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Part 2: Flying over Lake Eyre
This was the fun part: Ian decided that keeping low most of the time was more interesting (check the elevations recorded in the big pictures!). We saw a good deal, and Ian told us all about the place (he's a fifth-generation pastoralist, and owns much of what we flew over). The flight took around four and a half hours in all, including a refuelling stop, and we covered a lot of ground. We took quite a few movies, too: you can see them at the end of the pictures.

[click for larger images/more detail, including latitude, longitude, elevation]

Mustering a few cattle (that's why we flew so low: sort of)

Red dirt, green vegetation: the outback has never looked so alive!

The Ediacara Range

Lake Eyre! (as far as the eyes can see)

Our Cessna 172 was a little worn

Lake Eyre's Junction Gully off Jackboot Bay (looking north-east)

The tip of Hunt Peninsula, in the Elliot Price Conservation Park

Inspecting the shoreline for 'emergency landings' (we had to get low for a reason...)

Although the altimeter read '0', we were just above the ground at the time (and below sea level)

The water in the lake had a real pink hue

Still 'looking for emergency landing strips'!

The white dot in the middle (left) is the remains of a Cessna that flew too close to the water

We dropped into Muloorina Homestead to refuel and stretch legs

Looking down the Frome River towards Marree

Magnificent scenery!

A close-up as we flew past

Looking back along the old Ghan Railway to junction of Oodnadatta and Birdsville tracks (at Marree)

More of the old Ghan (now relocated to the west)

Illusion Plains: many commercials are filmed here

Close-up of the strange geography

The Witchelina Hills

Lake Eyre South in the distance

The Ochre Cliffs, used by aboriginals for thousands of years (they traded ochre)

Lyndhurst, junction of Strzelecki Track and track to Marree

The only segment of sealed road on the Strzelecki Track, near Lyndhurst

The 'old' Leigh Creek coal mine

Another view of the old mine

A small part of the new mine: the yellow dots are huge mining trucks

The white area is marked for further mining (Leigh Creek)

It's really, really BIG!

Where they store Leigh Creek's water

And the Leigh Creek mining village, with trees!

We had to fly for a while with the windows open

Gammon Range in the far north

Ubiquitous 4WD and trailer, and roadside ruin

Back at hotel (not sure about the reindeer)

To Lake Eyre | Over the lake | Around Wilpena Pound | North Flinders and return | Movies |     © October 2010