Named after Polish Count Paul Edmund de Strzelecki, the 'highway'
from Lyndhurst in the south to Innamincka and beyond in the north
used to be one of the driest and loneliest tracks to transport mobs of
fat cattle to the Adelaide market.
Today the southern point of the track is Lyndhurst, surveyed in 1896.
Here Dutch born, self-taught Talc artist, poet, bush philosopher and
supporter of the new flag for Australia, Cornelius Alferink has carved
himself a place in outback art and modern history.
More than hundred years ago it was Captain Starlight, of Robbery
under Arms fame, who gave the track notoriety. In 1870 Henry
Arthur Readford, better known as Harry Redford, or Startlight, drove
a thousand head of stolen cattle from Queensland, down the Barcoo
and Cooper past Mount Hopeless, to Blanchewater where he sold
them for $10,000. When finally apprehended in 1872, the now folk
hero and his two accomplices were found not guilty.
Shane's flat tyre
In earlier days the track terminated at Farina and cattle from
Avondale, Blanchewater, Cadelgo, Coongie, Cordillo Downs,
Cullamurra, Haddon Downs, Innamincka, Merty Merty, Monte Collina,
Mount Hopeless, Mount Lyndhurst, Murnpeowie, Nappa Merrie, Tinga
Tingana, Titcha, and Wallelderdine were walked to its railhead to be
transported to the southern markets.
Land at the southern end of the track was first taken up by John Baker at Blanchwater in 1857. At
the northern end it were settlers from Warrnambool, Victoria, who gained pastoral leases in
1872. One of the first mobs of cattle to be walked down was in 1877, taking about ten weeks.
The Strzelecki Track was last used by drovers during the 1930s.
Cameron Corner is where the three States meet - Queensland, New
South Wales and South Australia. The Corner store is in Queensland,
receives its supplies from New South Wales and telephone services
from South Australia! Visit the survey marker opened in 1969 and
originally surveyed by John Cameron in 1882-83. Licensed
accommodation, camping, fuel, meals, phone and souvenirs are
available. See you at the Corner!
The Simpson Desert
Located within the driest region of the Australian continent, the
Simpson Desert is one of the world's best examples of dunal desert,
a sea of parallel red sand ridges some 300 - 500 kilometres long
covering a total area of 170,000 square kilometres. Although it
receives slightly more rainfall than the Sahara Desert, the mean
annual rainfall of 130 millimetres is very variable and unpredictable.
Summer temperatures can exceed 50° C.
The Simpson Desert lies across the corners of 3 States, South
Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory, with the South
Australian section divided into 3 protected areas, Simpson Desert
Conservation Park, Simpson Desert Regional Reserve and Witjira