Planning Oodnadatta Trek, Do we visit Halligan Bay?

Good morning all. In the process of planning our itinerary up the Centre via the Oodnadatta Track in early August.
The question at the moment is, do we take the 67 Km side track into Halligan Bay & back? We will see part of lake Eyre South from the Oodnadatta track & are wondering should we go into Lake Eyre Nth. I believe the lake is currently dry. Has anyone been in there recently? I am interested to know, can you walk on the salt pan without bogging up to the knees getting there? If so how far from the car park? The general track conditions weather permitting? I am lead to believe it is very sandy in places.
At this stage planning on Departing Marree in morning & staying at William Creek that night.
Looking forward to your input.
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Reply By: Member - Allan L2 - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 09:04

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 09:04
Forgot to mention, driving RC Colorado 4x4 & not towing.
AnswerID: 511500

Follow Up By: Peter F9 - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 09:40

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 09:40
Hi Allan,

We did the Oodnadatta track 3 weeks ago. We decide to go out to the Lake at Level Post Bay, via Mulorina Station - 80kms out from Maree as its a lot easier drive than the Halligan Bay track (Ranger 4X4). Plus the Mulorina water hole is a lot nicer to camp. We then did the Wrights Air flight over the lake from William Creek. At both Halligan Bay and Level Post Bay the salt starts about 1km from the edge of the Lake. Its quite crusty on top so its no problem walking on the lake. Scratch underneath the salt and its a bit tacky.

Enjoy

Cheers

Pete
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FollowupID: 789750

Follow Up By: Member - Allan L2 - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 09:50

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 09:50
Thanks Pete,
Did the flight over the lake last year from Marree after coming down the Birdsville Tk. What is the approximate travel time into Level Post Bay? May do that trip in morning before heading off to William Creek
Cheers.
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FollowupID: 789751

Follow Up By: Peter F9 - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 16:21

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 16:21
Allan,

It's an easy 80kms from Maree - 40kms to the water hole then another 40kms to Level Post Bay. Took us an hour to the water hole with stops for gates and some photos on the way. Road is very good. Another hour out to the Lake, again with stops on the way. Again road is good although it gets a bit soft and sandy if you get off the track. So could easily do it in a full morning depending on how long you want to look around.

We went out to the lake in the morning from Maree then back to the water hole, spent the afternoon relaxing in the hot spring and then continued on the next day. Tip for you - don't miss old mates fresh baked rolls, pies etc at the Maree roadhouse in the mornings - excellent after a week on the road. Stock up on anything you need at Maree as it gets pretty ordinary and very expensive the further you head up the track.
Enjoy

Cheers
Pete
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FollowupID: 789775

Follow Up By: David16 - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 21:01

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 21:01
Peter F9 were you towing a trac shak?

David
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FollowupID: 789798

Follow Up By: Peter F9 - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 08:45

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 08:45
David,

No. Just in the bright red Ranger.

Cheers

P
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FollowupID: 789827

Reply By: mikehzz - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 09:49

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 09:49
It's a normal dirt track in with not too many obstacles under normal conditions. The lake starts a few hundred metres from the car park. You can walk out on the salt very easily but you lose your sense of where you are very quickly because it is just so large. I thought it was worthwhile.
AnswerID: 511504

Reply By: Barbera72 - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 13:15

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 13:15
Here's the track to Halligan Bay. Well worth the short trip.



35 - Route to Kati-Thanda by Yoorala, on Flickr
AnswerID: 511516

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 18:40

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 18:40
Allan,

You would have no problem driving out to Halligan Bay, unless rain has affected the track.
The Pub proprietor would no the state of the track at any given time.

Worth the drive out as you get to a plateau along the track, then look down on the lower level as you drive down the grade, with the Lake shimmering way in the distance.

You would also have bragging rights to having visited the lowest place on the Australian mainland, at 15 metres below sea level. (from memory)

I would recommend you plan at least one overnight stop, as by the time you drive out to Halligan Bay, have a walk out to the lake surface (not far) then drive back, you wouldn't get much further along the Oodnadatta Track before nightfall.

We actually spent 3 nights at the campground there some years ago, when the Dingo Cafe was in operation. Loved the remote feeling of the area.
We did a two flight package from Wrightsair over the painted Hills at sunset, then a flight the next day over the edge of Lake Eyre, along the edge of the Simpson Desert to Dalhousie Springs for a dip, before calling in to the "International Airport" at Oodnadatta, where we were picked up by Adam Plate in the Pink Limo for an Oodnadatta Burger at the Roadhouse.

Both Trevor Wright and Adam Plate were interesting outback characters and we really enjoyed our "unplanned excursion" from Wrightsair.

Gee, I must go back as I haven't met the most recent proprietors of the iconic Oodnadatta Pub and need to check if my EDS business card is still to the left side of the Bar:-)



Bill


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AnswerID: 511532

Follow Up By: Member - Allan L2 - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 10:54

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 10:54
Thanks Bill,
Sounds like you had a great time there. I will do some more home work. We plan to stay in cabins or pubs rather than camping. Probably stay an extra day at William Creek.
Cheers.
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FollowupID: 789838

Reply By: Member - Allan L2 - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 10:58

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 10:58
Thank you everyone, your input is greatly appreciated. Cant wait to get out there.
Cheers,
AnswerID: 511573

Reply By: adamtrex - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 17:29

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 17:29
Like the looks of that photo... What else is out there? Got more snaps?
AnswerID: 511602

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