Our plane took off again on last Friday for another exciting trip exploring Lake Eyre and surrounds. We had a fantastic group of 8, as we ventured through the outback towns of Port Augusta, Innamincka, Birdsville, William Creek and Coober Pedy. It was a jam packed few days, which you can read about in our itinerary. Some highlights included:
- A tour of the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service Hangar in Port Augusta
- Exceptional meals and service at the Innamincka Hotel
- Fantastic tour of Birdsville with Skinny Dingo Tours, followed by a delicious lunch at the Birdsville Hotel
- Flying over spectacular Kati Thanda- aka Lake Eyre, which still has water flowing into it from up North. Such an amazing event to witness!
- Exploring the tiny town of William Creek, and enjoying a beer at the local watering hole
- Underground accommodation at the Comfort Inn Experience in Coober Pedy
- Superb meals at multi-award winning John’s Pizza Bar and Restaurant in Coober Pedy
- A highly amusing and interactive tour of Coober Pedy and surrounds with George from Oasis tours.
- AND of course an excellent group of guests!!
Thanks to everyone who helped make it another successful trip in the Outback.
For more information about our upcoming Lake Eyre and Outback Tours, check out our website.
Here are the comments from our guests from last weekends 3 Day Lake Eyre & Outback flying safari. The low level flying over Coopers Creek ( we could not land at the Dig Tree due to a wet airstrip from the previous weeks 40mm), Coongie Lakes and of course Lake Eyre was one of the many highlights to our guests. Other highlights were;
- the meals provided from the Outback loop of Innamincka & Birdsville Hotels, Johns Pizza Bar & Resteraunt
- Close up look of the Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound
- great weather, scenery and company, everyone had a blast and enjoyed every minute!
- the humorous & educational town tours of Birdsville & Coober Pedy plus the Breakaways and Dog Fence
- the beautiful water colours of Lake Eyre filling
- Self guided tour & opal polishing demonstration at Trevor Berry’s Old Timers Mine at Coober Pedy
“Great trip, with the highlights being Coongie Lakes & Lake Eyre. Fantastic food and amazing pilots. Thanks Lunch……” Drew & Genny, Adelaide
“There was a large plane at the Coober Pedy airstrip which carries about 50 people travelling over the same ground that we just did. There were only a few windows that you could see out of and could not possibly do low level flying like we did, which is a shame for them! But we had a ball. The Goin’ Off Safaris team is completely professional, educational and a lot of fun was had. Highly recommended to everyone…….” Mal, Port Lincoln
” Magnificent trip! We saw many places we would probably never been to by road. Excellent pilots, great meals. We particularly enjoyed the low level flying over the many areas. We will be spreading the word. Thanks again & well done!……” Ian & Judy, Cummins SA
“A great chance to see places we’d never drive to & a very well run business. We wondered who are compatriots would be & enjoyed their company & their life stories! A bit different from the A380…..but it was great to be able to chat with the pilots. Many thanks…..” Ian & Joan, Williamstown, Victoria
” Very enjoyable & well organised tour taking us where we would otherwise not go. Great Company. Coongie Lakes was our favourite part. Will recommend to our friends for sure……” Jean & Malcolm Schaefer, Kangaroo Island, SA
” Most enjoyable & a wonderful trip.Worth every cent & it was all that I had hoped it would be and more. Great sights & new friends. Highly recommended…..” Colin, Denmark, WA
” Just a wonderful experience which will remain with me for a long time! Everything was superb with great people, wonderful sights, real life Outback characters and amazing food everywhere we went. The Goin’ Off Safaris crew were all extremely helpful & knowledgeable. Loved every bit of the safari!…….” Rob, Port Lincoln, SA
Friday morning was what you would typically expect on a winters morning in Adelaide; slight drizzle, cold & cloudy as we made our morning pick ups for another 3 Day Lake Eyre & Outback Supreme Scenic Safari. The cloud stayed with us until just before Port Augusta when right on cue, the wind pushed them southerly to open up the Spencer Gulf underneath us and the Flinders Ranges to the north giving our guests the views that they were all expecting. Again,it was a great bunch of people from Denmark in WA, Williamstown in Victoria and picking up the remainder of the pack was friends from Adelaide and Australia’s seafood capital Port Lincoln, who provided us with laughter and entertainment throughout. The jury was out on the joke of the weekend, but we’re giving it to Colin for a side splitting gag told out at the Dog Fence near Coober Pedy!
The Flinders Ranges were again a highlight, as was the flying ability of our ever likeable and formidable pilots, Tony Schwerdt and Chris Pfitzner who gave all punters a great look inside Wilpena Pound before we met Tommy, general manager of Marree International Airport. He is just one of the many genuine characters that we get to meet in our travels and loves spinning a few yarns and cracking a few jokes! The Coopers Creek is as beautiful as ever and I’m happy to report that the birds are back, with large flocks of Pelicans, Cormorants, White Cockatoos present on the water. Due to 40mm of rain 2 weeks ago, we could not land at the Dig Tree due to a wet track but some low level flying meandering along the snaking Cooper, certainly made up for this.
The new team at the Innamincka Hotel headed up by manager Jill Ross, welcomed us with open arms and this is just a great experience on its own. Isolated as you can get but this pub is one that you seriously have to get to and sample a frothie or 2, which our gang was pretty keen to do so after an early morning start. We have a 3 course (with choices) meal here and this food is incredibly good! We got everyone up early so to catch the birdlife down at the causeway on the Cooper Creek, just after sunrise. Its beautiful here, with water flowing a steady rate down towards Lake Eyre and about a foot above the causeway itself. A fully cooked breakfast was again magnificent and we’re off to Birdsville via the Coongie Lakes. These series of lakes are a well kept secret, but incredible to look at, and are brimming with wildlife making it an ideal occasion for some further low level flying to capture thier beauty.
Next stop was Birdsville with Kylie from Skinny Dingo Tours giving us an very interesting, historic and humorous look around the township and surrounds. We gathered at the famous Birdsville Hotel for another fantastic feed for lunch and most were starting to wonder if we were actually in danger of breaking the maximum weight requirement of the aircraft! Within an hour from departure we were back closer to ground level as we flew over and across, Lake Eyre. Recently, the Arabuna aboriginals have been granted native title for 69,000 square kilometers including the Lake Eyre National Park and are very keen to change the name back to the original name of Kati Thanda. Kati Thanda is far from full though there is plenty of water in the Lake and this is further enhanced by our pilots ability to get down amongst it all at lower levels. Its still an incredible sight at the minute and as Ive said before, this really is an opportunity not to be missed as the whole Outback is in prime condition.
William Creek was the next town to touch down on as we refueled the plane, met the new publican and these walls are adorned with mementos from many a traveler and certainly would tell some amazing stories! Next stop was the weird but wonderful Coober Pedy, the wild west of the outback! To meet us again was the familiar faces of the Comfort Inn Experience to take us to their really unique underground hotel. Its a great place, as is the National award winning John’s Pizza Bar & Resteraunt where we have another huge meal on a huge table with lots more belly laughs and a few harmonious drinks.
Next morning after a superb sleep underground, another local legend and character George Russell (OAM) picked us up for his very dry witted but very informative town tour of Coober Pedy as well as the Breakaways and Dog Fence. Last port of call was the self guided tour of another major award winning operation with Trevor Berry’s, Old Timers Mine and Museum. The Old Timers Mine and Museum is an amazing attraction and it opens a window on the fascinating history of opal mining in Coober Pedy, revealing not only the hard physical grind and the occasional bonanza that was mining in the early days, but also an intriguing mystery at the heart of the mine. Highlights here are being able to actually see what the pioneers had to endure to try and strike it rich and also to see how Ron Gough’s family lived in the mine!
By 5pm, we were back in the cool metropolitan air of Adelaide and disembarked with everyone very happy with their 3 days away into areas which you could never see from the road or achieve so much in a short time!
Our next vacancies for the next 5 weeks for these must do flying safaris are on July 14-15th and July 29-August. Please go to our website for more details and to get in touch with us. Cheers!
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How good was Chris Brown and his feature on Channel 10’s- The Living Room last night? Chris and his TV crew really brought the vast and spectacular Outback to our screens as well as showing the magnificent and intense colours of Lake Eyre filling, in this rare event.
It was great that the Moonplains out from Coober Pedy got some coverage as Chris jumped in with Peter Rowe who operates Australia’s longest mail run of 600km! Peter took Chris out to this area which included the worlds longest man made structure of some 5300km ,The Dog Fence,which starts at the Great Australian Bight and continues into Queensland. The moon plains are fascinating and are the remains of an ancient inland sea bed of 100-120 million years ago and you can find fossilised sea shells of cockles, mussels, sea snails etc amongst the small rocks on the plains.William Creek (which has the most isolated pub in Australia) gets a great coverage as well in the show and you get a good look at the featured walls adorned with all types of travellers garnets and memorabilia, plus see a sample of the most amazing outback food at this pub! I’m not sure if the local dog got to help Chris polish off his dinner that night or not, but they are huge meals!
Chris then took the opportunity to see what all the fuss is about with Lake Eyre filling. In his own words he quotes
” This is something that every Australian should do and it would be shame to miss out on this once in generation event….”
This is all part of our 3 Day Outback & Lake Eyre tours with Goin’ Off Safaris that have been a big hit over the last 3 years whilst flood waters have flown into the Lake.
If you missed the episode of The Living Room last night, check out the first chapter and then watch Chris Brown’s flight over stunning Lake Eyre.
If this is something that you want to add to your bucket list, then check out Goin’ Off Safaris Lake Eyre and Outback Flying Safaris. Enjoy!
Goin’ Off Safaris has just a few vacancies left for what could be a once in a lifetime experience to see Lake Eyre filling and the Outback in best ever condition. Following 4 years of well above average rainfall and summer floods in Queensland and NSW, these flood waters are now entering Lake Eyre and the next few months will be the ideal time to see this part of the Australian country and Outback in its rare best.
Our last vacancies in June are on the 29th to July 1 (3 only) for our 3 day Lake Eyre & Outback Supreme Scenic Safari. In July, we have 4 vacancies on the 2 day Ultimate outback Weekender on the 14-15th and 8 availabilities on July 27-29 for the 3 day job. Please check out our 3 Day Lake Eyre & Outback Supreme Scenic Safari itinerary, FAQ, Lake Eyre Photo Gallery and other departure dates and tour information.
There has been more considerable widespread rain across the northern South Australia and into Queensland over the last few days which will certainly further enhance water going into Lake Eyre as well as freshening up the country side yet again. Innamincka recorded near 40mm which sees the roads still shut for a few more weeks as the Cooper Creek is flowing over a meter above the causeway.
Birdsville Pub recorded about 25mm or an inch in the “old scale” and with this bonus rainfall, it will really freshen up the Outback country no end! Timing was not great for us as we did have a 2 day Lake Eyre & Outback Ultimate Weekender scheduled , but we did see this rain forecasted early on in the past week and made the call early to cancel and reschedule to another date. This was the least that we could do for our guests who are paying good money for an experience of a lifetime with our Outback & Lake Eyre tours and it would not have sat at all comfortably with us if we knew that passengers were flying in low cloud, rain and very little visibility. Coupled with these conditions, trying to land on a very sticky Innamincka airstrip or at the Dig Tree would have been tricky at the very least! The rescheduled date is now July 14-15th with 4 vacancies remaining and more details can be found on our website at Goin’ Off Safaris.
The great Coongie Lakes are again at its peak and is a spectacle and an array of bird and wildlife, which is unbelievable to see. Lake Eyre filling is still of great interest and local rainfall of 16mm at the Marree region will definitely make creeks run to again empty out into the lake just like the Warburton River & the Cooper Creek are doing so at the moment. Below is an image supplied by “The Sentimental Bloke”, Peter MacDonald of the Warburton Groove showing water running into Lake Eyre north. He has also taken a superb image of the Margaret Range on the worlds largest cattle station, Anna Creek. We fly just to the south of this range on our 3 day Supreme Scenic Safari enroute to Coober Pedy and Peter has perfectly captured this beautiful countryside in its glory after summer rainfall.
Had a mate catch up with David Brooks, one of the big cattle station owners around Birdsville. He commented that he has not seen the country any better in all of his life, which can be backed up by many others a lot older than David himself. So much so that they are even baling hay of cattle feed which is extraordinary! You can see by the picture below how well his cattle look & the amount of tucker that is available in this part of the country. Bloody good luck them I reckon and there will be some very happy locals at the Birdsville races again this year!
Last Sunday, Goin’ Off Safaris were lucky enough to collaborate with Southern Blue, GT Fishing Charters, Adventure Bay Charters and Port Lincoln Hotel to host a small group of agents for the Incentives Adelaide; Out Of the Blue Famil.
In the short time they were here, our lovely guests had a whirl wind 48hrs to see a range of experiences available on Eyre Peninsula, from a fishing charter at Coffin Bay, Oyster Farm tour & taste plus fresh seafood lunches cooked over a fire on the beach, to action packed days on the water swimming with cute and playful Australian Sea Lions, lightning fast Southern Bluefin Tuna and of course the apex predator of the ocean- the Great White Shark.
All this was topped off with a truly spectacular feast of local produce overlooking stunning Port Lincoln from The Jordan. It was a really great few days. A big thank you to everyone who helped to make it a really successful event & great to be involved!
Also a big thank you to Melissa for the photos 😀
The current status of the water flowing into Lake Eyre is steadily on the rise. Floodwaters from the massive amount of summer rainfall that has been dumped on large areas of Queensland and New South Wales have now hit Australia’s “inland seabed” of Lake Eyre via many river systems along the journey before finally meandering into the Lake via the beautiful Cooper Creek and Warburton River.
The Warburton Lakes up from Lake Eyre north are now full with the Warburton Groove flowing and Belt Bay inside Lake Eyre steadily rising as well.
Below are satellite images that show the current lake status in comparison to 2011 and we really believe that the best time to see this rare and unique natural event of Lake Eyre filling, will be over the next 2 months of June & July. We currently have a special on for the last 2 seats for our June 2-3 Ultimate Outback Weekender for $2420.00 per person all inclusive so get on before you miss out! Contact Goin’ Off Safaris here for more details and all the information required!
As seen on Channel 10’s ” The Living Room“, we are delighted to be able to offer all adventurer’s, the very unique chance to capture ocean’s “Big 5 of Eyre Peninsula” over 2 spectacular days along with the award winning Adventure Bay Charters.
Aboard the beautiful 78ft cruiser “Strictly Business”, you get up close and personal by swimming with Southern Bluefin Tuna, Australian Sea Lions, multiple cage dives with Great White sharks plus view pods of dolphins and when in season, Pilote, Blue and the the massive Southern Right whales.The scenery does’nt get much better than the ocean view of the Port Lincoln National Park and the Memory Cove Wilderness Sanctuary, as you steam close enough to see White Bellied Sea Eagles nest and other seabirds. As Port Lincoln is Australia’s seafood capital, you a very well fed with the promise of the freshest produce that is on offer such as Coffin Bay Oysters, Sashimi, Spencer Gulf prawns, Kinkawooka Mussels and fresh fish caught by you! Washed down with local wine, the sight of the seafood smorgasbord on the boats dining table on deck is just as spectacular as viewing the sea creatures in their own natural playground!
Check out the episode here to see the popular TV host and presenter, Dr Chris Brown (The Bondi Vet) share this very memorable experience!
We have 2 scheduled weekend departures coming up on June the 9-10th and the 23-24th, with a special price of $1500.00 per person so contact us here to book you seat and for more details.
Here are some comments from a previous Ocean Safari that was held recently which attracted UK celebrity couple, Charlie Brooker and Konnie Huq;
” Iam usually a miserable cynic incapable of anything approaching enjoyment, so the fact that this team & the Ultimate Ocean Experience not only had me enjoying myself, but openly smiling even, is a little short of a miracle! I used to think tuna were about the size of a shoe. What a cretin I was! Everything about the weekend was fantastic & a great time was had by all. Even me!…..” Charlie Brooker, the Guardian
“Swimming with tuna- Awesome! Hanging out with Sealions-Such amazing fun! Seeing Dolphins- Ace! Fishing ,snorkelling, hanging out-A real laugh! The food- Delicious! ALL IN ALL- FAB!…….” Konnie Huq
” I’ve lived on the Eyre Peninsula for 9 years & thats the best weekend that I’ve had….” Mark Thomas
” In designing the Ultimate Ocean Experience, Goin’ Off Safaris and Adventure Bay Charters offer the most rich & satisfying eco-tour in South Australia, without a doubt…….” Kingsley Griffen
” Such an amazing trip! Great people, great food, great wine! I ahd a ball & learnt a lot about Port Lincoln and the marine life. I will be recommending it to everyone…..” Lynlee White
The lengths that Matt Waller, David Doudle & crew have gone to provide their clients with the Ultimate Ocean Adventure is simply brilliant. Enjoyable for people of any age, the knowledge that Matt imparts upon guests makes for an enriching experience that leaves a lasting impression. Definitely a trip that I will be recommending. Well done guys….” Cherie Langsford
” The Ultimate Ocean Adventure has changed the way that I think of my own backyard. I have renewed appreciation for Southern Bluefin Tuna as a species, their role in creating Port Lincoln & of course as sashimi! Swimming with the Australian sealions was an absolute highlight on both days. Amazing food and the abundant knowledge the Matt Waller provided helped make this an all round fantastic experience. Thankyou!….. Raffael Veldhuyzen