in mike's backyard
the flinders ranges
from 11th to 19th May
A great week has sadly now come to a close. But,
to start at the beginning. Our bush camp was at Rawnsley Park Station
(Latitude 31.64465 South, Longitude 138.58159 East, Altitude 443 metres
situated just outside the National Park south of the Wilpena Pound in the
Flinders Ranges, South Australia. Normal access is from the South West, via
the sealed road from Hawker (31kms).
Friday 10th May,
was warm and sunny. The day saw six early arrivals set up by nightfall and a
small campfire established.
Whilst the remaining 14 trailers, and a tent, arrived during the course of
the day, the early arrivals went on a short! (4kms) walk to Clems Lookout.
Only two, Stan and Mike, finished the walk correctly - earning themselves an
ice cream each!
By the evening the fire was lit and everyone settled down to planning the
week’s activities. We all agreed to an initial drive in convoy through the
area to enable the group to get a “feel” for what members could do
individually, or as a group, during their visit.
Sunday 12th. A
cool change was in the offing, with low cloud clipping the peaks’ tops, as
15 vehicles, led by Mike and with Peter as tail end charlie, set out to do
the Bunyeroo Gorge Trail, Brachina Gorge, and Moralana Drive. Lunch was
taken at Coolamon Camp with the group able to sit by a scenic dry creek bed.
Eleven vehicles spent the day tackling the
Arkapena Self Drive 4WD Track. For some this was an “interesting”
introduction to the joys of 4 Wheel Driving. From the stories around the
camp fire that night a good time was had by all.
Whilst most of the camp decided to have an easy day, Mike, Grahame, Peter,
Dinny, Bob, Julie and Tim set out on a day’s (12kms) walk to climb the
Rawnsley Bluff (950metres). By mid afternoon their mission was accomplished
with many photos taken as proof of the ascent!
That evening all members attended a very interesting talk by Tim (Rawnsley
Park Tourism Manager) on the Flinders Ranges, the social history, and
geology of this ancient landform
No planned activities were planned for the day. Members spent the day
exploring areas of personal interest. An informative campfire discussion
occurred that evening on the day’s sight seeing.
This was to be the day for a longer trek by eleven vehicles in convoy (some
cars carried 4 people to reduce car numbers) to the Nuccaleena Copper Mine
tea was taken at Blinman and very soon the Quandong Pie Shop had sold out.
Driving through Glass Gorge the group continued on to the mine site for
lunch and an exploratory walk around examining parts of the ruins.
After lunch the trip continued with a drive back out of Moolooloo Station,
down to the bottom of Parachilna Gorge, then a climb up the Gorge back to
Blinman for more Pies (a second batch having been baked during our absence)
and back to camp! A 250kms round trip.
That evening the group was able to attend an interesting talk on the history
of Rawnsley Park presented by the current owner Tony Smith.
Friday 17th. As
the very enjoyable week was fast coming to a close, members spent the day
“doing their own thing”.
In the evening we all sat down to a very enjoyable meal at the Woolshed
Restaurant. It was very nice to see for once with whom, and indeed what, we
The last day was spent reluctantly starting to pack up. Some had already
left by then for other commitments.
That evening around a very large final camp fire, the group presented Mike
with a lovely Peter Dobré panoramic picture of Wilpena Pound in appreciation
for his effort in arranging a great week.
The final deed was the burning of Big Bertha, a very large log brought all
the way from the Wellington AGM. The ashes from this log have been collected
and will be presented to Rob at the Batlow AGM in September!
Camp was awoken early by the sound the local Hot
Air Balloon being inflated 200 metres away, and then fired up for take off
on a trip with the aid of the prevailing wind, across the Wilpena Pound.!
We packed up and reluctantly said our goodbyes. The week was over.
As readers of this report will perhaps have realised – Chatham House Rules
have applied! What happened in camp stays in camp! Suffice to say I believe
everyone attending had a good time and does not regret coming to South
Australia to visit the Flinders Ranges.
In closing and on a personal note, I would like to wish Mick Bretherton, who
had to make a trip to Port Augusta Hospital on Friday at short notice, a
speedy recovery and, wish him and Narelle, Bon Voyage. Get well soon Mick.
Thank you everyone for contributing to a lovely week. It was my pleasure to
meet you all.
Mike – Organiser from Burra, SA
Doug and Diane from Sydney, NSW
Peter and Dinny from the Sunshine Coast, Queensland
David and Lena from Heathcote, Victoria
Craig from Sydney, NSW
Mal and Ros from Sydney, NSW
Dianne and Dave from Sydney via Birdsville
Ken and Joy from Orange, NSW
Peter and Nikki Gosper from The Entrance, NSW
Tim and Julie from, Sydney
Narelle and Mick from Heathcote, NSW
Ian and Edythe from Helensburgh, NSW
Stan Bryant and Robyn Curtis from Kandos, NSW
Ian Grose and D’sley Stuart from Brisbane, Queensland
Bob and Julie from Adelaide, SA
Gary and Francine from Helensburgh, NSW
Lindsay and Sandra from Werribee, Victoria
Rob, Eveline and Ann from Warragul, Victoria
Bruce and Virginia from Helensburgh, NSW
Phil and Sandra from Woonona, NSW
Grahame from Lithgow, NSW