Central Australia Trip report #5

Phew. Busy busy. I’ve got some fun stuff planned with food, and my placement only has three days to go – then it’s back to uni for another four weeks before a break. In the meantime….

Day 5

Panoramic shot of sunrise - yellow breaking over horizon, brownish-red dark dirt and scrub in the foreground in shadow

We woke up just before sunrise. Brr! The nights are cold in the outback at this time of year.

map of how to get to the spa

We explored the camp and discovered that the natural springs in the area meant the campsite had a spa of sorts! It was lukewarm, so we all changed into our swimmers and took turns to try it out. Nice – especially after a few days of limited facilities.

Tent as the backdrop to the breakfast things (camper stove with porridge in pot, table set up wit bowls & cups & cereal & water can), with my shadow in the middle

Back at our campsite, we set up and had breakfast – porridge cooked on the camp stove – before packing up the camper-trailer, ready to be on our way again.

After one last look around the campsite to take photos of course.

The next stop on our journey was at a railway siding called, “Beresford”. When the Old Ghan was still in operation, it was a place where trains would stop to take on fuel and water.

There was plenty of graffiti inside the old stationmaster’s house (or whatever the building was). My favourite piece was this one:

Graffitti reading: "Rick and Mycool back in 2014 Been here '92 '95 '96 '09 so glad no-one's wrecked it" in block capitals

The Oodnadatta Track is very dusty and quite rough in places.

View from the Nimbus Mitsubishi of the dusty Track with the Nissan Pathfinder driving up ahead.

We drove on, eventually arriving at William Creek, which sits on the edge of Anna Creek station (Australia’s largest pastoral lease, or something like that). Town population: 13.

Half-oval sign welcoming us to Williams Creek - indicates that petrol, camping, toilets and beds are nearby

There was an area next to the road which had a small graveyard, bits of rusting machinery and also commemorated the rocket tests that occurred in the 50s, including the original rocket. Womble had fun exploring.

(The graves were poignant and out of respect we didn’t take any photos of those. One was of an 18-yo German tourist and the others were a few outback mates.)

The town has one roadhouse which doubles as a pub/general store/petrol station. We went and had a drink there after filling up on fuel. The inside of the bar area had been covered with signatures and cards, each one marking that someone had been through William Creek.

The inner room, the lounge, had signs forbidding people from writing on the walls or ceiling because it is a heritage-listed room. It’s made out of Old Ghan railway sleepers! That’s novel – and different to the “usual” use of firewood….

Heading back to the cars, Womble found the railway cart information board about the Old Ghan and William Creek.

We drove on and eventually rolled into camp at Algebuckina Bridge. Another sunset, followed by another campfire, finished the day.

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