As you travel the Oodnadatta Track, between William Creek and
Oodnadatta, on the south side of the track, is the imposing
Algebuckina Bridge. Made up of nineteen 30.9 metre spans, this is the
largest single bridge in South Australia and highlights the engineering skills
and determination required to build the Great Northern Railway from 1878-91,
At a cost of £60,000, the Algebuckina Bridge spans the Neales
River and was officially opened for traffic from January 6, 1892. Listed on the Register of the National Estate and on the State Heritage Register,
forms part of the 'Old Ghan Railway Heritage Trail'.
There are a number of things of interest including the three graves in an
area close to the north end of the bridge, although only one is marked, being
that of a young prospector, James Helps, who drowned in the creek during a
flood. There is the rusting remains of the 1948 FJ Holden that was hit by a
train half way across the bridge as the driver attempted to cross the rail
bridge during a flood. The driver survived. Nearby is the surveyed and marked
site (1858) of the proposed Algebuckina township, and their are the remains of
mine shafts and building.
The waterhole east of the bridge offers a great fishing and camping spot,
although during summer, you may want to camp a bit back from the waters edge
because of the mossies. The Algebuckina waterhole has never dried up in living
memory and is the largest refuge waterhole in the Neales-Peak river system.
More information about
the Oodnadatta Track,
and the many locations along the route.