Saturday, 17 August 2013

A road less travelled .... Part 4 .... Mungarannie to Birdsville

Leaving Mungarannie we continued along the Birdsville track and stopped at the Mirra Mitta bore which is still free flowing and can be seen in the distance from the steam that rises from the water. 

There are signs warning travellers that the water is hot and its interesting to see the vegetation that grows on the other side of the bore.

From there we drove through a range of landscapes from stony desert to rolling sand dunes. We stopped to shield a mother cow and her calf from a pack of dingoes who appeared to be tracking the newly born calf - another indication of how harsh an environment we are travelling in.

Arriving in Birdsville we checked into the camp-ground and wandered across the bakery which we'd been hearing lots about from other travellers along the way. Garry had one of the best pies he'd ever had; a rabbit pie so their reputation was confirmed!

Waking up in Birdsville with brilliant clear blue skies and sunshine signals the start of a great day so we enjoy a quick breakfast and head to the Simpson Desert to tackle "Big Red" the largest and last sand dune on the Birdsville side of the desert.

Most people waiting at the edge of the desert are just there to look and Garry recalls when it was a right of passage for everyone who visited to at least have a go - maybe its a factor of the amount of "grey nomads" now travelling broader a field than ever before.

 From on top of big red looking back to the road to Birdsfield

Early morning in the desert animal tracks are visible

From the top of "Big Red" we get some magnificent photos of the surrounding area - this is where the blue of the sky and the red desert sands are clearly evident. 

After our brief visit into the desert we head to an Aboriginal site to learn about   Thutirla Pula—the  story of “Two Boys”. Its an epic tale that links Dalhousie Springs on the western side of the desert with Birdsville. We wander the walking trail and have a chance to learn the story and see the ceremonial sites. 

We also headed out towards Bedourie where there is a stand of ancient Waddi Trees. These trees are very rare with only a few stands existing on the fringe of the Simpson desert. They grow to about 9 - 10 metres high and can be as old as 1,000 years.  The wood is extremely hard and many an axe handle has met its end when used on them. 

We enjoyed dinner at the famous Birdsville Hotel  visit the local cemetery and recognise some of the names from photos we've seen in the famous Birdsville Hotel and also drive by the Birdsville Racecourse before leaving Birdsville and heading towards Innaminka.

The Birdsville Races are held each year and transform this tiny outback town as more than 6,500 people arrive to enjoy the short racing season.

Come tour with us. 

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