Next was the Oodnadatta Track, the part Steve had been the most excited about. The track is for 4WDs only and can, at times, be in pretty rough condition. We rang ahead to Pinky's Roadhouse (as everyone had told us to do) to find out what it was like - and we were in luck. It had been graded just recently. They advised us to reduce the tyre pressure a little, so Steve did that and we were able to drive along at 80 to 100 kph the whole way.
The start of the Oodnadatta Track
Our very own 'Crocodile Dundee' moment
The first overnight stop along the Track was at William Creek. A town with a population of 6. We planned to stay at the pub, but it was fully booked due to it being the closest place to stay near Lake Eyre, which was full at the time (more on that below). So we camped in the dirt carpark out the back of the pub. Classy.
William Creek - the pub is actually the ENTIRE town
Sunset at William Creek
Lake Eyre happened to be full while we were there - a big event, as this salt lake only fills once in a generation (although it has recently happened again, so I guess it's twice for this lucky generation!). We took the opportunity to drive out to see it. We were a little disappointed, as we had heard about masses of birds flocking over it - we saw none of that, and nor did the people who had paid to take scenic flights over the lake. But we still walked on the lake.
We walked on Lake Eyre, Abbey stood on it.
From there, we continued along the Oodnadatta Track, stopping for a dip at Coward Springs - natural mineral springs - and eventually making it to Marree at the end of the Track.
Then our trip took an unexpected turn. We planned to head to the Flinders Ranges and do some hiking. Off we went to Wilpena Pound, where we camped for a night and lost all motivation... we set off for a hike, but got sidetracked by a bar on the way to the track, where we sat and had a few drinks instead. Then it poured with rain that night, while we sat in the tent and devised a new plan.
And so our trip concluded with a few nights in the Barossa Valley. We splurged and stayed in a gorgeous little cottage, which was fairly basic but relative luxury to us after almost three weeks of camping. I mean, it had (shock!) a kitchen and (wow!) a hot shower and EVEN a bathtub. Heaven. Oh, and it was, of course, rather close to a lot of wineries, at which we had no choice but to partake in some tastings...
And make Abbey pose for some shots amongst the grapevines:
That's all! Thanks for reading as I shared our first holiday with our little girl. We're headed on a very different type of holiday in just over a month - to Samoa! I can't wait to share that one.