Monday, Jun 05, 2017 at 10:00


Hastily written blog on unsuccessful search for crash site of Kookaburra.

5 June 2017

Left Kalkarindji, east along the Buntine Highway about 30 clicks to the turn off to Wave Hill Station. Another 11 kms to the station. I was impressed with the station homestead, well kept lawns and property. Jeff and Netta McIinnerney head up the station.

We spoke to Netta about our plans, to find the crash site of the Kookaburra, that Dick Smith found in 1977 (they knew we were coming). We spoke to the head boreman, Jason - who gave us good info on tracks to get us to the edge of the desert country. The site was about 40km through the bush from the last track.

Netta showed us the original propeller and a couple of plaques. She gave us until Wednesday to get back - then she said she would send the plane up to look for us - advised us to stay with vehicle etc if things went pear shaped.

Drove east and south 72 clicks to Cattle Creek. This used to be a station, and is now an abandoned outstation. Wow - heaps of cattle around, heaps..Track was good. Had a good look around the outstation. South to Fisher Bore then past Moray Bore to the east, on way to Kookaburra Bore. Here we got our first puncture- these outer bores are not in use. Could not even find Kookaburra Bore, I'm thinking it may not even exist and is a name only.

Dick Smith graded a track to near the site from Kookaburra Bore and called it the Hitchcock Highway. We entered the coords for the crash site into the GPS as our target. Initially we criss crossed our trackline to try and find the highway - we did not find it - 40 years had wiped it out (I guess). We continued- bush was quite thick - massive stake in a tyre - ker boom...

Keep going Big Al...There was a sinkhole a bit further and to the south a bit that Smith used to find the site. We had planned to see this on the way back however as we did not think we would reach ground zero tonight we decided to make our way to this. The bush varied from thick to not so thick as we neared the sinkhole. Reached the sinkhole an hour or less before sunset. Fairly strange feature - couldn't work out the age - some trees there seemed to be older than the sinkhole judging from the way their roots were sitting.

6 June 2017

Could not find any evidence of others camps etc at the sinkhole, though a few parties had been there over the years. Flattened a plate and put it on a tree pole with our initial and year. Headed onwards to the crash site coords. Bush got progressively thicker and thicker. I had been through thicker bush elsewhere on my travels though not to this consistent extent - it was flippen hard and a worry. Blew another tyre on way - no spares left. Saw a dead camel, didn't see any live animals only birds.Puncture after puncture, it was hard to even walk in this country.

Made it to the coords. Did not see any evidence of any site or plaque etc...I grabbed my gps, compass, water bottle and hunting knife and reconned the area on foot - left John and the dog back with the vehicle - I found nothing - got scratches all over me.

We woudl have been close to the Hitchcock Highway again so head so for 4 kilometers to see if we could find it - No we couldn't.

We decided to head for another bore on the outskirts of the station to make our way back - Stuarts Bore, a bit closer and the country could not be any worse and possible better. With the sun going down and in our eyes we stopped and camped. There was no cleared areas at all so we had to manually clear an area for a fire, and our swags etc..

7 June 2017

Made a beeline for the bore, we did not get there until mid afternoon - the country did eventually clear out as we got closer but most of the day was driven in first gear - again with multiple punctures had. Headed back through Cattle Creek to the station, and met up with Netta, who thankfully did not have to send the plane up

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

<<- CSR

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