Saturday, December 18, 2010

SA outback wilderness: Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park day1-2

mapVulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park lies approximately 750 km to the north of Adelaide and 110 km from Leigh Creek.

Deep red rocks, ancient hills and vast rugged landscapes make up this remote Outback wilderness. Part of the northern Flinders Ranges, the Gammon Ranges include spectacular scenery, a wealth of Adnyamathanha Aboriginal culture and the remnants of early European settlements (http://www.about-australia.com/travel-guides/south-australia/flinders-ranges-outback/attractions/natural/vulkathunha-gammon-ranges-national-park/).

This trip was right after the Grampians, something like 2-3 weeks after. It was a long weekend because of Good Friday and Easter Monday. Initially there ain’t any plan or the plan didn’t really work out, no trip from AUMC too (Alex wana have some break, haha). Suddenly got an email from Alex asking me and Jono are we interested to go to the Gammons with him??? Alex initially wanted to head to somewhere over the eastern end of victoria but changed his mind to the Gammons due to closure of the certain trek he wanted to do.

It was great for me as i was really hoping to do something over the long weekend, moreover it’s to the heart of South Australia’s outback!!!! Where the real wilderness begins!!!! I haven’t seen much of the South Australia outback since the Flinders trip. Just PERFECT for me, haha. I invited a newly known Malaysian friend to join along too.

It’s a long longggggggggggggggggggggg drive all the way up north.

IMG_5561As it was long holidays, the lion’s club or SA forestry ….etc will setup stops for people to get sthg to eat or drink for FREE!!!! And it’s 24hrs!!! How good is that??? It’s meant to provide those drivers on long journeys to have a bit rest and coffee/food to replenish their energy.

Also that was the first night i learned how to shoot the stars in the sky with my camera, haha. Kind of got very excited with it and kept on shooting a couple included the place we camped for the night which was somewhere beside the main road as we could not find the dedicated campground and the driver is getting tired.

Luckily the road was not a busy one because there really ain’t many people that travel up north this far.
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A beautiful break of dawn :)
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Alex slept in his bug-bivy which is not a tent but provides complete insect protection through the night. A single pole holds the mesh away from your face, keeping the bugs at a distance. The zipper opening seals mosquitoes and other small insects out. A waterproof floor keeps moist ground from soaking through your bag as you sleep (http://www.outdoorresearch.com/site/bug_bivy.html). U need your sleeping bag to keep u warm though.
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Getting ready for another long day drive. The whole journey was very interesting!!! From seal road into dirt road, into gravel road and the views constantly changed from time to time, from green patchy of grass to rolling mountains to rugged hills!!! One conclusion form all the views is IT’s VERY DRY even though it’s Autumn!!!!!! It’s a place that seems like all the moisture have been suck up clean by the sun or the land!!! Definitely not a nice place to be or to suffer any car breakdown or being left alone, there’s not a speck of civilization for hundreds of miles apart!!!!

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Windmill!!!! WIndmill have been a photographer’s loving subject here in Australia!!!
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One of the only civilization in between……
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Finally we reached our first destination which is to register in the national park headquarters log book and then got to dash off again to continue our journey.
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The toilet (on the right)
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Drive up if you are interested to visit Lake Frome, a salt lake which i have no idea since when it’s became ‘dehydrated’
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From here onwards, we were within the park boundaries and the place where you REALLY don’t want any breakdown!!! haha, we were all betting our luck on Alex’s all wheel drive Subaru outback because the trail into the starting point was meant for 4-wheel cars!!! All those rocks, undulating hills……
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The photo on the right looked like it’s not that high up but somehow it’s nearly beyond the subaru outback’s capability to climb up that slope!!! because of the sandy + small rocks everywhere that causes the less friction/grib on the tyre on the road, we were so glad that we got through that small hill, lol.
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We drove through Grindell’s hut which most 4-wheel drivers will stay and start from there. We met some 4-wheel drivers and they stared at Alex’s tiny (compared to the land cruisers, prado, etc) subaru outback, they must be wondering HOW THE HECK did they get in here with this car!!!

Finally we reached Lord Ness well, our starting point for a 4 day trek which brought us through the wilderness of South Australia (SA)’s outback and I would grade this, one of the toughest trek i have ever done here so far!!!!
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Spectacular view at the starting point with a sense of serenity!!!! This is the much unseen & untold SA’s outback!!!!
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