Travelling along the Oodnadatta Track is an experience
through a range of magnificent landscape, from salt crusted, cracked earth,
stony plains stretching into the distance. Gibber plains as far as the eye can
see, sand dunes and salt lakes, flat top mesas and artesian mound springs.
Known colloquially as the ‘Oodna’ Track’, the Oodnadatta
Track is one of the iconic Australian outback drives. The track follows an old
Aboriginal trading route, who passed through this semi arid desert country by
following a 'string of springs'. This route was then used by 19th century
explorers such as John McDouall Stuart, paving the way for the Old Ghan Railway
line towards Alice Springs. Today, this track is used by mainly travellers eager
for some history or after a taste of adventure and the outback experience. Our modern day explorers follow the route, passing disused railway sidings and
other ruins, artesian springs and waterholes and the magnificent gibber plains,
desert dune and flat-top mesas landscape.
The Oodnadatta Track officially starts from
Marree in the south or
Marla in the
north. Some maps show it starting from
Lyndhurst, south of Marree, whilst many
Leigh Creek and
their starting point. From Marree you pass through
Oodnadatta is an aboriginal word meaning ‘blossom of the mulga’.
The Oodnadatta Track crosses the traditional lands of three Aboriginal groups.
In the south, between Lake Torrens and Lake Eyre are the Kuyani people;
most of the west of Lake Eyre has been traditionally occupied by the Arabana
people; and to the north is the land of Arrernte people. Now may people
from further west, Antikirinya people, live here too.1
More information about
Oodnadatta Track and the many locations along the route.