Just so no-one is labouring under the wrong impression, my comments
about the route into Diamantina NP via Palparara and Davenport downs do
not in any way relate to Stanbroke's management practices.
I do not see why it should be hard to comprehend that driving along a
road with significant rolling resistance for over an hour through an
area devoid of any interesting topography, that had nothing but grass,
and the occasional magpie, pipit or kestrel is not an enjoyable
I don't know whether the complete absence of any plants other than grass
was natural or not. I did see the odd bit of fallen timber. Bare
patches are not uncommon in the outback - there are often areas pretty
devoid of vegetation, but there are usually clumps of woody plants,
particularly along the drainage lines.
The bottom line, though, is that it is quite valid to comment on the
lack of diversity visible over 360 degrees [horizon to horizon] from a
bit of a rise .
I don't think the vegetative situation was linked to drought, as the
grass cover was fairly thick. I would also note that I didn't see any
stock in that section.
John Walter wrote:
> Laurie Knight wrote in part, "Trip Report- atlassing beyond the red stump
> "The drive out to the Birdsville turnoff was rather attractive,
> particularly round the Diamantina watershed [quite a bit of interesting
> typography]. The same couldn't be said for the drive through the
> Stanbroke pastoral holdings - the road through to Palparara was in
> fairly good nick, with the main hazard being fairly regular soft
> sections. The section from Palparara to Devenport Downs involved an
> extensive soul-stressing "nullarbor" [treeless] section, where the only
> birds were richards pipits, magpies and kestrels. Someone had done a
> good job of chopping the road up [ie driving though when wet - the old
> "I've got a 4WD so I can get through" mentality]. Interestingly the
> road was still a bit spongy [a relative of blacksoil] and somewhat power
> >From time to time I have noted various critisims of Stanbroke Pastoral
> Company in various Birding circles. I would like to go on record by saying
> that 20 years ago Stanbroke was very helpfull and well dissposed towards
> Birds Australia.
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