23 June 2011
Queensland’s floodwaters are about to hit the state’s outback and Birdsville Track, allowing the Cooper Creek ferry to be relaunched for the second consecutive year.
The department has extended the ferry hull approximately two metres, making it 9.8 metres long, to provide additional room for both the local community and visitors to the region.
The iconic ferry will be relaunched once floodwaters from Queensland close the Birdsville Track.
Modifications to the ferry will ensure the local community retains access to the Birdsville Track once floodwaters force the closure of the causeway across the Cooper Creek.
The ferry service will operate during daylight hours only, seven days per week, granted the weather is favourable.
The ferry is powered by two 15hp outboard motors fitted on either side of the vessel and guided by cables between the banks. It can carry up to 10 tonnes with a maximum length of 9.8 metres for vehicle or vehicle/trailer combinations.
Conventional caravans are prohibited, however some high clearance off road vans may be permitted.
Operational restrictions will be in place with signage erected at both Marree and Birdsville to advise potential travellers of the arrangements once the ferry is reinstated.
During normal conditions, the Birdsville Track carries approximately 40 vehicles a day. The department continues to work with the Bureau of Meteorology to monitor hydrological patterns in the far north.
Information is available online at www.sa.gov.au/ferryservices and also on the Outback Road Conditions website at www.dtei.sa.gov.au