Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Strzelecki Track

Strezelecki Track goes from Innamincka to Arkaroola, a distance of about 428 km. The track follows the stock route blazed by a cattle thief (cattle duffer), Harry Redford, who drove 1000 head of stolen cattle from central Queensland to Adelaide. He was caught, but when it was realised that he had pioneered a new cattle route across the outback he was let off, becoming a famous cattle drover. Some places of interest along this track are Burke and Wills' "Dig Tree", Coongee Lakes, the Cooper, for fishing and camping, and a short sidetrack from the old Strzelecki Track near Merty Merty homestead leads to Cameron Corner, where 3 states meet. Montecollina Bore, SA, Arkaroola Village, SA, Strzelecki Creek, SA, Burlieburlie Waterhole, SA, Nappacoongee Waterhole, SA. A permit is required to visit Coongee Lakes.

Lyndhurst Roadhouse, open 7 days 7 AM-PM (08) 86757782

Innaminka Trading Post store open 7 days 8 AM-6 PM (08) 86759900

NWPSA park guide Innamincka Regional Reserve

The track

Ochre Cliffs is the site of an old Aboriginal quarry, it is a few km north on the Hawker-Marree Road. In the days before white settlement this was a major quarry for ochre which was a valuable commodity, being sent along the Aboriginal trade routes that connected the tribes of South Australian with the Gulf of Carpentaria and no doubt branching in all directions from this route. Shells came south and ochre went north, as well as other trade items.

Northeast from Lyndhurst the track passes the northwestern fringes of the Flinders Ranges the ranges are seen as bluish silhouettes on the otherwise flat, featureless plains to the west. There isn't much surface water in this region, mostly being available from the Great Artesian Basin on the stations where it is tapped into at bores for the livestock. The only bore on the track for use by drovers is Montecollina Bore north of the ruins of Blanchwater. A small wetland has been formed by the bore, attracting bird and making it popular as an overnight campsite.

Montecollina Bore and Lake Blanch to the west are part of the Strzelecki Regional Reserve. The reserve borders the northern margin of Lake Callabonna to the east of the track. There is a fossil site at Lake Callabonna where remains of megafauna have been found. From here the track crosses the Cobbler Desert (Cobbler Sandhills) then on to the Strzelecki Desert, with its large expanse of dunes. The Eyrean grasswren is found in the waterless areas around the track. There is a track that turns east towards Merty Merty homestead, veers north along the Old Strzlecki track winding across the floodplain of Strezlecki Creek to Innamincka. The main track heads north from the Strzlecki Deseert to Moomba. A number of oil wells can be seen from the track. Rain can cause problems for travel along the Old Strzlecki Track section. This is the only stretch where there can be problems.

A side track leads to the Burke and Wills Dig Tree beside Cooper Creek. Large floods have gouged out a 28 m waterhole, Cullyamurra Waterhole, in the bed of the river. There are rock outcrops and rock art made by the Aborigines in the past. The Town Common and the Innamincka Regional Reserve have many bush campsites. River Redgums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) line the banks and the floodplain. The Innamincka Hotel has accommodation.

Sources & Further reading

Links

Harry Redford

Birdsville Track
Canning Stock Route
Oodnadatta Track
Strzelecki Track
Tanami Track
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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email: admin@austhrutime.com     Sources & Further reading