Lake Eyre Top & Bottom + Painted Hills Deluxe Tour From Coober Pedy
- Coober Pedy, Lake Eyre, Painted Hills
- 6 hours
- Min Passengers:
LAKE EYRE TOP & BOTTOM + PAINTED HILLS DELUXE TOUR FROM COOBER PEDY
This extended half day flight, departs Coober Pedy and tracks past the Coober Pedy Township and north east past the northern end of Lake Cadibarrawirracanna and on towards the Oodnadatta Track, Old Ghan railway line and Nilpinna Station. The old Ghan railway line operated up until 1980 and has some remarkable bridges and other history along its route.
We fly abeam the homestead at Nilpinna, appreciating the remoteness of outback life, and on over the Davenport Ranges and Mt Margaret, which rise quite abruptly and impressively from the surrounding landscape.
Once over the rounded hills and deep valleys of the Davenport Ranges we follow the descending floodplain on the eastern side of the ranges via the George, Umbum and Douglas rivers to the western shoreline of Lake Eyre. The stake beauty of the water flows across the terrain in the river beds is easily distinguishable from the air even when the rivers are not flowing, because the trees in the creek beds show up as dark green paths across the red/brown landscape.
Entering Lake Eyre near the Umbum and Douglas river mouths, you will see the wide expanse of salt on the lake bed, with the effect of wind drift creating remarkable patterns and depending on the light, an array of earthy colours. Your flight continues to the centre of the Lake and the Warburton Groove, Hughes Island and Dulhunty Island where pelicans, ducks, bandied stilts, kites, small cormorants and sea gulls gather when the water is flowing. Our track now turns west, and clearly visible to the south is the mouth of Jackboot bay, Babbage Peninsula, Silcrete Island and Belt Bay. Silcrete is another excellent photo opportunity so get your cameras ready!
From here, crossing into Belt Bay we see the deepest part of the lake at 15m below sea level. Then we pass by the ABC viewing station and the end of the Halligan Bay Rd and head west to William Creek on the Oodnadatta Track for a short break where you are welcome to purchase refreshments at the iconic William Creek Hotel.
Departing William Creek, we head west briefly to pass above the Anna Creek station Homestead, then south to the Painted Hills, where you will be treated to a stunning array of colours and patterns in the pristine landscape caused by natural erosion in the area.
Toward the southern end of the Painted Hills area, which is protected and located on the Anna Creek Station pastoral lease, we cross the Dog Fence and head north westerly back over some local mining tenements to Coober Pedy Township and Coober Pedy Airport.
The flight include full commentary via headsets worn by all passengers and superb window views.