It was already dark when we reached Marree. Lucy wanted to leave the Cooper Creek ferry campground after her fright with the snake. We would have been earlier, if we had not stopped to rubber neck at the traffic jam on the way out. We were all hungry, and still rather shaken up. So we just headed to the Roadhouse for dinner, rather than cooking.
“Where are you headed?”
“Oh, up to Muloorina in the morning,” we replied. ”We’ll take the tents out there, because we hear the road’s not suitable for campervans.”
“As far as Muloorina, you’re fine. You can’t camp down at Lake Eyre itself, that’s about another 50 kilometers past Muloorina. But it’s absolutely fine to get a campervan out to Muloorina.”
(Caveat: I wouldn’t try taking a campervan on the road that wasn’t marketted as “off-road”, as it is a bit corrugated, but an “off-road” campervan is fine.)
Well, the Muloorina campground had a waterhole at the campground itself, with birds everywhere. There were spoonbills, ibises, and so many others. The sky was full of birds of prey. There were so many emus with chicks that we even had the campervan surrounded a few times by them, much to the kids delight. The waterholes like that always make me glad that we travel with our family. It definitely has been a life changing year or rather two.
The kids swam and swam in the waterhole, and followed the emus around trying not to be seen so that the birds wouldn’t take off. There was even a cow standing underneath our washing line one morning (it is a cattle station).
The highlight, though, was when someone told us that there were hot springs about a kilometer from the campground. We walked there, and all jumped into the water. It had been dug out, but it was as the same temperature as a really warm bath. There were little white animals jumping out of the water around us, and schools of fish that were almost 10 centimeters long. Even better where the birds of prey circling us, landing in the trees around us, and swooping down towards the water.
Following the water upstream it kept getting warmer and warmer, until at one point it was so hot we could barely dip our toes in. We never did get to see where it came out of the ground, as it was too far away.