UP THE STRZELECKI

Leaving Arkaroola we headed north along the Strzelecki track. It skirts the Strzelecki, Simpson and Sturt’s Stony Deserts. Most of the track was in good condition, but very dusty, which didn’t bother us much, since there was no traffic.

89 (1)

88 (1)North Mulga Station – a long way from everywhere!

103Sturt’s Stony Desert

114Santos manage to suck oil out of all this dry sand.

90 (1)In 2010 this rig and all the others in the lower Strzelecki sat in 2 meters of water for the best part of 12 months. It’s hard to imagine that volume of water spread out over this incredibly flat land.

118These cattle must live on dirt and rocks – there doesn’t seem to be anything else to eat.

 

We spent a night at Innaminka on Coopers Creek, then wound our way over a slow track full of bad corrugations, washouts and bull dust. This took us to Coongie Lakes – a strange sight after winding over desert sandhills. The lake is massive and supports all sorts of birdlife

44

104

115

91Caspian Tern

101Corellas

102Pair of Grass Parrots

97

Serious looking Willy Wagtail

92 (1)Dingos howled most nights but they are very cautious and hard to see. I managed to get a photo of this guy early one morning.

ARCHITECTURE

These are some of the best examples of bush architecture we encountered along the way.

77Windorah – Once the old court house, now a comfortable abode

111Dynevor Downs shearing shed – like much of western Queensland wild dogs have forced a change from sheep to cattle, so this once mighty shed is in decay.

125 Yowah Qld – Corrugated Iron Paradise

124 Beltana SA – What cant you do with corrugated iron?

123 Maree SA – simple but effective

122Warrego Hwy – This old place has been added to and extended over the years – sadly, now abandoned and slowly disintegrating.

 

 

FLINDERS RANGES

From Maree we headed south into the Flinders Ranges via the ruins of Farina and the soon to be abandoned town of Leigh Creek.
The Flinders Ranges contain some of Australia’s most spectacular landscape. We zig zagged our way from the south, back and forth up through the ranges until we reached Arkaroola in the north.

© John Lovett 2016
Farina chicken run

© John Lovett 2016The country surrounding the ranges is flat, dry and vast.

© John Lovett 2016This distorted grass tree looks almost as old as the country surrounding it.

© John Lovett 2016Camped in a ring of ancient mountains

© John Lovett 2016Walking in these ranges is compelling. You can’t help walking to the top of the next hill or exploring the next stony outcrop.

© John Lovett 2016Beautiful colors, textures and shapes are everywhere.

© John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016 Watched by wedgetails.

© John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016

© John Lovett 2016

The Arkaroola Ridgetop Tour is something not to be missed. Almost 5 hours exploring some of the wildest four wheel drive tracks and gazing over the most spectacular views I have ever seen. These landcruisers get just 2000 kilometers from a set of tyres!

© John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016

The Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby makes it’s home in some of the remote parts of Arkaroola.

© John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016    © John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016  © John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016 Wild white horses along the track into Arkaroola

© John Lovett 2016

© John Lovett 2016

© John Lovett 2016Early morning Drink. This guy was sharing a tiny, cereal bowl sized waterhole with half a dozen of his mates and a couple of noisy Galahs.

BIRDSVILLE TO LAKE EYRE

Lake Eyre rarely contains water, so hearing of rising levels and heavy flow in from the north, we decided to drive out and have a look. We plodded our way slowly out to Birdsville then headed south along the Birdsville track

© John Lovett 2016Birdsville Track – dry and flat

© John Lovett 2016 Goanna Feasting

© John Lovett 2016Vegetation in this area is sparse but interesting. Mostly Saltbush, Mulga and Desert Oak.

© John Lovett 2016

Early settlers along the Birdsville Track lived a hard life. This is the grave of the two youngest Scobie children who died of pneumonia in the 1890’s.

© John Lovett 2016

We called in to Etadunna Station and picked up a key and directions to one of the large lakes, already full of water, to the North of lake Eyre.

© John Lovett 2016

A slow trip through the sand dunes finally brought us out at a huge lake filled with water and surrounded by a crust of white salt. A strange sight in the middle of a desert.

 

© John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016

© John Lovett 2016

There are some interesting old relics scattered along the Birdsville Track. I’d love to know the stories behind them.

We continued South to Maree – a sleepy little town with a Pub, “Yacht Club” and remnants of the old Ghan Railway Line. Maree marks the southern end of the Birdsville Track and is the best access point to Lake Eyre. We obtained maps and information from the Yacht Club and headed out to see the Lake.

© John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016 Old Ghan Railway Bridge

© John Lovett 2016Remnants of a railway siding and full moon.

We camped on a waterhole at Muloorina Station and drove out to Lake Eyre South, across the Goyder Channel and on to, a still dry, Lake Eyre North. It’s an amazing sight to see a brilliant white salt pan disappear over the horizon. As you walk out into the lake the sand dunes begin to disappear and all you can see is blue sky and white salt.

© John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016

© John Lovett 2016

A couple of days at Muloorina waterhole gave us a chance to catch up on some washing and photograph some of the birdlife.

© John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016© John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016© John Lovett 2016 48 © John Lovett 2016 © John Lovett 2016

Muloorina waterhole is fed by an artesian bore. Boiling hot water bubbles up and creates a steamy mist early in the morning. By the time it reaches the waterhole it has cooled enough to support fish and yabbies.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

Looking forward to some great workshops coming up – Australia, Canada, USA and Italy…

vanazza church

Currumbin Studio Workshop – May 28 – 29 2016

Kelowna, BC, Canada – 2 day workshop on 2nd and 3rd July 2016

Wisconsin USA – 5 day June 12-18 2016

Cinque Terre/San Gimignano – Italy, Sept. 5-17 2016.

NEW ARTICLE

Painting Water
I don’t know what it is about painting water, but for some reason its calm, horizontal suggestion in a painting always seems to draw a viewer in. Here are some useful tips for painting water.

© John Lovett

http://johnlovettwatercolorworkshop.com/painting-articles/

WATERFRONT REFLECTIONS

Waterfront reflections Video Project

A brand new Instant Video Project available now for just $9.95

Join me painting this beautiful little waterfront village in the South of France. Learn new skills and techniques with a simple, straight forward approach suitable for all skill levels.

  • 16 minute HD Video
  • PDF Printout
  • Complete Step by Step Instructions
  • All Online and Available Immediately
  • Unlimited Access Just $9.95

HOI AN

 

The old town of Hoi An stretches out along the Song Thu Bon River. A mixture of Chinese, French Colonial, Japanese and Vietnamese architecture give the ancient town an interesting character. The central markets run from before dawn till after dark. Every imaginable vegetable is available. Some weird cuts of meat, live ducks, chickens, fish, prawns and crabs are also for sale. Everything is fresh each day and the activity is mesmerising.Image © John Lovett 2015
Old Japanese Bridge

Image © John Lovett 2015
Fresh Fish

Image © John Lovett 2015
Meat and Cigarettes

Image © John Lovett 2015 Boat Lady

Image © John Lovett 2015
River Sunrise

Image © John Lovett 2015 Image © John Lovett 2015 Image © John Lovett 2015Vegie Market

Image © John Lovett 2015
For a few dollars this old lady will ferry you across the river.

Image © John Lovett 2015
Morning Fishermen

Image © John Lovett 2015
Boats along the River

Image © John Lovett 2015
Fresh Frogs

Image © John Lovett 2015
River Boatman (Hums Tom Waits Tunes)

Image © John Lovett 2015 Image © John Lovett 2015
Cast net Fisherman

Image © John Lovett 2015
Purple lanterns.

Image © John Lovett 2015
Cigarettes and Incense Image © John Lovett 2015
Purple Lanterns and Bougainvillea Image © John Lovett 2015
Fishing Fleet

Image © John Lovett 2015
Red Bridge cooking School where we cooked ourselves a feast and all became Vietnamese cooking experts.Image © John Lovett 2015
Lunar Festival Dinner

Image © John Lovett 2015
Lunar Festival Paper Lanterns

Image © John Lovett 2015
Lunar festival

Image © John Lovett 2015
Wooden boats

Image © John Lovett 2015
Afternoon Market

Image © John Lovett 2015Colored Lanterns.