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A Taste of the Outback in South Australia
Port Augusta

Visit Wadlata Outback Centre, which will be an ideal introduction to the Flinders Ranges and the Outback of South Australia. Homestead Park Pioneer Museum has many interesting displays relating to the pioneering days in the district. The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens showcases many arid area plants.

Quorn

Quorn is home to the Pichi Richi Railway which takes tourists through the Pichi Richi Pass on the old narrow gauge Ghan railway. It is a lovely journey, reliving the glory days of steam rail travel. Check the timetable when planning your trip, as trains do not run every day. The energetic might like to take the trail to the top of Devil's Peak, south of Quorn. The climb is steep and you should take care on the rock slopes, but the view from the top is great. Between Quorn and Hawker lies the ruins of Kanyaka, once a sheep station. Signs offer information and interpretation. Closer to Hawker are Yourambulla Caves with their Aboriginal rock paintings.

Hawker

Hawker is the gateway to the Flinders Ranges. There is a heritage walk past some of the town's historical buildings. You can arrange a scenic flight over or a 4WD tour of the Flinders Ranges from Hawker.

Flinders Ranges National Park

Wilpena Pound in the centre of the Flinders Ranges is an extraordinary natural amphitheatre, encircled by sheer peaks. There are many types of tours available, or you can take one of the many walking trails, including one to the top of St Mary's Peak, the highest point in the Ranges. Visit Aboriginal rock art sites at Arkaroo Rock and Sacred Canyon or take a scenic drive to Brachina and Bunyeroo Gorges, Stokes Hill Lookout or the Great Wall of China.

Leigh Creek

Heading north, you reach the oasis of Leigh Creek, a modern town which was moved to its current location before the open-cut coal mine engulfed the old settlement. Tours of the mining operation are available on Saturdays and during school holidays. Further north, just outside Lyndhurst on the road to Marree, stop to look at the ochre pits where Aborigines used to collect coloured ochres.

Marree

Marree marks the start of the Birdsville and Oodnadatta tracks. Once a flourishing railway town, rusty hulks and old track in the town serve as a reminder of its heyday. Take the Oodnadatta track, watching out for the pink road signs placed along the track by the owners of the Pink Roadhouse at Oodnadatta. They are funny, informative and quirky. Stop en route to look at the old railway siding at Curdimurka Siding. With the wind whistling through the deserted buildings, it is easy to imagine the ghosts of the past. Further on, explore the curious mound springs at Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park.

William Creek This tiny outpost marks the halfway point of the Oodnadatta track. You will enjoy real outback hospitality with an overnight stay at the pub. Have a bite, a beer and a yarn with the locals!

Oodnadatta

Stop at the Pink Roadhouse, icon of the outback, for fuel and food. Visit the old railway station which is now an interesting and informative museum with displays about local history.

Marla

Marla marks the end of the Oodnadatta Track and the start of bitumen as you head south on the Stuart Highway. An alternative route from Oodnadatta to the highway at Cadney Homestead takes you through the Painted Desert, where curiously coloured cliffs dominate the landscape. Check road conditions at Oodnadatta before opting to take this route.

Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy is a famous opal-mining town. Many of the buildings have been built underground to shield the occupants from the extremes of temperature reached in the outback. There are guided tours of mines, underground houses and even an underground museum. Underground accommodation for the tourist is available. Just north of the town lie The Breakaways, unique coloured cliffs and rocky landscape. A pass to the reserve can be purchased from many outlets in the town.

Woomera

A former missile testing site, visitors were not permitted into Woomera until the 1980's. Visit Missile Park and Heritage Centre, which houses displays of rockets and aircraft.

Roxby Downs

A side trip to Roxby Downs gives you the opportunity to join a tour to view the enormous Olympic Dam Mine.

Port Augusta

Our outback tour ends back in Port Augusta. If you have a little more time, explore the southernmost area of the Flinders ranges, around the historical town of Melrose.


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