Friday, 22 June 2012

Painted Desert Tour

Today we woke up in time to see the sunrise (not such a big deal when it actually rises at 7:24am). Our underground motel room was amazingly warm at a year round constant 24 degrees given is was 1 degree outside overnight. So it was quite a surprise to go outside to view the sunrise.

 It was still very chilly out side so we were well rugged up.

It was then time to meet Wayne Borrett our tour guide for the day to the Painted Desert. He picked us up in the 4WD and off we went passing the Dog Fence the largest fence in the world. It stretches 5,300km from Surfers Paradise in Queensland to the Great Australian Bight in WA. It separates the rich sheep growing area in the south from the dingos in central Australia. It is located less than 16km from Coober Pedy.

The land is just desert with absolutely nothing growing on it at all.

It was then time to eat some bush tucker berries by the creek which will completely dry up in just a couple of months. By the way the berries were lovely red in colour and very small and you only eat the fruit around the seed so it would take a lot of berries to have a meal.

Wayne and Kevin chatting.

Then we arrived at the Painted Desert. You can see why this area got it's name with all the different coloured clays in white, yellow, orange, mauve and pinks etc. Created over 80 million years. The effects of erosion on the residue from an ancient inland sea and the leaching of minerals in the soil, together lend to the myriad of colours you see. 

We went for a walk with Wayne up to the top of the Arckaringa mountains then down through the flood plains back to the vehicle getting views from all angles. When you walk on the desert floor it is amazingly soft and when you touch it you discover it is made from the finest of powders like talc which is amazing when it all looks so harsh and dry.

We walked to a billabong to see the bird life whilst Wayne made our lunch even catering for Kevin.

Mt Batterbee Lookout. Arckaringa Hills State Heritage Area encompasses 880 square kilometers

We even saw this wedge tailed eagle

In a dried up river bed we saw gypsum and red jasper everywhere.

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