Simpson Desert crossing 10: Cooper’s Creek to Emerald

Len remembered a perfect camping place on Cooper’s Creek from a trip he’d taken with a friend a few years ago, so we eschewed the main camping area and headed down a side-track on the left. When we got there it just didn’t look right. We decided to walk through the bush along the river bank looking for the spot. After about 10 minutes we found it. Len then walked along a vehicle track back to the road. We had turned off too soon.

After erecting the tent my usual duty was to set up the loo. In spite of the rain, four inches down the dry clay was like rock. I chiselled out a hole with the mallet and an 18 inch screw driver I’d brought along to pull out tent pegs:


Margot and I went for a walk along the water’s edge:






Soon we had a beautiful fire on the go. Len and I finished off the beer we had brought from Alice Springs which our ice box had kept cold for eight days.


That night we had a not entirely successful damper. Len has a radio powerful enough for clear reception. We ended up listening to the last 20 minutes or so of a rugby union test between the Wallabies and the All Blacks which the Wallabies could have, should have won!

Next morning the clouds provided a superb pre-dawn display in the heavens. Margot and Len took 25 photos between them. Here are some:







The morning light gave the camp a ghostly hue:




The fire was readily coaxed into life:


The sun touched the trees on the opposite bank:


Packing up for the last time:


The task for the day was to drive 735 km to Emerald, first through towns you don’t hear about very often such as Jundah and Stonehenge to Longreach and thence down the highway to Emerald.

We didn’t have much time for tourist activities but stopped at a place called Swanvale Jump Up:




Other than that the country was mostly flat open grazing country. The bitumen was quite old and narrow and undergoing upgrading:


More grazing country after Longreach, gun barrel straight roads and lots of road kill.


Towards evening we came down a range, to enter our third major river basin for the day.


We arrived after dark. I recall the eerie lights of coal mines on the horizon, working 24/7.

We had plenty of food for the evening meal and to contribute to Geoff’s larder. I’ll end with a slightly fuzzy photo of two old fossils busy texting:


Note: This post is the thirteenth in a series on our Red Centre holiday.

Wishing all a very merry Christmas. After a bit of a rest there may indeed be more travel posting in the new year.

3 thoughts on “Simpson Desert crossing 10: Cooper’s Creek to Emerald”

  1. Thank you Brian. Now that looks more like my country. Have a happy Christmas and hope to see you and Margot in the New Year Sally

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