lit up with moonlight & many stars.

May 14th – We have now been here 2 weeks & have managed to do a few enjoyable walks, when we have clients depending on the group we usually only do a small walk ip Drover’s Hill, bit steep but not real long, when no clients we usually go for a few hours which we have managed to do the last few days. The flies are quite big in numbers but a small branch does the trick, there are quite a few cattle around so we have to expect to have flies. We have walked/staggered up some steep rocky hills so far without too many injuries so life is pretty good. We walked out along the creek yesterday & found a few small waterholes, not sure how long there will be water there for but one hole looked quite deep, I found quite a few fish, little fellows up to about 30cm long & heaps of tadpoles.

The wildflowers at the moment are beautiful, not sure if we will have much variety but the Yellow buttons & Califoria asters are divine.


looking over to the top bunkhouse from the cottage(our place)

cottage front garden looking at lower bunkhouse (behind trees) & kitchen

the view from front of cottage

a black cocky in flight

creek banks

they call this ‘sliding rock’

on one of our walks

i need a new fly swatter

its WOW! country

so much country……..

another day, another walk. My fly swatter – works a treat

a few small waterholes still around

the white blobs are actually small fish – lotz of them


no water up this end of the creek but lotz of cattle feed

lotz of bouquets of Yellow Buttons on our walk

quite high up

California aster – they are so petite & beautiful

Hamilton Downs Youth Camp – (1)

28th April 2023 & onwards……

Approximately one & a half hours NW of Alice Springs off the Tanami Hwy is Hamilton Downs Youth Camp, it was originally part of Hamilton Downs Station & was developed by the Apex Club of Central Australia and was officially opened in 1978, the camp offers good clean & tidy camping facilities, bunkhouse accommodation, amenities block & a commercial kitchen. The homestead is comprised of five heritage listed & restored buildings constructed between 1910 & 1923.

This is our new home for the next 3 months, we are the new caretakers.

It is a really beautiful part of the world.

our driveway is approximately 60klms

Wild petunia

Galah’s galore

these 2 lovebirds have been meeting every afternoon, same tree…..

so much beauty

overlooking the camp from Drovers Hill

Yellow Buttons

Tree Mallow

Binns Track

25th/26th April

After leaving Tobermory Station we headed west along the Plenty Highway, it had dried out considerably since we were here 5 days ago. We camped up at an overnight stop opposite Jervious Station, a great little spot with a shade cover, 2 bbqs & rubbish bins – the site is maintained by the station & they do a great job.

We left the Plenty Hwy on the eastern side of Gemtree 69klms west of the Stuart Hwy, a small caravan park/roadhouse with camping & fossicking available, approximately 10klms after Gemtree we drove south down the Binns Track – a very enjoyable track in good condition, through station property & indigenous land & several gates. We arrived at ‘Old Ambalindum’ homestead, which is now part on Hale River Station, they have powered & unpowered sites and lotz of interesting characters in & around their gardens/yard – we camped up here for the night. The old homestead is well maintained & a great draw card for the tourist buses.

From here we continued on the Binns track & eventually arrived at the Ross River Retreat, 83klms from Alice Springs, we followed the Ross river on a delightful drive til we met the Ross Hwy then into Alice Springs.

o/night stop, opposite Jervious Station we had a great fire at the bbq where we cooked our yummy dinner

we followed the yellow track from the Plenty Hwy to the Hale River Homestead

not working but still cute

great track conditions

one of the few gates we had to open

plenty of feed for cattle

Caper bush

lotz of memorability in the shed office

Some cuties in the paddock

Lotz of quirky decorative statues/sculptures around the buildings

shovel plant

a blooming metal tree

our camp site

Hale River homestead to Alice via Ross river – blue line

Ross River

we actually followed the grader – track very good

Silverleaf nightshade

beautiful countryside with the East MacDonalds in the background.


23rd April, 2023.

Leaving Mt.Isa we travelled south on the Boulia-Mt.Isa Highway, we turned (R) onto the Urandangi North Rd (this road was closed up until yesterday & open only to high clearance 4WD), it’s just under 100klms to Urandangi. We saw quite a large Wedgetail Eagle lurking in the nearby trees eying off the road kill. The road was really quite good, coming into Urandangi it was very obvious of where the Georgina River had visited & the damage it caused. The town which consisted of a pub/shop – the only real building in town was quite deserted still, apparently the river was about 30cms throughout the building, there was a few out buildings & caravans around the place but no human presence was seen when we drove through.

After driving 103klms we were back in the Northern Territory, we camped up at Tobermory Station which is a working station with an amazing campground, they have built a rather large levy bank around the homestead, camp ground & work sheds hoping to prevent any water damage from flooding – apparently a few years back they suffered from massive flood damage, after the enormous rains early this year they are currently contemplating increasing the size of the levy banks. Tobermory Station is a great camp spot & an ideal overnight stop for traveler’s going east or west.

This fellow on the Boulia Mt.Isa Hwy just before we turned onto Urandangi Nth Rd.

This track still not open.

there were quirky signs along the way

no one home

1st crossing of the Georgina river

Main Georgina river crossing


grey herons

see ya QLD

Back in the NT

big boy!

our camp for the night at Tobermory Station

camp kitchen

the levy bank is all around the homestead & buildings

Relaxing with his friends

lotz of friends

more friends

lotz of these fellows everywhere

dinner time

a beautiful night

Mary Kathleen Mine & Lake Moondarra – QLD

22nd April, 2023.

Spending a few days camped up in Mt.Isa, .

Mary Kathleen Mine – wow, a pretty amazing place, definately worthwhile visiting, even camping(free)would be very nice. There is so much recent history here. Lots of Giant milkweed flowering – such a pest. The colour of the water in the pit is a beautiful blue but there is no birdlife or signs of any animals going near the water – they know!

We drove out to Lake Moondarra – a beautiful lake but only for day use, heaps of boaties use this dam for fishing(baramundi are plentiful apparently), water skiing, general boating & swimming. The picnic area’s are well utilised & are really good, there are a few. No camping, caravan parks etc. Another place to definately visit & enjoy a relaxing, quiet time.

the track to the pit, countryside is quite green from recent rains

Apple of Sodom (Giant Milkweed)

a beautiful lake

picnic & day use area

A Kite sitting high in the rocks

a lot of boaties

Cobar Peddy.SA :Plenty Hwy.NT :Mt Isa. QLD

April 14 – April 22, 2023.

Quick stop at Cobar Peddy for fuel then up the Stuart Hwy to Alice Springs. Lotz of rain along the way & in Alice, we camped up for few days & since none of the roads were opening going south (Oodanatta track) we changed our plans, the Plenty Hwy was supposed to be open so Mt.Isa here we come. The road was resonably good in places & a bit damp in other places, had a few wet crossings but nothing too serious. We camped up near a telstra tower behind some trees – Into QLD, drove to Boulia, needed fuel, then onto Mt.Isa

Driving into Cobar Peddy, this is a underground B & B on the side of a hill

a ‘hat’ tree

operational wind farm

working mine

our camp spot

had a few of these

sections of road -very good

always seeing cars parked up!!!!!!!

QLD here we come

cattle in good nic

Entering Boulia


Moo’s on the move as we drive to Mt.Isa

William Creek – (2)

We treated ourselves to a flight over Lake Eyre, no water but still an amazing experience & our pilot did a great job with hardly any bumps. William Creek is surrounded by Anna Creek Station which happens to be the largest working station in not only Australia but the world, it is 23,677sq klm which is slightly larger than Israel. There are scattered water points/or dams approximately every 10klms, we saw a few cattle at some of these on our flight. The following photos are taken while flying over north & south Lake Eyre – it was a great experience.

Woo ho – here we go…..

overlooking a small section of Anna Ck Station

cattle at one of the many dams/water points

Erosion caused by previously heavy rain

mist rising from the salt lake

Donald Campbell set his land speed record in this section of the lake.

The blue line follows the track we drove, on the map Arkaroona Wilderness to Copely, Marree, William Creek, Cobar Peddy up the Stuart Hwy towards Alice Springs.

We were advised in William Creek not to go to Oodanatta unless we wanted to be stuck there as there was rain forcast. It was good advise, we stopped at Cobar Peddy, fuelled up us & the ute & headed north, the skies opened, not too heavy at first, we camped up approximately 12oklms south of the NT/SA border, just got set up & the rain came down. It rained all night, at 0730 hrs the rain stopped so we shut up camp & drove on, the rain returned, we drove through to Alice Springs & camped in caravan park for 2 nites – it was very cold until the stopped.

William Creek – (1)

After leaving Muloorina Station we jumped back on the Oodanatta track driving NW, we came across a quaint little place called Mutonia Sculptue Park, Robin Cooke was the sculptor of these quirky things – quite amazing & very interesting.

Along the way there are quite a few railway slidings & water tanks, approx every 20klms you find these & in between, old creek crossing bridges, not always complete but enough so you can work out what they are. Also came across 2 ‘very pink’ water tanks that were in working order because there was some cattle having a drink, not long after we drove into the budding metropolis of William Creek – what an interesting little town, quite a lot of history & relics of years go by.

We camped up in the caravan park which had very good facilities and walked over to the pub for dinner, sat amongst the many different decorative items.

Plana Henge

Making music

i think this one called ‘dream catcher’

‘lotz of humour’

‘down on his luck’

‘robot & bus’

‘the spinning wheel’

railway relics

WOW! pink water tanks

Driving into William Creek

our camp

interesting decorating items

Marree & Muloorina Station:

April 10 -13th

Marree is located approximately 685klms north of Adelaide at the juction of the Birdsville track & Oodanata track, it was first known as Hergott Springs & changeds name to Marree in 1883 although the railway station kept the Hergott Springs name until 1916. There are quite a few relics of the Ghan (old ghan) engines located in & around the town of Marree. The Tom Kruse truck is amongst the relics in the museum park, Tom Kruse was one of the drivers delivering mail & supplies between Marree & Birdsville(along the Birdsville track). The Marree Hotel was built in 1883 & is the only solid sand stone structure in working order left in Marree. The camel sundial(which apparently shows the exact time) was built from old railway sleepers by the Afghans, they also built the 1st Mosque(1862) in Australia, there is now a replica of the original mosque in the park. At one stage Marree became known as ‘little asia’ due to the large population of Afghan cameleers. Took a look in the Lake Eyre Yacht Club, lotz of memorabilia of past years & facts about Donald Campbell who on 17th July 1964, at his 2nd attempt, set the land speed record on the dry salt pan of lake Eyre in his Bluebird car.

Muloorina is situated 54klms NW of Maree, on the edge of Lake Eyre. It is both a pastoral lease that operates as a cattle station & a formal bounded locality in SA. The campground is located on the Frome River with a permanent Artesian fed pool, what an amazing place, lotz of space, concrete picnic tables, good shade trees, 2 flushing toilets, excellent swimming & just awesome. We camped up for 2 nights, took a drive approximately 55klms from camp along a very sandy quite corrugated track to Level Post Bay which is located on the Madigan Gulf & part of Lake Eyre North (cannot drive any further), on the drive back we passed Goyder Channel that links the 2 parts of the lake (nth & sth)- its a pretty amazing place. When the lake has water in it, the deepest point of the lake is located at Level Post Bay and the Lake Eyre basin contains the lowest natural point in Australia at approximately 15mts below sea level.

‘old ghan’ & ghan relics

railway station

water tanks for the steam engines

Tom Kruse truck with the Marree Hotel in the background.

a very popular annual event.

camel sundial

replica of the mosque

the only store in town

amazing art work on the tanks in the park

Lake Eyre Yacht Club

seating outside of the yacht club…..

Muloorina Station

crossing over the dog fence which is on the station property

luv the windmills

hasn’t been used for a while????

our campsite – very nice

the beginning of the artesian bore, not pretty, but improves.

yep, the water is soon warm & clear.

then into the cool deep fresh water…….:-)

plenty of birlife

we drove the blue line to Level Post Bay from our camp

Cameron Corner

After packing up camp at Noccundra we headed south west to Cameron Corner. The roads were really good, a few corrugations but nothing to complain about, Cameron Corner is quite a cute place, we camped up for the night & splurged out with dinner at the pub/shop – it was very nice. Obviously a lot of people leave their caps behind -there were 1000’s. We were advised here at C/Corner to fuel up at Lyndhurst on the Outback Hwy(apparently the cheapest anywhere).

A bit fresh next morning, had coffee & breaky, packed up KK & away we went, within minutes/seconds we were in South Australia, once again roads were good. Saw quite a few cattle along the way & 1 black camel that seemed to be guarding the cattle????not sure but looked like it. We came across quite a few emu’s as well. We drove along Merty Merty Rd which goes to Merty Merty & joins the Strzelecki track going north to Innamincka, we turned off approximately 150klms down the road (L) onto a smallish track then jumped onto the Strzelecki Track heading south towards the top end of the Flinders Ranges, from here we veered left onto the Mt Hopeless Rd & headed to Arkarooka Village, we camped up for the night. Next morning we drove on the Copely Rd to the Outback Highway at Copely & headed north towards Marree.

we have good directions

Road is open – yea ha

99% of road is in awesome condition.

so many hats

definitely having some “wow”moments here at c/corner

a bit like a roller coaster this track but still good

Saw quite a few of these critters

not sure but I think the camel is their protector

& there is definitely some ‘cuties’ here

on our way to Arkaroola Village(top end of Flinders Ranges)

our camp at Arkaroola

check in/restaurant/info place

pointing you in the direction of Arkaroola

yards of long time ago

no go for any of these

on Copely to join the Outback Highway at Leigh Creek (another good rd)

just gotta love the windmills

Fuelled up Lyndhurst & headed to Marree along the Outback Highway.