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13 October 2009 @ 03:40 pm
Now for something totally unrelated...  
Here is my best-of-the-best selection of photographs from our South Australian tour to Lake Eyre, Coober Pedy, Arkaroola, Wilpena Pound and the Clare Valley.

We clocked some SERIOUS miles in a very short space of time. To give you an idea, on the last day of our tour we flew, in two private planes, from Arkaroola to Wilpena Pound, drove from Wilpena Pound to Adelaide, hopped on a plane, flew from Adelaide to Sydney, drove from Sydney to Port Macquarie. That was one day. Google it some time. lol I tried to screencap it but it doesn't fit on one screen.

Anyway, this took me ages to put together, so please - enjoy :)



*click on any photo to enlarge*

Wilpena Pound - a natural formation of plate collision and natural erosion.

This first set of photos were taken from our little private planes (4 seaters) as we flew over Lake Eyre - to Coober Pedy - Wilpena Pound and Arkaroola.

Lake Eyre plane crash resulted from stupid male stupidity.
 He thought he'd fly his tourists below sea level (as Lake Eyre is below sea level) and all that salt makes it impossible to judge height from the ground especially when you're already below ground level and he landed, rather unceremoniously, on the salt flat. Now here's the kicker - that same day, an identical aircraft crashed/landed on a Melbourne freeway and lost its wings. It needed new wings so the pilot and a few of his mates flew straight to Lake Eyre and scavenged the wings off the plane - but neglected to save the stranded tourists and pilot who had to wait for a boat to come and get them. Sadly, water was too shallow for the boat when everyone got in it so tourists then had to drag their sorry-arse-boat through Lake Eyre until they were picked up by a fourwheel drive resident. Whoops. MEN. The remainder of the plane has been left there to prove a point.

The Painted Hills & William Creek Station

I love the way, when you're flying, the pilots control their own air traffic so all you hear is this, "This is Cessnor ALFA CHARLIE 9, coming in from Wilpena - destination, Painted Hills, altitude 500 feet - co-company, traffic Painted Hills." It was so awesome - except when private planes didn't check in with the network and all of a sudden they come FROM NOWHERE and miss you by not really much at all.


Coober Pedy - Opal capital of the world and our two exceptional pilots. Also, the dingo fence - longest man-made structure in the world :) and a FOR REAL golf course. Mind the 100 FOOT HOLES YOU'RE DRIVING NEXT TO. Also - opalised starfish - I totally wanted one but opal is more expensive than diamond.

Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary

-with the scariest 'road' in the whole world. Seriously, we did, 'controlled falling' down the sides of cliffs - powered up vertical mountains only to have to swing a corner before falling off the next cliff - no barriers. I had the biggest black bruise across my legs from the seatbelt holding me in as I either dangled from the support frame as the truck went up vertical or was squished by everybody as we 'fell' down FREAKING ROCK STEPS. If you're in the front - and you can't see the road you're going down because it's sooo steep (even though you're practically sitting on the hood of the truck), then you know you're in trouble. No photos of that - obviously - because I was too busy hanging on for dear life to use my camera. However, the second photo below is the apex of the ranges - we got both the cars up there - at the same time. NO FENCES, look carefully at the corner of that picture - how far down do you reckon that is?

When they said - 'Ridge top tour' it turns out that they mean that LITERALLY. I want parachute.

Also, their airstrip has this wonderful, quirk about it where, just as you're about to land, half the runway disappears because it's sloped down on both sides. It is a landing of faith where you have to BELIEVE THERE BE RUNWAY and land regardless lol. We landed perfectly, my parents - well, their pilot hadn't landed there before so he aborted, then bounced it on his second go LOL. Also, their runway markers are builder's hats - FOR REAL - i love that.

The second photo is part of the track from the air.

Endangered OMG YOU NEVER SEE THIS yellow-footed rock wallaby - which, actually, we saw three of LOL. Second photo is a normal (poor thing) grey wallaby.

Tasty - tasty emu. I mean, emu and chicks. Also, picture of an old homestead window.

550 - 700 million year old sandstone rocks - it is not everyday you get to lick these - I mean, see these.

and that's all for the moment :) thank you for your bandwidth attention.

(Deleted comment)
ellymelly: no way waaaaayellymelly on October 13th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
the private planes were by far the biggest budget drainer - but it was kind of a once in a lifetime thing (as Lake Eyre only has water in it once every 60 years or so) so we threw caution to the wind lol

australia is gorgeous - but so different. i couldn't get over how flat it was. seriously - the flatness disturbed me greatly lol
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ellymelly: act betterellymelly on October 13th, 2009 08:02 am (UTC)
aw you should come back and explore - have you done the Great Ocean Road?
(Deleted comment)
ellymelly: sanctuaryghostellymelly on October 13th, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
OMG you've been to Fraser Island? *hates you - but in a good, jealous way* LOL

Queensland's so beautiful - it's just that there are so many things trying to kill you lol. i swear, i was afraid to swim.
helio, helium girl: eeeeheliotitans on October 13th, 2009 05:08 am (UTC)
you take awesome photos :)
ellymelly: hugellymelly on October 13th, 2009 08:02 am (UTC)
lol thank you :D
birdgirl78: ganderedbirdgirl78 on October 13th, 2009 09:36 am (UTC)
Oy! These are gorgeous! When I don't have 8 other girls clamoring to use my damn computer and whining about connection time, I'll take a closer look, and make more relevant comments.
*misses elly but is having fun with the girls and all our pictures of Mr. Rickman* LOL
ellymelly: childrenellymelly on October 13th, 2009 11:39 am (UTC)
*misses birdgirl*

you best post one hell of a picspam girl!
kat_rowe: wonderkat_rowe on October 13th, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
See my icon? About sums up my reaction to those pics and this post.

Beautiful, beautiful country.

Hysterical plane-crash story.

Scary-ass road story; and here I'd always considered driving through the foothills of the Appalachians scary (what??? I'm from the Midwest; if it's not flat, it's not normal...)

The runways sound fairly daunting, too

Opals *drools* Emus *drools*

Wallabies *gets giddy and wants to pet one*

sounds like a really wonderful experience :) *hugs you*
ellymelly: sanctuaryghostellymelly on October 13th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
lol *hugs*

yes - road was SCARY because they didn't tell us it was going to be like that at all lmao

emus - mmm... i had emu burger at the prairie hotel... it was yummy lol

pet a wallabie? - you MUST be from another country...
kat_rowe: fandom we know dramakat_rowe on October 13th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
"pet a wallabie? - you MUST be from another country..."

How'd you know? ;p I've never pet one before but I used to work at a zoo and the dingos were sweet. (The kangaroos were nasty little shits; I figured that wallabies are smaller so getting bitten by one would hurt less than when a kangaroo tries to take a bite out of you.)

never had emu but it can't taste that different from ostrich *shrug*

that road you described would be terrifying WITH forewarning. i'd have been screaming like a girl
nikolat3slanikolat3sla on October 13th, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
(((this is elly)

the MEN were screaming like girls - the girls were laughing at the men :D *epic win is epic* lol

if you ever get the chance to snack on an emu - DO - seriously, best tasting thing EVAH

you worked with kangaroos - that is just BRAVE lol - seen their claws??? OMG

wallabies - i'll give you, are cuter :D
kat_rowekat_rowe on October 13th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
Girls rule and boys drool :)

If I get the chance, I'll definitely give emu a try. Be worth the trouble of getting it for the size of the drum-sticks alone ;p

Saw their claws. Also saw the scar my boss had running from her right shoulder pretty much down to her left hip *shudders* But I was young and stupid then and convinced of my own invulnerability. All I knew was that it was pretty boss to help hold down a pissed off Tasmanian Devil while Doctor C tried to draw its blood (this took me and a minimum of three other people).

Wallabies are way cuter. Also, I may be baised because my niece and I used to watch this guy on TV a lot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocko ;p

Then again, I'm kind of freakish in my affection for animals in general, including several that just make normal people run in the opposite direction...
KosmikDawgkosmikdawg on October 13th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
Gorgeous photos. ♥ the one with the emu. thanks for sharing
ellymelly: don't look at meellymelly on October 13th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
lol there were SO MANY EMUS and they all had like a dozen chicks - and they're scary! *is scared*
KosmikDawg: [movies] sw_C3PO doomedkosmikdawg on October 14th, 2009 08:47 am (UTC)
um...I don't like birds...at all! I was at a zoo once and a friend talked me into going into a lorikeet enclosure (was a touristy thing) and I was literally besieged by colorful demons. They were on my shoulders, head, the visor of my hat; clinging to my pant legs. I had to restrain myself from trying to beat them away.

I can see the evening news over there...

NEWS FLASH..We interrupt your current programming to bring you a special report...When Emu attack! Caution some scenes not advisable for small children.
sidhe1sidhe1 on October 13th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
Way cool! These are really great photos. I always love your photo posts. =)
nikolat3sla: kiss?nikolat3sla on October 13th, 2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
(((this is elly))

thank you!!! and every time you use that icon i get all distracted and forget what i was going to say LMAO
A.: AT- gets tickled b/winperfectpeace on October 13th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
There is SO MUCH pretty in this post! Thanks for posting all of the great pictures. :)
ellymelly: did you like it?ellymelly on October 16th, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
lol thank you for the compliment! :D