Eyre Creek to Birdsville June  9 - 12 2017
Definitely on the move again.

And time for lunch!

We observe again the vegetation changing as we travel further east.
Its different.

Surprising the difference a few days and different vehicles makes to the track.

The scallops are not as vicious nor as extensive.

We have noticed tyre tracks are mostly visible.

Previously loose soft sand where wheels had spun were the norm.

We are finding travel much easier this time.

More to the feeling than simply having driven this section previously.

Tyre temperatures are important.

Peter had an infra red pyrometer.

The exit from Eyre Creek.
We have permission for a bit of a detour.

Travel is faster so we need higher pressuress in tyres.


First time we've seen it.

It goes with the flood out, can form "lignum swamps" and grow high.

Can form an impenetrable wall.

Another dune, between swales.

Tyre pressures a bit high, had to let a bit out to maintain traction.

Life is just one big compromise.

A station bore with permanently running potable water.

The windmill has been replaced with a solar powered pump.

We have met up with the two more Peters and Sandra again for this bit..

The cattle watch our progress.
Next to a billabong on Eyre Creek.

Galahs here for their evening drink.

It looks nicely ordered.

Some wait in the tree until there is space on the branch in the water for them to push into.

Next morning a lone  kangaroo.

This is still arid land, but permanent water, as at Eringa, makes a big difference.

Another black faced wood swallow.

Still no sign of a masked wood swallow.

A mobile boiler and a few bits of steam equipment at station ruins.

We try to imagine the effort required to get it here with horses.

And the effort to feed it with wood.

There's a plough (single furrow) nearby.

A collet from drilling with various other associated bits.

Bores for water make this area farmable.

We debate how far cattle or sheep will roam away from water and thus how far apart bores may be.


More ruins of sheep station.

Possibly also to keep horses. The fence is high.

All vertical wood, few cross pieces.

The other side of dune behind the ruins to the east and there are new yards.

Of steel.

Two fireplaces, one chimney.

Time for ornamentation at chimney top.

A substantial homestead.

Red-necked avocets.

Taking off from their favourite spot after I disturbed them.

So I photographed the billabong in the morning stillness.
Then returned to the avocets.

We haven't figured out what they do with their beaks.

We know there are mussels in the water.

A quick walk around the billabong.

Its a bit more than 3km long according to our map.

We tripped over an old axle .....

..... its from an earlier, horse drawn, age ....

.... it wouldn't fit the Oka.

Its a front axle.

Shortly after we tripped over a hub.

Now all we need are a couple of wheels.

There's a nest in the right hand tree.

In the upper fork.

A thick patch of lignum.

The end of the billabong.

On the east side we tripped over an abandoned boat.

Riveted steel plate.

Flat bottom.

A 1930's tinnie.

No seats or oars remaining.

The last thing we expected on the edge of a desert.

But periodically there are floods

The zebra finches are prolific.
Its about 1km to the southern end of the billabong.

Campsite on the east side.

Near our campsite. A nest.

We've not previously seen a nest with a side entry.

During our travels we collected some dune sand.

The books say the sand is darker to the north.

We suspect it also darkens to the west. Though not so markedly. We don't have sufficient samples of course ....

The white sample from the south is from the southern part of the Warburton Track.

The odd sample at the east is a mix of alluvial sand from the flood out of Eyre Creek and adjacent dune top.

The dunes don't travel like waves, their movement is along the lines of dunes. Very roughly south east to north west, with the (two) prevailing winds.

The sand which has traveled furthest is the most red. We wonder how dark it is at the northern edge of the desert.

The different grain size (coarseness) is probably from the positions in the dunes the samples were taken from. Wind can "grade" sand.

The sand map is not to scale!

The sand is apparently  predominantly silica with some iron mineralisation and a little clay..

The iron oxidises on the surface of the sand grains to produce the reddish colouration.

We'll hopefully remember to add some sand from "Big Red", the most eastern dune of the desert, and the nemesis of many a 4wd enthusiast, to complete the collection.

So after a couple of days rest, back between the dunes to the QAA Line.
Which hasn't changed since last time, a few days ago.

With one very important difference.

Peter and Margaret are in front of us.

Of course we forgot the sand sample from the top of Little Red.


In a graphic demonstration of the significance of tyre pressure Peter crawled up the dune in low 2nd gear with about 15psi in the tyres and no wheel spin.

Worth a 10+.

We were a bit lazy and took a bit of a run at it.

Food at the Birdsville Pub.

Our last night together.

We celebrated completing our desert crossing in about 3 weeks.

A bit longer than the 2 1/2 days possible.

Enjoyable because its such an interesting place, and enjoyable because of the company.

And playing in sand is always fun.

Walkers Crossing Track to Innaminka and Minkie Water Hole June 13 2017

Peter_n_Margaret Tue, 20 Jun 17 10:07:22 +1000
Thanks for the wonderful company Julian and Ali and especially for the 600km+ rescue diversion.

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