Just some stuff I want to share with you

Posts tagged Red Centre Tour

Boulia to Longreach: second track of the day

We are on our way to Longreach after we stopped at Lark Quarry to watch Dinosaur tracks.

As you can see in the picture gallery, there are not a lot of pictures of this track. Well it just didn’t take that long and the views were more or less the same as flying from Boulia to Lake Quarry. Okay, here are some of the things we saw on this track…

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Longreach is considered the starting point of Qantas (for those who don’t know: that’s Australia’s “KLM”). There’s a museum here that tells the story; we will visit it tomorrow.

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We finished up the day with a boat tour on the Thomson river. Just relaxing, chatting, enjoying the views.

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We have done it all today; flying, nature, history and leisure. Time to go to bed, since we have a busy schedule for tomorrow.

The track of today:

Sunday 29 March 2009

Lark Quarry – Dinosaur Trackways

So what do you think this Lark Quarry place is all about?

Before I show you, let’s continue where we left of in the last post. The car couldn’t take us all in one go, so here’s the rest of the team on its way in to the complex. And while we were waiting, I took some snapshots.

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Well Lark Quarry is the place where they found tracks of dinosaurs. And these tracks are very clear and since a few years protected by the building in the pictures. Here are my pictures to tell the story. If you want more, go to the Lark Quarry website or visit this place yourself 😉

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The last picture above shows the pieces they took out of the ground. So this is the counterpart of one of the footprints. Amazing isn’t it?

After our tour and all the explanations, it was time to wander around this place. The views are fantastic (again… This country is great for those who are visually oriented).

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After spending a few hours at this very interesting place, it was time to move on.

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More on that in the next post.

Sunday 29 March 2009

Boulia to Longreach: landing at Lark Quarry

Slowly we are leaving the Outback and getting back to the crowded areas. Today we move on to the East, we fly to Longreach with a landing at Lark Quarry. Since there is so much to show and tell, I have split this track up into 3 posts. This is the first one.

Before we leave Boulia, some quick snaps of Main Street and the lovely motel we stayed last night. Here’s the Fast/Marks/Willick-team working on their pictures and blog entries. Have a look at their site as well. There’s a link to it on the right.

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Then by taxi to the airport again and off we are. Bye bye Boulia. Have a look at the swimming pool/sports centre to the top right. It was blocked on the pictures yesterday, but shows quite nicely on this one.

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And again a lot of amazing views today.

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This is what they call a “River”. As you can see there are several streams here. The flow is relatively low, since it’s quite a flat country. So the water has to move sideways and the river can become up to 9 kilometers wide… And then you have a serious flooding and could be stuck to your home or town.

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Some more nice views of the changing landscape.

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Then the first stop of today: Lark Quarry. This is real dirt strip and it does not have an official identification code (I wonder how to register this landing in my logbook…). We first have to do a low pass to get a good view of the strip. And then plan for a short field dirt strip landing. After we landed, we informed the other planes about the strip.

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By overflying the complex, we informed the team there to pick us up. Some 10 minutes later the Landcruiser arrived and we went to the Lark Quarry complex. More on that in the next post.

Sunday 29 March 2009

Alice Springs to Boulia

Time to leave the “big city” and move on to Boulia. Boulia???? Yes, it does exist. And yes, it’s not that big or interesting… We are on our way to the coast and we are too far inland to get there in just 1 day. Boulia is therefore just a “one-nighter”.

So here we are again at an airport, fueling up the planes and planning to do some serious airtime. I explained a bit about the Royal Flying Doctor Service in my previous post. Well, here’s one of their planes, being prepared for another flight to help those who are sick or injured.

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After watching the two other planes take off, it was time for us to leave as well. Initially it’s not that good a day to take pictures. There’s a haze low to the ground and the sun is not strong enough yet to burn it off. When leaving Alice to the east or north you cross some nice hills/mountains.

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The sky is clear and it’s a bit bumpy at the lower altitudes. So we climbed up to 9500 feet. At that level it’s much colder which is nice when you come from a 30+ level. But after flying at that level for some hours I was freezing…

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Getting closer to Boulia the colors of the land turn from green to red/orange/brown. It’s one of these things that make flying here special. The colors are constantly changing and the vast distances are incredible.

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Look a white spot below us (halfway in front of the strut). Ohh, that’s one of our mates heading to Boulia as well.

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And when there’s one, then the other should not be too far away. Ahaa, there they are…

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For those who did not know: it rained a lot lately in Australia. As a result there is water in rivers that normally hold no water. And when there’s water, there are plants, trees and animals.

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There it is: Boulia in all its glory. No, this is not just West Boulia; this IS Boulia.

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Back on the ground. Temperatures are up again (30+) and I have a lot of fly(-ing) friends again. One of the reasons to fly around the town was to inform the taxi that we arrived. Although this is a small town, you do not want to walk to the motel with your entire luggage with these temperatures and flies around.

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A quick shot of all the local attractions: the windmill and the water tower. Well, this is not entirely fair. Boulia has a Olympic sized swimming pool and sports centre. You can’t see it on the pictures, since the building is blocked by the strut… When reading the information bulletin in the motel, it became clear that the town invested over 3 million dollar in those facilities. So they do have all what’s needed to survive in the Outback: a swimming pool, an airport and a pub;-)

And let’s not forget to mention the terminal building of Boulia with all its facilities and its permanent residents (no, not the one with the cap…).

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So, where are we now?

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Time to find the local pub and have a cold one. Oh, there it is. At the end of the main street; that building with all the cars parked in front of it. On to meet the locals.

The track of today:

Saturday 28 March 2009

Alice Springs

After all the small towns in the Outback, we have now arrived in the “big city” Alice Springs. Well with a population of about 26000 it’s far bigger than the other towns (Birdsville had about 60 – 80 and a place like Charleville about 3500 people). So we have a “shopping mall”, several restaurants and bars etc. We will stay one day here and Clare has organized a nice tour again.

We start the day by going to the Alice Springs Desert Park, a place with all sorts of fauna and flora. It’s a fairly big park and we strolled around it for a few hours seeing all sorts of plants and animals. So I had another opportunity to get close to a Kangaroo…

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We also visited a very interesting bird of prey demonstration. And for those smart .ss.s out there: no it’s not about the big bird in the first picture…

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After all the nature stuff, we moved on to the Royal Flying Doctors Service museum. Here you can find a lot of information about the history of this organization and what’s going on today. Alice Springs has its local command centre and there are 4 planes based here to provide the medical services all around.

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Later on we went for some shopping (some of us had to have a real Australian hat or get their hair cut) and for a nice refreshing beer in one of the bars here.

In the evening we visisted a didgeridoo show in the Sounds of Starlight theatre. If you ever have the opportunity to visit it, do so! It’s an amazing show and we all had to play our part as well. Here we found out that Clare CAN actually play the didgeridoo, although I would like to advice him not to give up his current job yet.

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Again we had a very pleasant day. The weather is good again (temperatures in the high 30’s). And it’s clear that this is not a regular Outback town. It’s too big and there are too many shops and facilities around to have that nice Outback feeling to it. But it’s also good to see some more people around. I even found some Dutchies here… they are just everywhere aren’t they?!?!?

Friday 27 March 2009