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Dunes, Springs and Salt Pans

Tour Code: CD05
Duration: 4 nights /5 days
Tour Dates: Saturday 26th May – Wednesday 30th May 2007
Price Per Person: £1,323 (tour only)


Tour Highlights

Dawn Cattle Drive Tour five enjoys some of the most intriguing sights of the Cattle Drive thanks to the resource that's so precious in this region... water. As you drive the herd through the Outback landscape, you'll see stretches of rocky plains and dunes ranging in colour from yellow to brown to rich, rich red. You'll also see dramatic outcrops of rock as well as the searing saltpans that were a daunting sight for the earliest pioneers.

Not surprisingly, natural springs will make for an extra-welcome sight... Waters from the subterranean Great Artesian Basin leak through a chain of springs running along what is now the Oodnadatta Track; the aboriginal people understood the secrets of the springs for millennia. For the Europeans, however, the springs offered the means to water cattle, sustain telegraph stations and power steam engines. At Strangways historic site, you'll see the ruin of the 1870 repeater station, another hub along the great 'singing wires' complex. Beresford Springs was an important railway siding, telegraph and radar station. Coward Springs was another railway stop - though today this is also an astonishing oasis, a place where you'll get the chance to soak in warm waters while marvelling at the wetlands, date palms and bird life. Perhaps the most striking landforms are the mound springs. These domes of limestone literally loom out of the plains, leaking their precious water and creating unique ecosystems. Two of these mounds have come to be known as 'The Bubbler' and 'Blanche Cup', though they've had great spiritual significance to Aboriginal groups for many thousands of years.

You can do as much or as little of this cattle drive as you wish; optional coach tours on Days 3 and 4 are available to show you further regional highlights and histories. Experience the Outback from a unique vantage point and join a scenic flight over Lake Eyre , or the Painted Desert or discover Coward Springs oasis on a camel tour at an additional cost.

Your village of superior tented accommodation is Strangways Campsite, located 236km south of Oodnadatta.


Day 1, Saturday - Arrive 11:00am at Strangways Campsite. Enjoy the official welcome briefing, settle into the camp and have lunch. Transfer to the herd and meet the droving and farrier teams before being matched with your horse. After you get acquainted, you'll spend your first afternoon droving cattle! Return to the camp, where your evening meal will be served. The open fire will be a great place to get to know the members of your group.
(Meals - Lunch and Dinner)

Day 2, 3, 4, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday - Each morning after breakfast you will be transferred to the horses where your droving will commence. The cattle will move some 14km each day, so your droving departure and pick-up points will change. Lunch is delivered to you as the cattle rest and feed.

Take the opportunity to chat to the drovers and farriers during the day. Upon returning to Camp in late afternoon, you'll find hot showers, the camp library, and cold drinks at the bar (alcohol is available for purchase). The evening meal will vary from buffet style (served in the on-site marquee) to camp-oven meals cooked on the campfire. Dinner is often accompanied by tales from the Outback - including yours!

On days 3 and 4 you are invited to join a coach tour to take in more of the highlights and history of the surrounding area (optional). Scenic flights and camel tours are also available at an additional cost. (Meals - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

Day 5, Wednesday - Enjoy breakfast then farewell your Outback home of Strangways Campsite at 10:00am . (Meal - Breakfast)

What's included?

  • Superior carpeted tent accommodation at Anna Creek campsite including camp bed, sheets, quilt (duvet), pillow and towel.
  • A fully maintained campsite with bathroom facilities including hot showers, hair dryers and flushing toilets.
  • All meals stated as per itinerary (full breakfast, lunch, two-course dinner). Australian cuisine will be featured. Special dietary requests are catered for, however please confirm this at time of booking.
  • Non-alcoholic drinks, including soft drinks, tea, coffee and unlimited water.
  • Horse riding, including saddle, safety equipment and helmet.
  • Guided coach tours on days 3 and 4 of your tour featuring surrounding attractions and historic points of interest; this is offered as an alternative option to droving.
  • Exposure to Aboriginal and cultural experiences as offered by guides.
  • Experienced staff including doctor and event management staff, professional drovers, farriers, horse tailers and vets.

CAR PARK Will be located adjacent the campsite and will be well sign posted from the Oodnadatta Track.

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