Day 9 - Going home

Today was our last day in the Simpson Desert.

I woke very early (4.30 am) and lit the campfire ready for breakfast. Today we had to be ready to leave to catch a 7.00 am flight from the airstrip near Poepel’s Corner to Williams Creek.

Harry drove us in the 4WD to the airstrip and we were lucky to see many budgerigars and wedgetail eagles on our trip over the sand dunes. It was a beautiful sunny morning but quite chilly and the bird life was apparent all around us.

The aeroplane departed on time and had dropped off another group of people going out on a three day archaeology expedition. We departed quickly and arrived in Williams Creek after 2.5 hours. On arrival at Williams Creek, Wrights Air offered to buy us lunch at the Williams Creek Hotel for inconveniencing us over our delayed flights. We thanked them and said we were not at all put out to be able to spend an extra day in the Simpson Desert.

Dick Smith and Macca were at the pub and a large contingent of motorcyclists who were competing in a motorcycle tour along the Oodnadatta Track. Macca interviewed Sue and Judith for his radio program. Perhaps they will be on the radio next Sunday.

Judith and Susan being interviewed by Macca

Judith and Susan being interviewed by Macca

I explored around Williams Creek with Monica. It is quite an interesting town which sits next to the largest cattle station in the world (Anna Creek) which was owned by Jack Kidman the cattle king.

Jack Kidman The Cattle King

Jack Kidman, the cattle king

I think it is about 6 million acres which is the about size of Israel or Wales! There were also some relics which looked like the payloads of rocket launches that occurred in the 1970’s as well as the remains of the rocket from the Skylark Project in the 1950’s.

A payload from a rocket launch from the 1970

A payload from a rocket launch in the 1970's

After a few hours in Williams Creek, we continued on our 1.5 hour flight to Olympic Dam (Roxby Downs). We were fortunate to see some beautiful aerial scenery of the desert as the pilot offered to fly over the Painted Hills. The Painted Hills are part of Anna Creek station.

Painted hills

The Painted Hills

From the air, the landscape of the desert is very picturesque and evocative. You can certainly see how it inspires so many artists like John Olsen. We arrived at Olympic Dam and waited in the departure lounge for our Alliance flight to Adelaide at 5.00 pm. On arrival in Adelaide we were taken to our hotel and after a beautiful hot shower we got together in the dining room to enjoy dinner and share all the experiences of our expedition.

In the morning, we enjoyed a lovely breakfast and caught a taxi together to the Adelaide airport to catch our final flights home. What a unique, once in a lifetime learning experience this has been. It will inspire us to impart all our knowledge about the Simpson Desert when we share our rich learning experiences back in our classrooms in our respective schools.