Oodnadatta Track Conditions

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 06:56
ThreadID: 125815 Views:2669 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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I am contemplating heading up the Oodnadatta Track from Maree through to Marla in the next few weeks and wondering if anyone has been on the track recently. The SA road report indicates that there are some areas with wheel ruts and bulldust and I would like to know how bad they are. Travelling by myself so need to be sure I will get through. Is anyone else heading that way in about 2-3 weeks time?

After 2 months at home will be glad to get moving again.

Regards to all fellow travellers.

Sheryl
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Reply By: Innkeepers - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 16:24

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 at 16:24
Hi Sheryl,
Only 2 months at home and already "Cabin Fever".....I can understand that.
Last time we were on the Oodnadatta track was in '06 and that road report was the same as you describe. Those reports can be a little ambiguous, but in that case 3 years ago we had a good run through there.

Julie's cousin and her husband have just been through there towing a 20 foot Lotus van with a Patrol wagon and had no problems at all.

The road is still open to traffic and those hazard postings are designed to make sure people drive to the conditions and slow down in order to make their trip a safe one.

When we were through there the region was in drought which meant now grass on the verge or anywhere for that matter.... and if there was a serious rough patch on the road, then it was easy to drive off the road and bypass it.

What type of vehicle do you have??

Cheers
Rick & Julie
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Follow Up By: Sassy Sam - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 06:12

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 06:12
Thanks Rick and Julie,

I have a 16' BT towed behind a Patrol. As a solo traveller I am a little cautious about travelling difficult tracks without a back up.

Still deciding whether to tackle the track.

Regards
Sheryl
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Follow Up By: Innkeepers - Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 16:01

Thursday, Jul 02, 2009 at 16:01
Hi Sheryl,
Just had a chat with Wayne & Vicki (Julie's Cousin) who showed us pics of their tip and they are not experienced outback travellers by any means. They had no trouble on the Oodnadatta track and in fact were travelling with a couple who had a 40 foot bus with a lazy axle rear end and they towed a huge enclosed trailer/workshop which also housed a Toyota Prado. The bus was able to negotiate the track as well.

Hope this helps
Cheers
Rick
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Reply By: Boystoy - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 08:19

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2009 at 08:19
Hi Sheryl,

Can comment on a bit of it. Last week we joined the Oodnadatta track from the Borefield Road from Roxby Downs on the way to William Creek.
There are no problems from Roxby Downs to William Creek, other than a few corrugations near William Creek.
If you haven't been there before, there is good camping at Coward Springs.

The 2-hour flight over Lake Eyre is worthwhile, but the water is receding quickly.

William Creek to Coober Pedy is also good, so I guess the run to Marla should be reasonable to good. We haven't encountered any horror sections anywhere so far.

For the record, the road from Kingoonya to Widunna is faublously scenic & in good condition. There are many wet spots on the road which are avoidable, & many of the lakes adjoining the road have water & some are full.

Were holed up at Ceduna at present, waiting for the gale-force westerleys to abate.

Neil & Pat
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Reply By: Sassy Sam - Sunday, Jul 05, 2009 at 21:55

Sunday, Jul 05, 2009 at 21:55
Thanks everyone. Sounds as though I should be pretty safe to give it a go. Looking forward to getting away from Victoria's cold winter.

See you on the road,
Regards Sheryl
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Reply By: Freewheelers - Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 11:50

Thursday, Jul 09, 2009 at 11:50
Gidday Sheryl,

We travelled from Maree to Oodnadatta at the end of May. Left the track at Oodnadatta for Dalhousie Springs, Mt Dare, Finke, etc etc.

There had been rain which closed the track the day before we started, although it was reopened that afternoon to 4WDs. We decided to give it a few extra hours overnight, and camped at Hergott Springs, just a couple of km out the back of Maree. There are 2 campgrounds in Maree. The road was fine the next day, and we really enjoyed the trip.

There’s lots to see along the way – stop at the sculpture park 50km north of Maree, and there are stone ruins of fettlers cottages every 30 km or so along the Old Ghan Rail Track, some surprisingly intact, some restored, some just a heap of stone, but almost all still have their distinctive square iron water tank on it’s high stand. Don’t miss mound springs Blanches Cup and The Bubbler, south of Coward Springs. Also Strangways Ruins (pastoral station/Overland Telegraph repeater stn) south of William Creek. We took a 2 hour flight out of William Creek over Lake Eyre and the Painted Hills, it was excellent.

We camped at Beresford Railway Stn ruins, William Creek (the pub runs a campground) and Algebuckina Bridge before leaving the track at Oodnadatta.

Adam Plate, owner of the Pink Roadhouse at Oodnadatta is really helpful, has a lot of local knowledge and will fill you in on current road conditions. They run a campground behind the roadhouse.

No NextG coverage at Maree, William Creek or Oodnadatta, but all have public phones – buy a phonecard if you need to make calls. Locals use UHF radio to talk to each other, there are signs along the track telling you which channels to use to call for help. We also carry a satphone for emergency use only, and where we have no NextG, turn it on 6-7pm each night in case family needs to call us urgently.

Can’t give you numbers, but there is quite a lot of traffic on the track at this time of year, you should be fine; corrugations make the road pretty ordinary in some places, but hey, we’d probably feel cheated if the Oodnadatta Track didn’t toss us something to complain/boast about – happy travels, and keep safe.

Cheers, Deb

Stephen & Deborah

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