The Dog Fence
Dog fence crossing William Creek Rd
Coober Pedy to Renmark
Our journey towards home has led us along regions of the Old Ghan Railway line, adjacent the Oodnadatta Track to see water in the great artesian basin – Lake Eyre.
There is a well known Dog Fence that crosses the William Creek (population 16) Road and Oodnadatta Track, stretching 5600km’s from the Great Australian Bight (SA) to Darling Downs (Qld) – the longest fence in the world (twice the length of the great wall of China). Built to keep dingos out of sheep country on the southern side of the fence, while many cattle remained on the northern side as they are less vulnerable to dingos.
We drove through Anna Creek station – the largest working cattle station in the world! It measures 24,000 square kilometres (bigger than Belgium, and almost half the size of England). MASSIVE!!
The windmill at William Creek stood out as an amazing spot for sunrise or sunset photography, however due to their plague of mice (and our lack of travel time left), we decided to keep on track, visiting William Creek pub and some space-junk remains left over from satellite missions that were launched from Woomera in the 1960’s.
At Beresford there was an old rusty siding near a fettlers’ cottage (like so many along the Old Ghan Railway). These railway sidings were a place for steam engine locomotives to fill up with water, while cottages provided great accommodation for workers, and an escape from the extreme temperatures.
Cowards springs had a very refreshing thermal spring, and we ran into an old footy team mate of Lach’s dad (who also sold him sheep last year).His family had travelled from Tassie – what a small world? Sheree also spotted some camels in a pen nearby, used for camel safari treks but kept her distance with the camera due to concerns of being spat at with many grunting sounds from the camels on the other side of the pen.
We visited the Bubbler & Blanch cup, where the mound spring rises around 20 metres to a pool of clear blue water, surrounded by salt-tolerant lush green grass. The bubbler is a pool of sand (similar to quick-sand), where eruptions of gas under the sand create bubbles in the clear overlying waters.
Curdimurka was our final stop before Lake Eyre, featuring another cottage and some rare and intact tracks of the Ghan
We camped at Lake Eyre South for the evening, hoping to get a decent sunset shot over the salty waters, but our luck was out – as despite the fortune of water in the lake, the overcast clouds remained thick to the horizon blocking out most of the sunset’s rays.
Lake Eyre covers an area of 9700 square kilometres, with Lake Eyre south located 12 metres below sea level and main northern lake the lowest point in Australia (-15.2 m).
We managed to reach our final crossing of the dog fence at sunrise, then found a couple of railway bridge crossings near the road on our way to Marree. The first looked beautiful (but rusty) in the glow of sunlight peeking from the clouds – great railway bridge (minus the track), while the other crossing had remains of great sleepers and the large railway pins that held the track in place.
We got 36.2L @ 169.9c/L at Leigh Creek, where we had joined the bitumen again, and not much further south in our travels we could see the striking hills of the Flinders Ranges to our left – (leaving us contemplating another 4-wheel drive trip).
Peterborough was our quick
stop for lunch, finding the cheapest fuel in town to get us to Renmark (47.6L @ 145.9c/L).
After a full day on the road, we made our way in to Renmark with a little daylight left – so gave the car and camper a much needed wash and headed to the river to check out the house-boats and paddlesteamers on the Murray River.
We grabbed a bite to eat and headed to our free-camp just east of the South Australian/Victorian border. Will be home soon!! 1150 Km’s this leg of the journey The trip so far – 18,536km’s
Tot: 0.499s; Tpl: 0.075s; cc: 12; qc: 33; dbt: 0.0185s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
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