Camping on the Cooper
Birdlife on Coongie Lake

18 Day Tanami Desert/Kimberley Ornithological Safari
Alice Springs – Kununurra (W.A.)
Newhaven Station – Broome Area – Mitchell Plateau
$6,250

Departing Alice Springs May 10th 

This is a Bird-watching Safari with 3or 4 days spent on the exciting Newhaven Station, owned by Birds Australia.

Newhaven, located on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert, was only a pastoral lease for forty years. It was lightly stocked with only seventy five percent of its area grazed. It incorporates ten different vegetation communities, with a varied range of land forms including salt lakes, open spinifex plains, claypans, breakaway and rocky ranges. Night Parrots have been recorded there in the past. From a base camp here, we explore this whole region.

Continuing up the Tanami Track we spend an overnight camp at Rabbit Flat, at an exclusive campsite. Then, on to Broome, for two nights at the Broome Bird Observatory, experiencing both the waders of Roebuck Bay and inland birds.

 

Kimberley
 
From Broome, we travel up the Gibb River Road, then to Drysdale River Station, and on the ruggedly beautiful Mitchell Plateau. We have a base camp here, with the possibility of an optional helicopter flight over the Mitchell Falls.
In the Kimberley we are targeting the Black Grass Wren and Kimberley Honeyeater in particular. Wyndham is visited before finishing in Kununurra.

This Itinerary includes basecamp at the Remote and Beautiful Injune Station on Victoria River.

Service Runs - Available from Adelaide to Alice Springs (2 days) $120
             Also Kununurra (including Lake Argyle) to Alice Springs (3 days) $295

Great Victoria Desert 31-Day Camel Expedition
-Night Parrot Search-

Service Run Departs Adelaide (SA) July 8th 2010. All-inclusive price (31 days) $6,950

Great Victoria Desert – is Australia’s second largest desert, located between the Nullarbor Plain and the Gibson Desert. It is arguably the most interesting desert, bing more botanically diverse than any other. The great variety of flora ranges fromvast scrubs of Mulga (Acacia aneura), large attractive Marble Gums (Eucalyptus gonglyocarpa), and stately black Oaks (Casuarinas), through to belts if Malley scrub (Multi-stemmed Eucalpyts), numerous under storey species and shrublands. Landforms vary from spectacular red bush-covered sand dunes, sand plains, salt lakes and breakaway country (Remnant plateau), the abundant fauna is also of great interest.

Objective – To transverse a tract of country, including the Great Victoria Desert, in South & Western Australia, and the Nullarbor Plain. For the most part, this route  explores country previously untravelled by Europeans. The main theme of this expedition is to search for the elusive Night Parrot (Gecpsittacus occidentalis). ln 1979 Rex Ellis, accompanied by the late Shane Parker (S.A. Museum Curator of Birds), led a camel expedition in the Cooper Creek area of South Australia that was successful in rediscovering Night Parrots. (See Chapter 14 in “Bush Safari" by Rex Ellis). In 1999, on a similar expedition to this, a Bush Safari Co party heard one night what was undoubtedly Nigh Parrots calling from near a fresh water source that was discovered the previous day (ln the Great Victoria Desert).

General - This is very much a contemporary, exploratory expedition, filling in more blank spaces on the map of Australia. Rex Ellis pioneered contemporary camel expeditions in Australia, beginning in 1976. This is a comprehensive expedition, and a “last ditch" attempt to End the Night Parrot in the Great Victoria Desert. On the expedition, the sixteen camels will support a party of up to ten people, plus four cameleers. During the 30 days, the expedition will be resupplied with water on one occasion.

The party will experience a huge cross section of the desert, with the last week or so on the vast Nullarbor, the world's largest limestone plain. Among the special bird species likely to be recorded are: ScarIet—chested and Princess Parrots, Naretha Blue Bonnet and Nullarbor Ctuailthrush. If there are good summer rains in 2008/09, an extra bonus will be a profusion of flowering trees, shrubs and wildflowers.

The Camels - There is no better way to cross a desert than with camels, and people alternately walk and ride, whilst some prefer to walk all the time. People need to be reasonably fit, and pre-conditioning is recommended prior to departure.

 

The camels leave a lasting impression, and their quiet
strength and patience is a constant fascination for people. The
riding saddles are padded with sheepskin covers, and are very
comfortable, giving riders an excellent view of the surrounding
countryside. To cross a desert with camels is to change your
life forever.


Suggested reading:
The Great Victoria Desert, - (Mark Shepherd)
Australia Twice Traversed, - (Earnest Giles)
Bush Safari and Ten Thousand Campfires, - (Rex Ellis)
Outback By Camel, - (Rex Ellis)

This trip is now Full.

Camel
Simpson Desert Sand Dunes
Strzelecki Desert Expedition
Simpson Desert Expedition
Sturt Stony Desert
Sunset in the Desert
A Great Victoria Desert Expedition
To contact us:
Phone/Fax: (08) 8543 2280
International: +61 8 8543 2280
E-mail: rexellis@safarico.com.au