Must see places Port Augusta / Coober Pedy

Submitted: Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 11:14
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I am off next week for Madigan Line/Hay River trip and
planning to go through Port Augusta and Coober Pedy.
Can anyone recommend a "must see" places on the way and
around those towns? I'll be with 6 year old, so something to
keep him entertained would be good as well :)

The planned route so far is:
Melbourne->Port Augusta
Port Augusta->Coober Pedy
Coober Pedy->Painted Desert-> Oodnadatta->Dalhousie Springs...

Thanks,
Stan
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Reply By: jdpatrol - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 12:37

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 12:37
Stan

I’m sure everyone will have a different view, but I always prefer to travel north from Adelaide via Melrose / Wilmington, in preference to the main drag. You could then come down through Horrocks Pass to Pt Augusta.

I think Pt Augusta has major School of the Air and Flying Doctor bases. Good fishing in the area too.

Going north, seeing the triple road trains (they only operate north of Pt Augusta) is an experience. The moon scape south of Woomera is magnificent depending on the time of day etc. Woomera has a bit to interest the kids (rockets etc).

It may not be on your route but Roxby Downs is a bit of an 'oasis in the desert', mine tour worthwhile. You could then take Borefield Rd to Marree and onwards.

I haven’t managed to get to Cooper Pedy yet.

Enjoy
JD
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Follow Up By: signman - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 12:49

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 12:49
Pt Augusta School of Air closed (or at least unmanned)...RFDS the same (visitors very unwelcome) - Broken Hill is the place to inspect RFDS!!
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 14:58

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 14:58
Mine tours only available Mondays & Thursdays now.
No more Saturday Tours.
Bill


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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Moses - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 19:04

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 19:04
Going up through Melrose and Laura, just outside Laura to the North is Stone Hut and The Old Bakery there has a great range of pies with the best flavour I have had in this lovely country of ours. I had beef and mushroom and you could taste the beef and the mushrooms. Yummmm. No sauce needed.

Make sure you go for the Golden North Swing too for good chocolate flavour before it's fully thawed, though I don't know I like the packaging so much. Their ice creams are pretty good too.
Cheers,
Who?
John

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 14:44

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 14:44
Stan,

You and the young fella are going to love the trip.

You haven't said if you are camping but I'll assume you are.

When you hit Coober Pedy, you have the option of camping or moteling.
I can recommend the Oasis Caravan Park. If you didn't want to set up camp, they also have cabins to stay in, but it would pay to book.
Alternatively, you can choose one of the Motels in town where you can sleep underground. Too many of these to recommend a single one.

You will no doubt want to go for a walk and by dropping in to the 5 star Desert Cave Hotel/Motel (for a drink of course) you can wander though an underground passage set up as a self escorted mine tour. (no charge)
There is also the Umoona Opal Mine & Museam in Hutchinson Street that is worth a visit if you have the time.

After leaving Coober Pedy, travel up the bitumen for 23 kilometers to the turn off for "The Breakaways". About 11 kilometers in you will come across a lookout that gives a great view over the Moon Plains. Leaving the lookout, follow the road down onto and across the Moon Plains. This is a spectacular experience. The road will take you along the Dog Fence and eventually bring you out onto the Kempe Road, the main road to Oodnadatta and the turnoff to the Painted Desert. (sign posted)
A good place to stay, is the Arkaringa Homestead where you will find a basic camp site with good amenities. The young couple who have recently taken over a caretaker role are really nice, (Richard and Gemma) and their big black friendly puppy dog, Charlie. Ignore, but watch the cat if you are BBQ'ing.
The homestead is within "spitting distance" of the two lookouts accessible from the road. Go to the lookouts towards dusk. One you drive up to, the other you park and walk up. (Really worthwhile)

Then you can continue on to Oodnadatta for a Oodnaburger at the Pink Roadhouse, before heading out the Daihousie Springs.

All roads are in good condition, saving for the one to Dalhousie, which I can't comment on because I didn't drive it.

How do I know all this?
I've just come back a couple of weeks ago.

You don't say where you are going from Dalhousie Springs, but if you head back along the Oodnadatta Track through William Creek to Marree, you will enjoy that part of the trip too.

I don't really need to wish you a great trip because I know you and the young fella will have one, but have a safe one as well.
Bill


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Follow Up By: D-Jack - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 15:51

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 15:51
Great reply Sandman. Have printed up and stored for my trip next year. So much better going with recommendations than going blind. Thanks
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Follow Up By: Member - Stan (VIC) - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 22:33

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 22:33
Thanks Sandman. Do you have contact Details for Arkaringa Homestead?
I couldn't find anything about it through google :)
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 05:32

Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 05:32
Bugga!

A spelling error.

It's Arckaringa Homestead (with a little c)

http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/heritage/shas/pdfs/arckaringa_homestead.pdf

Bill


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Follow Up By: Member - Stan (VIC) - Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 19:26

Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006 at 19:26
Thanks heaps Sandman!

Will probably stay there on the way through Painted Desert.

Stan
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Reply By: Old Scalyback & denny - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 17:10

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 17:10
goodday stan
a must on the way up is the museum at woomera the young fella willl enjoy it as there are rockets and planes etc out front and plenty to see and do inside

steve
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 18:27

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 18:27
I support that - the museum and display at Woomera is a must. Museum has Len Beadell memorabilia too.
Motherhen

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Reply By: Member - Lance S (VIC) - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 19:54

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 19:54
A must see at Coober Pedy ( about 5 minutes out of C.P ) is Tom's working mine. My 3 kids loved it. We stayed at stuarts caravan park just off the highway and as the other guys have mentioned, the Woomera muesuem and Roxby Downs are a must see. We also visited a underground house for $10 a family and he showed how he started from a one bedroom house to a 4 bedroom house. Also the oasis hotel is a must, amazing.

Have a great trip

Lance
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Reply By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 21:22

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 21:22
Stan,

When you leave Dalhousie and head down the Oodnadatta track there are lots of places to see. All along the track are the remains of the railway, bridges and buildings. I've only seen Lake Eyre South from the lookout but Lake Eyre can be accessed. You can get information at William Creek or Marree. One place to stop is Coward Springs where there is a campground and thermal pool which is wonderful for tired bodies and your boy would love it. Around that area there are many mound springs..Blanches Cup and The Bubbler are the easiest to see. Marree used to have a large population of Afghan cameleers and their descendants still remain...I think there may be a museum or memorial to them As well there is a small park where Tom Kruse the Birdsville Track Mailman's truck is there to see. Just a little further on from Marree is Farina ... ruins of an old mining town. The campground here is great, beside a creek bed and the sunsets and sunrises are suburb. When you near Leigh Creek you drive through the mountains of earth moved by the Leigh Creek Coal Mine...an amazing sight. By then you are heading into the Flinders Ranges and they are a trip in themselves.

I'm sure you and your son will have a great trip.

Best wishes
Viv
AnswerID: 177744

Reply By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 21:44

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 21:44
Hey Stan,

Just got my map out and read where you are heading. Sorry didn't read properly first time. You are in for a great trip. I've just got the book "Crossing the Dead Heart" out of the library and intend to read it over the week end.

Do you go from Dalhousie to Poeppels Corner and then north? My map doesn't even have a track there but just looked at the trek notes on exploroz.

Have a wonderful trip and I hope your son enjoys every minute of it.

Viv
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Follow Up By: Member - Stan (VIC) - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 22:48

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 22:48
Viv,

We'll be going to Mt Dare->Old Andando Station and from there following Madigan camps 1 through 16 with exception of a few which located on aboriginal land and access is denied. From there we'll be going up the Hay River / Batton Hill Camp
www.direct4wd.com.au/tours/btt_feat.htm then onto Jervois->Alice Springs
and back to Melbourne.

Stan
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Follow Up By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 22:54

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 22:54
Stan,

I hope that you write about your trip on exploroz when you get home. Thanks for the website. Now there's one more trip on another outback track for me to do one day!

Best wishes

Viv
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Reply By: Member - Stan (VIC) - Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 22:50

Friday, Jun 09, 2006 at 22:50
Thank you everyone for replies, they are very helpful. 5 more sleeps to go....
AnswerID: 177761

Reply By: Barnesy - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 01:01

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 01:01
Mount Remarkable NP has some good bushwalks, either Mambray or Alligator Gorge. Telowie Gorge CP has a healthy population of Yellow Footed Rock Wallabies, good chance to see one if you're quiet.

The drive from Adelaide through Clare, Gladstone, Jamestown, Melrose, Wilmington and through Horrock's Pass is a lot more enjoyable than the main highway.

You could maybe even make a slight detour through Quorn and visit Warren gorge if you want YFR Wallabies.

Barnesy
AnswerID: 177780

Reply By: Dion - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 20:10

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 20:10
Ride the Pichi Richi Railway between Quorn and Port Augusta

cheers

Dion
AnswerID: 177861

Reply By: Brew69(SA) - Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 20:19

Saturday, Jun 10, 2006 at 20:19
Port Augusta a bit like Melbourne. A pretty good road in but an even better one going out. :)
AnswerID: 177865

Reply By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 11, 2006 at 08:48

Sunday, Jun 11, 2006 at 08:48
Not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but in Coober Pedy the Old Timers Mine is good value, my kids loved it, the Big Winch is interesting too, heading back up there on Aug 1, already counting the days.

have a great trip

Lyn
AnswerID: 177907

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