Oodnadatta Track in December

Our family aim to rent a 4WD to travel on Oodnadatta Track from Leigh Creek to Marree then to William Creek then to Coober Pedy this coming late December. Hope somebody who has experience can let me know:

1. Whether that time period would be too hot to be travelling safely even in an air conditioned car. (thinking about tyres and car cooling)

2. Whether that period of time is vulnerable to road closures due to rain etc.

3. Whether the road would be busy during that Xmas NY period, so that even in the event of breakdowns etc one might still be able to seek help from passing by cars.

4. Whether the roads I mentioned are in decent driving conditions lately?

Grateful for any hints.
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Reply By: Duncan2H - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 14:57

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 14:57
The road will very quiet in late Dec.. brutally hot and the flies will be terrible. Do you really want to do this? its the worst time of year to do the track. It'll be almost entirely unenjoyable in my opinion. A breakdown will quickly become life threatening if anyone doesnt cope with heat very well.
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Follow Up By: Alan N7 - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 15:16

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 15:16
Thanks @Duncan2H for the very quick response. Will re-consider your advice. I might think about cooler season.
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Reply By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 15:43

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 15:43
Even with the Air conditioner working flat out etc. you will be mainly doing two things Sweating & dehydrating & yes I did it as a Kid & we had no Air con & we use to sit in the back of an old dodge power wagon breathing thru an old army wool blanket to filter the dust (remember the old grey ones with two red stripes) & we travelled in some unbelievable temps but I’m too soft for that these days & why would you want too, leave it to the locals & they put up with it but don’t enjoy it, I fought holidays were to be enjoyed that will not be enjoyable & if you get into trouble whoever comes to help will NOT be impressed
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Follow Up By: Alan N7 - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 15:49

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 15:49
Dear @ Vince M. Thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.
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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 18:20

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 18:20
January 2nd 1960 50.7 degrees at Oodnadatta. Hottest maximum ever in Oz. Say no more.
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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 18:24

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 18:24
Statistics for Coober Pedy December from The Bureau of Met.
Average Min 20C, Max 34.5C, rainfall 13mm over 5 days (mean 21mm)
Extreme Max are 45C and lowest Max is 18C, so anything in between is possible

Temperature wise, those averages are not a great deal different to where I live (Tamworth) in January
Normally 50 000 people come here in January for country music, many camping and or staying in caravans
So perfectly doable , but geez I know we try to be in the shade when I'm outside then and or find a river to camp next to.
I've been on those roads, but in winter and too long ago to comment about your road conditions and traffic.
I'd be choosing somewhere near the coast not further into the furnace
The biggest downside will be the flies (think not happy unless they are crawling into your ears, mouth and eyes). You want your kids to enjoy the outback, not turn them off it.
Hope this of some help Alan
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Follow Up By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Friday, Oct 23, 2020 at 18:18

Friday, Oct 23, 2020 at 18:18
Quote Normally 50 000 people come here in January for country music, many camping and or staying in caravans"" Friends went in 2019. Van aircon couldn't cope. Male half very unhappy at being dragged up there by SWMBO... LOL
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Reply By: Mark C9 - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 18:50

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 18:50
many hire companies wont allow driving on dirt so check first
it will be hot - there is a reason that people live underground in Coober Pedy
AnswerID: 633804

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 19:11

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 19:11
We travelled N-S on the Strzelecki Track on 11 November 2009 (not far from your planned route).
Temperature was about 40C at a guess, so not extreme by any means, but add a 50-60km/hr wind to that and conditions were truly bad.
Visibility was 100m or less and we were constantly eating dirt, despite no other traffic.
You would not be out here by choice and a break down would carry significant personal risk. Not something to subject a family to.
The pics do not represent the true conditions.


EDIT. Rain in that country is dispersed over the whole year. It can rain at any time, including immediately after a dust storm like we experienced above.
Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 19:12

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 19:12
Read the recent thread on the Birdsville track. Same applies.

https://www.exploroz.com/forum/140654/article-comment-birdsville-track
See 'My Profile' (below) for link to our Aussie travel blog, now in it's 4th year

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Reply By: Alan N7 - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 19:20

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 19:20
Thanks everybody for the advice. Much appreciated.
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Reply By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 19:20

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 19:20
Hi Alan

Just one quick question before I answer please.....where are you from and are you an Aussie?
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 19:39

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 19:39
The other question is are you camping of a night? It stays pretty warm out there making sleeping a problem. Driving in the air conditioning is not so bad but not sleeping wears thin pretty quick.
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Reply By: smwhiskey - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 19:48

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 19:48
Never driven the track but a few things jumped to my mind when I read this

1. If your hire car is a Pajero you may find that that the aircon may not work when the temperature is 40+. Discovered that towing a van when the temp hit 37. :-(
2. Places might shut because its the very very slow season
3. Have a hunt around and see if you can find the LowRange DVD(s) where Roothy and the boys travelled around there in summer. It might give you some idea what its like.

AnswerID: 633811

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 20:00

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 20:00
Caroline Grossmueler died near William Creek in early December....
https://www.exploroz.com/forum/73559/1998-death-at-halligans-bay---caroline-grossmueller


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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 21:35

Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020 at 21:35
We were there a few months later. The remains of the medical examination gloves were still on the ground.
"Perished" is a word not easily forgotten.

Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: Dusta - Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 at 14:20

Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 at 14:20
it really concerns me when people make a post about hiring a car and then asking for suggestions about travelling through the middle of australia .

AnswerID: 633819

Follow Up By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 at 15:36

Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 at 15:36
That’s why I asked Alan where was he from and is he an Aussies.

If he in not from either the NT, WA QLD or NSW, he will have no chance of getting into South Australia.

I tent to think he may be from overseas and if that is the case, it will be impossible to get into SA
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 at 16:13

Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 at 16:13
Kiwis are allowed into SA and there are hire companies that will provide vehicles to go almost anywhere. We accompanied one across the Simpson recently.
Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: OBJ - Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 at 19:44

Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 at 19:44
You have asked for advice from the good people here. It has been given.
What you do next is your call. If it goes pear shaped, there's nobody else to blame, but it will be a risky trip. Consider what you stand to lose, then reconsider.
The Oodnadatta Track will be there next year, in cooler times, when you might actually enjoy it.
Over to you, Blue Leader!!!
OBJ
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Reply By: Alan N7 - Friday, Oct 23, 2020 at 15:42

Friday, Oct 23, 2020 at 15:42
Thanks everybody for contribution. Will go there in cooler months.
AnswerID: 633830

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Oct 23, 2020 at 22:27

Friday, Oct 23, 2020 at 22:27
Good decision!
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