4WD August Trip

Due to the weather conditions the first station was Witchelina Station. This station is located just north of Lyndhurst so the first day was a long drive. The group met at Dublin service station for breakfast before heading off. There was a short break at Hawker for lunch and a beer arriving Witchelina Station late afternoon. After setting up camp the fire was lit and the pre dinner drinks were had. After dinner there were more drinks and tall stories of other adventures.

Next day about 9am we set off on the first track and soon came across a dam that was almost full of water. The remarkable thing about this was that the dam had been empty for almost 10 years and it was the rains this March that filled it. The track took most of the day and encompassed a ridge line where low range was required to climb and descend from it. The view was magnificent and well worth the effort.

Over the camp fire that night it was decided to stay at Witchelina Station for an extra night due to the weather conditions at the second Station, Bendleby.

Sunday was a 9am start and the track we were driving was to take us through a gorge and finish close to Marree.

Most of the track was easy going until we got to the spectacular gorge. Here we encountered small boulders and for a large part of the transit a spotter was required to safely negotiate the track. Some time was spent in the gorge looking around and taking photographed. Fitzy put his drone up and came back with some spectacular footage of the area.

Once out of the gorge it was relatively easy driving to the main road and on to Marree. Just short of the bitumen is the old Ghan Line and a railway bridge so we stopped and went for a walk along the bridge. The actual rails have been removed but the sleepers are still there.

Once on the bitumen it was a short drive to Marree where the hotel was visited for a beer or two then back to camp where the fire was lit and several members cooked using camp ovens and the coals from the fire.

Monday saw the group driving through sand hills where we headed out to an area where Sturt Desert Peas were growing in fields. As we came across them the first was seen growing on the track so we all stopped in turn to look and take photos. About 100meters along the track we went round a bend and there were several fields of the flower. Fitzy tried to launch his drone but the wind had picked up during the morning and he had great difficulty with control.

The group then headed back to the station and lunch.  After lunch members headed off to do their own thing I set off to Farina an old Ghost town that had been a rail terminal and a hub for transporting cattle and other farm produce. There is an organisation that is conducting restoration work of the town. This ghost town boast a fully functioning bakery that is run by volunteers. The bakery not only caters for tourist but also conducts classes in the old styles of baking.

Tuesday was spent travelling to Bendleby Station with a stop at the Cradock pub for lunch. The food here was excellent. Arriving at the Station the weather was taking a turn for the worst. The wind had picked up. The manager let us camp close to the shearer’s quarters where there was some shelter from the wind. Due to the high winds the camp fire was not possible so we spent the night in the shearer’s dining room. By midnight the wind had picked up to near gale force and the noise in the camper was prevented sleep so we vacated and spent the night in the bunk room where we were joined by another member of the group.

Next day some of the group decided to leave as conditions had not improved and others set off for the tracks. I left for home so cannot report on the adventures those that stayed had on the tracks.



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                               Hawker Hotel for lunch on first day                                                        Marree Pub for a beer

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                                   Along one of the tracks                                                                                         Traveling through the gorge

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                               The old Ghan Railway Bridge                                                                                  The Camp Fire                                                                                  

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                                                     Top of the Ghan Railway Bridge                                                          Sturt Desert Pea



                           Field of Sturt Desert Pea’s



                                                                                         Farina Bakery


55     60                                                        The Pub at Ferina                                                                                          A Rainbow on the way home

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