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THE SENIOR TRAVELLER May, 2010 17
THE BIG WET
SPECIAL HOLIDAY FEATURE
THE crippling drought across large
parts of Australia in recent years has
decimated the populations of many coun-
try centres and caused many people to lose
The longed-for rainfall and floodwaters
has brought new life to Queensland. In
recent weeks the water has crossed vast
tracts of inland waterways in northern
NSW. Now Lake Eyre, a massive outback
salt lake in South Australia, is poised for a
deluge of water that will give birds and
other species a chance to breed again.
People in country areas are celebrating
the new life that will be generated by the
waters, and hoping that tourists will come
and see for themselves.
For the next few months Australian Air
Holidays will fly passengers out to experi-
ence the magnificent spectacle of Lake
Eyre filling with water.
Its two-day weekend outback holidays
in a Fokker 50 aircraft, flying as low as
1200 feet, provide an unrivalled view of
the natural wonders occurring below as
the channels, creeks and lakes feed and
restore Lake Eyre.
The company's weekend tours also take
in the Flinders Ranges, Coober Pedy,
Warburton Grove and Birdsville, with
lunch at the iconic Birdsville Pub.
THE Australian Outback in bloom.
Record rainfall in Outback Queensland
has resulted in the dusty barren plains
coming to life.
Residents have been rummaging
through rainfall records dating back as far
as 1892 and have found nothing to match
the deluge that has been received in
Outback Queensland this year.
Outback Queensland Tourism
Association executive tourism manager
Melissa Chapman is predicting a big
influx in visitor numbers.
"The reds, golds and browns commonly
associated with the Outback have been
transformed to every imaginable shade of
green, wildflowers of brilliant colours car-
pet the ground, and the birdlife and native
wildlife is simply abundant," she said.
While the rains have been received
across the Outback from Cunnamulla to
Cloncurry, the Channel Country of south-
western Queensland is receiving the great-
est benefit from the slow-flowing waters as
they traverse river catchments on their
journey towards Lake Eyre.
Ms Chapman said tourism operators
and supporters in the Queensland
Outback were looking forward to showing
travellers the Outback as they've
never seen it before.
Bombora Tours owner Troy Smith has
a tour package to Outback Queensland
which includes Longreach -- and he admits
he hasn't been this excited in years. "After
so many years of seeing the Outback so
dry and inhospitable, now to see the
Outback in bloom is an amazing opportu-
nity that shouldn't be missed," he said.
Bombora Tours has seats still available
on its all-inclusive 14-day Outback
Queensland tour package departing
Brisbane on May 13 and September 16. The
tour package is specifically designed for
seniors and does not require any special fit-
ness. Motel accommodation is provided.
If you only have time for a day trip to
see the water in Lake Eyre, Travel West
has flights from Brisbane in a 36-seat, high
wing Dash 8.
Travel West director Graham Reid will
provide a comprehensive overview of the
river systems and huge properties, prom-
ising passengers "a geography and history
lesson covering over 4000km in one day".
Bombora Tours 1800-074-363
The 2010 Outback Travellers' Guide
1800-247-966 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel West 1800-654-541 or email
FILLING UP -- Lake Eyre from the air. Photo courtesy Travel West.
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