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Marree - Cities, Towns and Localities

Originally named Hergott Springs and once a rip-roaring frontier outpost on the ‘old Ghan Railway’ and an outpost of the ‘Overland Telegraph Line’, Marree today is more like a movie lot with no actors (or a set for The Invasion of the Body Snatchers).

Inexplicably, two caravan parks, two general stores and two cafes serve a population of about sixty or so. There’s not a tree in sight, but a wooden camel, some Ghan railway relics and a mosque with no roof and no Imam, hint of a past life that was much more lively than the present. Built by Irish stonemasons and dominating the skyline, the handsome Marree Hotel serves an excellent meal and provides accommodation.

Recommended as a tourist attraction is the local cemetery, and the last resting place of the Aboriginal, European, Afghan populations, who worked the railway and surrounding station properties in the area. Descendants of the famed Afghan and Indian cameleers still call Marree home and hidden somewhere here there’s a treasure trove of stories, but no-one’s around to tell them. Hurry, see Marree before it blows away.

Petrol and tyre services are available. There’s a Post Office at the Marree Roadhouse and a small clinic in case of medical emergencies.

Arabunna traditional owner Reg Dodd takes tours of the Lake Eyre region and visits to the Marree Man. Reg can be reached at the Arabunna Cultural Centre.

Public transport to and from Marree there is none, however...

How to get there?
Gulf Getaways in Port Augusta are hoping to operate a bus service by the end of 2006, otherwise it’s by your own private jet to Marree airstrip, hitchhike or car. The last 80 km north of Lyndhurst is on a good gravel road, so 4WD is not necessary, but keep the speed down and allow plenty of time to enjoy the vista of empty desert.

by Luigi Mole

Recommended reading:
In the Tracks of the Camelmen: Outback Australia’s Most Exotic Pioneers
— Pamela Raikowski, published by Seaview Press. ISBN 1-74008-359-8.
Marree and the tracks beyond in black and white (Commemorating the Centenary of Marree 1883-1983)
— Lois Litchfield, published by the Author May 1983 (Box 343, Quorn SA 5433)

There is a local Telecentre with some tourist information or visit nearby visitor centre at Copley and Leigh Creek. Check out our listing of Marree accommodation.

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Flinders Ranges and Outback Information

GPS (Marree): S 29º 38.817’ E 138º 03.918’

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Marree Attractions
The Dog Fence
• Just 40 km from Marree is where you will come across the longest fence in the world (also the longest man made structure) — the 5,300 km Dog Fence built to separate the rich sheep-growing areas in the south from the dingoes of central Australia. Erected in 1950s and still maintained today by small teams of dog trappers, fence patrollers, pastoralists and repairers, the fence stretches from the Great Australian Bight in far-western South Australia to the Queensland coast.

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Marree Events • South Australia Events
Marree Picnic Races and Gymkhana
• Ph/Fax: 08 8675 8222 (contact Marree Rural Transaction Centre c/- Post Office, MARREE  for further information) • Email
• June Long Weekend
Marree Camel Cup
• Marree Rural Transaction Centre • Ph/Fax: 08 8675 8222 • Email
• First Saturday in July
• Marree comes alive with the annual Camel Cup event. With a number of camel races, live entertainment, novelty and other fun events. A great day for the entire family attracting locals from the surrounding region and visitors from all over the world. For more information contact the Marree Rural Transaction Centre.

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Marree Tours SA Tours • Outback  • Eco • Adventure • National Tours
Arabunna Aboriginal Tours • The Arabunna Tour
• Ph/Fax: +61 8 8675 8351 • Ph: +61 8 8675 8354 (AH) • Email
• Reg Dodd (Aboriginal Tour Operator) • Cultural and nature-based tours Lake Eyre — Finniss Springs — Oodnadatta Track. 1-7 day tours (swags — sights — stars — stories), bringing together the ancient and natural wonders of the Lake Eyre Region.

The website has a video widget where you will be able to view six short films about Arabunna culture, history and the Marree area. The six films were produced by Malcolm McKinnon and the Marree Arabunna Peoples’ Committee in 2004.

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Marree Local Services
Marree Hotel
• MARREE SA 5733 • Ph: 08 8675 8344 • Fax: 08 8675 8328 • Email
• The historic  Marree Hotel (1883) could tell a lot of stories. Situated at the beginning of the Birdsville and Oodnadatta tracks, it is the ideal place to stop for a night, a meal or just  few drinks at the bar. Great meals are to be had - breakfast, lunch and dinner (7 days except for Good Friday). There is air-conditioned accommodation (single, double, twin and family rooms), ice cold beer, and friendly service. What more could you ask from a country pub?
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Marree Distance

Distance to Marree
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Marree:
• Adelaide 677
• Coober Pedy 374
• Copley 114
• Leigh Creek 118
• Oodnadatta 410
• Roxby Downs 208
• William Creek 209
• Woomera 285
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.
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• Marree Maps
Bing Maps - Marree, SA
Google Maps - Marree SA 5733


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