Painted Desert

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 16:05
ThreadID: 65493 Views:3541 Replies:7 FollowUps:0
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I can't help but feel that this is a dumb question, but not having been there, here goes.

Travelling with a group to the Painted Desert (PD) in July 09. The plan is to leave Coober Peedy in the morning and more than likely arrive in the PD area by say lunch (hopefully).

Will an afternoon and overnight be sufficient to experience the sunset and sunrise colours or should we allow more time?

True Blue.
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Reply By: Trevor W(Brisbane) - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 16:27

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 16:27
When you arrive in the Area you drive down to Arkaringa Station and introduce yourself on the UHF and set up camp at the back of the Station House where a Camping Area is provided. I think it cost us $15 each vehicle per night - Hot showers.
The Late Afternoon is when you want to be back at the Hills around 10 kms away to see the changing colours. If you enjoy some short walks then you will need to stay 2 nights as the best time to get around is late afternoons and early morning -not in the Middle of the day. Photography and Quite walks are all what the Painted Desert is all about.You can walk up onto some of the ridges and watch as the colours change as the Sun moves over the faces of the nearby cliffs.
AnswerID: 346376

Reply By: Tenpounder - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 16:32

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 16:32
Hi there. Not a dumb question at all. We stayed at Cadney last year, which is, of course, 150km (1.5 hrs) closer. It's a slow road (80km about 2 hrs) from there to Arkaringa HS where we camped (don't know of any other options, now that Copper Hill is closed). So that would be about 1.5 plus 2 = 3.5 hrs total time. Set up camp; travel to the Painted Desert to catch the afternoon/sunset; back to Arkaringa; sleep over; break camp early and catch the morning light; leave the area around mid morning.
A great idea, I think.
Chris (SA)

AnswerID: 346377

Reply By: Member - Bucky, the "Mexican"- Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 16:48

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 16:48
True Blue

It's an easy run in, 80 km from Cadney Park, or 150 ( I think from Cooper Peedey ) You can check out the Breakaway's out on the way in.

A great place and the managers are great people too.
Make sure you take extra tent pegs and ropes, as the wind can come in pretty strong at times..
There are good facilities there, and it's a credit to them.

We paid $15, for both Lyn and myself, and stayed there 2 nights, 2 1/2 years back. Keep inflation in mind.

Wow Mt Batterby ( spelling ) is something at sunrise and sunset, as is the rest of the place..Will not include any foto's, as I do not want to spoil things for you.

Was fortunate to get an invite, from the manager, to do a "water trough run"..and see part of the working property. Those guys do a brilliant job, 2,700 Sq Kms, I think it was.. that's a tad bigger than the "Old Man's" dairy farm, here in Gippsland ( just 220 Acres )

Enjoy... we did and will be back for another visit in late July on our way to The Canning, Pilbra, and the Kimberley's

AnswerID: 346381

Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 18:30

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 18:30
Hi True Blue, It's a lovely trip, depends how much time you want to spend at each place. It's an easy run from Coober Pedy to The Breakaways and then up to The Painted Desert with stops along the way to enjoy the sights. You can do a good walk around at the Painted Desert and still make Oodnadatta for the night if you want.

AnswerID: 346400

Reply By: Witi Repartee - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 21:10

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 21:10
Hi, we did that trip a few months ago with an offroad caravan, do allow yourself a bit of time to stop and take photographs of the gibber (moonscape) plains and other fascinating places on the way in.We struck some fairly long patches of corrugations on the way especially after we turned off the main Coober Pedy to William Creek Rd. Being self contained we called into Ackeringa station, as a courtesy, they seemed really nice, the youngish "missus"is a kiwi lass...but as we wanted to avoid back tracking, we continued on and respected their "no camping" signs...and stopped at a recognised bushcamp area just past the painted desert near a creek bed, we had a very pleasant night and saw and walked the PD at dawn and dusk and have lots of particularly good photos. It was one of the highlights of our trip around Aussie.
Cheers Gerard and Anne
AnswerID: 346440

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 11:20

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 11:20
True Blue,

Some pretty good advice already but to clarify things a little, this is what we did.

Stay overnight at Coober Pedy as you have mentioned.
Depart in the morning and drive about 22 kilometres north, up the bitumen until you see the Breakaways Lookout signpost on your right.
Take this track for around 6 k's and you will reach the lookout area.
This will give you a view from the top of the escarpment overlooking the "moon plains".
Continue on by driving down onto the plains and follow the track across the plains and along the Dingo Fence until you reach a T-junction. Right will take you back to Coober Pedy.
Turn left to head toward Oodnadatta and turn off at Mt Barry to Arkaringa Station.

The Treknotes on this site give a very good guide for visiting the Painted Desert, excepting for the initial detour via the Breakaways, which will take you back onto the same track as leaving directly from Coober Pedy.

The Breakaways detour is a must if you are in the area, or you can do the Breakaways "loop" separately if staying in Coober Pedy for a longer period. It will not however add much time to the destination of Arkaringa Station and the Painted Desert region.
The "Moon plains" is the location where the Mad Max films were based.



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AnswerID: 346519

Reply By: True Blue - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 22:46

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 22:46
Thank you one and all for your great suggestions and recommendations.

It was exactly what I wanted.

many, many thanks and happy travelling ...

True Blue.

AnswerID: 346664

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