Tribute to Tragedy on the Cooper Lake Eyre

by Graham Wilson
(Sydney, NSW Australia)

Campfire on the Cooper

Campfire on the Cooper

We are four old mates from Uni days and now more than 30 years on went on our own outback trip in 2 4wds, first as four blokes, then with 3 female partners joining us at Yulara,with the flash night out before back to outback travel and camping.

We travelled from Sydney via Camerons Corner, Innamincka, Birdsville and on to Alice around the north of the Simpson and back around through Coober Pedy, William Creek, Marree and up to the Cooper crossing on the Birdsville Track. There were many highlights to our trip but visit to Burkes Dig tree on the Cooper and Birdsville were memorable

We ended up going on the boat trip on the Cooper on the Thursday morning just before the ABC film crew arrived to go on their own boat tour with Peter, the guide. This was the highlight of our trip with the wealth of birdlife and Peter's fantastic description of the area and the Cooper system. Peter was in a rush that morning to fit in filming with the ABC film crew and other visitor trips. I am sure that the ABC crew had a fantastic trip with him as they would have seen the same sights and heard the same stories we did.

Sadly when we made it to Broken Hill the next night we heard that the helicopter had crashed that previous night with the death of the whole ABC crew.

We have written our own blog of this trip and also a special tribute to the ABC people, legends of their own time. For those who want to read this here is our blog.
Our full blog is also on the site under the 4 men behaving badly tab.

Thank you to others on this blog as I have also enjoyed reading your stories.

Graham Wilson

Comments for Tribute to Tragedy on the Cooper Lake Eyre

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Jan 07, 2012
Broken Links
by: Rita

Hi Graham,

I removed the links to your blog because they did not work anymore, pity.
If you have moved your blog to another host, please let me know. I am going to add working links again.


Sep 05, 2011
Response to comments
by: Graham

Rita and Anonymous,
thanks for comments, we loved our trip, were very moved by what happened and our proximity. We hope our tribute gives some comfort to those who feel the loss most.

I am sure their day, until the end, was one of those brilliant outback days, so rich in colour and experiences.

We are now planning our next trip - hopefully to the Gulf, though what I would most like to do is have a go at retracing Leichardt's trip across the Top End as I found reading about his feat in his journal almost defied my imagination.

I have enjoyed other stories on your blog and referred others to it.

Sep 05, 2011
your blog
by: Anonymous

Oh graham what can I say I love the area as did Peter and his friends.

Sep 04, 2011
It is a tragedy
by: Rita

Hi Graham,

Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful photos and your story.

I read your Tribute to Tragedy on your blog, it is very thoughtful, and beautifully written.

I really can imagine how you felt, seeing the same places and people like the ABC crew. They must have had a wonderful day before the tragedy hit.

Could this fact be a little comfort for their mourning relatives and friends?


PS. My apologies if you received several notification emails. The system had some problems to upload your photos, needed a few attempts.

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