Friday, 5 June 2015

NT Road Trip 2015: Part 06

Day 06 -- Eringa Waterhole to Chambers Pillar

After heading north from Eringa, we made relatively slow [40kph] progress on some fairly rough roads towards New Crown Station. The Pedirka Track to Dalhousie Springs [a top birding spot] was closed. This meant that we would have to do an extra 180 km to visit. We decided not to, so kept heading north. The border between SA and NT was interesting for it's lack of features. Just a welcoming sign!

After passing through the town of Finke [Aputula] we headed towards Alice Springs on the Old South Road. This road has several unique features. It is mostly sand. It has lots of corrugations. It follows the Old Ghan easement and there are plenty of old steel rail spikes on the road, presumably brought to the surface when grading. We saw many dozens. And made sure we didn't run over any. But the most unusual feature is that the road runs beside the Finke Desert Race track which is from 10 metres to 50 metres away. Occasionally the race track crosses the road. The FDR occurs on the Queen's Birthday weekend [06-08 June 2015] in which various classes of bikes and buggies race the 250km to Finke on one day and back again the next. See here for YouTube footage of buggies or bikes. Essentially it is 250 kms of corrugations, moguls and jumps. The biggest drop from crest to valley is 1.8 metres. The bikes used to be faster than the buggies but the buggy guys have their suspensions sorted these days and do the distance in about 90 minutes. Yes, 90 minutes for 250 kms!!

We turned off the Old South Road at Maryville Station and drove 40kms into the Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve. There is a 4WD-only jump-up about 20km out which gives a fabulous view of the country and the pillar.

Spot the pillar
Closest [towards sunset]
The only birds photographed for the day were Zebra Finches Taeniopygia guttata by a bore. ZFs must have water daily and are never very far from it.


  1. You should have picked up some of the spikes, they make beautiful knives.


    36 to go but who's counting Phew!!!!!!

  2. Some people had collected enough spikes to use them to mark their names out on the road side.