Gunnedah Day VIEW Club members travelled to Emerald Hill for their June luncheon meeting where they then enjoyed ‘armchair travel’ with Lyn Pine, secretary of the local branch of the Country Women’s Association.

Lyn presented a very interesting talk on two trips she did with her husband, including the 2022 Drovers Run fundraising trip for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service in a convoy of 33 vehicles travelling about 5500 kilometres over 16 days across four states.

The trip started at Menindee in NSW, then Jamestown, where it bucketed down rain, Kingoonya, Coober Pedy, Mt Dare in SA; then Yulara, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs, Gemtree and Tobermorey in the Northern Territory, followed by the outback Queensland towns of Boulia, Windorah and Cunnamulla. A stop at Burren Junction ended the trip before finishing in Tamworth doing a ‘Peely” up the main street. The group raised $250,000 for the service.

Lyn then gave an overview of her two desert trips – the first trip in 2022 over 20 days as part of a Tag-Along tour that included six vehicles with a tour leader and a ‘tail end Charlie’. With Alice Springs as a starting point, the group travelled to Birdsville, crossing the Simpson Deserts – 1100 sand dunes from west to east. On their way to Birdsville the group visited Chambers Pillar; swam in Dalhousie Hot Springs, stopped at Poeppel Corner (NT/Qld/SA corner), and climbed the Big Red sand dune before reaching Birdsville. The second part of the trip went from Birdsville to Winton travelling the Hay River from south to north, stopping at Lake Caroline, Batton Hill and Jervois then across the Plenty Highway to Tobermorey (just near NT/Qld border), on to Boulia and finishing up at Winton where they checked out Banjo Patterson’s statue and the Dinosaur Museum.

Her second trip with the same Tag-Along group covering 26 days, began in Erldunda, about 200kms south of Alice Springs, along the Lasseter Highway passing Yulara, stopping at Lasserter’s Cave, crossing the NT/WA border at Docker River then continuing along the Great Central Road to Warakurna and Warburton. The Gunbarrel Highway took the group to Carnegie Station and Wiluna where the Canning Stock Route actually begins – the longest and most remote route in the world, stopping at most of the 51 wells along the way. They skirted Lake Aerodrome, stopped at Durba Springs and Lake Disappointment, took in Breaden Hills; and finally reached Billiluna after crossing 1000 sand dunes.

“The wildflowers were spectacular and shrubs in abundance with vegetation that scratched the sides of vehicles on both sides of the track, which is sometimes very, very corrugated,” Lyn told the group.

“We then headed down the Tanami Track finishing the trip at Tilmouth Well, about 200 kms north-west of Alice Springs.

“Both desert trips required detailed planning, especially tent, provisions, clothing, water and fuel.”

Members offered a vote of thanks to Emerald Hill CWA members who provided a delicious morning tea, enjoyed in the sun, before the meeting and another memorable lunch of home-made goodies served to 20 women in the historic hall.

Guest speaker Lyn Pine presenting her talk about travels through the outback.

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