Saturday, March 9, 2013

Outback Trip - Day 5 - Muloorina Station - William Creek - Part 1

An early start at Muloorina Station was the order of Day 5, so we could get packed up and head back to the Oodnadatta Track and then toward William Creek.

Having stayed at (or at least near) the place Donald Campbell and his crew camped when we set the land speed record in 1964 I was thinking - another part of history, if a bit quirky, on the trip.

The idea was to take in some of the sights on the way up - it's about 50km or so from the campsite then a little over 200km on the Oddnadatta Track.

Whats the track like?  At the time nice - graded, flat, straight, relatively high speed dirt.  Natuarally made a bit more comfortable as we hadn't aired the tyre up having aired down a little the afternoon  before.

And there are bits and pieces of interest along the way.  Early on there are relices from the Old Ghan Line that are easily accessible from the track and are definitely worth a look.

There are station buildings which give a bit of an insight into what life must have been like for the pioneers who lived in the area.

Inside of the ruins there is often graffiti that gives an insight into who has travelled through the area, armed with either a texta or a pen.  Some interesting reading on the walls, and I'll admit I found it a bit confronting - someone has graffitied a historic building.  Driving away I realised that they are adding to the history of the building not detracting from it!

And interestingly those who have visited and added their comments to the walls have seen fit to leave other bits and pieces behind - the collection of objects on the concrete is evidence that travellers have actually not stolen everything in sight for their collections...

Leaving this ruin we then travelled a little further down the track and pulled up at Mutonia Sculpture Park.  Not sure that the words 'famous planehenge' make sense but it is a cool sight as you drive along.  The scupltures in the park are the work of mechanic turned artist Robin Cooke.  apparently he creates a new work for the park every year or so.  Worth a stop and look, there is an honesty box at the gate....

There are way more sculptures here than just the planeheng, like the giant dingo and the Ghan Hover Bus...  Fantastic - thanks Robin.

And not much further along was the moment we had been waiting for...

The Lake Eyre viewing point.

Mission accomplished - we had seen water in Lake Eyre!

Some stats - its a salt lake which most of thime is dry - fills once every 10 years or so and to capacity a couple of times a century!

Lowest point on mainland Australia.

144km long and 77km wide.

Few Aussies get to see it with water in it - we consider ourselves lucky to have taken the trip when we did.  It is amazing having driven and camped in dry and arid conditions for the past couple days we were seeing an enormous amount of water...

Since there was so much to see and write about on this short stretch I have decided to spilt the post into two.  Next time - the rest of the trip to William Creek....

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