Oodnadatta is a gutsy outback town on the legendary Oodnadatta Track. It was once a major railway town, but the line's closure in 1981 left it largely deserted. Local Aboriginal people have successfully kept the town operating since then. Today many travellers use it to refuel and gather supplies before heading out to the major desert parks to the north. It is believed that the name Oodnadatta originated from an Aboriginal term meaning 'yellow blossom of the mulga'.
Pink Roadhouse, Ikaturka Tce; (08) 8670 7822 or 1800 802 074.
Nearby national parks
Pink Roadhouse: a town icon, and also the place to go for information on local road conditions and outback travel advice; Ikaturka Tce.
Railway Station Museum: well-preserved sandstone station (1890), now a local museum; key available from roadhouse.
Witjira National Park This arid park is famous for the Dalhousie Springs. These thermal springs emerge from the Great Artesian Basin deep below the surface and are said to be therapeutic (visitors can swim in the main spring). They are also a habitat for many fish species that can adapt to the changing water conditions. A Desert Parks Pass is required; they are available from Mt Dare Homestead (which has fuel and supplies), the Pink Roadhouse or Parks SA (1800 816 078); 180 km N.
Oodnadatta Track: runs from Marree (404 km SE) through Oodnadatta and joins the Stuart Hwy at Marla (212 km NW); see Marree.
Neales River: swim in permanent waterholes.
The Painted Desert: superb desert scenery of richly coloured hills; 100 km SW.
Simpson Desert Conservation Park and Regional Reserve: 4WD tracks across enormous dune desert east of Witjira. Travellers must be totally self-sufficient; details from visitor centre.
Campsites around town
3 O’Clock Creek camping area 121 kmRelaxed self-sufficient camping is available 10 km west of Dalhousie Springs; it’s a handy alternative if sites at the springs are busy. Access is via Mt Dare–Dalhousie Springs Rd. Firewood collection is... Find out more
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Purni Bore camping area 154 kmThis artificial bore on the threshold of the Simpson has created a wetland busy with birdlife. It’s situated at the start of the French Line, 70 km east of Dalhousie Springs and 363 km west of Birdsville. You need... Find out more
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William Creek Campground 174 kmBasic camping is offered across the road from the pub in this tiny settlement on the old Ghan Railway. A popular lift-off point for scenic flights over Lake Eyre, it’s 204 km west of Marree and halfway to... Find out more
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Marla Travellers Rest 183 kmA sprawling roadhouse-cum-motel and caravan park, this travellers’ hub is 233 km north of Coober Pedy on the busy junction of the Oodnadatta Track and Stuart Hwy.... Find out more
Halligan Point camping area 184 kmThe only designated camping area on the lake rim has sites along the western shores of Halligan Point, 71 km east of William Creek. A great place to birdwatch, relax and absorb the dazzling white open spaces. Access is... Find out more
Caravan parks around town
Opal Inn Caravan Park 176 kmThis centrally located park is part of a large hotel complex. It is ideally suited to tourists, has good clean facilities and is within easy walking distance of the shopping centre. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more
Stuart Range Caravan Park 177 kmLocated close to the Stuart Highway, this spacious park has good facilities and a range of accommodation. The shower blocks now boast granite benchtops. We recommend the park’s pizza bar for those who enjoy pizza.... Find out more
Rest areas around town
Mathesons Bore rest area 150 km
111km N of Coober Pedy (L) or 41km S of Cadney (R)
Secluded in the scrub well off the highway.
What's on around town
Races and gymkhana: May.
Bronco Branding: July.