TRAVEL BULLETIN

RON AND VIV MOONíS LATEST NEWS AND INFO FROM AUSTRALIAíS TREKS AND TRACKS.

FUEL ON THE CSR (WA)

The Capricorn Roadhouse will again be delivering fuel to Well 23 on the Canning Stock Route. Fuel is also available at Cotton Creek (about 100km north-west of Well 23). However, these days more people rely on the Aboriginal community at Kunawarritji (Well 33) for fuel, which is 930km northeast of Wiluna along the CSR.

It pays to give the community a call on (08) 9176 9040, as they tend to run out at times.

COOKTOWN & CAPE YORK INFO (QLD)

Cooktownís Visitor Information Centre is now located at the James Cook Museum (50 Helen Street).

Itís open 9am-4pm, seven days a week. Also check out the Croc Shop for Cooktown and Cape York information Ė youíll find the friendly staff in the shop on the main street.

MILPARINKA GYMKHANA (NSW)

The Milparinka Gymkhana is held annually on the second Saturday of the July school holidays. The daylong event takes place at the Milparinka Sports Grounds on the north side of town, alongside Evelyn Creek. The gymkhana is a family affair, with riders bringing horses from local station properties, as well from Queensland and South Australia. Highlights include the horse races and the menís and womenís barrel races. Thereís also Ďslice the meloní, where a machete is used to slice a suspended paddy melon. The fully catered and licensed bar will have live entertainment on the Saturday night. More info: www.facebook.com/ MilparinkaGymkhana.

DARWIN LIONSí BEER CAN REGATTA (NT)

On July 17, the Darwin Lionsí Beer Can Regatta promises to be a lot of fun. Held at Mindil Beach, Darwin, there are beach events for all ages, as well as spectacular water events. Entrance is by a gold coin donation. Bar facilities are available, but thereís no BYO allowed. The popular Mindil Beach Sunset Market food and craft stalls will be trading all day. For all the details and dates, check out: www.beercanregatta.org.au.

TRACK CLOSURES (VIC)

Itís that time of the year again when many of the tracks in Victorian national parks, state forests and conservation reserves get closed for the winter months.

Times vary, so for the latest closures and updates head to: www.fwdvictoria.org.au.

ARE YOU AN ARTIST? (SA)

Here is a unique opportunity for Australian artists.

Expressions of interest for the Leigh Creek Artist in Residence program, in partnership with Leigh Creek Futures, are now being accepted. Australian artists actively engaged in contemporary arts are invited to apply for a fourto- six-week residency in the town of Leigh Creek.

More information at: www.countryarts.org.au.

COLSON TRACK CLARIFICATION (NT)

The entirety of the Colson Track isnít open to 4WDers.

You can currently travel up the Colson Track from the French Line, as far as Madiganís Camp 5. Or you can access the Madigan Line to Camp 5 from Camp 1a and Camp 2, although itís requested you do not visit Camp 2. Visiting Camps 3 and 4 is prohibited.

When you apply to the Central Lands Council (www.clc.org.au) for a Simpson Desert Track permit for the Madigan Line, a map will be supplied showing you where you are allowed to go. Traditional owners have also expressed concern with people driving on clay pans.

Even in dry weather, when they might be shallow or nearly dry, tracks can remain on the clay pans for more than 25 years.

OPAL FESTIVAL & GEM EXPO (NSW)

From July 28 to 31, the Lightning Ridge Opal Festival includes an opal and gem expo, opal jewellery design trade show and the Opal Queen ball. Jewellers, buyers, wholesalers, miners, rock hounds, lapidary enthusiasts and tourists are invited to experience what Lightning Ridge has to offer.

For more info visit: www. lightningridgeopalfestival. com.au.