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Oodnadatta Track: Curdimurka

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Oodnadatta Track ~ Curdimurka ~ Images of Australia
Located on the Oodnadatta Track is Curdimurka, another abandoned railway siding of the old Ghan Railway Line. Having fallen into disrepair long before the closure of the line in 1980, the site has been brought back from obscurity by members of the Ghan Railway Preservation Society.

To raise the finance for the restoration, a ball was organised every two years. The first ball in 1986 was attended by just a hundred people. Ten years later the ball attracted several thousand men and women from all over Australia and even some from overseas.1

There is a plaque at the Curdimurka commemorating John McDouall Stuart...

John McDouall Stuart
Surveyor - Explorer 1815-1866

John McDouall Stuart passed through this region on his first expedition, and on Saturday 26th June 1858 found permanent waters in a creek, approximately 40 kilometres south-west of Curdimurka. He named the site Chambers Creek, later changed to Stuart Creek.

A waterhole served as the 'staging' camp for Stuart's five subsequent expeditions. This important discovery opened a route to the ?Centre and for the south to north crossing of Australia.

On his fourth expedition, Stuart, William Darton Kekwick and Benjamin Head departed Stuart Creek on 2nd March 1860 and were the first known Europeans to reach the Centre of Australia - 21st April 1860.

His last expedition, The South Australian Great Northern Exploring Expedition, completed the first European crossing of the Continent from Adelaide to the Indian Ocean, passing through the Centre and returning along the same route with no loss of life.

The part of 10 men and 72 horses departed Stuart Creek on 8th January 1862.

Stuart's Companions 1861-62
Kekwick W.D.
Thring F.W.
Auld W.P.
King S.
Billiart J.W.
Frew J.
Nash H.
McGorrerey J.
Waterhouse F.G.

The Overland Telegraph Line linking Adelaide to Europe via Darwin (1870-72) was constructed along this route. Subsequently the original Central Australia Railway (The Ghan) which reaches Alice Springs in 1929 followed a similar route.

This plaque was placed by the John McDouall Stuart Society Inc.,
The Royal Geographical Society of South Australia Inc.,
assisted by
The Ghan Railway Preservation Society (S.A.) Inc.
Unveiled on 26th June 1998, 140 Years after Stuart's Discovery.

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

Oodnadatta Track - Curdimurka - Snapshots from South Australia

Curdimurka - Oodnadatta Track
Curdimurka Railway Crossing - Oodnadatta Track
Photos © Ausemade Pty Ltd

1 Flinders Ranges Research: Curdimurka. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
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