The Oodnadatta Track Part 1: William Creek – Coward Springs
Today we start driving the Oodnadatta Track. Wow!!!! Another one of those famous things I never really expected to visit, or in this case drive on.
We tried unsuccessfully to visit both Faye’s underground house and the Underground Bookstore on our way out of Coober Pedy.
The Bookstore was open but as we walked in the door the owner announced that he had to go to the airport and would be back in 20 minutes. After 40 minutes, and a visit to the closed Faye’s underground house, we gave up and bid farewell to Coober Pedy.
The Oodnadatta Track was a much better road than we expected. Not too many corrugations and most of it could be driven at 80kms.
Lunch of hot chips and drinks at the William Creek Hotel. Yum!!
The open air museum across the road was great. Parts of rockets from Woomera, old machinery and memorials.
We stopped at some ruins on the side of the road, an old Ghan fetters cottage, and touched the Old Ghan railway tracks for the first time. Magic!
We also stopped at an old rail bridge a little further along. Thought about free camping there overnight, but the multitude of ants and the soft sand to bog the trailer in convinced us to keep going.
When we were in Marla we picked up a free Mud Map from the Pink Roadhouse Oodnadatta, it was invaluable. The authors of the map had placed pink signs next to the road to indicate places of interest shown on the map.
Thanks to the mud map we visited the Strangways Ruins – a whole settlement, including cemetery and mound springs, now part of Anna Creek Station.
We also stopped at the Old Ghan siding of Beresford. Nice spot! Cameron & I were just discussing free camping for the night when 4 cars turned up and started setting up camp. Bummer !
After consulting the Mud Map and Wikicamps we decided to drive onto Coward Springs. Good decision! It’s a really nice spot.
Coward Springs is a restored Ghan Railway siding. Still had a lot of palms planted by the Afghan Cameleers.
It also has a great hot spring. The water comes from an artesian bore and flows into a small pool made from sleepers from the Old Ghan Railway.
Amy & Liam were very happy to find 2 other kids to befriend, already swimming in the spring. We spent that night sharing drinks and conversation around the campfire with the Goyne family. 🙂
Day began with a quick dip in the hot springs followed by a a visit to the museum in an old restored railway workers cottage. Really interesting to learn about the history and restoration of Coward Springs.
We said “Goodbye” to our new friends and continued along the Oodnadatta Track. Next stop Lake Eyre.