Eramophilas (emu bushes) were blooming in a profusion of colour and variety at Bon Bon, and for at least one of our tag-along group, this was paradise.
Johnno, an eramophila expert, joined with Mike and Julia, Bon Bon reserve managers to give the rest of us a wonderful education in the extraordinary range of this species, and there were times when we felt we were walking through an amazing cultivated garden. The abundance of different plant species and bird life made it difficult at times to remember we were in an arid zone, with minimum rainfall.
Our tour took in several of the different landscapes on Bon Bon, and Mike and Julia were incredibly generous with their time and their knowledge, bringing to life the history of the station, the work that Bush Heritage is doing and the ever present issues in conserving this precious environment. Our tour took us to the northern area, home of the rare chestnut breasted white face, but unfortunately it was not very obliging – although some in our group later saw two at quite close range in an entirely different spot.
We also explored the Hidden Valley, an area new to Mike, in the hope of spotting a Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat. Again, we were unlucky, but we investigated several warrens, handsome and ambitious structures, which showed healthy signs of habitation. Walking along the dry creek bed we followed the footprints of many animals in the red sand, and felt it would be a good place to camp for a few days to observe their nocturnal wanderings.
Our last night was a camp on the edge of Lake Puckridge, a vast dry expanse ringed with clumps of rich red samphire over which a brilliant sunset spread a warm glow, highlighting the gleaming salty surface and the last patches of dampness that made walking on the lake a slippery experience.
What a great trip this was. Anyone who gets a chance to join a tag along trip to Bon Bon should do so - it is a wonderful place to contemplate the uniqueness of the Australian landscape