Scientific & Ecological Surveys

WATTI WATTI / SOUTHERN WHITE LAKES SURVEY

 

 

 

 Duration:

 Dates:

 Breakup:

 Difficulty:           

 Max group size:

 Start point:

 Finish point:

 Price:

 Sandstorm Saving

 *if paid in full at booking. Offer open until November 29th.

12 Days

July 13 > July 24 2020

1 day flights & 4WD / 9 days trekking / 1 day 4WD / 1 day flights

Moderate

7

Adelaide

Adelaide

AUD$8295 (including flights - details below)

AUD$7900 (including flights - details below)

Watti Watti / Southern White Lakes Survey

This survey includes the bonus of seeing the desert from the air - including where you will be walking!

The survey price includes the scheduled return domestic flight from Adelaide to Olympic Dam and Charter flight over Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre,

southern Simpson Desert salt lakes, Poeppel Corner & all 4WD transfers.

Summary

Map

Practicalities

Our Songlines & Shared Journeys program is part of the wider Central Australia Transect, and as such we are focusing some surveys on the ephemeral drainage systems directly north of Lake Eyre, concentrating particularly on the Kallakoopah Creek in the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve.

ADE Chief Scientist and program director, Dr Max Tischler explains:

 

The riparian vegetation associated with desert ephemeral drainage lines such as the Kallakoopah Creek are known to be important dry-period refuge sites to a range of arid-zone fauna. This includes important habitats for native birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, which are able to maintain populations in these areas during otherwise unfavourable conditions – conditions which are now prevailing in this part of the desert.

 

These ecological communities are also the most likely to harbor invasive and feral species. As such, loss of habitat to weeds and enhanced predation pressures make these areas critical sites for evaluation and (later) management. By visiting previously un-surveyed areas of the desert we will be able to determine the state and condition of a range of threatened species and ecosystems.

 

By employing modern survey techniques, historical benchmarking and traditional knowledge, our surveys will endeavour to better understand the extent and impact the threatening processes of invasive plants and animals have had, and will continue to pose, to ephemeral drainage lines such as the Kallakoopah Creek.

This will be our first survey through this part of the Simpson Desert's extensive salt lake system that also happens to straddle the centre of the Watti Watti songline. Combined with the following Kallakoopah Creek Expedition this survey will document this important land system of the world's largest sand-ridge desert.

 

With the longest lake stretching nearly 80 kilometres, and many dozens more over 40 kilometres long, our survey traverse will be alongside or near to these shimmering dry expanses for each of the 9 days of trekking. The lakes seldom fill with water (from local heavy rain) but the surface is usually soft and so we won't be taking our camels across the lakes, unless they are firm underfoot as a fully loaded packcamel can weigh over 1 tonne, and can easily become bogged. We only ever walk across lakes if there is a pad to follow and these 'salt highways' are made by wild feral camels.

 

Our ecology team will be setting pitfall traps every night as well has recording all bird sightings. As the survey leaves the Northern Territory border, we are entering one of the international Important Bird Areas (IBA) and our ornithological observations in this area will be added to the Birdlife Australia database.

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General survey corridor

General survey corridor

THIS SURVEY IS RATED AS MODERATE

See here for a guide.

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?

We will issue you with a comprehensive Survey Information Guide that details everything you need to know about what to bring and what to expect on your trek. This will be sent to you as a PDF document.

 

DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?

Yes, travel insurance is compulsory. Our office can advise on a suitable policy.

 

INCLUDED

- Charter flights from/to Adelaide from/to Olympic Dam

- Charter flight from Olympic Dam to Poeppel Corner

- Charter flight from the southern desert to Olympic Dam

- All specialist safety equipment & communications

- Swags & tents

- Trek kit bag for your personal gear

- Desert silence!

 

NOT INCLUDED

- Your flights to Adelaide and any other transport in Adelaide prior to the survey

- Your flights from Adelaide and any other transport in Adelaide after the survey

- Accommodation and meals in Adelaide

- Personal trekking equipment you may wish to use such as walking poles etc

- Eating and drinking utensils

- Waterbottle

- Sleeping bag, sheets & pillowcase. (You need to bring these items and they will be put into our swag)

- Day pack

 

FOOD

You must notify us upon booking if you have any known medical and/or food allergies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GETTING TO THE SURVEY

The camel team will be in the Simpson Desert Conservation Park. You will fly via scheduled and charter aircraft from Adelaide to an airstrip near Poeppel Corner and then transfer via 4WD to the camel camp. The return transfer will be from an airstrip in the southern desert to Olympic Dam where you join the scheduled domestic service to Adelaide. Your flights will pass over the southern Simpson, the Warburton River, Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre and the Tirari Desert.

 

 

FULL SURVEY NOTES WILL BE ISSUED WITH YOUR SURVEY INFORMATION GUIDE

 

IMPORTANT! PLEASE NOTE

Apart from vegetarian or vegan diets, we only cater for dietary allergies and not preferences.

The survey is definitely not the place or time to 'try out a new diet' regime!

We may ask for a medical certificate detailing any known allergies.

 

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