Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
Trip End Oct 31, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Monday, May 31, 2010

MONDAY MAY 31 2010

Journey: Clare, Port Pirie, Mambray Creek Camp ground

Mileage at Clare: 16128 Kms

Weather: 12 degrees 10am at Clare

Overnight: Mambray Creek. $46 for 2 month camping & park pass; otherwise $7 car entry, $16 pn camping fee.

We arrived here, just after 4pm and were immediately impressed with the beauty and silence. There were only another 5 campers and we were able to choose a flat site close to the bathroom, but were unable to ascertain whether we would get sun on our solar panels as the sun was below the mountains and it was a little cloudy. This lovely camp ground even had hot showers as well as fire places and supplied wood!!

We strolled around to get our bearings along the dry creek bed with the majestic River Red Gums making an amazing setting for this area! With TV reception we watched the ABC news and then hopped into bed to read as it was extremely cold and of course without power we are unable to use our heater. Kath suggested the gas stove but bed with a book was a more environmentally friendly option.

Mount Remarkable National Park is in the southern Flinders Ranges with gorges, creeks, craggy mountains and cliffs, and the magnificent River Red Gums which famously grow along rivers and creeks and drop their branches to conserve energy when there is no water. There are many of these distressed trees in the drought areas of South Australia.

the Mambray Creek area has some great walks and we tackled a few of them:Daveys Gully Hike, a 2 1/2 kms track giving great views over the Spencer Gulf and a chance to meet a few emues and kangaroos or are they euros(hill dwelling kangaroos). At this stage we have not distingushed between these two! The yellow footed rock wallaby, apparently quite rare was the first creature we encountered in the park!

the more demanding Mount Cavern Track had great views but was up and up on rocks and scree and as the time was short we did not complete this one; it is dark around 5pm as mentioned above and being caught on a steep track in the dark is incentive enough to cut short a trip.

The Hidden Gorge Hike meanders along the creek, between stunning red cliffs and native pines and is a real treat on the cool sunny Wednesday. We also tackled the turn off to Sugar Gum Lookout but the Sugar Gums had grown tall and bushy and the promised views of the red cliffs were therefore hidden. Never mind, because we considered the last steep climb up to be our heart pumping exercise for the day.

Each evening around 5pm, we got together with a lovely group of campers around a warm communal camp fire and enjoyed wine and good stories. Sue and David were long time dairy farmers, now retired with detailed knowledge of the water problems and politics around the Murray; Len had been a university professor of business studies in Adelaide, Laurie was a retired electrician and there was a ex stockbroker etc. etc. so the conversation was vibrant and interesting!

The birds and animals were interesting as well!

The cold and silence of the dark nights were rivetting and early morning was heralded by the laughing kookaburras and sweetly singing magpies- time to get out of bed seemed to be the message! A couple of arrogant emues poked around the camp sites daily for suitable food but they ignored 6+ potatoes left behind in our camp fire by some previous campers.

We were thrilled to sight the local "babbler" at the nest among the wattle trees feeding their young.

All in all we experienced 3 great nights in this gorgeous park!

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