Well we had some very changing road conditions in our travel today. It started with 2 lane bitumen then to single lane bitumen to wide gravel road.
Even the gravel road was changing with good gravel surface to bull dust to white powder and some sections of heavy corrugated road. Every now and then they would put a section of bitumen in as a “overtaking opportunity” or an “Emergency Airstrip”.
The first 200kms through to Haddon Corner
was not too bad with bitumen for 3/4 of the distance then the Innamincka Road
having been recently graded with little traffic on it.
The last kilometre into Haddon Corner
involved a couple of sand dune crossings. I could have unhooked the caravan but what would have been the fun in that.
The first dune had a solid surface going up but on the down side it was very soft. That was no worries as there was a second return track to the north that was a lot less steep.
The second dune was not as large as the first and again had a firm surface going up but very soft going down. There was no second track coming back on this dune. Thus should be fun coming back.
At Haddon Corner
there is the obligatory signs, visitor book and point post. This is the northeast corner of the State of South Australia.
It was now time to conquer the dunes. First attempt on the western dune was a flop. Thats OK, reverse back and give it some more momentum. Second attempt all good and over we went.
The eastern dune wasn’t even a challenge with the northern track and soon we were on our way to Betoota
A short distance from Betoota
is Deon’s Lookout with views from a tabletop over the surrounding countryside. There was even another section of bitumen but this soon ended heading into Betoota
The sign for Betoota
says it all, “Population 0”. It is a ghost town however the Betoota Hotel
is being resurrected in time for the Betoota Races at the end of August.
However for us today it was a pub with no beer. We were going to camp here but decided to do the last 170kms into Birdsville
This was probably some of the worst road with a lot of corrugations. In fact 35kms from Birdsville
there was a caravan with only 3 wheels.
It was Frank and Helen from Griffith, NSW. We stopped to see if they were alright and all was good, just waiting for a tow truck, so we continued on.
Arriving into Birdsville
just before sunset, we crossed the Diamantina River
and I looked right and recognised a caravan on the banks of the River.
It was our friends from Western Australia, David and Deanne. They have been in Birdsville
for a month, working the Big Red Bash.
We pulled up and camped the night with them along the banks of the Diamantina River
and enjoyed a campfire.