COVID restrictions update

Although there is some relaxation of COVID restrictions, biosecurity regions remain enforced, limiting opportunities for bushwalking in Central Australia.

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Bushwalking update

Central Australian Bushwalking Club committee met to review NT government COVID community advice.

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We are unclear exactly which of these applied to the club so will seek clarification. We agreed that physical distancing is key to safety, and will defer organised walks until another meeting on 4th May 2020.

Some walking locations are open and walkers should enjoy the beautiful weather, please check

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Further restrictions to protect each other from COVID-19

COVID-19 is spreading in Australian communities and governments have introduced further restrictions in efforts to reduce the impact.

We are suspending non-essential gatherings to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus (COVID-19). One reason for this is to give people time to fully understand social distancing requirements.

Most relevant to us is that bootcamps and personal training can be conducted outdoors if there are no more than 10 people and they maintain physical distances of at least 1.5m. This means no more than one person per 4 square metres.

Cancelled gatherings are safe gatherings. Groups can walk safely together once we have eliminated virus from world. We’re all in this together. DSC_0045

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COVID-19 and bushwalking

Bushwalking is a relatively safe activity during pandemic of respiratory disease, but travelling in a vehicle with windows closed could provide opporunity for disease spread.

I suggest to follow NT guidelines because we need to protect ourselves and keep our health workforce strong.

Walkers must be symptom free.

Current recommendations are that if there is to be the possibility of exposure in an enclosed space such as in a car, people should be asked whether they have travelled outside Australia in the past 14 days. If so, then we should ensure that they do not share enclosed vehicle space with others, following the advice of Dr Vicki Krause Head of NT Centre for Disease Control. We may need more vehicles.

It’s a live situation so things will change, and we need to keep safe.




Finke River in flood February 2020


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Welcome to 2020

The first schedule for 2020 has been published!

Please visit our Bushwalks & Activities Program page to see the schedule.

The summer’s hot, but we’ve had some rains, heavy in places and there’s a green transformation happening.
The Todd has flowed for a couple of days. Upstream of the town, there are still some large pools to enjoy.

Below are some magical spots where the rain has got to.

A secret location a few days ago.

Flowing waterfalls, crystal-clear pools of good water, far away from hooves, and with tadpoles, frogs and all the stages in between swimming without a care in the world – what’s not to stand and stare open-mouthed in wonder at!
In an instant, the 40-degree heat and the million flies became just a minor inconvenience.

Secret waterfall
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Further downstream

Eastern Macs

Not as wet as the West, but had some rain.
Eremophila in bloom
Eremophila latrobei (Crimson Turkey Bush) in flower.

Harts Range area

Ghost gum and Bean tree
The Ghost gum and the Bean tree. The leafless bean tree has bright red flowers on display
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Direction finding by the stars in the southern sub-tropics

by Michael Giacometti

In the southern hemisphere, all of the stars and constellations rotate around the South Celestial Pole (SCP). Unlike the northern hemisphere with its North Star, there is no ‘South Star’ situated at the point of the SCP.

The Southern Cross and Pointers are used to navigate in the temperate and sub-temperate zones of the southern hemisphere. However, they are of less use to navigators in the southern sub-tropics. This is especially true during the southern summer, from October to March, due to the tilt of the earth northward so that the sun shines more directly at the Tropic of Capricorn, and less of the southern night sky is seen.

In the southern sub-tropics the SCP is located close to the horizon. The Southern Cross and Pointers, being situated close to the SCP, are sometimes visible, but for long periods of the night they ‘set’ and drop below the horizon. At Alice Springs (virtually at the Tropic of Capricorn) in the summer months, the Southern Cross does not ‘rise’ (or become visible) until the early hours of the morning. Instead, south can be found using the stars Canopus and Achernar. With the SCP, these two stars roughly form an equilateral triangle.

A practical guide to locating south

Two other constellations can assist in locating Canopus and Achernar: the Belt of Orion, and Sirius (also called the Dog Star).

These four – Orion’s Belt, Sirius, Canopus and Achernar – describe an asymmetric arc in the night sky.

1. Start by locating the Belt of Orion.

2. Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, is in the opposite direction to (and in a straight line through Orion’s Belt from) Pleiades, the Seven Sisters.

3. Canopus is the second brightest star in the night sky. The angle of the arc of Sirius–Canopus from Orion–Sirius is about 135°, and the length of the Sirius–Canopus axis is about 1½ times that of Orion–Sirius.

4. Finally, Achernar is the brightest star in the constellation Eridanus. The angle of the arc of Canopus–Achernar from Sirius–Canopus is about 135°, and the length of the Canopus–Achernar axis is about the same as that of Orion–Sirius.

5. Using the location of Canopus and Achernar, project a third point outside the arc (on the convex side) which would form an equilateral triangle (a triangle where all sides are the same length). This projected point is the South Celestial Pole. (It lies roughly on the extension of the Sirius–Canopus axis). Drop a plumb line from the SCP to the horizon and you have south, accurate to within a few degrees.

[The Southern Cross and Achernar are on opposite sides of the SCP in the night sky. In the southern tropics, if one can be seen, then the other cannot.]

A star chart can help you to locate the constellations (such as those available from

Note: This is an addendum to section 5 of the Map Reading Handbook, edn. 2 (TASMAP 1991).

Download a copy of the instructions [displayed below] here: skymap south by stars PDF


Finding South by stars

Star chart for Southern Hemisphere November 2014 from

Note: the southern hemisphere star chart is designed for use at 35°S (the latitude of Adelaide) and up to 15° either side of this latitude (as far north as Tennant Creek. For the southern tropics, refer to the Equatorial star chart.

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Leaders Guidelines updated – Driver responsibilities

It may seem like common sense, but all drivers have a duty of care to their passengers. This applies on our bushwalks too. To clarify this, the following has been added to the Leader Guidelines:

Driver Responsibilities

In terms of the potential of major injury or death, driving to and from the walk is probably the riskiest part of bushwalking. Drivers should put the safety of their passengers (their fellow bushwalkers) first. Stop or share the driving if tired or unwell.

Due to post-walk fatigue, drivers should be ‘Sober Bob’ and refrain from alcohol and other drugs.

As a passenger, please inform the driver to slow down or pull over if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

You can download the full guidelines here.

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