Marla to Oodnadatta

Submitted: Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 19:20
ThreadID: 134783 Views:4159 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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Hi All,

I'm new to forums so appreciate any help here.
I would like to know the drive time from Marla to Oodnadatta and Oodnadatta to Coober Pedy. I am a bit unsure about the times listed in Google maps. I am also aware the road conditions can vary. Lets presume I average 60kph. I'm not looking for a worst case scenario nor a Dakar time.


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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 19:56

Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 19:56
Pretty easy drive and the road is usually in reasonable condition should take 3 or so hours per section. Depends if you want to sight see on the way.
AnswerID: 610752

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 20:49

Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 20:49
Hi Dan

As you will be aware, rain will be your biggest enemy out there and any sign of rain, keep well clear of the area, as those tracks will turn very quickly.

Coming from Marla, the first part of the road follows parts of the original Stuart Highway and will be rocky and you will need to keep your speed down.The moment that you hit the boundary of Todmorden Station, the road improves 100% and it is then a good, very well compacted dirt road that at times will think you are driving on concrete. If you leave Marla around 9am, you will be comfortably having your lunch break at Oodnadatta.

Leaving Oodnadatta, you will be travelling on Kempe Road and again this is usually in very good condition and you should be able to sit very comfortable at around 80kph. There may be the temptation to increase your speed, but you are better to sit on a steady speed and be prepared for the unexpected.

If you have time on your side and have not been in this area before, a detour off to the Painted Desert Road is well worth it and and drop into and see the Painted Desert. If you intend to camp in that area, Arckaringa Station offer camping, but it is advisable to bring in some wood for your campfire.

From Arckaringa you can then either head further west and come out onto the Stuart Highway, or if you want to still use the good dirt roads, continue out from Archaringa and take the Mount Barry Road which will bring you out again onto Kempe Road.

Either way, its a great drive, and just take your time to soak up the solitude of that piece of outback South Australia.


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AnswerID: 610754

Follow Up By: Danny T4 - Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 20:58

Tuesday, May 02, 2017 at 20:58
Hi Guys,

Thanks so much for the information. Doing lots of vehicle prep and can't wait for the trip.

Thanks again.

FollowupID: 880720

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 08:21

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 08:21
+1 to the Painted Desert detour. Plan to get there at dawn or dusk if you're going to do it.

I would just add that the track out of Arckaringa runs up a creek bed (at least the last time I was there) so it'll be quickly closed after rain and when it dries out is likely to be a bit rough. Nothing that a capable vehicle and driver should fail to negotiate though.
FollowupID: 880729

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 09:22

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 09:22
Overnight at Arckaringa property campground, and enjoy both a sunset and sunrise on the features / colours of the surrounding hills.
FollowupID: 880733

Follow Up By: R Marinov - Friday, May 05, 2017 at 18:22

Friday, May 05, 2017 at 18:22
+2 for the Painted Desert and overnighter (at least) at Arckaringa Station.
FollowupID: 880818

Reply By: RMD - Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 17:02

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 17:02
Why worry about the time it takes. In this case Google is not your friend. If concerned about the times you won't see much of what is there to experience. Be prepared to stop and take it in, maybe stop overnight more than once.
AnswerID: 610768

Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 17:22

Wednesday, May 03, 2017 at 17:22
Hi Dan
Agree with everything stated here. We did Oodnadatta to Yulara in one day. A bit of a rush but it gives you some idea as to the condition of the Oodnadatta Track. In the dry it is more like an unsealed highway.Arckaringa Station is a good place to stay. It certainly was back in 2013 when we were there.The Breakaways just north of Coober Pedy is also worth a visit.
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AnswerID: 610770

Follow Up By: Danny T4 - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 18:48

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 18:48
I understand what everyone is saying and appreciate it all. I will be seeing heaps of things while I'm out and I was just wanting to get of the tarmac for a day. The Breakaways sounds like something I will look into too.


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