William Creek

South Australia's smallest town


William Creek is the smallest town in Outback South Australia, situated on the property of Australia's largest cattle station, Anna Creek Station. The population is 10, however, overnight guests and events can increase the population to over hundred.

An old pubWilliam Creek Hotel

The town has basic facilities. There is a pub, of course, a few sheds, a store and a campground with different styles of cabins, and an all-weather airfield only 100m away from the pub.

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Wrights Air operates scenic flight over Lake Eyre, Anna Creek station and the Painted Desert. Since 2012 Trevor Wright owns the hotel in William Creek.

You don't need a street map, everything is conveniently lined up on the Oodnadatta Track.

William Creek is set on a salt bush plain 204 km north-west of Marree and it’s the first place to get fuel and water supplies after you leave Marree.
It's quite a sandy place, but hey, they even have a golf course!

Discover a truly unique Australian Outback town.

This large tree provides a nice shadeYours truly next to the parking metre

William Creek - Quick Facts

  • Population: 10 (2016 census)
  • Location: Approx. 880 km north of Adelaide on the Oodnadatta Track
  • State: South Australia
  • Post Code: 5710
  • Elevation: 91m
  • Time Zone: Central Standard Time (CST), Daylight Saving between October and April
  • Climate & Best time to visit:
    William Creek has a hot & dry climate. Average maximum temperature is over 30°C from November to March. More than 40°C is not uncommon during summer. Winter has warm days and cold nights.
    The rare rainfalls can happen any time during the year.
    April to October is the best time to visit.
  • Facilities include:
    Hotel, Cabins, Caravan Park, Petrol, Drinks, Food
Sign posts along with a public telephone in William CreekSolar powered public phone

Sightseeing in William Creek

Well, the sightseeing business takes place in the area between the hotel and the store. You don't have much to walk!

  • Memorial Park offers displays of some unusual means of transport (a wooden wagon, a steam engine and the first stage of a rocket) which are scattered next to the remains of the Old Ghan railway-line.
    A signpost shows the distances to places all over the world. That makes you realise that you are far away from everywhere!
  • William Creek is adjoining the huge Woomera prohibited area where British rockets were launched in the sixties and tests were conducted to send a satellite into orbit. That’s where the debris of the rocket comes from.
    If you are interested in aircraft, missiles, and Australia's role in space exploration, don't miss to visit Woomera on the Stuart Highway.
  • Would you expect to see a parking meter in the middle of nowhere? There is one in William Creek!
    The parking meter seems to be very odd in such a remote place, however, it’s for charity and collects donations for the Royal Flying Doctors. Australians are very inventive to raise money for this excellent institution.
  • The public phone was the first solar-powered phone box in South Australia.

Remains of a rocket in William CreekRocket debris in William Creek

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Events

Campdraft and Bronco Branding is held in August.

William Creek Gymkhana held on the weekend before Easter.

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Accommodation

The hotel and pub really look unpretentious, not to say rough, from the outside, with its ancient cladding of corrugated iron to protect the veranda and the house from the searing sun. In these parts of the world sun protection goes before aesthetics.
Inside is the typical bar room of a bush pub, decorated with odd things that tourists left here. And of course, you'll find a friendly service & a cold beer.

In front of the hotel is a sign with a mud map giving information about the area around William Creek and the Oodnadatta Track. These maps, drawn by the late Adam Plate who run the Pink Roadhouse in Oodnadatta for decades, give useful tips and can be found along the Oodna and it’s by-roads as far as Marla, Coober Pedy and the Simpson Desert.

Check out offers from the William Creek Hotel


William Creek HotelWilliam Creek Hotel

Alternative routes & detours

  • If you want to go back to the Stuart Highway instead of finishing the Oodnadatta Track, you can go from William Creek to Coober Pedy. The 164 km unsealed road crosses the huge Anna Creek station. Always be aware of roaming livestock. 
  • About 7 km south of the town starts the public access route (PAR) to Halligan Bay on the western shore of Lake Eyre North.
    This 63km (one-way) track is desolate and very lonely. Take plenty of water, have a reliable 4 WD vehicle, and never leave your car when it breaks down.

  • Let a reliable friend or your family know about your plans. Make arrangements when you will be back, and don't forget to check back with them. Otherwise they might ring the alarm bell.

Please ask the locals for road conditions before your start any of these routes.

View from William Creek to the Oodnadatta TrackLeaving William Creek to continue on the Oodnadatta Track

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Oodnadatta Track -> the route step by step

Don't miss the articles below which give you many more details about the route.

Go and discover the sights of the Oodnadatta Track

Oodnadatta Track main entry

Get general facts, an introduction and overview of the track. (617 km)



Go and see this old truck in Marree and more


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.


Read about the route from Marree to William Creek, and discover the sights of the Ghan railway


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.


Go to William Creek, the smallest town in South Australia


William Creek

This small town offers everything a traveller needs. You'll be surprised what you'll find in this village half-way along the track


Go to the huge Algebuckina railway bridge and discover other sights from William Creek to Oodnadatta


Go and see the train station and museum in Oodnadatta and continue to Marla


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.


Get tips about the road conditions on the Oodnadatta Track


Road conditions along the Oodnadatta Track.

Don't forget to read this page, it also includes useful tips by Outback Guide readers.


Go and learn about Lake Eyre
Aerial view of the lake - photo © John Carnemolla


Lake Eyre

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


Read about the facilities, camping and accommodation along the track


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.

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Below you'll find more useful articles to help you plan your journey.