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News, Specials
Save 10 per cent, or more than $800 per couple.
Book by June 4, 2018, before seats dry up

The stunning, white, salt-encrusted lake edge and red sand dunes reflected in the water of Lake Eyre is something few people are lucky enough to witness.

But this year, heavier-than-normal rain in Queensland means guests have the opportunity to see a natural spectacle that occurs only every three years or so. While the area is spectacular even without water, when the rains start filling the largest salt water lake in the country, the landscape is transformed.

And best of all, book before June 4 and receive an early-bird discount off a trip that not only includes a flight over Lake Eyre – one of this country’s great natural wonders – but also takes adventurers to outback destinations such as Wilpena Pound, Cameron Corner and Tibooburra, just to name a few photo-worthy opportunities.

Couples can save more than $800 on new, five-day trips departing on May 29, June 19, July 3, July 17 and August 21 this year, offered by outback tourism company, Tri State Safaris.

Highlights of the trip include flying over the vast, salty expanse of Lake Eyre – the lowest point in Australia and home to breathtaking flocks of migratory birds, exploring the rugged bowl of Wilpena Pound, marvelling at the magnificent cliffs and gorges of the Flinders Ranges, and experiencing the true meaning of ‘remote’ at Tibooburra, NSW’s most-far-flung town.

If booked by June 4, the five-day Lake Eyre Tour is available from:
Twin share: $3735 per person (save $415 per person or $830 per couple)
Solo: $4018 (save $447)
Seniors: $3547 per person twin share (save $395) or $3817 solo (save $425).

Fares include four nights’ accommodation, meals, guided sightseeing and travel in a comfortable, air-conditioned, fully kitted 4WD vehicle.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see the largest lake in Australia undergo a rare and sensational metamorphosis.

Tri State Safaris is owned by Out of the Ordinary Outback, an expanding tourism business in far west NSW which also owns seven properties- The Alma Hotel and Argent Motel in Broken Hill, Warrawong on the Darling tourist camp and cabins at Wilcannia, the famous White Cliffs Underground Motel, Cobar’s Copper City Motel, the Ivanhoe Hotel and the soon-to-open Broken Hill Outback Resort. Out of the Ordinary Outback’s own visitor centre also operates in Broken Hill.

Visit www.tristate.com.au or call 1300 688 225.

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Tri State Safaris tour guide and renowned artist, Clark Barrett, uses his experience to create art specific tours for outback travellers.

A land of far-reaching skies, emblazoned by the sun or bejewelled by twinkling starlight. Home to sweeping landscapes, both barren and teeming with life. A meeting place of cultures, histories and heritage. Outback Australia inspires even the most enlightened.

It was a sense of curiosity and wonder for this land that led Clark to start exploring the dirt tracks leading north from his new hometown Broken Hill. Packing up what supplies he thought necessary, Clark would set out on the bitumen and dirt roads, with no destination in mind – sometimes travelling as far as 300kms before turning for home.

Clark’s thirst for adventure was second only to his curiosity, and the explorer would often knock on the homes of station owners, seeking insight into this incredible land.

Fascinated by “the laser bright intensity of the outback sunlight and the way it makes the colours vibrate”, it wasn’t long before Clark began recreating his outback visions on canvas.

Fast-forward forty years, and the avid adventurer delights in sharing his experiences, discoveries and insights with others. His new-found career as tour guide suits him to a tee, and the opportunity to continue his explorations often leads to unique tour experiences.

See more of outback artist Clark Barrett on his Facebook page

Customise your tour, with the insight from local artist Clark Barrett.

Clark brings his lifetime of experiences to provide an artist’s interpretation on Tri State Safaris adventure tours. With a background in culture and the arts, Clarke’s extensive knowledge of outback Australian culture, history and environments adds depth to the tours his leads.

The Corner Country is Clark’s specialty, but he brings passion and insight into all of the tours he delivers. Art-specific tours and customisable itineraries are available upon request. We have experience in catering charters for art groups. To request Clark as your tour guide, simply contact Tri State Safaris on 1300 688 225 and speak with our customer service.

Read more about outback adventures with Tri State Safaris

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Out of the Ordinary Outback to promote Outback tourism to the international market

After a successful presentation at the 2017 Australian Tourism Exchange, Out of the Ordinary Outback has announced that it will continue to promote outback tourism at the event this year.

At the Tourism Exchange, Out of the Ordinary Outback representatives will aim to strengthen new and existing relationships with inbound travel agencies located around the globe, including Switzerland, Asia, America and Germany.

While the outback tourism group will promote their own tourism offering, they also aim to promote tourism throughout the regions they operate in.

Out of the Ordinary Outback Marketing co-ordinator, Janine Gowenlock comments.

“Growth and decline in outback tourism affects all community members. This includes a direct impact on businesses working in hospitality, retail and event management – as well the tourism industry itself. Indirectly it can significantly impact the economy of a whole community. We recognise that a part of our role in promoting outback tourism, is to promote the many outback communities we work within.”

The tourism group has a growing portfolio of nine accommodation venues and tourism services. These include iconic White Cliffs Underground Motel, award-winning tour company Tri State Safaris and new $5 million Broken Hill Outback Resort.

About the Australian Tourism Exchange

In April 2018, Adelaide will be host to Australia’s largest annual event for building tourism opportunities – the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE). The event will be held at the redeveloped Adelaide Convention Centre from April 15-19, 2018.

The event will attract more than 2,000 delegates from over 30 countries to meet and develop future tourism business for our country.

More than 550 Australian tourism businesses will showcase their products and services during the more than 50,000 business appointments held at the event.

As the host city, Adelaide can expect an immediate injection of around $10 million to the local economy during the event.

Longer term, the event helps to grow Australia’s $100 billion tourism industry through the relationships and future business facilitated at ATE.

Collectively, the 700 international travel wholesalers and retailers who attend ATE bring close to three million visitors to our country each year with an estimated pre-booked spend between $5.5 and $8.5 billion as well as their on-ground spend in Australia.

ATE is about showcasing the exceptional destinations and experiences offered by the diverse tourism businesses that can be found throughout the country, to encourage future bookings and travel to Australia.

The annual event has been run since 1979 and was last held in Adelaide in 2010. International tourism is worth about $1.1 billion a year to the South Australian economy. South Australian Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the conference would also allow delegates to visit nearby premium food and wine regions such as Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island and Eyre Peninsula.

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Jacinta Counihan escapes the city for outback adventures in Broken Hill and beyond.

Article as it appears in Holidays with Kids magazine, issue 54, 2018. Written by Jacinta Counihan

The world is silent as the sun sets over the curving orange horizon. The distractions and busyness of the city are far away as we join Tri State Safaris for a taste of the real Australia in Outback NSW.

Silver linings

We buzz into Broken Hill by propeller plane with Rex Airlines. The iconic outback town is located in the inner northwest of NSW, 50 kilometres from the South Australian border. We meet up with the Tri State Safari crew and are whisked away by 4WD to Silverton, a small mining town established in the 1880s. This once-flourishing silver-mining hub is now home to just 40 residents, lending it a ghost town vibe and as we reach the main street, I feel as if I am being transported into an old Western. The town has in fact starred in several movies, including Mad Max 2, which had such a huge impact on the region, there’s a museum in town dedicated to the film.

A desert oasis

As we head east to our next destination, I try to imagine how life must have been for the early explorers trudging over the harsh, barren landscape in hope of finding wealth and fortune. Luckily, we don’t have to walk this distance, instead kicking back for the comfortable two-hour drive to listen to stories of these early explorers, such as Burke and Wills, told by our friendly and knowledgeable guide, Clark.

We fall a little in love with Warrawong on the Darling, our accommodation for the night, which is an oasis in the desert. The park is a fantastic place for families to experience a true outback camping experience, with bush camping, powered sites and modern cabins scattered throughout the red gums and along the river banks. There are campsite meet-and-greets every afternoon and weekly barbecues offered in peak season, which makes socialising for the kids even easier.

After settling into our cabin, we are treated to an Aboriginal art showcase by Eddy Harris before enjoying dinner beside the picturesque billabong as the sun sets and the wildlife comes alive around us. The waterhole is a magnet for kids, and we watch on as they fish, canoe and explore the open wilderness.

Underground adventures

After a restful night, we’re back on the road and passing through the historic town of Wilcannia, known for being the third largest inland port during the paddle steamer era, despite it being almost 960 kilometres from the ocean.

Our next stop at White Cliffs turns out to be the highlight of my trip. In this opal mining town, its 200 residents live underground in dugouts to escape the summer heat.

It’s a simple life with limited mobile reception, one shop, a pub and the closest town – Broken Hill – three hours away. But it provides an incredible opportunity for the kids to see first-hand the realities of regional Australian life and teaches them to appreciate the basics.

We stop at the home of Cree and Lindsey, a couple who have turned empty mining shafts into their own underground mansion, and head off an opal tour with Graeme, owner of Red Earth Opal tours. As we delve 12 metres underground through the tunnels of the mining shafts, the kids rummage through rubble and collect shards of shiny blue and purple opal fragments. A small boy is crouched down next to me and points out potential opal rocks, clearly a lot more experienced than I am at this mining gig. It is doubtful they’ll strike it rich, but the kids still enjoy the thrill of the hunt.

Our adventures continue into the night at the subterranean White Cliffs Underground Motel. Built in 1989, it is so big it would fill a football field and it’s easy to get lost in the cave-like tunnels. The property stays a constant 22–23 degrees year-round and includes a swimming pool and an upper-ground viewing site where we watch the sun drop below the horizon, turning the sky a blazing shade of orange.

Indigenous explorations

We wake early to venture to Mutawintji National Park where our tour guide gives us a deeper understanding of the area’s Aboriginal community. A kangaroo casually bounces by as we attempt to comprehend the age of the 42,000-year old rock engravings and the kids listen, enraptured, to incredible Dreamtime stories.

We return to Broken Hill to The Argent Motel, where we are welcomed by a classic sausage sizzle and ice-cream dinner – a kiddy crowd pleaser. Then we’re off into the night for an Outback Astronomy experience, the enormous open sky bright with stars and incredible constellations.

As our adventure comes to its inevitable conclusion, we’re happily filled with a new affection for Outback NSW, its blend of adventure and its lovely people.

Travel in Jacinta’s footsteps with Tri State Safaris 3 Day Outback Exposure Tour. Book now or read the full itinerary here

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The iconic inland sea situated in the Australian Outback

It seems like a mirage. With the blinding Australian sun at your back, and scorching red desert sands underfoot, the sight of Kati-Thanda-Lake Eyre would have brought tears to the eyes of early travellers. Partly because of its size. Partly because it is entirely salt water.

Situated 700km north of Adeliade in South Australia, Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre is the largest salt water lake in Australia. It is the focal point of the massive Lake Eyre Basin that covers over 1 million square kilometres and crosses into three Australian states and the Northern Territory.

Its name, Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, recognises both the land’s traditional inhabitants, the indigenous Arabana people and its European discoverer Edward John Eyre.

This inland sea, is composed of two water bodies (North Lake Eyre and South Lake Eyre) connected by the 15m long Goyder Channel. It spreads across an area some 144km long and 77km wide covering more than 9,500 square metres. At its lowest point it reaches an incredible 15.3m below sea level – the lowest natural point on the Australian mainland.

Despite its size, high levels of evaporation mean most of the year Kati Thanda contains only little water. Between flood times, it appears as a vast expanse of salt-encrusted land and small lakes, set against striking blue skies and brilliant sun. It is easy to appreciate the isolation of this land, while standing at its edge and looking at what appears as a barren land to the untrained eye.

With the right conditions, the environment surrounding Kati Thanda changes dramatically. Heavy rain in Channel Country of SE Queensland causes rivers and channels to swell and flow to Kati-Thanda, and the lake’s water levels rise. With water comes an abundance of wildlife and new growth. Waterbirds descend in the thousands, including species such as pelicans, silver gulls, red-necked avocets, banded stilts and gull-billed terns.

Minor floods of up to 1.5m occur once every three or four years, while major floods occur only once a decade. Under spectacular circumstances, the inland sea will fill to capacity, happening as little as 4 times a century.

Water or no water, Kati Thanda is a spectacular and breath-taking sight, worthy of recognition as an Australian icon.

How to get there: Discover the wild beauty of Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre on Tri State Safaris’ 5 Day Lake Eyre Discovery Tour! More details here

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Our 5 Day Lake Eyre Discovery Tours are back! To celebrate the predicted good conditions at Lake Eyre, we’ll be departing tours throughout the 2018 season.

Discover the majesty of Australia’s inland sea

As the largest salt water lake in Australia, Eyre has captured hearts and inspired awe both in flood and when bone dry. It is hard to predict how much water Lake Eyre will hold in any year, and how long it will last. However, heavy rainfall and minor flooding in Queensland this year has led to predictions of good conditions for Lake Eyre ahead.

Departing from Broken Hill, this 5 Day adventure explores:
• Rawnsley Park Station
• Wilpena Pound
• Brachina and Bunyeroo gorges
• Parachilna
• Talc Alf and the ochre pits
• Marree
• Monte Collina hot water bores
• Cameron Corner and the Corner Post
• Sturt National Park
• Tibooburra

Read the full tour itinerary here

Inclusions: One and a half hour scenic flight over Lake Eyre, all accommodation, meals and entries while on tour, transfer to and from local Broken Hill accommodation, travel in a comfortable, air-conditioned and fully kitted 4WD vehicle and commentary by a trained and experienced tour driver and guide. Just bring some spending money for souvenirs!

Departure dates: 29 May, 19 June, 3 July, 17 July, 21 August

Prices: Passenger prices begin at $4,360 per person for twin share. Tag-along, children and senior discounts are available – see our tour page for our full range of fares.

What to expect at Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre

Most often, the vast expanse of Lake Eyre appears as salt-encrusted landscapes with small lakes serving as a water source for salinity tolerant wildlife. The white salt of the lake contrasts against the low red sand dunes and mesas found throughout Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park. Standing at the edge of the lake, with no sign of human life in any direction, travellers can appreciate the solitude and isolation here.

However, local and Queensland weather have unpredictable effects on the Lake Eyre Basin.

Heavy rain and the right conditions transform Lake Eyre into something entirely different. Water flowing from Queensland Channel Country lead to minor or major flooding in the lake every three and ten years respectively. The atmosphere changes dramatically as water attracts thousands of waterbirds, and saline tolerant fish can reproduce inside.

In flood or without water, Lake Eyre is an impressive sight. You won’t be disappointed!

Read more about Lake Eyre here

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Book three nights at the Broken Hill Outback Resort for Camping, Caravan sites or Cabins and receive a fourth night free of charge

Based in Australia’s first heritage-listed city of Broken Hill, the Broken Hill Outback Resort is offering great prices for holiday-makers and travellers. Bookings have now opened with caravan, camp sites and cabins available in July. As a bonus, patrons will be able to book three nights and receive the fourth night free.

To celebrate the opening of the Broken Hill Outback Resort, all new patrons staying at the outback accommodation venue will receive a complimentary Welcome Pack, including tote bag, goodies and meal vouchers. Visitors booking into on the resort’s cabins will also receive a complimentary bottle of wine.

Situated on the outskirts of Broken Hill City and only 10 minutes from the CBD, the $5 million project overlooks sculpted ranges and sweeping bushland.

The landscaped premises offers 60 camp sites and 20-plus king-sized cabins for patrons wishing to escape city life and explore the real Australian Outback. Stars shine clear and bright overhead, free from light pollution and lucky visitors will have the chance to see bird and wildlife that frequent the area

The Broken Hill Outback Resort expects to open its on-site restaurant later this year.

To book your stay and make the most of this promotional offer contact 1300 688 225

Promotion begins March 31st and will be ongoing throughout 2018.
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Four-wheel-drive enthusiasts flock to award-winning outback station for competitions and festivities

The ARB Eldee Family Easter Event is set to take place this month, with 4×4 enthusiasts travelling from all over Australia to attend. Based on previous years, the event is predicted to be a success, with many competitors already registered.

 

Situated on the award-winning Eldee Station on Mundi Mundi plains, the action-packed 3-day event begins on Good Friday (March 29th) and concludes Easter Sunday.

 

Throughout the event, competitors will have the opportunity to challenge themselves in a series of 4-wheel-drive events across the breath-taking and rugged landscapes the station is known for.

 

Spectators and families are welcomed, and can expect children to be well catered for. Eldee Station will host a super-sized Easter Egg hunt on the property, as well as a children’s colouring competition, remote control car play and bouncing castle at intervals throughout the program.

 

A live performance by Don Costa is sure to delight participants and spectators alike, with acoustics sounding particularly delightful inside the Eldee woolshed. Unsuccessful entrants have the opportunity to earn back their credibility in a trivia competition held in the evening after the award ceremony.

 

Meals are available to suit every budget, and can be enjoyed beside an open fire outside the restaurant. Eldee Station is licenced and both spectators and guests can enjoy cold brew.

 

Participants need to register with Eldee Station before March 15th to confirm their place. A variety of accommodation packages are available for participants and spectators. See more details here.

 

Start your adventure before the festival begins! Out of the Ordinary Outback has a number of comfortable family friendly venues between Sydney and Broken Hill. Check out these recommended venues:

 

Warrawong on the Darling – deluxe cabins, camping and caravan sites situated on the outskirts of Wilcannia with stunning views of our landscaped premises, billabong and bushland.

 

Copper City Motel – comfortable and affordable accommodation in historic outback community Cobar

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These family-friendly prices will give you more reason to travel Outback for the school holidays!

 

Passengers can save up to $50 per person on 1-day Mutawintji tours, while children joining the Historic Site tour travel absolutely free.

 

About the tour

 

Mutawintji (pronounced moot-a-wint-ji) National Park, was once a busy meeting place for Australia’s ancient indigenous inhabitants. Their dreamtime stories, history and teachings are taught through depictions such as stencils and engravings. Such artworks are abundant here, providing a unique insight into the life & culture of the Australian aboriginal people. Mutawintji holds evidence of Aboriginal occupation dating back over 8,000 years.

 

This tour includes access into the restricted access Historic Sites, which have been closed to the general public. To preserve the history of this significant area, all of our guides have received training and accreditation by the traditional land owners. As well as indigenous culture, there are abundant opportunities to spot local bird and wildlife in their natural habitats.

 

Special Offer

 

Available 16th – 29th April

 

Passengers (adult): $180 per person (save $50)
Passengers (child): $90 per person (save $25)
All tag-along children (0-13 years) joining our 2.5 hour Historic Sites tour are free!

 

Visit the Tri State Safaris website for a full tour itinerary

 

Travel Options

 

Passengers – travel in fully kitted 4WD vehicle from Broken Hill to Mutawintji National Park. This option includes full commentary, lunch and morning tea
Tag-alongs ex Broken Hill – travel in your own vehicle in a group with full commentary provided by UHF radio. Lunch and morning tea provided. Tag-alongs ex Mutawintji National Park (Historic Site tour) – meet us at Mutawintji National Park to join a 2.5 hour Historic Sites tour. No meals provided. Tag-along positions only available on confirmed departure dates due to minimum number requirements.

<style=”color: #ff6600;”>Book now by contacting our office on 1300 688 225 or tours@tristate.com.au

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**SPECIAL PRICES NOW AVAILABLE ON 12 DAY SIMPSON DESERT CROSSING**

Add the Simpson Desert to your bucket list with the opportunity to conquer one of Australia’s most iconic 4WD destinations. Take on the challenge with the full support of experienced and trained 4WD professionals on a fully catered 12 day adventure.

For more than 20 years, Tri State Safaris have been taking groups of intrepid explorers to the furthest corners of Outback Australia. This May will mark their 27th annual Simpson Desert Crossing with an additional crossing programmed in August due to high demand.

Full dates and itinerary can be seen on the Tri State Safaris website.

While participants are welcome to book on board as a passenger inside their fully kitted 4WD vehicles, it is the tag-along option that offers the best chance for a real adventure. Ask any traveller who has attempted the Simpson and they’ll agree, that there is nothing quite like conquering its looming sand dunes.

“The satisfaction and pride you feel when you reach the top of each sand dune is immense,” says past passenger Trevor Adams as he reflects on his first crossing many years ago. “It really is an unforgettable experience. And knowing that the people you are with are professionals in this area really fills you with this confidence that you are going to reach the end no matter what. I still remember the feeling of reaching the top of ‘Big Red’ and so many of the other things I saw and learnt. I would recommend it to anybody.”

The terrain can be difficult, but Tri State tour guides (many of whom have been with the company for more than a decade) are yet to see a group member fail a crossing attempt. With Advanced 4WD qualifications and experience in vehicle recovery, participants are unlikely to encounter any situation that can’t be overcome.

However you choose to travel, the Simpson Desert is certainly something that every Australian should see in their lifetime.

Dwarfing its surrounds and casting an imposing shadow across the Australian outback, stands ‘Big Red’, arguably the largest sand dune in the majestic Simpson Desert. Just one glance and you can understand why crossing this infamous region tops bucket lists of 4WD enthusiasts world-wide.

Over 30 metres tall, ‘Big Red’ (traditionally known as Nappanerica) marks the beginning of the Simpson Desert, some 35kms east of Birdsville. This is just one of over 1,140 parallel sand dunes stretching across more than 176,000 square kilometres, crossing the borders of three Australian states. Its immense size makes the Simpson the fourth largest Australian desert, and the largest sand dune desert in the world.

With little to no vegetative cover, rare water sources and kilometres of sprawling red sand, the Simpson Desert was first crossed successfully by 4WD, less than 50 years ago.

Now it’s your turn.

All Tri State Safaris tours are fully inclusive with all meals, accommodation, entries, transfers and travel included in the price. Tag-along participants travelling in their own vehicle travel at a reduced fare and have access to a UHF radio for full tour commentary.

See the full 12 Day Simpson Desert Crossing itinerary on the Tri State Safaris website.

Bookings can be made by contacting Tri State Safaris on 1300 688 225

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