Adelaide to Uluru.........help with camping spots

Submitted: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 08:12
ThreadID: 68744 Views:8276 Replies:7 FollowUps:7
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Hi all,
I'm planning a week or so around uluru/alice springs in July.
We are thinking of travelling up via the oodnadatta track & return to adelaide on the stuart but now i'm not so sure.
My problem is, i think we might be 'biting off a bit too much' as i havent travelled the track before and it appears a destination in itself with loads of camping spots, short travel times, changing conditions etc.
The other issue is we're returning to the camping scene using a tent (I did alot when i was a kid) and i'm still finding my feet so the relative 'safety' of camping grounds around uluru/alice springs will be used as a test case.
If we travel both ways to uluru on the stuart from adelaide i dont know of any decent camping places along the way. The only thing we'd like to see on the stuart hwy is the space museum at woomera and the apparent delinquent nature of coober pedy worries me a bit. Am i wrong?
can anyone offer suggestions?
cheers
michael.
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Reply By: Voxson - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 08:25

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 08:25
Coober Pedy is pretty good as far as i am concerned...
No-one has ever bothered us and we have been most places in that town...
The caravan park at the beginning of the road in is pretty good apart from wild dogs going through the bins most nights...
Lake Hart is a good camping spot if you dont mind trains..


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Reply By: Rangiephil - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 09:05

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 09:05
By all means travel the Oodnadatta track , if you have an AWD or 4WD. Iast year it was smooth and quick. it took me 2 days from Coober Pedy to Peterborough.
I camped at Coward Springs, which even has a spa, but take your Aerogard and citrus candle as the legion of flies is replaced by legion of mozzies at sundown. However it is a magic place with windbreak acacias, and great toilets/showers and run by a nice lady from Kangaroo island.
Coober Pedy didn't entrance me , but worth a visit . we stayed in the Top4 Park, which is at the opposite end of town than the Stuart hwy. Nothing to write home about. The parks are surrounded by 2 metre fences so appear quite safe. The main disturbances are caused by drunk aboriginals but they are friendly.

Camping is great at Uluru , but quite crowded, and Kings Canyon has several good choices,.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 364430

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 09:10

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 09:10
Lake Hart camping area (just up from Pimba is good)... from Glendambo up to Coober Pedy is a bit bleak - quite exposed for camping - CP is no problem in the caravan parks. Further north, we have camped at Poutnoura No 2 ( a creek crossing of sorts) - a good spot - generally from there on as I recall, there is plenty of low scrub to camp in just off the road sides, all the way to Erldunda. Cadney park is a good spot too, but they'll want a modest fee of course.
As you say, if time is tight, might be best to use the Stuart both ways and do the OOd. track properly, later.
AnswerID: 364431

Reply By: Member - Mick O (VIC) - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 10:22

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 10:22
Michael,

I think you're worrying a bit too much. You are right to be cautious on your first outing but be assured that as tourism is the big earner where you are heading, most things will be geared towards you having a safe and enjoyable time. The roads you are travelling have ample like minded individuals heading to enjoy the outback as well.

The Big 4 Caravan Park in Coober Pedy is a great place to stay and has security fencing and gate (as does the other park). It's an interesting place and well worth the visit. Coober is the same as most other places in Australia. Some sights may be a bit confronting but you will be safe unless you wish to stagger around drunk at the local hotels until all hours and sleep in the gutter. Like Melbourne, Syndey or Morwell, you'll get youself in trouble that way no matter where you are!

Most of the Caravan Parks in the Alice are good and cater for campers such as yourself. My preferred option in Alice is the MacDonald Ranges Park (another big 4). They have good grassy sites and excellent camp kitchens. If you want a touch of luxury, they have ensuite sites that provide a toilet and shower on the site.

Without knowing your vehicle, I can’t really give you much on the Oodnadatta other than to say it is a well maintained gravel road. It will suffer at times due to traffic with rough patches and the odd corrugation and of course will be adversely affected (Meaning closed) if it rains heavily.

A lot of the Stuart Highway is fenced these days making it hard to get off the road to find a camp. Murlcoppie Rockholes (80 km north of Coober) is one spot you can get off but it is pretty dry and featureless. My only recommendation is that you have adequate automobile club coverage just in case you do have mechanical issues (I have top cover RACV).

Relax, make sure your vehicle is well prepared and go enjoy it.

Cheers Mick

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: Member - Fred G NSW - Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 07:34

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 07:34
Some good info there Mick. Hoping to be in Alice around about the June long weekend and wondeing how busy the place is this time of year. Have taken the hint re the MacDonald Ranges C/P. Is it important to book ahead, and if so, how far ahead, in your opinion having been there. I don't usually like travelling to dead lines such as having to be in a certain town on a certain day, and take each day and location as they pan out.
Also enjoy your blogs mate.

Fred.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mick O (VIC) - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 20:55

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 20:55
Cheers Fred. Hopefully I'll have a couple of months of new ones after this years trip. Yes I would book ahead at the McDonald Ranges CP and it depends on the site. If you're after a cabin, book now. Normal site, a good few weeks before. It is the prime travel season there during June July so the line out the front is often a hundred metres long. Great park and plenty of activities. If your there for the Sunday pancakes...get in early.

Regards

Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 10:28

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 10:28
Hi WVB,

There is much to see and do in Alice and Uluru so if you're just getting back into the swing why not relax and enjoy yourself and get started by staying in good cv parks when in or near towns.

If you do the O Track I can also vouch for Coward Springs - allow a couple of hours to wander around, have a dip and see the small museum. Do not stay in Oodnadatta - bush camp at Anglebucka (spelling) Bridge.

Coober Pedy is fascinating. The half day (afternoon) trip is fun, informative and you see more than you can just wandering around the area by yourself. We felt quite safe there although you may choose not to go out at night. We stayed at the Stuart Range cvp. It has a pizzeria and a motel attached. Pizzas were handy after getting back at 7.30 from our tour.

Don't miss the Desert Park in Alice, and the Araluen Centre with a wide variety of interesting things to see is a good place to wander around for as long as you like.

Be prepared for cold nights.

John 'n' Min

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Follow Up By: dact - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 15:48

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 15:48
Actually we found the camping behind the Pink Roadhouse fine for an overnight stop, bit lacking in vegetation, but that's pretty normal out there and townsfolk were a little noisy at one stage.

Coward Springs is really nice (again dirt) but no town noise, so peaceful, see quote below...very true

"Coward Springs Campground, on the Oodnadatta Track is an oasis in the driest part of outback South Australia. Campground trees can be seen from afar in the flat open landscape. The campground offers safe, low-key, sheltered and peaceful camping" http://www.about-australia.com/travel-guides/south-australia/flinders-ranges-outback/accommodation/caravan-camping/coward-springs-campground/

If you are going up to Kings Canyon Kings Creek Station was excellent

The best CP in Alice is MacDonnell Range Holiday Park - not sure if they still do but Sunday morning is pancake day - all you can eat pancakes. You have to line up for a while ...but everyone chats away, great way to get everyone mixing in the camp kitchen area

Cheers ...enjoy your travels
Terry and Amanda
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 15:58

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 15:58
Camping behind the Pink Roadhouse was dreadful experience, never again!
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Follow Up By: Member - Min (NSW) - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 22:21

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 22:21
Shaker, I'm with you.
John 'n' Min

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Reply By: Member - Chris G (VIC) - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 15:50

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 15:50
Hi,
Just back today from my first venture into the wild heartland of OZ.
Planned to stay two nights in Coober Pedy at the Stuart Range Caravan Park. We stayed for four nights instead. The park is first class I think in every respect. Facilities spotless and staff really helpful, their on-site Pizza, mentioned above, is excellent like their tour arrangements.Coober Pedy is as mentioned, fascinating, don't miss the Breakaways. Caravan Park has a relationship of some kind with the nearby Caltex Roadhouse. Produce your CP receipt and they will discount your fuel, the roadhouse food also was the best value anywhere.
This few days in Coober Pedy was the highlight of the three week trip. Trouble, if you don't look for it, you won't find it.
Have a great time.
Regards Chris G
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Follow Up By: Member - Min (NSW) - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 22:26

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 22:26
Half-day tour includes the beautiful Breakaways, dugouts, mines area, dog fence, Serbian church, golf course (!?!) and local history and general info.
John 'n' Min

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Reply By: rosgeog - Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 16:46

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 16:46
FredG if you are planning on being in Alice the June longweekend you should be aware that it is Finke Desert Race Weekend. If you are not booked in now you may not find any places available. There are 500 motorbikes and around 100 cars registered for the race. Each vehicle will probably have a crew of at least 2 so that is a lot of people. You could always do what a lot of the Alice people do and camp down along the race track which closely follows the old Ghan Railway and enjoy the spectacle.
Ross
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Follow Up By: WVB - Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 19:20

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 19:20
cheers for the warning but no.................mid july.
michael
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