Mudgee to darwin day 8 William Creek to Dalhousie Springs

Saturday, Jul 20, 2013 at 10:45

Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW)

Mudgee to darwin day 8 William Creek to Dalhousie Springs

We set off this morning about 8am after getting a coffee at the pub. Before we left Peter had a chat with the bloke who had limped in to William Creek the afternoon before with a very bent looking Nissan Navara. Sadly he had hit a wash away at quite low speed, coming in from Halligan Bay on Lake Eyre, and done a lot of damage to his car and camper. He was towing a Conqueror which also had a bent chassis, but the Nissan had its bum dragging almost to the ground. What a disappointment for the young family. He wasn't too heavily loaded, it seems it was just bad luck. He was waiting for a flatbed truck to take him home.

This made us a bit nervous! S we took it pretty easy. After the rain last night, there were no signs to say the road was closed, so off we went. The first stretch,between William Creek and Box Creek crossing was very slow, the track was sticky and slippery after the rain, at times the camper was fishtailing as we had to keep momentum up so we didn't bog down. Along the track there were ruins of old railway sidings to see, we stopped a few times to take photos, and for a cuppa. After a while the track was drier, so we pushed on to Oodnadatta arriving about 12.30 for lunch and fuel ($2.17 per litre for diesel). The pink roadhouse is quite a sight, we had a nice "oodnaburger" for lunch, and a chat with a lovely female pilot from the RFDS, who was in for the day for a clinic.Oodnadatta is even more interesting than Coober Pedy, it makes that look like the "big smoke".

After gathering information about the road ahead, we thought we would aim for Hamilton station for our camp for the night. However we made better time than we expected, and it was too early to stop at Hamilton. We pushed on, though after the turnoff to Pedirka the road got rougher and more corrugated, and after the grid to the National Park it became rougher still, while the road was no longer wet, you could see (and feel!) the ruts and corrugations. Actually the track from Hamilton onwards was atrocious, very rough and corrugated, we had a top speed of about 60kph, mostly 30-40kph. We stopped at Pedirka siding ruins, again at the Dalhousie HS ruins complete with palm trees. By the time we dawdled in to Dalhousie Springs it was after 5.30pm, we did a very quick setup them walked down to the springs for a dip. What an amazing little lake. The water was 37degrees, and every person made the same ecstatic "aah" noise when immersing themselves, it was so relaxing especially after the taxing journey in. It's deep enough to just stand up at the entry point (steps provided) and inner tubes and pool noodles are provided for a relaxing float around. We stayed till nearly dark, the mozzies were getting a bit savage, so we wandered blissfully back to camp to finish setting up and have dinner, watched by several dingoes who kept making laps of the campsite. Although we had only seen one vehicle since turning towards the springs at Hamilton, there are probably 20 campers set up in the campground (many TVans) as it is the starting or finishing point for crossings of the Simpson Desert.

Toyota Hilux SR5 2010 D4D
Echo Kavango
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