Blogs from South Australia, Australia, Oceania


We were quite excited to leave Marree to tackle the icon of the Aussie outback, the Birdsville Track. Before hitting the Track, we replenished out water tank. Dave and Kerry Date followed us out to “the sign” and we took the memory photos. Birdsville Track was created in 1860's by drover Percy Burt to avoid the main hazards of the Diamantina floodplain. We found the track conditions from Marree to Mungeranie quite smooth however that changed to rough heading north from Mungeranie. The surface was generally dry on a sandy base covered with large pebbles (very large) called "gibbers". Our travelling speed varied depending on the varied road surface as caring for our tyres was a priority. At no stage have we underestimated the outback conditions. We had read that there are many serious accidents on ... read more
The Convoy
Track vision featured greatly
Track surface

We woke knowing that sometime today we would arrive in Birdsville, having completed the legendary Birdsville Track, but not before we had endured severe corrugations for long stretches and very rough stony track surfaces. The few, ‘smooth-as-a-baby’s-bum’ sections, were a welcome relief. The grader was also out smoothing the track. The Sturt Stony Desert did live up to its name. The stones (gibbers), shiny and smooth and in their trillions, spread for as far as the eye could see. Complete inconsiderate fools still sped past at 100kph spitting up rocks galore. The word around town is that 6 vehicles lost windscreens today to the ‘same’ idiot. They are positive of ‘getting’ him. Another huge rig had their water tank punctured by a rock, losing all their water. We climbed the truly spectacular Koonchera Dune which the ... read more
Atop Koonchera Dune
Cattle wandering

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Marree June 30th 2022

Checked Prado and Xtrk wheel studs. Rechecked air pressure in prep for Birdsville Track. Repacked all gear so there is no movement, and all secured in both vehicles. Washing finished. Batteries, solar charged all day. Lunch made for tomorrow. Seals taped for extra protection from dust seepage. Pub meal. Place pumped. Marree packed. Fuel price increased another 20c/L. Now $2.90/L. Fortunately filled yesterday. Looking forward to hitting the track again. Break has refreshed all cylinders. Flood warning for Mungeranie our destination!... read more

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy June 28th 2022

We topped our tank water supply, $1 for 40L, plus brought another 15L from IGA, just-in-case! We visited a few Coober Pedy attractions: Big Winch 360, Old Timer’s Mine, Opal Jewellery (none purchased), Comfort Inn, Coober Pedy views, Coober Pedy Hill Sign and roamed the streets, just looking. Personally, having been raised in a small outback mining town, I had had enough and just wanted to be on my way. We hit the William Creek Road, which only a few weeks ago was closed, being impassable due to the recent rain having caused havoc with the track, turning it into a mud quagmire. We hoped for the best and found for the most parts a fast hard track. Apart from a few brief sections it passes through a totally flat, treeless, dry plain (desert). We stopped ... read more
Cuppa leaning on a tree
The Sign
Vents for underground home

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Marree June 28th 2022

Jane took flight today ... over the lowest region in Australia, Lake Eyre. Back on the Oodnadatta Track it was onto Cowards Springs, an oasis in the desert. A short trip of 72km where Jane enjoyed the warm natural mineral water spa for the perfect soak. The date scones here were sensational.We headed for the banks of Lake Eyre South planning on camping, however our plans were dashed as the signs said camping prohibited ... I would have camped (who was coming out here to check?) but Jane is one for following the rules!!So, Marree it was. Marree has 3 of the major outback tracks springing out from it ... Oodnadatta, Birdsville and Stezlecki. It was packed with people heading to our destination, Birdsville for the Big Red Bash.A problem with the rear door mechanism of ... read more
Dates everywhere
Jane, about to enjoy the soak

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Coober Pedy June 26th 2022

1 500 000 … that’s, One Million Five Hundred Thousand … that’s how many opal shafts have been dug since opal mining began in and around Coober Pedy. Advice, don’t get drunk and wander off. Coober Pedy means, “White Man in a Hole”. The area has over 70 fields, the largest opal mining area in the world producing 85% of the world’s opals. Its surrounds look moon-like (not that I’ve visited the moon … yet) with the landscape dotted with shafts and mullock heaps. CP lies on the edge of the erosional scarp of the Stuart Ranges, on beds of sand and siltstone 30m deep, topped with a stony, treeless desert. Due to the regions very low rainfall, a modern water desalination plant using reverse osmosis process, produces frsh drinking water for all … however … ... read more
The Dog Fence

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Outback June 25th 2022

Onto Coober Pedy from Oodnadatta but not before we detoured from the Kempe Road to the Painted Desert, 150km north of Coober Pedy. I love physical geography so visiting this area today did fill me with joy and wonderment. Painted Desert is a superb example of the forces of nature weathering and eroding the desert landscape. PD is also known as the Arckaringa Hills. This was such an experience for us. It is spellbindingly beautiful. The rocky outcrops and small hills emerge suddenly out of the flat desert landscape and are made up of varied colours with orange, yellow and reddish brown and white dominating. Erosion has been at work on the landscape for millions of years. Weathering has resulted in the ground being soft and fragile. We spent considerable time walking the landscape. The track ... read more

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » William Creek June 24th 2022

The dirt road from Arkaroola to Copley, a distance of 130km, was in very good condition. It took us through some scenic countryside with larger and greener river valleys which had resulted in the road in those areas to have been graded and mended due to the recent flooding. We were pleasantly surprised to travel on bitumen from Copley to Marree as we thought that from Farina it would be dirt. At Copley we replenished our water tank with 120 litres. We also have 4 x 20L jerries. The famous bakery at Farina was a ‘must stop’. We did, as did every other traveller on the road. We explored the ruins as Farina, established in 1878, had been a large settlement. At Marree, the junction for the Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks, we refueled, and headed off ... read more
Loaded up

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Outback June 24th 2022

DAY 16 WILLIAM CREEK-OODNADATTA Oh, how many times we have stood together, just us, in the outback, and still been amazed at the awesome vastness of our great land. One cannot but love it. Heading to Oodnadatta we stopped numerous times to either check out ruins, creeks, bridges, stockyards, the road and animals. The old railway bridge, Algebuckina, stood out as it straddled the Neales River, 58km from Oodnadatta. The OT follows the Old Ghan railway line and Overland Telegraph Line, hence the ruins along the way. Numerous dips, crests twists and turns and much varied road surface make up the Track.... read more
Little Red
Road surface

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Flinders Ranges June 22nd 2022

Driving the tracks today. Arkaroola has constructed over 100km of internal tracks. They are definitely rougher and windier … very few ‘smooth’ sections, many rocky sections, dry creek crossings, dips, steep rocky, uneven inclines, declines of a similar ilk, rutted sections, crests and blind crest corners. Fortunately, we didn’t sight another vehicle until the final hour of our 6 hr jaunt, as passing would have been impossible in many parts. The Prado continually shook as did the passengers. Speed varied between 1kph to a max of 40kph. Coming to a complete stop was also common. Making up for the track conditions was the magnificent scenery featuring high granite outcrops rich in colour, mountain ranges blue in the distance, Sturt Desert Peas and the occasional emu. During our exploration we stopped at the Ochre Wall with its ... read more
Welcome Mine abandoned shaft
Pointing the way ... duh!
The smoothest section of our drive

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