Back on the Oodnadatta Track, the section from William Creek to Oodnadatta has more fascinating Outback scenery to offer.
Patchy salt bush, occasional wildflowers and sometimes a low range on the horizon, or another mound spring, along with more ruins from the Ghan railway await you. This ever changing scenery makes the trip diverse.
Oh, and did I ever mention the colours? From yellow to ochre, red or
brown, the various shades of the landscape are dotted with a little
greenery and spanned by a deep blue sky. If you are really lucky, you'll
see white clouds sailing in the endless sky!
It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful the Outback colours are!
Salt bush and small trees & bushes along a dry creek bed, that’s all what is growing in this barren landscape.
The creek crossings increase and the creek beds get wider. Driving through the creek beds shouldn't cause you any problems in dry weather. Just take it slowly, especially when you tow a trailer.
This is such a fascinating country. You'll feel the sense of freedom when you travel out there.
The next railway siding area along the route is Warrina. The ruin of a fettler’s cottage and a few rusty pieces of a cart and some sort of machinery is all that remains.
Five kilometres further on, at the turn-off to the old Peake telegraph station, Giles Memorial commemorates the crossing of the continent by Ernest Giles.
It never ceases to amaze me what these early explorers achieved
travelling thousands of kilometres through this harsh and unexplored
The 17 km side track to the Peake Telegraph station is recommended for 4 WD only. If you have some time left, the visit is worth the detour.
The ruin of the fettler’s cottage at the North Peake railway siding is set on a vast plain. Amazingly, there’s a piece of rail left in front of the cottage which, together with the ruin and the far horizon, makes a pretty good photo. Don't you just love the Outback?
As you approach the Algebuckina area, probably the best attraction between William Creek and Oodnadatta, there are a few surprises.
The Neales River is by far the largest watercourse on the Oodnadatta Track, with a northern and a southern branch and several smaller channels, lined by coolibah trees. Depending on the season, there is water in the river, and invites to camp for the night.
But don't forget: Never camp in the creek beds, even if they are dry!
Again, there are ruins of the railway worker's cottages, however, the most stunning sight is the huge Algebuckina bridge.
It is the longest bridge in South Australia, 578 metres. You can climb
up the railway dam to reach the bridge. Most of the sleepers and the
rails are left intact, however, nobody knows how sturdy the wooden
sleepers remain after 120 years, so don’t walk out more than a few
At the foot of the bridge is the wreckage of a Holden car, although
nobody would recognise it as that. Anyway, the driver tried to cross the
flooded Neales River on the bridge and was pushed away by an oncoming
Bad timing, as there usually were no more than three trains a week on the timetable. It is said that the driver was able to escape from the car and survived, while his dog jumped into the river and wasn’t seen any more.
Leaving the Neales river behind, the Oodnadatta track takes you to
more stunning scenery, as you pass the low hills of the Stuart Range at Bartons Gap.
The mix of the bare ochre-coloured hills and deep red gibber plains
dotted with greenish salt bush, set against a deep blue sky with big
white clouds, make a beautiful sight and even better photos.
The hills and ranges are a nice change to usual the flat scenery along the track.
Now there are only a few kilometres, and you arrive at Oodnadatta.
Congratulations, you made the second stage of the track!!
Did you enjoy the trip from William Creek to Oodnadatta? Then let's continue to the last leg from Oodnadatta to Marla.
Don't miss the articles below which give you many more details about the route.
Get general facts, an introduction and overview of the track. (617 km)
Read about Marree, the town at the start of the Birdsville and Oodnadatta Tracks. This is my favourite Outback town
Discover the history of the early days, when the Outback was explored.
Marree To William Creek (204 km)
The first section of the Oodnadatta Track is in my opinion the most diverse part of the track.
Lake Eyre, mound springs, several ruins of former Ghan railway sidings are among the highlights.
This small town offers everything a traveller needs. You'll be surprised what you'll find in this village half-way along the track
Oodnadatta to Marla (211 km)
First discover Oodnadatta, before you go on the last leg of the track.
Both the Ghan and the Overland Telegraph Line leave the track north of the township Oodnadatta.
Road conditions along the Oodnadatta Track.
Don't forget to read this page, it also includes useful tips by Outback Guide readers.
Read about Australia's largest lake which only fills with water every couple of years. Get the latest water status of the lake.
Aerial view of the lake - photo © John Carnemolla
Where to stay
Great tips about camping & cabins, where to get fuel & food, plus other useful information
Enjoy this most interesting track in the South Australian Outback.
Below you'll find more useful articles to help you plan your journey.