Blogs from Marla, South Australia, Australia, Oceania


Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Marla August 31st 2020

2020!! What a year!! We had two overseas trips planned and paid for but Covid-19 struck and so they were on hold. However, we saw that The Ghan was recommencing and there was a generous package being offered for a trip on the train, seven nights in Darwin and various excursions all for the price of what it usually costs for the train alone! So here we are, on the train on our way tot he Top End. We left on Sunday morning. Tracey kindly drove us to the Rail Terminal and we were quickly through the check-in process, including showing our border permits which allow us entry to the Northern Territory. Strange to have to think of borders in your own country!! We waited in the comfortable lounge until it was time to board. Our ... read more
The Ghan
Outback Lounge
Our cabin

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Marla May 10th 2017

We had breakfast at the Cafe in our motel. The coffee was the most disappointing so far, but the lady was very nice. We headed out of town via the road to Oodnadatta, despite the lack of streets in Cobber Pedy I managed to do an entire circumnavigation of the town before I found the road which was just down from the motel. As we drove out we saw the various opal mine workings. Basically these guys just drill a shaft, put in a tunnel digging machine and mine along the "opal line".Judging by the caravans I don't think there's much money in it. As you leave Coober Pedy there are a few breakaways (little hills rising up out of the landscape), but generally it is flat and scrubby. As we drove along the track we ... read more
Pink Roadhouse

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Marla April 3rd 2015

Day 7 and we were starting to get just a little behind with the "plan" - nothing to worry about but we needed to get up early and drive most of the day. So we did. We hit Coober Pedy late morning and filled up with diesel and then decided to have a quick look at the town. Neither of us had been to Coober Pedy before, although I had been underground at White Cliffs (another opal mining town near Wilcannia in NSW). We had a look in one shop and then went next door where we met Nicky (the wife of the opal miner). Nicky and George are lovely folk and you should look them up if you are up that way (Miner Direct is the name I think). Georgi and Nicky were chatting away ... read more
Site of the first opal discovery
Small mines are right next to the road
Opal earrings - the new favourites

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Marla July 14th 2013

After a quick breakfast and pack up at Hooky’s we headed the last 7km to the Pink Roadhouse at Oodnadatta. Topped up on fuel, grabbed a few supplies, had a chat to some locals who said all the tracks are open regardless of the recent rain, and headed North up the track toward Mt Dare. It was around 240km to Mt Dare and it took us the best part of five hours to get there. Not because of excessively long stops but because the rain had turned the track to fun!!! The first 150km odd was fine, with a few expected corrugations and slow bits, but after that it got wet and muddy. Awesome! While the driving was slow at times we got some great video footage and still shots of all of us going through ... read more

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Marla July 6th 2013

Marla, South Australia, 6 juillet Le temps maussade des quinze derniers jours m’a poussé vers le nord, où j’ai retrouvé le soleil et un début de chaleur… Les paysages splendides de la Great Ocean road resteront cependant gravés dans ma mémoire à jamais. Pas mal de route au compteur depuis trois jours, avec des étapes à Mount Gambier, Adelaide et Woomera hier soir. Dès que l’on quitte les rivages de l’océan Indien, le paysage se transforme radicalement et en quelques encablures nous entrons dans le mythique outback australien. L’espace s’étire et les étendues semi-désertiques semblent infinies, on a l’impression de naviguer sur une mer rouge couverte d’arbrisseaux. Ma première étape dans cet univers si particulier m’a permis de rencontrer quelques «Aussies» pour l’apéro (un sympatique bar en plein air dans le camping, on devrait importer l ... read more
Great Ocean road
Great Ocean road
Great Ocean road

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Marla September 18th 2012

Last night we went to bed the lone people in the rest stop. We awoke this morning to find that we had been joined by two road trains and a camper. Today we found how challenging it is to estimate our fuel needs as we battled heads winds and lots of long uphill gradients. We were relieved to get to the next fuel stop with some fuel remaining. A lesson learned. As you can see from the photo, fuel has become a significant cost. Only $130 this time! Yesterday we got very close to breaking the $200 fuel stop. In spite of the warning signs, today we only saw three brumbies, two head of cattle and a couple of groups of emus. Two groups of people trying to wave cars down was a little disconcerting. However ... read more
Check out the fuel price!
Marla Traveller’s rest caravan park

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Marla April 1st 2012

Hi All Our last contact was from Streaky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula. From there we moved on to Melrose just south of Port Augusta where we left the camper and headed half way home to Keith to meet Craig and Sarah and pick up the bud. He was a bit strange for a couple of days with all the travel but has now settled in quite nicely. Our next port of call was the Painted Desert where we set up camp on the cattle station Arckaringa . It is east of the highway approx 90 km's from Oodnadatta and run by a 4th generation family who run 5 stations in the district. To give you an idea of how vast this area is Arckaringa is 4300 square km's in size and runs just over 2000 ... read more

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Marla September 8th 2011

Another early start on a cold desert morning. The good thing about the early start was that we were able to enjoy the landscape with the early morning light. Beautiful. According to Frank, we had some very heavy rain overnight. I didn’t hear it, slept like a log. He must have been right, because there was a bit of water on the bathroom floor, where it came through the open vent. It would have been interesting to walk down to the lake to see what it had done to the salt. We experienced more rain in the morning, the remainder of the day was sunny and windy. Not long before we pulled up at a ret stop for lunch, we passed a cyclist on a recumbent cycle. It was a bit scary for a moment because ... read more
Coober Pedy - Metropolis
Coober Pedy - Underground Church #1
Coober Pedy Underground Church #2

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Marla July 5th 2011

We set out for Oodnadatta this morning. Our first stop was the Algebucking Bridge on the Old Ghan Railway line, this would have been a great place to camp overnight if we had known it was here ! We arrived in Oodnadatta in time to have morning tea at the Pink Roadhouse. The coffee and tourist information were great (wouldn't want to live here). After advice from the local we decided to drive through the painted desert on our way to the Stuart Hwy and we are all glad that we did - the scenery was fantastic, it was much hillier than we expected with lots of floodways and dry creek beds. After the great drive through the desert we pulled into the service station at Marla and ran into Brett and Debbie Roe, we all ... read more
5-7-11 algebucking bridge2
5-7-11 lunch stop
5-7-11 painted desert 2

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Marla November 29th 2009

Due to the fact that we had fallen a little behind schedule, our fifth day on tour was a day to make up lost ground. Most of the morning was spend on the road catching up on some sleep while the bruck ate up the kilometres. We made a couple of quick stops to refuel and stretch our legs, one of which was at the small town of Marla, the official end of the Oodnadatta track where we then joined the Stuart Highway, a much better maintained road. With tarmac! For lunch we pulled over at a rest stop where there was a picnic table to prepare our usual lunch of sandwiches and salad. After eating we had another kick of the footie to burn off some of the calories before bundling back in the bruck. ... read more
Excitement at crossing the border!
The dust road to the very centre of Australia
Day 5 was not a good day for The Bruck

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