Lake Eyre Trip report

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 10:35
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We headed to Marree for a scenic flight on the June long weekend. We drove directly to Marree from Adelaide and stayed at the Oasis caravan park. The caravan park was very busy, I would go as far as nearly full, probably because of the races held that weekend. There was also free camping at the back of the pub and for a few dollars you can use the showers.

Marree was not a great place to stay on the Friday of the June long weekend because someone was having a party in a nearby house. Loud music till 4am and then some very colourful language as a couple had a domestic for 20 minutes (seemed much longer) on the road near the caravan park. It may have been more to do with it being a Friday night than the races I suppose.

The scenic flight was great. The best way to see the lake. We went with GSL Aviation (08) 8675 8349 and I would recommend them and our pilot, Krysta. The Lake is currently at 50% capacity and is expected to fill to around 70% when the next flood pulse comes down over the next couple of months.

The next night was at Muloorina station which was a good place to camp. Good toilets and a nice spot near the waterhole. A $10 donation to the RFDS per vehicle per night. The road to the Muloorina waterhole is in good condition but starts to corrugate near the end. Plenty of camper trailers out there and the more hardy may consider towing a caravan at the moment. (I met someone in Marree on the way back out who was about to give it a try)

The road between Muloorina Stn and Level Post bay is very corrugated. A real spine rattler at some places where you are forced to slow down for corners. Not recommended for 2WD or vans and I didn't see any campers on the road.

The water at Level Post Bay is at least 6-8km away. I walked (briskly) with a mate and after 35 minutes we were starting to sink into the mud. We went about 50m past the last of the footsteps for braggers rights and then walked back. Even after walking a few kilometers it was impossible to tell where the mirage ended and the water began but it was a long way. Note: there was a strong Southerly breeze which may have pushed the water out too.

It was still interesting to see the crust of salt on the lake though so the walk out was worth it in my opinion.

We then drove along the Oodnadatta Track and up to the viewing point of Lake Eyre Sth. The road to that point is in excellent condition. From there it was a short walk to the waters edge however it gets very muddy. Boots or barefoot is a must. The wind must have been dieing down as we got there as it appeared as if the tide was coming in, the waters edge moving in a couple of meters over a few minutes.

We then backtracked to the Borefield Track and headed to Andamooka for a look around. The Borefield track started well and then slowly got rougher as we got closer to Olympic Dam (but was still pretty reasonable, I just noticed the Patrol had to work a little harder to maintain the same speed). Once we crossed into the Olympic Dam area the road improved dramatically. I saw some caravans and a large campervan on the Borefield road.

We bush camped on the Andamooka road a few kilometers from Roxby Downs which is a good spot with lots of tracks so you can get a little way from the road if you wish. The locals use it for trail bike riding and 4WDing by the look of it so possibly not the best place to be during the day but it was nice and quiet when we were there in the evening.


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Reply By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 11:20

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 11:20
Thanks Alex - love to read informative trips reports.

Like to know camping spots also , would you have an approximate location for where you bush camped (presume on road from Roxbry to Andamooka).
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - Alex (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 11:58

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 11:58
Yes it was on the road to Andamooka from Roxby. The only public land for miles that had any trees. :-)

Using google maps the approximate location is:

-30.5529, 136.930969

Just paste the location in and it will show you where it is with a green arrow.

We were on the Southern side of the road about 1km from the junction with Bypass Rd (B97) and 300-400m off the road but there are also plenty of places on the Northern side. If you stay too close to the T junction then you will be able to hear the cattle grid just before the junction being driven over. Didn't bother us though.

We had a shower at the caravan park in Roxby for $5 each.

If I remember I will check and see if I had OziExplorer on. It will have a more accurate position.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 12:43

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 12:43
Thanks Alex - hope to be in the general area in a few weeks.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 14:24

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 14:24
Hi Alex and Robin

Firstly to Alex, sounds like you had a great trip. As for camping in Marree, I will not make a public statement here on the forum, but there are better place to know what I mean. I hope you are going to do a Blog and share some of your photos. The country up that way from what I am hearing is looking great and you would have had a perfect weekend.

Hi Robin,

Like Alex has said, head out of Roxby and when you get to the Andamooka turn off, turn right on the Main Road. Within about 30 metres or so, like Alex has said, you come to the grid and it is fenced off both sides of the road. From here on for about 5 kilometres or so, you will see countless tracks heading off from both sides of the main road.

We found the tracks to your left offered more shelter, back over the dunes. The tracks to the right were still good, but came out in very open terrain, but still private. It is just a matter of driving in a few of them until you find your perfect campsite, complete with lots of timber for a great camp fire.

Have a great trip and the only down side is that the Sturt Desert Pea are not out there yet.


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Follow Up By: rotor138 - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 17:01

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 17:01
There is a few peas about out at "Yellow Rock" not anything like last year though. You can camp anywhere around Roxby/Andamooka area, Lake Mary is a good place to camp.
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Reply By: Frances - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 15:14

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 15:14
Hi Alex, I'm heading out in a Patrol as well to where you are this weekend. How fast can you comfortably travel? Just wondering how far I will get each day if I feel like pushing on.
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Follow Up By: Member - Alex (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 17:36

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 17:36
Generally I sat on:

100 - 110 on the sealed road (I have a roof top tent which slows me down a bit into a headwind)
80 on the rd to Muloorina
40-80 on the short section between Muloorina and Level Post Bay
80-90 on the Oodnadatta tk and Borefield rd

I probably could have gone a little faster on the good sections of dirt but I prefer to take it easy.

The trip was a bit rushed but we simply didn't have more time and wanted to see some water in the lake.

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Reply By: Livin On The Road - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 18:32

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 18:32
Hi Alex,
Great trip report. We probably passed you on the way.Marree was quite crowded on Sunday when we were there. We thought we'd see a camel race, but got to see a cattle muster instead.

We're camped at Andamooka camp ground at the moment.

I just blogged about our trip up to Marree on the Borefield and Oodnadatta today. It was a great day, and the roads are in fabulous condition.
AnswerID: 457534

Reply By: ao767brad - Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 21:10

Wednesday, Jun 15, 2011 at 21:10
Just a short note to add the Oodnadatta Track from the Lake Eyre South viewing area on to William Creek is also in a fairly good way when we went through about 10 days ago, we towed a 1600 kg single axle semi offroad caravan at 80 km/hr most of the way. The road across to Coober Pedy is like a highway with the graders working on it at the same time. A good time to do the track just rug up as was very cold at night.

Please look after your tyre pressures as we came across a Patrol driver who by his own admission was lazy and did not let them down at Lydhurst and before Coward Springs (about 200km) had blown two brand new coopers that had been fitted just for the trip, but luckily was travelling with another Patrol so they had 3 spares between them. A very expensive mistake for being lazy!!!
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