Friday, 25 February 2011

Kati Thanda Lake Eyre

The Lake Eyre Basin is one of the largest internally draining systems in the world and the ecosystems it supports are varied and often unique. Spanning the Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland the basin is said to cover about one sixth of the Australian continent.

For much of the time Lake Eyre itself is a dry salt pan but when the rains fall rivers such as the Georgina, Diamantina and Cooper Creek fill the lake and attract bird and wildlife from far and wide.

The Basin is culturally significant and has a long history of Aboriginal  and European settlement and use.  Sustainable management of its environmental, economic and cultural assets are extremely important. Known as Kati Thanda by the Arabana people the South Australian Government agreed to dual naming in late 2012.   

Our tours travel to Lake Eyre on the Oodnadatta Track and we often camp at Coward Springs which is an oasis in this often harsh desert landscape. The campground has a natural spa where you can enjoy a dip. It also has a heritage-listed railway site with a number of restored historic buildings which are interesting to visit.

Sunrise at Coward Springs is beautiful!

The best way to see the Lake is by taking a flight as you can only understand the scale and majestic nature of the Lake from above. It was truley an amazing experience although we were a little disappointed at the lack of birdlife. Our pilot explained that as there had been so much rain the birds had so many choices they weren't congreating in numbers on the lake.

We flew out of William Creek where the hotel is home to 3 permanent residents making this the smallest settlement in South Australia. They're a very friendly group and the pub is a great place to meet a range of interesting fellow travellers.

For more pictures of the area a great picture gallery from The Australian

Zoos in Victoria

Melbourne has a range of zoo's in easy reach from the city. You can find out all about them at Zoos Victoria.

The Melbourne Zoo has world class facilities for animals and visitors alike. One of the current features is the 4 baby tigers who have just turned one.

Healesville Sanctuary focusses more on Australian wildlife and has just introduced an exciting new flight spectacular, Spirits of the Sky, which can be seen in the Flight Arena.

One of the most fascinating areas at the Sanctuary is the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, a wildlife hospital, that treats more than 2000 sick and injured native animals every year. Whilst visiting this facility you may see an operation in progress or a range of animals being treated. The facility is also an important training centre for wildlife veterinarians. 

At Werribee Open Range Zoo animals are kept in their natural environment and tours are run through the park so you can see the animals as close as possible to how they would be in the wild. You can also experience a number of wildlife experiences including staying overnight on a Slumber Safari.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Aboriginal Australia

There seems to be an increasing interest in Australia's indigenous people, their culture and connection to country. From what we've learnt whilst travelling through this amazing land they were the first environmentalists. Their customs ensured their hunting and gathering practices didn't impact the ongoing viability of food sources.They moved with the changing weather patterns and used fire to manage the landscape.

If you're interested to learn more about these amazing people Information on Indigenous Australia

You can also join our 4 day Indigenous Tour of Victoria