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The Oodnadatta Track and the Stuart Highway

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OODNADATTA TRACK Outback South Australia

The Oodnadatta Track with its rich cultural heritage, is Australia’s most fascinating and historic outback trail. It was the Aboriginal trading route which extended into the north of Australia, now Queensland and the Northern Territory.
It is the original “Gateway to Outback Australia”. Explorer John McDouall Stuart followed this route to Central Australia in 1860. His small team of three were the first Eurpoeans there. Two years later he led another expedition and reached Australia's northern shores in 1862, paving the way for the Overland Telegraph Line, the Afghan camel trains and the railway.


Today the Oodnadatta Track is also the Gateway to Lake Eyre, the artesian Mound Springs, the Simpson Desert and beyond. Travellers camp along the way in search of the real wilderness or there are centres with comforts of a soft bed and hot showers, less than 200 kms apart. The track is used every day in all weathers but is busiest mid year. The Track can be closed during wet weather. It pays to check before the start of your journey.
Road Conditions Report

The Lake Eyre Basin

The Lake Eyre Basin is one of the biggest internal drainage systems in the world and overlies the the Great Artesian Basin, a reservoir of sub artesian water. Mound Springs occur around the fringe of the basin where artesian water forces its way to the surface.
Blanchecup and the Bubbler, mineral encrusted mound springs are easy to access. Nearby Coward Springs is a heritage site with camp grounds and natural spa. Following the Old Ghan Railway Line, numerous old railway fettler cottages can be seen along the Track, Peake Telegraph Station ruins are of interest. Gold and copper were mined for a short time nearby.
When Lake Eyre floods, it becomes the breeding grounds for thousands of pelicans and other water birds. Three major river systems flow into the lake the Diamondtina, the Georgina and Cooper Creek. Lake Eyre South can be seen from the Track.

The Old Ghan Railway Line

Following the Old Ghan Railway Line, numerous old railway fettler cottages can be seen along the Track, Peake Telegraph Station ruins are of interest. Gold and copper were mined for a short time nearby.
When Lake Eyre floods, it becomes the breeding grounds for thousands of pelicans and other water birds. Three major river systems flow into the lake the Diamondtina, the Georgina and Cooper Creek. Lake Eyre South can be seen from the Track.