Travelling around Australia in a motorhome. A story of our travels starting from NSW then through Queensland, across to Northern Territory and Western Australia, then to South Australia, Victoria and finally across the seas to Tasmania. We have enjoyed everywhere we have visited and look forward to setting off again in our motorhome.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Oodnadatta 7 June 2006

Excitedly set off to the Oodnadatta Track along the Oodnadatta/Coober Pedy Road – a 200km dirt track! Not sure what to expect, but we were surprised at the variety of country side we encountered. Set off through the Dog Fence and then hit the Moon Plain. Mad Max 3- Beyond Thunder-dome and Ground Zero were filmed there. This is about a 30km area that looks like the moon - it has a thick brown dirt layer that is covered in smooth black ironstone. Then the scenery changed again as we crossed a number of dry creek beds with mulga trees and Mitchell grass growing, then semi-deserts dotted with salt bush, followed by endless plains of fine reddish gravel. The road, while rocky in parts, was better then expected and it was easy to see oncoming traffic by the dust storms they created. Oodnadatta is a small Aboriginal settlement with a pub and the famous Pink Roadhouse. We thought the Roadhouse sounded like a place for travellers to exchange stories over dinner by a roaring fire. We were very disappointed because it closed at 5.30, literally leaving us out in the cold! Found the small hotel open and secured a meal of gigantic proportions. Felt saddened by the sight of Aboriginals buying tea that was only chips and gravy. The highlight of the trip was the Painted Desert, or Arckaringa Hills located at Arckaringa Station. This is a series of breakaway hills at the edge of the Stuart Ranges. The hills are the remnants of a sea bed that took over 80 million years to erode. The various layers have leached the surrounding soils, resulting in spectacularly colourful landscapes. It was far more spectacular than we had anticipated and will be one of those memories for ever.


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