"Jump Up" country, Sturt National Park, north-western NSW

Posted by barbara on January 12, 2012

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Pictured in the first week of Janury 2012, the dry weather road into Olive Downs, Sturt National Park, passes through semi arid vegetation that has clearly benefitted from recent rains. A variety of flowers, including the Darling or Paroo Lily, interspersed the ground cover.

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The unpaved road to Olive Downs include sandy patches that require keeping up the momentum, especially for two wheel drive vehicles. If the road is dry and drivers inspect the best route over rocky stretches, it is possible to drive to the Olive Downs camping ground in a well-equipped two wheel drive vehicle, preferably one with high clearance and a sump guard.

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Such sandy conditions as those above would have been challenging after wet weather, with park roads closed after decent downpours to protect the gravel roads from vehicular damage. Fines apply throughout north western NSW for contravening the road closure signs, to the tune of $1000.

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One of the highlights of Sturt National Park's native fauna, Red Kangaroos were easy to spot by day, usually sheltering under shady clumps of vegetation in the 45 plus degree celsius temperatures.

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Pictured in the distance, the so-called "jump up" country constitute the eroded remnants of an older land surface that has been largely worn away.

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On reaching the Olive Downs car park and camping area, it is well worth taking the "jump up' country loop walk for good views across the flat topped mesas. This especially applies to two wheel drive visitors who may be unable to access roads best suited for four wheel drives including the Jump Up Loop Road which was closed to vehicular traffic in early 2012.

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