Last weekend I had the most amazing three day trip with my Mum (Jinnie), and fellow tour goers Lyn, Peter, Moya and Stewart. Our trip was with Brindabella Airlines and our pilot Ben made us feel like we were living the lifestyle of the ‘rich and famous’ as we flew out to Lake Eyre in our 7 seater plane “Wally” so named because she is registered Whisky Alpha Lima (WAL).
Now I promise I am not boasting, but I have to tell you about this trip because it was truly wonderful, and I encourage you to save up and go for yourself – a ‘bird’s eye view’ really is the best way to see these fabulous landscapes transformed by water.
We left Canberra on a cold morning at 5.30am and headed across to Broken Hill for some morning tea and to fill up the plane (so weird stopping the plane next to the pump like in a service station). On we went to the Flinders Ranges where we visited Arkaroola, a geologists heaven! On the way we crossed over a very full looking Menindee Lakes, as well as seeing beautiful Lake Frome, that was iridescent with the sun sparkling on all that salt.
Day two, and we flew over the Flinders Ranges to Marree where we were met by a guide for a land tour out to the shore of Lake Eyre – it was so incredible to be standing on the shoreline of such an iconic place. The water is extremely salty, and all along the shoreline there are samphire bushes, daises and interesting rock formations, as well as the salt crystals catching the light. After standing on the shoreline it was a joy to then fly over and see Cooper Creek almost, but not quite seeping into the lake.
We flew at a range of different heights, 500 metres up to 5000 metres, and the view was spectacular, close up to the lake you can see the channels and patterns in the sand, as well as the birds. High up you see the magnificent scale of Lake Eyre, the rivers running in to it, the small islands and the interplay of salt and sand.
We flew from Lake Eyre across to Wilpena Pound, arriving as the sun was setting on the escarpment – truly magnificent. Day two ended with us flying through a rainbow, which was a surreal experience as the arch of the rainbow went right around us. Wilpena is lovely and I have never been before, certainly somewhere to go back to.
Day three we walked into the Pound and were transfixed by the beauty of this not often talked about special place. That afternoon we headed home after a flight over Wilpena Pound and then back to Broken Hill. We were home by 8.00pm after some cloud surfing to avoid a few thunderstorms.
Thank you to Ben our great pilot for looking after us so well! Thanks also to my tour companions, and especially my Mum for asking me to share this experience with her. I have come back inspired and excited about our wonderful inland…also thinking that I might need to get a pilot’s licence ……