What's at Tarcoola?

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 00:06
ThreadID: 77624 Views:4601 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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Trying to get a bit of up to date info on Tarcoola.

Will be going through there after Googs track later this month and just wondering what facilities, if any, are still operational in Tarcoola these days. Read a prior forum comment that it is a virtual ghost town. Not sure what 'Virtual' refers to however.

Also any info on fossicking at the old gold fields would be handy..whose land is it on and what permissions needed??
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Reply By: Michael A (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 06:21

Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 06:21
We were there 2 years ago. It was a ghost town, no facilities. Nearest pub was down road (about 100 kms east) at Kingoonya. Can't recall if they had fuel but they certainly had cold beer.
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Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 12:52

Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 12:52
Would pay to check pub before departure, it has a long history of being closed, open, closed, open, closed, open, etc hahaha

Best way to do track is north to south, then you end up at Ceduna etc.
We usually go up past Mt Ive and to kingoonya then tarcoola and down.
Good run.

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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 07:57

Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 07:57
Yep pretty much a ghost town, we had someone in our group who had worked there so he showed us a few historic bits. You could easily spend a few hours poking around the hillsides.
Kingoonyah has fuel and accomodation as well as meals and beer etc at the pub.
You can also have a hot shower if travelling through and there is a public amenities block in the park at the western edge of town. You can also camp at the park but the trains run regularly all night long and you are only 50 yards from the track.
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Reply By: Member - Brenton H (SA) - Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 08:38

Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 08:38
Thanks for the info so far.
I presume all the buildings are still there. Does any body at all still live at Tarcoola? I figure somebody must as weather reports are available for the town.

Can anybody tell me if water is available and if so where. Don't want to go poking about on someones private property.

Does anybody know if the old goldfields are on Wilgena. Tried to ring and email them but no reply.

AnswerID: 412470

Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 12:48

Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 12:48
A few shooters were living there last time i was there, and there was a unmaned depot for workers there, but mostly no people.

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Reply By: bjgard - Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 17:27

Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 at 17:27
There must be some railway people there as this is where the Ghan turns north off the transcontinental track. Must admit that it is many years since I was there, but did sleep in the hotel and had a great meal there also.
Interesting that Kingoonya has had a revival. Last time there it was occupied by a little old lady and her partner. Buildings were still there but abandoned. The state government moved all the businesses to Glendambo when the new road was put through and bypassed Kingoonya.

There were still a few of railway people at Tarcoola after the train line was converted to concrete sleepers Strange to me that Tarcoola has died and Kingoonya has risen from the dead. Mind you neither place is on many people list of places I must see.

Barry G
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Reply By: cowpat - Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 20:53

Monday, Apr 12, 2010 at 20:53
Nothing much in Tarcoola. The pub may be open again but don't count on it. No fuel, no services. It's not a ghost town - there are permanent residents, at least there were about a year or so ago when I was there, and as it's right near where the railway lines meet there are apparently always contractors coming and going that look after the railways. Most houses seem to have been put to use as some form of accommodation or storage for the contractors.

On our trip up Googs Track we stayed the night in Tarcoola. The "residents" live in the second-last house on the right on the way east out of town - the one with the Tarcoola railway sign above the entrance - the entrance is on the south, opposite the railway siding. The last house is available for rent and I would recommend it. I have no idea of the contact details but you might try seeing if the owner of the Avanti Cycles shop in Port Augusta can help you out.

By the way - Childara Rockhole in the east is on private property. The trip west to Jellabinna Rocks is much better in my opinion. The track does a little loop too and there's some other things to see on the way (I think, but I might remember wrong). And if you do head out that way there's a few other rocks on the way but the track always continues, sometimes faintly at first. You'll know you're there when you're there. The drive to Jellabinna Rocks takes a little while so camp along the way if you have the time.
AnswerID: 412687

Reply By: lollylegs - Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 at 13:13

Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 at 13:13
We were there last week. Nothing opened and it looked like someone does live there. The pub had an opening soon sign on it, could've been there for years though.
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