Wallaby Tracks Adventure Tours
2014 Flinders Ranges and Lake Eyre Update

(UPDATED 30/01/2014)

Over the year 2014 I will be regularly updating this site so the public is informed of what they will see during their visit to this beautiful part of South Australia known as the
"Flinders Ranges and Outback" of South Australia.

My small tour company is based at Quorn in the Central Flinders Ranges and I am out on tour most days of the week which allows me to photograph plants as they begin to flower.
We offer a variety of tours which have a focus on Flora during the mid winter and spring months.

Flinders Ranges, Outback & Kangaroo Island Tour enquiries email Paul Keen today...


The tours are suitable for ALL AGES and FITNESS LEVELS so don't be afraid to make an enquiry.
They are priced with a comfortable ensuite accommodation, luxury upgrades and true camping versions are available on request.

we use Facebook as our photo gallery

- recent guest comments -

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So what is happening at the moment ???

** NEW UPDATE: 30/01/2014 *** 2014 Has been busy with a 6 day & 4 day tour ***

We were priviledged to stay at Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary while they were officially closed.
My French guests had a very personal experience discovering the Central and Northern Flinders Ranges.
Special thanks go to Marg and Doug Sprigg for their wonderful hospitallity during our stay.
Vincent was an avid wildlife and landscape photographer having previously travelled to many out of the way locations in many countries chasing his dream.
Even though the native grasses are looking very golden in colour at this time of year the ever changing landscapes never fail to exceed expectations.

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** 14/09/2013 *** 2013 Election has been and gone :-) ***

With the election now behind us, the Flinders Ranges and Outback, South Australia is looking great. The Southern and Central Flinders Ranges are still very green with more wild flowers flowering each week. The Northern Flinders Ranges isn't as green but still retains a beauty of its own. The weather is somewhat topsy turvy at the moment, high teens one day, then mid 30's the next. I have updated my tour departure page to provide potential guests with my current tour availability.
Pics below.. A fallen river red gum 15 years ago has 4 trunks growing vertically. (pic coutesy. Heather, Sydney)& Stunning afternoon views from Razorback Lookout, Flinders Ranges National Park

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** 16/06/2013 *** Green, Green and more Green ***

After an eight month dry spell the rain finally arrived in early June, providing good widespread falls covering the Flinders Ranges and Outback of South Australia. A lot of our Outback dirt roads have been closed twice in 3 weeks so the roads aren't spoiled from 4WD traffic. Please enjoy these 3 winter pics I took a couple of days ago.

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** 6/04/2013 EXCITED TO OFFER OUR NEW KANGAROO ISLAND TOURS ***

We have recently returned from our Kangaroo Island photo shoot for our 2 and 4 day accommodated tour and 3 day 2 night camping tour.

The weather, wildlife and scenery were perfect. Please enjoy these photographs.



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**08/03/2013 MARCH RAIN FALLS OVER CENTRAL FLINDERS RANGES **

After a long hot Summer the region has finally received some much needed rainfall. From 10mm in and around Quorn up to 30mm at Leigh Creek in the Northern Flinders. This will be enough to set off germination with our native grasses.
This year we will be also providing tours to incorporate a ride on either steam or historic diesel trians courtesy of the Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society.

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01/01/2013 ** HAPPY NEW YEAR **

We are experiencing a busy start to 2013 with our 1 Day Wilpena Big Day Out tour proving very popular to international visitors travelling through Port Augusta.
Our local wildlife have been providing some amazing displays, from the agility of the Yellow Footed Rock wallaby making his way effortlessly across a steep rock escarpment, emus in large numbers moving across the open plains at 30km per hour and Big Red Kangaroos saving their energy by laying nice and relaxed underneath the shade of an acacia.
We look forward to having you join one of our tours in 2013.
Happy planning and safe travels from the Wallaby Tracks Team..


"Seeing them in the wild is a touching experience"
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01/12/2012 ** LAKE EYRE IS NOW DRY **

After 3 fantastic years of riding the crest of the Lake Eyre wave, visitior numbers are now back to normal.
After resisting for many years I have decided to provide 2 Kangaroo Island tour itineries. A 2 Day and 4 Day itinerary is now available to be added to your Flinders Ranges and Outback experience.
I am currently receiving tour enquiries from overseas travellers who have given up waiting for the strength of the Australian Dollar to weaken.
I have recently visited the South Australian Museum and was very excited to see that what visitors to the museum see, is what I show my guests in the field. Including Yellow Footed Rock Wallabies, Big Red Kangaroos, Emus, Bearded and Painted Dragon lizards, an assortment of Australian birds, Aboriginal sites and Edicaran Fossils.
What ever your interest is, Wallaby Tracks have something for you.



Simpson Desert Campsite and Purni Bore Nov. 2012

17/07/2012 WARBURTON CREEK VISIT @ COWARIE CROSSING **

My last tour was especially tailored to be able to explore the sothern half of the Birdsville Track and 4WD out to the banks of the Warburton Creek to follow in the footsteps of my guest's ancestors journey by Cobb and Co horse drawn coach from Marree to Birdsville.
During the tour we stayed at Clayton Station in one of their well appointed cabins overlooking the Clayton River. Debbie and Shane Oldfield (owners of Clayton Station) are a great couple and had time for a lengthy conversation about the running of the property and the special horses they breed (Waler) ..
We called in to the now de-comissioned punt on the Cooper Creek to find it was still floating on its moorings. The water in this part of the Cooper had now become land locked and was like a long dam.. There were people fishing on the other side but we didn't see much action.
Next our aim was to get to the banks of the Warburton Creek to capture the beautiful late afternoon light, which after calling into the Cowarie Station Homestead to meet and have a chat with Sharon Oldfield, a long time family friend and station owner our timing was perfect...

Please enjoy these few photographs I took... Moon rise over the Flinders Ranges and a few minutes later I was spoilt with this sunset over the Western Plains...
2 pics of our AMAZING visit to the Warburton Creek which traverses through Cowarie Station on its way to Lake Eyre and a couple of bird pics at my favourite Muloorina Waterhole via Marree..



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10/06/2012 WARBURTON GROOVE FLOWING

Belt Bay, Lake Eyre North is currently at 600mm and slowly rising.. To get a current Lake Eyre Status please visit www.lakeeyreyc.com/Status/latest.html
With 6 Lake Eyre tours completed we have sighted Dingoes in numbers I've never seen before (15 sightings last tour), also on 2 tours we have had great delight witnessing the Australian Bustard.
General tourist numbers in the region are back to pre "water in Lake Eyre" days which is the way I like it.
Arkaroola Sanctuary is looking at its best... I had the opportunity to experience seeing the sanctuary by helicopter with doors removed.
I have some pics on my Facebook album titled Arkaroola. Thanks go to Paul OBrian from Helivista Pty Ltd. I will be highly recommending this amazing experience to my guests.

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30/03/2012 PELICANS & BLACK SWANS SIGHTED FROM AIR

I have just returned from my first Lake Eyre tour of 2012....
The Outback is looking absolutely stunning ....
My guests were very happy to report of mass numbers of Pelicans and Black Swans taking flight in waves once disturbed by the engine noise of the small plane flying over the Cooper Creek.
Please enjoy these few photographs I took... Yellow Footed rock wallaby @ Warren gorge, Parachilna sunrise, Prairie Hotel morning hues, Commodore Swamp (feed for some lucky cattle)


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16/03/2012 LAKE EYRE SOUTH ** FULL ** & LAKE EYRE NORTH ** 60% SURFACE COVERAGE

What an unbelieveable turn of events, one minute I'm telling you that Lake Eyre is all but dry and then all it took was one very large storm cell to bring us Lake Eyre with water 4 years in succession.

I have just returned from a Flinders Ranges and Coober Pedy tour and had great delight witnessing recent germination of new season plants in both regions.

If you have missed out on seeing Lake Eyre over the past 3 years please let us have the pleasure of you company by joining one of our Lake Eyre tours this year.

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28/02/2012 STORM CELL OVER FLINDERS RANGES & OUTBACK

In the last 48 hours a low pressure cell has entered South Australia from the north west and travelling diaganally across the state.

Rainfall of over 30mm has been recorded at Roxby Downs and more than 55mm being recorded at Leigh Creek ( 2 days later make that a total over 200mm )which has forcred the road closure of the main bituman road between Lyndhurst south through to Hawker.

The rain will certainly be welcomed by pastoralists as the timing is perfect to germinate native plants and grasses for stock feed. ( and wildflowers )

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18/02/2012 LAKE EYRE NORTH LEVEL NOW 5% SURFACE WATER COVERAGE

We have just received a National Parks report stating that Lake Eyre North has declined to 5% coverage.....

Good news fron National Parks is that we can (after nearly 2 years) gain entry to the Coongie Lakes via Innamincka... I can't wait to get back to this amazing region of South Australia with camera in hand...and some lucky tour guests..

Our Lake Eyre tour itineries were created over 10 years ago and will continue to be on offer as we beleive a visit to Lake Eyre in its Salt lake form is also a wonderful experience.

Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary has also sent through their latest news letter.. Great reading..
It is a PDF file so if you would like a copy just send me an email and I'll be very happy to forward you a copy.

22/10/2011 LAST FEW TOURS FOR 2011

As Flinders Ranges and Outback tourism is slowing for 2011 I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who used the services of Wallaby Tracks and Aussie Heritage Tours. This has been our busiest season on record. A special thank you goes to my very efficient "tour co-ordinator" Graeme for all his effort to take bookings and book accommodation whilst living a caravanners lifestyle. Thanks MATE! Paul...

18/09/2011 4 MONTHS ON AFTER LAKE EYRE'S PEAK...

The water level of Lake Eyre North has started to recede slowly. Over the last 4 weeks of regular visits to the waters edge, it is slowly making its way further from the shoreline at a rate of approx. 20m per week. The days are becoming warmer, now in the mid 20's to low 30's. The Flinders Ranges have recently delighted guests with sightings of Red Capped Robins, Red Backed Kingfishers, Purple backed Wrens and Orange Chats just to name a few.

22/08/2011 SPRING IS IN THE AIR

We are now experiencing warmer days in the mid 20's. Perfect for an outback tour. As you can see by the date of my last update I have been spending a lot of time on the road with my wonderful guests. The wild flowers in the Flinders Ranges are putting on a wonderful display. Below are a few recent pics taken with my new Nikon camera which has an amazing 36X zoom which is equal to an 800mm SLR lense.



20/06/2011 1st PUBLIC TO USE COOPER CREEK PUNT FOR 2011

Perfect timing at the Cooper Creek punt..... It was officially recomissioned at 3.30pm Wednesday 22nd June, we arrived at 4.00pm to be the first members of the public to use the facility for 2011...

Next we joined Peter Ware for an amazing sunset cruise on the Cooper Creek. We saw at least 30 species of water bird during our 1.5 hour water cruise. We finished with sunset nibbles on the banks of the Cooper.....

Below are some pics to share the experience....




20/06/2011 COOPER FLOOD WATER LEVEL @ PUNT......

Last weeks tour group had pristine conditions for their Flood Water Special scenic charter flight from William Creek over Lake Eyre and along the Warburton and Cooper Creek enroute to Innamincka for lunch finally arriving at Arkaroola Sanctuary. They could see the change of colour of the Cooper Creek as the fresh moving waters mix with what had become still. This week I will be taking the tour by road to the Cooper and be having a journey by boat with Cooper Creek legend Peter Ware. I'll have my camera and hope to capture some wonderful images.
P.S. I don't have too many tour vacancies available, so don't miss out and book early......

Hi Graeme; (Paul's secretary)

We returned home from our tour last Saturday, having enjoyed it immensely.
The other people on the trip were quite compatible and the drivers (Paul & Nick) very competent, attentive and informative.

We were particularly pleased to be able to do an excursion out to Lake Eyre North at Hallagen Bay on Monday.

The flights over the lake, and over the surrounding country and rivers were excellent, and to see the Warburton entering Lake Eyre , and Cooper Creek pushing toward the lake was great. It was also great to be able to do a walk down to the Cooper at Innamincka.

Arkaroola and the Ridgetop tour was also excellent.

Thanks again for your help and please enjoy my dingo photograph.
Kind Regards, Brian & Elizabeth Wood - May 8th 2011Flood Water Special tour

12/06/2011 WATER LEVEL STABLE

Last week I had a woderful group of 6 from 3 different states of Australia and my 2 nd guide JAZ.
They were very pleased to see the agile yellow footed rock wallaby at play within the Flinders Ranges National Park and a special sighting of 3 Brolgas near the Muloorina Waterhole.
Most took off their shoes at Halligan Bay to actually walk in the salty water of Lake Eyre North and took many photos of the birdlife making Halligan Bay their home.
The group opted for the 3 hour flight from Marree to the mouth of the "Warburton" to witness a birds eye view of the birdlife. No-one was dissapointed. I'm busy catching up with emails and performing vehicle safety checks in readiness for next weeks Flood Water Special tour.

04/06/2011 PAUL'S DAY OFF......

From time to time I do have a few days off to recharge and driving my Model A Ford gives me great pleasure.....

22/05/2011 HIGHEST WATER LEVEL IN 3 YEARS AND RISING......


Last week the group were taking photos from the furtherest edge of what now is an island.


Birds undisturbed by their human visitors


Juvenile Emus taking a mud bath, Flinders Ranges National Park

15/05/2011 MORE BIRDS AT HALIGAN BAY, LAKE EYRE NORTH LAND ACCESS POINT.....AND LAKE WATER LEVEL RISING.....

With our Lake Eyre Tours in full operation now I am happy to report that on my last land visit to Halligan Bay the water level had risen approximately 6 inches from my previous visit and there were an estimated 500 banded stilts, 20 pelicans and numerous seagulls. Surprisingly there was very little tourist traffic on the road. I will be back out at Lake Eyre again this week on tour. Regards Paul Keen

14/04/2011 Pelicans at Halligan Bay, Lake Eyre North

I'm currently on tour (AHT08ME) and updating from Arkaroola Sanctuary whilst my guests are enjoying their spectacular Ridge Top tour.

On Tuesday my guests had perfect conditions for their 1 hour Lake Eyre scenic flight followed by a land visit by 4WD to Halligan Bay. This was highlighted by the sighting of a flock of Pelicans appearing as a black spot far on the horizon to fly directly to where we were standing on the waters edge only 50 metres from the shore. We counted approx. 50 Pelicans. The base of Lake Eyre North was firm to enable us to remove our shoes and actually walk in the water where there was abundant life of very small fish, making a perfect food source for the birds. This tour has also been special as we have sighted a total of 3 Dingoes in very healthy condition.

"High Tide " (12/04/2011)

Colourful "Breakaways", Coober Pedy (11/04/2011)

26/03/2011 Lake Eyre South FULL

After A VERY busy start to the new season and two visits to Lake Eyre I have to say the whole of Outback South Australia and Flinders Ranges has never look so good.
I have stopped at some known locations for Sturt Desert Pea to find new plants looking very healthy meaning there will be more carpeting of red again this year.
May is very busy for tour bookings and June is filling steadily.
Due to poor lighting (cloud cover) I was not happy with any recent photos to post on this page.

22/02/2011 Lake Eyre - 3rd year in a row

I am still pinching myself that nature has had 2 attempts to fill Lake Eyre, will 2011 come through with the goods???

My first Lake Eyre tour for 2011 is departing Adelaide on March 7th. I can't wait, as my last tour to the lake finished on Christmas Eve 2010 and it seems like ages since I was taking guests on my favourite outback roads.
I will have my camera at the ready and give a full report upon my return. Since the ABC's Lake Eyre program went to air on Sunday 20th Feb. I have been busy with tour enquiries and bookings. I look forward to answering your enquiries, regards Paul Keen

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Lake Eyre National Park - current status 2011
As of 23 February 2011

The area to the north, west and south of Lake Eyre received considerable amounts of rain on the weekend of 5th and 6th of February as a result of Cyclone Yasi. The Neales River and smaller local creeks to the west are increasing the surface coverage in Lake Eyre North. The coverage is just over 60%, with the majority being on the western side of the lake with depth of water increasing in Belt and Jackboot Bays. The Macumba River still has not reached the lake but will soon. Madigan Gulf has some water in it from run-off from the Clayton and Frome Rivers.

Lake Eyre South is virtually full due to local run-off, mainly from the Margaret River and Stuart Creek.

The Cooper Creek has not reached the lake.
This catchment has a minor flood which is still passing through Innamincka but has moved downstream. Although not as significant as last years Cooper Creek flood, this should make Lake Eyre as most of the Cooper Creek east of the Birdsville Track still retains a lot of water. The Cooper Creek section closer to the lake is a series of disjointed waterholes. It is unknown when the Cooper Creek floodwaters will arrive at Lake Eyre. As a whole, the Diamantina/Georgina catchment has not recorded major rainfalls like previous years, but there is a minor flood also coming down through this catchment.
The floodwaters that devastated south east Queensland earlier this year will not impact Lake Eyre as this water will head to the Queensland coast.

There is still possibly two months of potential monsoon activity in northern Australia and there are still predictions for more rain. If large amounts of rain fall in the Lake Eyre catchment, water will come down the catchment and enter the lake quickly as most tributaries are already full or hold some water. This may result in a greater surface coverage of Lake Eyre in 2011 than in 2010, but no one can accurately predict what may happen, and rainfall across the catchment will continue to be monitored.

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