Like the camel trains and cattlemen in bygone times, William Creek continues to provide a watering stop, fuel, meals, refreshment and accommodation, especially for those travelling along the iconic Oodnadatta Track.
Named as the smallest town in South Australia, William Creek is surrounded by one of Australia’s largest cattle properties, Anna Creek Station.
There are a number of items of interest in William Creek, including the Museum-Park that includes a small memorial section in remembrance of those who lived and worked or were passing through.
The First Stage of the British Aircraft Corporation – ‘Black Arrow R3’ Three Stage Rocket
‘R3’ was fired from Woomera S.A. at 1.39 pm on 28 October 1971. This Black Arrow, the last to be launched before the project was terminated, placed a British built satellite ‘Prospero’ – into a polar eliptical (apogee 1,582 km – perigee 547 km inclined 82.1 degrees to the equator).
‘Prospero’ the second successful and last satellite to be launched from Woomera is expected to remain in orbit until 2071.
These are parts of the 1st stage main fuel tank and the Bristol-Siddley Gamma 8 rocket motor which took the satellite to a height of 50 kms before being discarded to allow the 2nd stage to ignite.
These components were recovered near Flint Mound Dam, Anna Creek Station in January 1990 by Stuart Nunn.
– Rocket details: Alan Lockett MB, Area Administrator
– Plaque: Main Workshops, Engineering Wing
Defence Support Centre Woomera S.A. 1990
The first 8.75 metre long rocket was launched in 1957. By 1990, 419 had flown, some reaching an altitude of 770 km and were mainly used to carry scientific payloads.
The smallest town in South Australia is William Creek, surrounded by one of Australia’s largest cattle properties, Anna Creek Station.
From the junction of William Creek, the 202 km travel north along the Oodnadatta Track to Oodnadatta, follows the ancient Aboriginal trade route that is famous for it’s permanent springs.
Camel trains and cattlemen passed this way, as did the Overland Telegraph Line from Port Augusta to Darwin (completed in 1870) and the original “Ghan” narrow gauge railway. Many them have no doubt stopped at one of William Creek’s main attraction, the unique bush pub, that is still serving travellers today.