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Back on the Dirt - Oodnadatta

After finally crossing into our 3rd state for the trip, we had decided to do part of the Oodnadatta track. We let our tyres down at Marla to start the track. The road was surprisingly in good condition out to the Oodnadatta township (we were expecting a lot worse). We stopped in at the famous Oodnadatta Pink Roadhouse for a famous ‘Oodna burger’ and some photos. Once our bellies were full of burgers and some beers, we continued on as we had a free camp spot on the map we wanted to stop at, a further 70km on. Enroute we popped in to the Mt Dutton Ruins for a look. That was pretty cool, seeing the old structure and all the old coloured glass on the ground. Mid-afternoon we made it to Algebuckina Waterhole & Old Railway Bridge camp spot. We opted to set up camp on the edge of the waterhole, as there was no one there and we had the whole place to ourselves.

We got ourselves all set up, Kurt got the fishing rods out and put up our feet with a beer in hand. No fish were caught, BUT, we threw one yabby net in for giggles and to our amazement we caught a dozen blue claw yabbies and a few shrimp overnight! Unbelievable! Our plans were soon turned on its head, when later that morning Kurt discovered our centre bearing rubber was not in good shape. We had to make a decision on what to do, as we were unsure how long it would last. Kurt replaced it before our trip, so it was only 10months old, but since we had upgraded our rear leaf springs in Cairns, we suspect this might have caused the issue.

The decision was made to abandon the Oodnadatta track and head straight to Coober Pedy to get it fixed. We made it to Coober Pedy fine, which was a relief. Kurt got the part ordered and all fixed within a few days, which was great. We decided to make the most of our time in Coober Pedy while there and see all the sights. We splashed out and did a tour with Oasis Tourist Park. $45 each for 3 hours, which included an underground mine tour and chauffeured around to see all the sights. Since it was out of the busy period, everywhere was quiet – which turned out great! We were the only ones on our tour so we got the VIP treatment.

One afternoon, we drove out to ‘The Breakaways’ and watched the sunset – it was incredible! Highly recommend seeing them at that time. On the drive out, we also stopped in at Dingo Fence Info board – the fence runs through 3 states! The highlights for us were the breakaways, kangaroo orphanage & the quirky random stuff* all through the town. Overall Coober Pedy was okay, we wouldn’t say we were disappointed, it’s just, I think we both had different ideas in our heads on what to expect and it wasn't what we had imagined.

Never the less it was great to see and you have to visit it once to make your own mind up about it. With temperatures starting to reach 40+ degrees during the day, we made a bee line straight south to the Coast. Both of us excited to see some ocean, as we hadn’t seen any since the gulf, in the NT. On the journey down, we stopped and camped at Lake Hart, a massive salt lake. It was our first salt lake sighted for the trip, so was very cool to see. We pulled up into Port Augusta the next day & dipped our toes in the water, then setting up camp for 2 nights.

Kurt was keen to do some more fishing, so we camped over at Point Lowly for a few nights. The camp spots along the eastern side were all free and had great views. The start was a little bit hilly’, but we easily got our caravan in a great spot right near the water. The water was crystal clear and so blue, we decided to break out our snorkels and have a little swim around right outside our camp. We saw some small reef fish, Amz found a starfish, Kurt caught a big crab (yes with his bare hands) and we found a handful of snagged squid jigs. It was quite amusing seeing what we could find.

2 days later, while Kurt was fishing out the front, a local fisherman was telling us how a 5m great white shark was spotted a few kilometres down the coast at Whyalla, a few days ago. He recommended we shouldn’t swim there! We hadn’t told him we were in the water only days before. Ah well, no harm done and a funny story to look back on and tell. Our friends Baz & Em (whom we did Cape York with) were in Port Augusta for the night, so we decided to track back up to meet them and have a good catch up with them. It was a great night, catching up and reflecting on each of our travels and adventures since the Cape. #goodtimes

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