Oodnadatta Track how long to do it comfortably

Hi all
We are planing a Two week family Holiday (14 Days )at the moment, and have always wanted to see Lake Eyre, then we thought what the hell and added Ayers Rock into the Trip.
We will be leaving from Melbourne in a 4wd(navara) and Cub off-road camper.
Our Family consists of 2 adults and 2 young Girls (5 and 2)

My questions if some one would kindly answer is

No1. How long should we allow to do the Oodnadatta Track comfortably and gr8 places to Stop and stay along the way.

No2. How rough does the track Get

No3. What's the best time of year to see all the bird life at Lake Eyre, we are thinking September this year.

No4. any other advise or suggestions.

Thanks Kylie

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Reply By: Member - Graham N (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 at 19:58

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 at 19:58
A couple of years back I took some friends along the Oodnadatta track intending to show them all I knew along the track stopping the first night at Pole Creek the next at Oodnadatta well after four nights we arrived at Oodnadatta and that was just visitting points of interest with out perhaps staying a day at places like Coward springs, William Creek or Algebuckna.
The track varies in condition but you can easily just drive to the conditions.
The bird life at Lake Eyre will depend on how much water is around and that is an unknown at this stage but it appears this year will be your best chance.
Peake and Strangway ruins are worth a visit. The mound springs and all the old railway sidings are also worth a visit. The Pink Roadhouse at Oodnadatta have sing posted most points of interest.

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Follow Up By: Adrian & Kylie T - Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 at 20:07

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 at 20:07
Thanks for that, we had William Creek and Coward Springs on our short list.
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 at 22:56

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011 at 22:56
William Creek consists of a Pub, a camping ground behind the now closed Dingo Cafe and The Wrightsair building where Trevor Wright is based. Oh, and the airfield opposite of course.

Having said this, I am not in anyway being derogatory, as I love the place.
We justified a stay of three nights so that we could drive out to Halligan Bay, take a flight package with Wrightsair and of course, spend an hour or few in the iconic William Creek Hotel.

Coward springs is also a good stop to camp overnight, as is a camping area on the opposite side of the Track to the Algebuckina Bridge. This spot is the best overnight bush camping spot close to Oodnadatta, which has no appealing camping spot within its boundary.

In general, the whole of the Oodnadatta Track is a well maintained dirt road surface, but adverse weather conditions can change the surface considerably, as with any other outback track in our great outdoors.

Have a great trip. September should be fine.


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Reply By: Member - Wayne D (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011 at 00:38

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011 at 00:38
We did the Oodnadatta Track in November at it was in very good condition. I think Graham has mentioned all the spots we stopped. The caravan park, if that what they call it, behind the Pink Roadhouse is like staying in a wrecking yard. We ended up staying in the bunkhouse at the pub, which was basic but ok for one night. I think I would head out to the painted desert for the night, rather than in Oodnadatta. Coward Springs has very good facilities.
We drove out to Lake Ayre but the water was too far out to see any birdlife and you cant walk too far on the lake as you sink into the black mud under the salt. I think the best bet would be to take a flight out of William Creek over the Lake. Peake Telegraph station is also interesting but might be a bit testing for the trailer. We also went to Uluru and then to Alice via Hermannsburg (dirt road for about 200k).
Unfortunately we were on a tight schedule as had to get to Darwin (from Sydney) so had to put in some big days but still did it in just over 2 weeks.
We did notice there were a number of snakes crossing over the track so be mindful of the kids when you stop on the side of the track as they are mostly king browns.
AnswerID: 448389

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011 at 08:45

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011 at 08:45

The highlights are pretty well covered above, but a couple of things worth mentioning -

The bird life on Lake Eyre looks fantastic on TV, but those views rely very heavily on having the right gear - a helicopter, good camera crew, ultra telescopic cameras, knowledgeable guides, lots of backup. Some of the most impressive footage in fact comes from rookeries way up the waterways feeding Lake Eyre, some north of Birdsville. Not trying to put you off, but you will not see in a brief visit the sort of images that took weeks and big resources to collect. Nor will you get close enough to the lake and rookeries to see much from the ground.

It's a big expense for a family, but a flight from William Ck over the Painted Hills and Lake Eyre is very special. I'd particularly recommend the first flight of the day, when the low sun angle and still air really enhance the experience. Make sure the cameras are fully charged and you have lots of memory in them!

One aspect of outback travel that's not often mentioned is the absence of spectacle. There are spectacular things along the track, but I also enjoy the emptiness, the hugeness. Suggest travel out there with the expectation of enjoying the travel itself, not just the destinations.

None of which answers your questions, but hope it's some help!



J and V
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Reply By: ss--ss - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011 at 11:33

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011 at 11:33
G'day , I was planning to leave Sydney in a couple of weeks to visit Lake Eyre via the Oodnadatta track but when I checked the government road website SA RTA Site It used a lot of words like 4WD only , use extreme caution etc so decided to go somewhere else..

We're a family traveling solo & have a prado , towing a jayco campertrailer .. You think it's worth a shot because I would prefer to go there..
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Follow Up By: Member - Wayne D (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011 at 18:39

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011 at 18:39
As long as you take recovery gear and have good communications I would not think you would have any trouble on the Oodnadatta track. In Nov we went through a couple of creek crossings and some mud puddles but at no time did we think that it was anything that would stop progress. Just drive to the conditions and if you are not sure, get out and have a look at the crossings or water on road before you attempt it. There are always vehicles on this track so if you have a problem help will be at hand reasonably soon.
There were lots of flowers out and the country side looked great. Enjoy the experience.
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