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Oodnadatta Track

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Oodnadatta Track / Oodnadatta - Cities, Towns and Localities
• Alberrie Creek
• Algebuckina Bridge
• Coward Springs
• Lake Eyre
• Marla
• Marree
• Oodnadatta
• Strangways Springs
• Wabma Kadarbu Conservation Park
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The Oodnadatta Track, also known as the ‘Oodna’ Track’, is a well know outback route that follows the Old Ghan railway line towards Alice Springs. This was the route for 19th century explorers such as John McDouall Stuart. The track follows an old Aboriginal trading route, that passes through semi arid desert country, disused railway sidings and other ruins, and passing artesian springs and waterholes along the way.

Today, it provides a holiday route for many tourists, eager for some history, adventure and a taste of the outback.

The township of Oodnadatta is the historic centre that was once a crossroad thronged with drovers, cameleers, goldminers and Aboriginal people, that became even more of a hub when the transcontinental railway started its construction in 1891. Before it was completed in 1929, all the mail, freight and travellers were transhipped, taking six days on camelback, to Alice Springs.

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 travellers make Leigh Creek and Copley as their starting point.

For those planning the trek, it is an easy drive, with camping facilities and opportunities at a number of locations along the route, including Coward Springs and the pub at William Creek. Stretching 615 km from Marree in the south, to Marla in the north, you can take the Stuart Highway down to Cooper Pedy and either follow the route back up to Oodnadatta or pass Anna Creek to William Creek. The road is unsealed with sandy patches that can become impassable after rain.

You can also make Marree/Oodnadatta the departure point for crossing the Simpson Desert and visiting the Witjira National Park, the road closely follows the route of Charles Todd’s Overland Telegraph Line which ran from Port Augusta to Darwin.

Near William Creek, there’s a detour to Lake Eyre North, a massive salt lake that fills up about every 100 years. Travellers should sought advice and the condition of the track before tackling it. The Oodnadatta Track is also home to Anna Creek Station, the worlds largest cattle station covering some 34,000 sq km (6 million acres) and belonging to the Kidman group of properties. The next largest cattle station is in the Northern Territory Alexandria Station at 8000 sq km. The largest cattle property in the USA is small in comparison at only 3,000 sq km.

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

When you’re travelling the track make sure you’re well prepared. Check out our listing of Oodnadatta accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre icon The Pink Roadhouse
Post Office
OODNADATTA SA 5734
Ph: 08 8670 7822
Freecall: 1800 802 074
Fax: 08 8670 7831
Post Office Ph: 08 8670 7819
Email
Web: www.pinkroadhouse.com.au

Flinders Ranges & Outback Information
OODNADATTA SA 5734
Freecall: 1800 633 060

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Oodnadatta Track Distance

Distance to Oodnadatta Track
• Following are some approximate distances by road to and along the Oodnadatta Track:
From   To Km
• Lyndhurst to • Farina 25
• Farina to • Marree 55
• Marree to • Alberrie Creek 30
• Alberrie Creek to • William Creek 80
• William Creek to • Oodnadatta 205
• Oodnadatta to • Marla 145
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.
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• Oodnadatta Maps
Flinders Ranges & Outback Maps
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Google Maps - Oodnadatta SA 5734
 
 

Source:
1 The South Australian Tourism Commission, South Australia. The Oodnadatta Track - String of Springs (PDF). Retrieved August 1, 2012
 
 
The Pink Roadhouse on the Oodnadatta Track
The Pink Roadhouse on the Oodnadatta Track
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