Oodnadatta to Marla is probably your last day on the Oodnadatta Track. I hope, you enjoyed this famous track as much as I did. It is a great Outback travel experience.
But before we are going on the track again, we'll have a close look around Oodnadatta.
This is another tiny settlement on the track with the same name, located about 1000 km north of Adelaide. The town has a population of about 270, and offers basic facilities.
The name Oodnadatta is perhaps an adaption of an Aboriginal word meaning "blossom of the mulga".
Oodnadatta is the last stop for travellers before heading for the Simpson Desert, Dalhousie Springs, and other beautiful places in the region.
I really enjoyed following the old ghan heritage trail and learn about the fascinating history of the Australian Outback. So watch out for these informative signs from Port Augusta to Alice Springs, throughout the Flinders Ranges, and of course along the Oodnadatta Track.
Oodnadatta was proclaimed a government town in 1890. The town's heydays were merely more than 35 years, while it was the terminus of the Great Northern Railway from 1891 until 1929. Like Marree, it played an important role in opening up Australia's harsh inland.
Oodnadatta hospital was the first AIM (Australian Inland Mission) nursing home, opened in 1912. Rev. John Flynn had the vision to cover the Australian inland with a "mantle of safety". He established several bush hospitals across the country, and finally founded the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
The third and last section of the Oodnadatta Track leaves the route of the Ghan so there are no railway sidings or other historical stuff along the way to Marla.
Angle Pole Memorial is just a few km outside of Oodnadatta and marks the point where the Old Telegraph Line and the old Ghan line turn straight to the north. The memorial commemorates all those involved in the building of the Overland Telegraph Line between Adelaide and Darwin.
The topography along the track is fairly flat, occasional tree-lined creek beds make a change in the scenery.
If you are lucky and travel in spring after some good winter rain. you can see carpets of wildflowers. Otherwise there is just more gibber.
Even if there is no more history to explore as on the first sections of the Oodnadatta track, it is a great experience to travel here.
This is a tiny town with a population of 243. Near Marla the Oodnadatta Track meets the Stuart Highway, 1099 km north of Adelaide. Marla was established in 1980 to service the increasing traffic along the highway as it was planned to tar the entire road from Adelaide to Darwin. It offers a huge roadhouse, a motel, caravan park and other essential services for travellers.
I hope you enjoyed the last stage of the track from Oodnadatta to Marla. Wherever you go from here, enjoy the South Australian Outback.
If you are in a hurry you can take several short cuts to the Stuart highway from the Oodnadatta Track.