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Oodnadatta Track: Marree

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Oodnadatta Track ~ Marree ~ Images of Australia
Known colloquially as the ‘Oodna’ Track’, the Oodnadatta Track is one of the iconic Australian outback drives. The track follows an old Aboriginal trading route, who passed through this semi arid desert country by following a 'string of springs'. This route was then used by 19th century explorers such as John McDouall Stuart, paving the way for the Old Ghan Railway line towards Alice Springs. Today, this track is used by mainly travellers eager for some history or after a taste of adventure and the outback experience. Our modern day explorers follow the route, passing disused railway sidings and other ruins, artesian springs and waterholes and the magnificent gibber plains, desert dune and flat-top mesas landscape.

The Oodnadatta Track officially starts from Marree in the south or Marla in the north. Some maps show it starting from Lyndhurst, south of Marree, whilst many travellers make Leigh Creek and Copley as their starting point. The Oodnadatta Track closely follows a section of the route of Charles Todd’s Overland Telegraph Line which ran from Port Augusta to Darwin. This same section of the route was that of the Old Ghan, before the current new Ghan Route of today that detours to the west.

For those planning to do the Oodnadatta Track starting from Marree, there are warning and information signage, for those unfamiliar with travel in this part of the South Australian outback. Preparation and knowledge is important before setting out. Marree was once the most northern railhead with the Afghan cameleers being based here, providing at that time the most reliable form of freight transport to the remote properties. Just out of Marree are the Hergott Spring, the first of many hundreds of springs along the Oodnadatta Track.

Oodnadatta is an aboriginal word meaning ‘blossom of the mulga’. The Oodnadatta Track crosses the traditional lands of three Aboriginal groups. In the south, between Lake Torrens and Lake Eyre are the Kuyani people; most of the west of Lake Eyre has been traditionally occupied by the Arabana people; and to the north is the land of Arrernte people. Now may people from further west, Antikirinya people, live here too.1

More information about the Oodnadatta Track, Marree and the many locations along the route.

Oodnadatta Track - Marree - Snapshots from South Australia

Marree - your starting point for the Oodnadatta Track
Welcome to Marree - your southern starting point for the Oodnadatta Track
Warning sign for those visiting remote areas along the Oodnadatta Track
Warning signs for those visiting remote areas along the Oodnadatta Track
Road Restrictions and Road Conditions for the Oodnadatta Track
Road Restrictions and Road Conditions for the Oodnadatta Track
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