Travelling Australia - Journal 2008b
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18 July 2008 - Little Desert Nature Lodge
Location map The sound of heavy rain hitting the caravan roof woke us during the night but the morning was bright and sunny with a clear blue sky, and very cold. The caravan is sitting on heavy white sand and the rain had soaked in by morning, but nearby patches of pale grey clay were still wet and slippery to walk on. We drove 16 kilometres into Nhill for some shopping. Nhill is small but the shopping area was fairly busy.

In the afternoon I went for a walk along the bush tracks starting from the lodge. Interesting plants are numbered and a hand-out names the plant with information about it. The area is moderately timbered with Yellow Gum and Desert Stringybark forming the main eucalyptus canopy with some cypress in groves or growing as scattered individuals. The mid and low level plants are more varied with a variety of acacias, hakeas, she-oaks, banksias, and others; a few mallees grow as outlyers of more intensive mallee coverage further north but they are few and far between.
Nhill The Western Highway passing through Nhill shopping centre.
Nhill War memorial and central reservation in Nhill.
Although the title of "Desert" with connotations of endless sand dunes is misleading the area is predominantly white sand with fairly low rainfall (300 to 500 mm a year) and plants growing here have to be able to cope with arid conditions. Patches of pale gray clay amid the sand retain water longer than surrounding sand and support different species. Yellow Gum prefers the heavy clay soils of these patches and grows mainly on them, while Desert Stringybark grows in the surrounding sand and sandhills. In some places understory plants on sand form the only vegetation layer less than a metre high and looking like heath.
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