Birdsville Track to Maree

Thursday – 12th. We had some light rain overnight it seems the track had a tad more as its a bit sloppy and we are getting mud thrown up all over us 🙂 can’t to the Birdsville track and not get a bit of mud on you. We headed off a bit  late this morning as the gas regulator was having some issues and needed some adjusting.


Every car we see is loaded with gear on the top, but some are a little extreme, especially for an L plater.

M.V.Tom-Brennon M.V.Tom-Brennan

The road is very busy this morning. A big tag along group is ahead of us which is kind of handy as the guide is telling people things over the CB, so we get the info too including info on the road ahead.


The road is certainly wetter than yesterday, with water across the road in a few places. We had some entertainment for a while watching people in front of us in a Jayco Outback doing a bit of slip and slide. It’s a beautiful sunny day, no clouds in sight. Things change very quickly out here.


Clayton’s campground is a beaut spot to stop, loos, showers, hot tub all for $10 a car per night. There is even instructions on how to fill the hot tub and use it. 53kms north of Maree.


Wow the amazing things you see in the middle of nowhere. Lake Harry aqua blue water complete with black swans. The road comes very close to the lake so it was a good spot with everyone else to get out and have a look.


A bit further up the road is Lake Harry Date Plantation ruins. The stone it was made from had some beautiful colours and  patterns.


Woohoo we completed the Birdsville Track, awesome was great fun. We had lunch in Maree and spent a bit of time checking out the old Ghana trains. And other old relics like the Tom Kruse mail truck. Kruse used to do the mail run up the Birdsville track from 1936 for many years.

GhanInside-the-GhanMemorial-2 MemorialRoyal-Mail The-Old-Ghan


We decided to duck down to the Farina ruins and check them out. We missed them last time we were in this area.


Farina meaning flour was established in 1878  the last store closed in 1968 the end of a 90 year life for Farina. It was quite a big place, with many ruins still standing.

Directions Exchange-HotelMore-Ruins

There is also a campground 600m from the ruins, we didn’t stay there. Very interesting place and well worth a stop. Glad we live in modern times.

Police-Station Post-OfficeRuinsUnderground-Bakery

We popped down to Lyndhurst to fill up with fuel $1.69 compared to $1.95 at Maree.

We pulled well off the road next to the old Ghan and some Sandhill’s for the night.




Oodnadatta Track– Day 1

Friday 13th – Last night the wind really came up and was blowing the canvas about waking both of us up. It stopped after a while letting us slumber to nearly 8am.

We stopped  for morning tea at Maree and chatted to some others travellers finding out some good info about Alice Springs, costs of staying at parks etc. we need to free camp as much as we can to pay for the expensive accommodation.


Yippee down the Oodnadatta track, we had so much fun last time we went down the track.




Alberrie Creek ummm art ??


There was also some sort of protest “Lizard Revenge” there that we couldn’t figure  out what they were protesting about but they had put up all sort of weird alien cardboard cut-outs, too much waky backy me think.


We stopped at several ruins along the way before stopping at Strangeways Springs for the night. We only had one other person in here with us who invited us over to their camp fire later.


We got to photograph the ruins in the changing light, past sunset until we went back to camp having a late quick tea before visiting our neighbours campsite.

Strangeway-Springs-6 Strangeway-Springs-5 Strangeway-Springs-4 Strangeway-Springs-3 Strangeway-Springs-2


Oodnadatta Track – Day 2

Sat 14th- We were grateful for our heater, it was a very cold night, coldest so far. This morning that cools breeze is back. We went for a morning walk back up to the ruins, this time visiting the cemetery. Amazing the head stones are still in such good nic.

David-RandallStrangeway-Ruins Strangeway-Ruins-1

The 70km road out to Lake Eyre is very corrugated and bumpy, worst than last time we were here. It shook the CB antenna loose so we had to stop and put it back on and check everything else was still tight. Chris does a check every morning on the Ute, trailer and an engine check, making sure everything is as it should be. Goes to show that in these rough conditions things can shake loose very quickly. We took the side tracks when suitable even though they were less corrugated  they still had their issues with even bigger holes, bumps and bull dust.


There is a memorial to Caroline Crossmueller who got died after she left her car after it got bogged to walk to William Creek.


Wow that was a bit freaky. We stopped to adjust the kayak after it had moved on the bumpy road. I turned around to see a female dingo sauntering past. It stopped just in front of us and laid down on the road watching us.


We have made camp in the over flow area as its a bit more protected from the wind. We are sheltered a bit by a large bush we have camped by. After lunch and several cuppas we made our way down to the lake, walking out onto the salt. It got softer as we went and when we started to sink too much we stopped. We picked up some lumps of salt of varying thickness, Chris picked up some that was nearly 2 inches thick and pink on the bottom, not sure if will survive the trip home let alone the drive back out.


We had someone tell us not to bother coming out here as there was no water in the lake. Boy they miss the beauty of the large flat area of lake all white with salt. Water in the lake is great but the salt with all it’s crystals is so fascinating.


Back for arvo tea, sitting in the sun is wonderful and gets quite warm until the wind came back up, the flies aren’t much fun though, we had to get the fly hats out to drink our coffee in peace.


Pizza for tea tonight.


Oodnadatta Track – Day 3

Sun – 15th. It was a quiet night despite 4 other campers and one lot with kids. No wind either. It took 1 hr and 40 mins to do the 60kms back out to the main track. It is one rough road but whether there is water in the lake or not it is well worth the rough, jaw breaking, very corrugated road to see the amazing sight that is Lake Eyre. One plus it makes the Oodnadatta Track seem like a hwy.


Fuel at William Creek was $2.30, we opted to fill up at Oodnadatta Pink Roadhouse in the hope it was a bit cheaper. We had lunch, checked put the hotel with its copious amount of memorabilia, hats, business cards and everything else.

William-Creek-Hotel-1 William-Creek-Hotel-2 William-Creek-Missiles

We made a quick stop at the old Lov Zero car, where we stopped for the night last time we where here.


There is nothing much between William Creek and the Warrina Ruins apart for wide open spaces. There is some other ruins but the only gate says no public access.

Warrina-Relics Warrina-Ruins

Mmm Oodnadatta Track strikes again. The anderson plug on the trailer side has come undone or been hit by a rock and was dragging on the ground, so we lost half the plug. So no charging off the Ute until we get that fixed. Bit of a surprise as it is pretty protected where it is, just some random rock. We also had a passing 4×4 and trailer throw up a big rock that hit the drivers side, side mirror and left a scratch.

Along the Oodnadatta Track there are pink information signs that have been put there by the Pink Roadhouse, they have been there for a while so some signs are hard to read the information on them. Handy to let you know that there is a place of interest up some track.


The track into Peake Hill ruins is about 20kms give or take, there are three km’s signs all saying something different.  Its 4×4 only, rough, corrugated, lots of big ruts, dips, windy, rocky a slow trip but well worth it.

Copy (1) of Rough-Road


This place is really isolated, they must of been tough in the olden days.

Peake Peake-Hills-Ruins-3Peake-Hills-Ruins-2

We left Peake Hill ruins and drove a few km’s back along the track and found a nice open flat area near a dry creek bed and set up came for the night. While our roast was cooking we got a small camp fire going. We sat around the fire enjoying its warmth and looking at stars and planets using the iPad and  the Transformer tablet. Lots of fun.



Oodnadatta Track – Day 4

Mon 16th – Was a great camp spot literally in the middle of nowhere. We had a leisurely start this morning, wiping dust from seals, putting tape over locks as the dust is making some hard to open. The back door of the ute is letting dust in (due to the attempted break in) so it’s a daily task of wiping seals down so it doesn’t spread everywhere in the ute. Tighten up screws, nuts and bolts that shake loose on the bumpy roads. We have moved the hand cream to the front of the ute where we can apply it to our dry hands throughout the day, dust dries everything out.The breeze is back and it’s a bit chilly.

Peake Creek Crossing, salty creek with steep soft banks. Downstream is a bridge. 30 feet of water ran through here in 1989.


It’s got quite warm. We stopped briefly at the Algebuckina Ruins before heading down to the bridge for lunch. Last time we were here it was dry, amazing the difference some water makes to the place.


We then crossed the track and went a few short km’s to Algebuckina Water hole. There were heaps of birds in the trees, also a popular fishing and camping spot. Decisions, decisions where to stop for the night. Bridge won out, to get some sunset shots.

Algebuckina-Bridge-3 Algebuckina-Bridge-2 Algebuckina-BridgeChris-on-the-Bridge'

Well the sunset was a fizzer, no clouds but we chooses the right spot as the waterhole ended up with lots of people.



Near the bridge there is what’s left of Stanley Cameron’s EJ Holden, in the 1976 floods, Stanly put sleepers on the rail bridge to cross the river. Every few meters he would stop and move the sleepers in front of his car, bit by bit inching across the bridge. The road was closed so Stanley was not expecting the works trains gang to appear, which ran over his car, but Stanley lived to tell the tale. Stanley travelled with his Blue Healer Oscar, who unfortunately disappeared after the train crash.



Oodnadatta Track – Day 5

Tues – 17th – It was a cold night, we woke to a bit of a frost. We met a really nice young family from Victoria who travelled from Vic to Darwin and are heading back home over taking 4 weeks all up. They have covered a lot of ground.

We stopped at Mt Dutton ruins before doing the last leg to Oodnadatta and the pink roadhouse. Most of the ruins have the same design they are just in different stages of decay.

Mt-Dutton-Ruins Mt-Dutton-Water-Tower

Fuel was a tad cheaper at the Pink Roadhouse at $2.21 but it was days since we were at William Creek so it might be cheaper than it was too.


We bought 1 hour of wifi for $6 to connect back home and upload some posts as there is no Telstra here.

We left the Oodnadatta track about 17kms from Oodnadatta and took the road to Hamilton and  Dalhousie Springs 163kms. The roadhouse said the last 80kms was pretty rough. We have seen 3 broken windscreens on the side of the road since we have been on the Oodnadatta track. This road is corrugated and very very dusty, bull dust in places.

Fogartys-Claypan Crossing-Fogartys-Claypan

Fogartys Clay pan.

We stopped at Pedirka Ruins about 58kms from Dalhousie. The building was like dorm style accommodation.  Was nice and quiet, we were there alone camped in the middle of nowhere again.

Pedirka Pedirka-Ruins