Food/Fresh Water/Diesel Supplies - Oodnadatta Track

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 02:51
ThreadID: 31160 Views:4839 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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During May travelling to Alice Springs from NSW via the Flinders/Gammon Ranges, Oodnatta/Old Ghan Railway track dropping into Dalhousie Springs and Chambers Pillar, and possibly Rainbow Valley.

I intend to partially stock up at Leigh Creek, and I would be interested to know whether provisions are available at Oodnatta (particulary fresh vegetables/fruit and water).

Also, what are the camping facilities like on the Oodnatta track, particularly showers as I will be travelling with the better half.

From William Creek what is the road condition to Lake Eyre, and approx. travelling time for a return trip.

Thanks for your response in advance.

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Reply By: Member - TPM (SA) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 03:44

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 03:44
Hi Trooper

If I was you I would fully stock up at Leigh Creek. Facilities are good there (albeit a little expensive.) fresh food is available. The only shower you will get on the Oodnadatta track would be at the pink roadhouse ? Camping elsewhere on the track is bush sites only. Vey limited shade and exposed, if you get a southerly it can really blow out there and get cold at night. It is very pretty though but the track can be rough esp, after rain.

The Gammon Ranges are beautiful, personally I think they are better than the flinders. Camping in the park is ok and they have some great walking tracks to waterholes. Water can sometimes be accessed there at a walkers hut, the tank is small so shouldnt be drained. ( after all it is for walkers )
It is heavily wooded and sheltered. The 4WD loop track is very scenic ( but easy)
You can get to lake Frome from there in 45 mins, a salt lake is a salt lake!

Thats all I know Have Fun !!
AnswerID: 157093

Follow Up By: Member - Mike H (VIC) - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 04:28

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 04:28
showers also at William Creek.
FollowupID: 411292

Follow Up By: Footloose - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 08:03

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 08:03
Cold ? I spent one of the coldest nights I've ever spent in Australia about 100k north of Oodna. Heaped all the blankets and sleeping bags on the kids and sat by the fire until the sun warmed our bones. A night to remember.
FollowupID: 411302

Follow Up By: Trooper_Geo - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 11:01

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 11:01
Thks for the info.

Showers/food/fuel should not be a problem.

However, cold night seems to be the scene which leads to the collection of fire wood for a warming camp fire. As the Oondatta track is fairly barren is this better done in the Gammon ranges?

The track north of Finke I assume is wooded and here there should be no problems?

FollowupID: 411334

Follow Up By: Patrolman Pat - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 11:21

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 11:21
I had no problem collecting wood for a small fire around Algebuckina (sp) Bridge. Plenty of small tree lined creeks nearby. I didn't find it too cold last July but obviously conditions do change.
FollowupID: 411336

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 14:43

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 14:43
Firewood? Just chuck a couple of sleepers on the roof, about 45mins & you got ample coals for perfect camp oven roast!
FollowupID: 411370

Reply By: arthurking83 - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 12:06

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 12:06
MBH and myself did the same trip about 10 years or so ago(totally unprepared!)

Nice way to go, but I found Finke a very sad be avoided!
Chambers pillar was nice, but no showers.

The track to Lake Eyre was very easy...well.... for my '79 Rangie ;-)
The closest point from the track to Lake Eyre, is the south and you get good views from here..I remember soft sand here????

I remember lots more shower facitlities, than just William Creek and Pink Roadhouse, though!

But that did entail driving around a bit to the 'camp sites'......
(it's been 10 years or so!!!)

Somwhere around the south lake, possibly Finnis Springs! (about $10 or springs shower)

Dalhousie Springs... I don't remember paying here...was it part of the Desert Parks Pass???
The facitlities were great......just too many people much for 'getting away from it all'!

The only problem 'fresh food' was lack of fresh bread!
Frozen bread was toast was the meal of the day....all day.....every day!!! :))
Don't expect to find roasted artichoke hearts, and fresh altlantic slamon!........but, I never found the area to be lacking the essentials...tomatoes, eggs, bacon cheese, milk( I can't stand UHT!!).......

We took 5 days to get to Alice from Melbourne, but that included an all nighter from Melb to Woomera and beyond!
We joined the track at Finnis Springs, that's why I think the facilities at Finnis were good, it was our first stop.

apart from the dissapointment (very unfreindly people!) at Finke, the only thing about the trip I didn't like was the Old Ghan Line track for about an hour or two out of Finke.
Very corrugated, and littered with the old railway track nails!(couldn't possibly be good for tyres.
There was the option of following a parallel trail, that was an endless procession of 20km/h speed humps.....made me seasick!!

Just halve your expected travel speed through this.....or keep your foot firmly planted and try to cross this section in 15 mins.

we took about 3 or 4 stops, just to recover from the vibrating/drumming/noise.......did I mention I took my '79 rangie ;-)

One thing I noted was the amount of DEAD tyres lining the track!
If they weren't 12" pop-top tyres, then they were 31x10.5 muddies!
From these observations I concluded, that mud tyres are especially weak on gibber trails, or that the respective drivers may be wearing especially heavy right boots!

all-in all a great trip.....will do it again, to see the bits we missed first time.
AnswerID: 157131

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 14:41

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 14:41
Funny how different people's opinions can be.
I reckon the Old Ghan Rail Trail was a real highlight of our first outback trip. Was certainly corrugated, but not too bad, we were towing a Track camper trailer with a diesel Terrano 2, tyre pressures at 28psi & it certainly wasn't uncomfortable.
FollowupID: 411369

Reply By: ROBST - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 16:14

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 16:14
Im same as shaker found the old ghan very interesting glad i did it,but just have to be care full of the old rail spikes.william creek is not a bad stop i think only for the pub,but about 90ks south Coward springs is a privately owned camp ground with a good clean amenitys block but you have to fire up the hot shower your self.
And a small but nice hot spring to swim in more like a big spa bath.the camp stites are very good and filled up very quikly by night fall when i was there last year.
No shop or supplys available.
I only ever made one mistake
and that's when I thought I was wrong!

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AnswerID: 157160

Reply By: Member - John - Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 18:41

Sunday, Feb 26, 2006 at 18:41
Trooper, try the caravan park opposite the pub in Willam Creek, great place and beer was cheaper there than at pub............
John and Jan

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AnswerID: 157180

Reply By: bucky - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 08:42

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 08:42
Came back down the Oodnadatta track last July ,,,,from Birdsville and the Simpson desert,, but I believe that Mt Dare and Maryvale Homestead are good top up places ( but not sure )

Our food consisted of rice, baked beans, nodles, Pancakes, flour, and canned chunky soups,, oranges, and a bottle of vitamin pills ,, as we needed a boost from the lack of real quality intake,,and its cheaper than taking everything you need in its natural state,, or buying fancy stuff at hi prices ( after all its only for a few weeks ,, so you will live thru it )

Dalhousie is perhaps the best of all the stops,, got to experience those springs when its 0 c outside,, the facilities there are brilliant ,, but be warned no fuel or food supplies there,, so have reserves

At the " Pink Roadhouse " there is everything you need,, and you can stock up on drinking water, fuel, and food ,,and just remember you are in the back of bumf#*k there, so things are a little expensive, and a Burger with the lot sure tastes great after a few weeks on SFA

Plenty of water at Algbukina ( spelling ? ),for a wash anyway ,,and you can actually get out of the wind there..

Beresford Siding has heaps of water, at the old watersoftener, but for washing only, We did not try it for drinking purposes..

Coward Springs has great facilities,, its a great spot ,, although its a little expensive to camp there,,but no food or fuel

William Creek has only a Pub and a general store ,, but its a great place,, you can get food and water & fuel

Marree is great,, and has everything you need to get thru,,

Lyndhurst is also good for everything

Am going back up that way, again , in mid August and over the top of the desert thru to Boulia and back down to Birdsville,, might catch the Races at Birdsville ,, but its not a priority

Cheers Mate ,
and remember,, if not sure how far to the next stop ,,, top up , and bugger the prices

AnswerID: 157465

Reply By: bucky - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 09:01

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 09:01
Sorry Trooper,,,
forgot to tell you about the road ,,

Well From Hamilton Station to Dalhousie,, the road had heaps of rocks ect on it ,, so drive carefully 30 - 40 km / hr, and you will have no trouble ,, the rest of the trip from Lyndhurst to Hamilton Station , was like a freeway with the odd bumpy bit ,, and be carefull on creekcrossings,, they have a habit of sneeking up on you ,, if you are moving quickly ,, Just keep speed between 80 - 90 km /hr ,, even though you can do 130 in spots ,, don't be fooled ,, as there is no guarantees of good road condition, at any time out there ,, and its not worth it
cheers Mate
AnswerID: 157469

Reply By: Trooper_Geo - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 20:51

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 20:51
To All Who Responded.

Thanks for you invaluable information.

The wife and I are certainly looking forward to the trip.

Kind Regards


AnswerID: 157619

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