Camp ovens, camaraderie and conservation

on 09 Jun 2016 

After a (welcome) downpour of rain played havoc with the access road, the weather gods held off and allowed an eager and enthusiastic group of Bush Heritage bequest supporters to experience the vastness and variety of Boolcoomatta. 

Reserve Manager Al Dermer did a great job shepherding some mightily muddy vehicles onto the property and devising a varied agenda, despite some parts of the reserve being off limits to vehicles.

Al set the tone for the visit, giving everyone a great grounding in the property’s history, the work to date and plans for the future. Guests enjoyed the opportunity to ask questions and were impressed by the way in which Al spoke about relationships with other landholders in the surrounding community and the importance of developing strong and genuine relationships with Traditional Owners.

Sunset at the ancient Gnamma holes water source was a first day highlight, bringing together the wisdom of those who walked the land before us and the soft evening light from the rocky outcrop.

Day two was a great mix of in and out of car activities. The group visited the iconic Dome Rock and in the afternoon enjoyed a walk to the sand dunes, followed by a visit to the Red Gums alongside a mulch-rich dry river bed.

It was a cool and windless evening for the christening of the newly constructed-fire pit. Guests chatted, drinks in hand, warmed by the fire and tantalised by the aroma of camp ovens filled with herbed-legs of lamb and mixed vegetables.

The group saw some spectacular and interesting sites and learned so much, not only from Al, but also from each other, which was a wonderful bonus. Whether it was the discovery of a nesting site for Apostle Birds, the archaeological significance of rock fragments in the sand dunes or identifying mineral deposits at an old mine site, guests shared passions and professions to enhance the experience. The diversity and depth of knowledge among Bush Heritage supporters never ceases to amaze!

Behind the scenes Karen Harrland, along with volunteers Margaret and Mark Brammer, prepared the accommodation and created and served food in an atmosphere that made everyone feel like a welcome guest around a big family table. 

A wonderful visit and big thanks to Al, Karen and children Asha, Clay and Xavier.