Thursday, 9 October 2008

Streaky Bay (Eyre Peninsula) and up into South Australia's Desert Country

Em and I had already decided to travel the Oodnadatta Track and this is how we got to the start of it.  The "Oodna" is a personal journey for us both as we have been all the way to the start of it before, when we came up into Central Australia on holiday over two years ago in our Subaru.  This was basically the wrong car to be doing the track in, but the track at the time was a gravel surface and quite rough in places - the fact that 4 other cars had been recovered from the same stretch where we broke down in two weeks previous to our last attempt was testament to this.  I even got to see one of the wrecks of a car and caravan that had rolled over when I was at the mechanics in June 2006 and it was not a pretty sight - they had to cut the front windscreen out to get the woman driver out.  And I don't mean to scare anyone here, but people have also died in this type of terrain, not specifically on the Oodnadatta Track (the locals say because there is water at strategic intervals), but certainly on the Birdsville Track (where we would like to go after finishing the Oodnadatta - Marree leg - but will play it by ear as we may have had enough by then).  A family of 5 ran out of petrol, then all perished as they didnt have enough water.  Its probably a bit busier now as this was over 10 years ago, but all the same....and we are prepared - dont worry!  And also a Swiss tourist died near Lake Eyre, but I don't know the details.  So anyway...

We spent two nights in Streaky Bay.  Travelled via Ceduna where there was an oyster fest, and a power cut right when we were trying to dry our laundry!  Streaky was a sleepy little fishing town.  Pretty coastline.  Quiet beachside camping in a caravan park as we had been bush for a few days.  Nice pub, cheap porterhouse ($12.50) for me and good (Nannagui) fish & chips for Em.  Interesting 1950's pictures of Great White's being caught and winched up onto the jetty.  I tried a little fishing off the jetty, got a few little bites then a big one that took my bait and hook!  (Probably not a Great White, but you never know).  And sorry Damo if you are reading this, but we didn't go to Port Lincoln (a tuna fishing town on the Southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula) because of the weather forecast, and you weren't there being the main reason of course!

Travelled North through Lake Gairdner NP (rather than Googs Track which is apparently 80% sand dunes) which was pretty, salt lake country and a dirt track all the way until it joined the Stuart Highway north of Glendambo roadhouse.  It was an uneventful drive but cut out about 600kms of going to Port Augusta (where we had already been on our road trip up here 2 years ago), it is an ugly port town at the start of the Stuart Highway a few hundred kms above Adelaide.

We camped out one night by the side of the road on the Stuart Highway, the flies were terrible in the morning so a quick packup was called for and we then made the drive to Coober Pedy - a town we had been to before and we love for its quirkiness.  People live underground here as it gets so hot.  There is an underground church, hotels, etc.  Also Mad Max and Pitch Black were filmed here amongst other post-apocolyptic films.  It felt a little bit more commercial and touristy this time around, maybe because it wasn't such a culture shock to us as we have seen so many other quirky Australian towns (especially with Aboriginal people "loitering" as they appear to be doing and which isn't common in the major capitals). 


We took a drive out to the Moon Plain and the Breakaways (a small range of sand hills with pretty colourings) for sentimental value, as we went there before and had a glass of wine whilst watching sunset.  It is very desolate, but pretty all the same.  This is the Moon Plain with the dog/vermin proof fence running alongside it.  The dog proof fence is the longest fence in the world apparently and runs right through SA:


Then from Coober it was 250kms North to Marla, which is where we spent 4 marooned days waiting to see if the Subaru could be fixed last time we were here!  We relived the Marla experience by camping at the back of the roadhouse and going to the pub for a parmi and chips (Em had a giant burger 'with the lot' which she finished!).  A good night with some real characters in the roadhouse bar, giant Ecubra's and all.

And now its Thursday 9th October on a cold, clear outback morning and we are ready to hit the Oodnadatta Track - first stop Pink Roadhouse.

1 comment:

experience eyre said...

Hey I really most like this type of trip and I really very happy to read the post and Streaky Bay - Eyre Peninsula and up into South Australia's Desert Country is awesome.

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