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Journeys : Apr May 2012
Susan Hurst works in RACT Travelworld’s Launceston branch. Contact her on 6335 5605. How long have you worked for R ACT Travelworld? I started working in travel in 2008 and I’ve been with RACT Travelworld since February 2011. What is your favourite destination and why? My favourite destination so far is Fiji. I like the friendly people, the crystal-clear water and the tropical cocktails! Which country would you like to visit next? I’d like to travel to Malaysia, in particular, Borneo to see the orangutans, turtles, monkeys and bird life. What do you like to do when not working? I enjoy gardening, cooking and spending time with family and friends. What would be your dream holiday? It would be an around the world trip on an unlimited budget, visiting the culinary highlights and natural wonders of the world. What do you like about working for RACT Travelworld? I like meeting new clients and helping them plan their holidays. I also enjoy the friendly, positive environment and kind colleagues with whom I work. L ake Eyre – that’s in the middle of nowhere, isn’t it? At least that’s what I thought before I had the opportunity to travel with APT through the Flinders Ranges to Lake Eyre, where I discovered the magical variety of landscapes and towns along the way. And then there’s the once-in-a -lifetime ex perience of seeing the truly remarkable sight of Lake Eyre, an Australian icon, doing its ‘wet thing’, which doesn’t happen very often. On arrival at Adelaide airport I meet our APT driver and get to know the rest of our tour group. We board our APT 4W D Outback tour coach where we are pleasantly surprised in the leg room and facilities onboard. It is a warm South Australian day as we settle in for the comfortable trip north to Clare. The scenic roads through the Clare Valley are lined with grape vines as far as the eye can see – the first vineyards were planted here in the 1840s. A s we travel through the region, I keep an eye out for some of the big names and favourites of mine – Jim Bar ry, Taylors and Jacobs Creek. I taste just a couple but there are over 40 cellar doors within 40 kilometres in the Clare Valley. From Clare we head further north through the wheat fields, across the plains to the Flinders Ranges and Parachilna, where we are privileged to stay at the iconic Prairie Hotel. The Prair ie Hotel epitomises the SA Outback – locals drive for many kilometres and are joined by a few passing tourists to have a drink after a long day on the land. Dishes are a subtle blend of native foods such as paperbark and wattle with locally sourced meat including kangaroo, emu, goat and rabbit. After a divine breakfast we head into the desert region to our northernmost stop in Maree. We see the start of the infamous Oodnadatta, Strzelecki and Birdsville Tracks, visit the edge of Lake Eyre and take a scenic flight. This is a magical way to see the lake – I click away with my camera but no photo can really do justice to the colours and vastness of this unique area. After departing Maree we begin our southward journey, stopping at Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary in the ruggedly spectacular northern Flinders Ranges. This 610 square kilometre, award-winning wilderness sanctuar y has rugged mountains, towering granite peaks, magnificent gorges and mysterious waterholes – it’s a haven for bushwalkers and four wheel drivers. Our final stay is at Wilpena Pound Resort where we see dozens of emus with chicks, kangaroos and a variety of bird life and lizards. Wilpena Pound is a truly unique area in the Flinders Ranges National Park. With its bushwalks and rich geological history, this area is also home to the rare yellow footed rock wallaby – I’m lucky enough to spot one high on a rocky outcrop. We spend two days exploring the area and enjoying the resort and I look forward to the chance to return. Back in Adelaide, I reflect on the var iety of landscapes that I have seen in the past few days – magnificent mountains and r ugged ranges, glowing red sunsets, the vast expanse of the South Australian Outback, emus and kangaroos passing by and the peace and quiet of the bush at night. With Lake Eyre in flood and the opportunity to travel there in the comfort of an APT 4WD coach with a knowledgeable driver to show you the way, what’s stopping you? Susan Hu rst travelled to Lake Eyre as a guest of APT. Meet an RACT Travelworld consultant Wines, wallabies, wattles – and water! Susan Hurst April / May 2012 55
Feb March 2012
Jun Jul 2012