THE OODNADATTA TRACK
The Oodnadatta Track, is an unsealed 617 km (383 mi) outback road between Marree and Marla via Oodnadatta in South Australia. Along the way, the track passes the southern lake of the Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park, and the outback settlements of William Creek and Oodnadatta.
The track follows a traditional Aboriginal trading route. It provides travellers with stunning semi-desert scenery. Along the Track are numerous springs feeding water from the Great Artesian Basin, the most accessible examples being the mound springs found in Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park near Coward Springs. Later, because of the availability of water, the route was chosen for the steam-train poweredCentral Australian Railway, the original route of The Ghan, also the route taken by the explorer John McDouall Stuart on his third expedition in 1859. Remnants of the many railway sidings and bridges, the ruins of railway buildings, and Overland Telegraph repeater stations are located along the track – some of the best preserved are the Coward Springs Campground – complete with natural artesian spa and Curdimurka.
Today, the Oodnadatta Track roughly follows the former railway line as far north as Oodnadatta, and then turns to the west, meeting the sealed Stuart Highway at Marla. The road's surface has been well maintained in recent years. In dry weather, the track is passable to most 2 WD vehicles and caravans, but a four-wheel drive (4x4) vehicle will provide a more comfortable journey, and will be essential for driving the track during and after rain. Since the track is unsealed, the Government of South Australia recommends that users of the track check if the track is open before departure.
The Track was named by Adam Plate of the Oodnadatta Progress Association Inc. in about 1980 to form a trilogy of unsealed tourist routes with the Birdsville and Strzelecki Tracks nearby. Now, I have to admit, I have never travelled along this iconic route. It is definitely one for the hardy and more adventurous traveller than I. But take a look at these pics - amazing isn't it?
Now, if you look at the pic above at the sign for Lake Eyre, you may well be wondering where is the lake? Good question, this is a seasonal lake and it depends on monsoonal rains in its tributaries for it to form - some years there is not really a lake at all.
Here it is in its full glory....
It is like the mythical inland sea which the early explorers were sure existed at the centre of Australia (instead they found the big red rock, Uluru!)
Okay, enough about the wonders of Australia from me.
Let me explain what The Alphabet Club is all about ....
It is the brainchild of Chiara from The Grey Tail and Jo from Serendipitous Stitching and is loosely based on the premise of the movie "The Breakfast Club" - you can see the button for The Alphabet Club on my right sidebar.
On the first Saturday of each month, members of the club have "detention" and have to post about something that will enlighten others about their culture (as blogland is so diverse). Of course, there should/could be something stitchy in there, if possible (although I seemed to have moved right away from that premise as the months have gone by, instead focusing on boring you all with quirky facts about Australia - lol!)
Each month will be a different letter of the alphabet - hence the club's name - and, of course, we started with "A" and now we are up to "O".
If you want to see what the other detainees have been up to, please have a look here (this is last month's link - I will update this once the new link is up).