10 Day Outback Aussie Pub Crawl
You will be collected from your Adelaide accommodation at 7am this morning and transferred to Adelaide Airport for your flight to Coober Pedy. The flight time is approximately 2 hours, arriving at 11.20am.
You will be collected from Coober Pedy airport by Sacred Earth Safaris for a brief town tour.
Coober Pedy is as famous for it’s underground homes as it is for it’s opals and 50% of the population live underground (in homes called “dugouts”), as well as using underground shops and churches.
After lunch and checking into the hotel, we take a guided tour through a working Opal Mine, where we get an insight of what it means to be an Opal Miner.
Late this afternoon, we make our way out of town to the nearby Breakaways Reserve, offering a striking & unique example of arid scenery. From the flat - topped mesas to the stony gibber desert, remnants of millions of years provide a wealth of geological interests and breathtaking views. There are two lookout points which highlight the open spaces and colourful environment, leaving an impression of the long gone inland sea that our early explorers dreamt of. From the lookout, the locally named “Castle” or “Salt & Pepper” can be seen in an easterly direction. This outcrop has been used in a number of films and advertisements, while Panorama Hill situated in the middle, features in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Ground Zero. As the day goes by, the passing of the sun changes the desert colours, creating photogenic scenes that appear surreal.
There are no Outback Pubs in Coober Pedy but it is quite an experience to sleep underground and a unique way to start the tour.
Overnight accommodation- underground motel room with en-suite, Coober Pedy
**alternative option is that once you fly into Coober Pedy, we travel straight to Oodnadatta to stay at the Pink roadhouse- again, not actually an Outback Pub but certainly a famous Outback Roadhouse !**
Day 2 (B,L,D)
This morning we depart Coober Pedy early and head across the Moon Plain to the Painted Desert (Arckaringa Hills). The Moon Plain is rich in fossil deposits, evidence of the inland sea that covered this region 120 million years ago and offers a vast expanse of rocky plains unlike anywhere else. The strange lunar landscape has been used for many Hollywood movies including Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome, Pitch Black, Red Planet and Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
The Painted Desert is an ancient Inland Sea bed where the hills are the result of rain, weather and erosion. The slopes and shapes include many different colours and shades of orange, yellow and white- hence the name “Painted Desert”.
After viewing and photographing the Painted Desert from the lookout, we continue through to Oodnadatta. Famous for it’s pink roadhouse, the town was originally created when the Overland Telegraph Line was laid and then became the northern terminus for the Central Australia Railway.
After lunch at the roadhouse we join the 615km unsealed Oodnadatta Track, which follows the Old Ghan Railway line and the Overland Telegraph, after it was originally mapped by the explorer, John McDouall Stuart.
The Oodnadatta Track is littered with ruins of old town sites, station ruins, homes, cairns and remnants of the old railway line, the short-lived gold rush and the Overland Telegraph Line. En-route to William Creek, we stop at Algebuckina Bridge historic site and some of the station ruins.
We arrive at William Creek, the smallest settlement in South Australia with a population of 3 humans and a dog ! It’s located 165km’s from the nearest town and sits in the largest cattle station in the world (Anna Creek-approximately the size of England).
Overnight accommodation - motel room with en-suite, William Creek Pub Hotel, middle of nowhere, Outback South Australia
Day 3 (B,L,D)
There's time for optional scenic flights over Lake Eyre (own expense).
Departing William Creek, we make our way out to Halligan Bay at Lake Eyre North for a look at the magnificent lake with it’s incredible colours and patterns. Lake Eyre is Australia’s lowest point, the largest inland lake in Australia and the largest salt lake in the world ! The Lake contains 400 million tonnes of salt and is 15 metres below sea level. Donald Campbell set a land speed world record of 649 kmh in his turbine car "Bluebird" on its dry bed back in 1964.
We continue exploring the Oodnadatta Track this morning, heading south towards Marree. We stop several times en-route, including the natural artesian springs within Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park. The Blanche Cup and The Bubbler mound springs are created from water deep within the Great Artesian Basin which filters to the surface forming mounds and bubbling ponds.
After stopping at the Lake Eyre South lookout, we pass the famous dingo fence again and then reach Marree, which is situated at the crossroads of the Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks. The town also has a rich Aboriginal, Afghan and European heritage.
After checking into our accommodation, you have some free time to look around the town or visit the Tom Kruse Museum.
Overnight accommodation – motel room with en-suite, Marree Pub Hotel
Day 4 (B,L,D)
Departing Marree, we now travel north on the famous stock route, which is the Birdsville Track. The track passes through the Tirari and Sturt Stony Deserts and is extremely remote but strikingly beautiful in its harshness.
The 517km track, which traverses vast gibber strewn plains and sand dunes, was established in the 1860s as the main stock route to bring cattle from central Queensland to the railway in Marree. In these days the track had a grim reputation, many people and mobs of cattle lost their lives, so the Track is rich in history and tragedy. It later became an important as a freight route into the outback and in the 1930’s, it even had it’s own mail route, on which the legendary mailman, Tom Kruse, worked for almost 20 years. You can still see one of his old mail trucks in Marree.
We have a look at the ruins of the Lake Harry Date Plantation and then stop at the Cooper Creek Crossing, before before driving through The Natterannie Sandhills to our accommodation this evening, at the historic Mungerannie Hotel. The hotel is close to the beautiful hills of Mungerannie Gap, which are the largest geographical sight along the Birdsville Track (150m) and the Mungerannie wetlands provides refuge for a variety of birds and animals, especially in times of drought. The hotel also has an artesian hot pool. We have the rest of the afternoon free for bird watching, photography and relaxation.
Overnight accommodation- Mungerannie Hotel, basic motel room with shared bathrooms
Day 5 (B,L,D)
Our destination today is Birdsville. En-route we pass Mirra Mitta Bore, a hot flowing artesian bore, and Clifton Hills Station, the largest on the track. The last leg of the track, into Birdsville, takes us past Koonchera Dune.
We arrive into Birdsville at lunchtime and have the afternoon to explore this famous, remote, outback town- visit the Birdsville Working museum, the ruins of the Royal Hotel, the Old Birdsville Courthouse and / or visit the Birdsville Billabong, where you can have a swim (conditions permitting) and bird watch. Birdsville is a haven for bird-watchers with pelicans, water hens, cockatoos, gallahs, brolgas, emus and more living along the pristine Diamantina River and in the surrounding bush.
Late this afternoon, we drive out to Big Red, the largest and most famous sand dune in the Simpson Desert. It offers fantastic photo opportunities, especially at sunset.
Overnight accommodation- Birdsville Hotel, motel room with en-suite
Day 6 (B,L,D)
We head south again today, through Cattle Country and back into South Australia to Innamincka, made famous by Victorian explorers Burke and Wills and their ill-fated exploration across central Australia.
En-route we enjoy the view at Deon's Lookout and visit The Dreamtime Serpent – a work of art representing a series of pathways travelled through Country to connect the river systems in the Channel Country of the Diamantina Shire. The Serpent has been created using gravel and gibbers found throughout the shire.
On arrival into Innamincka, we visit the famous Burke and Wills Dig Tree (camp LXV). It was here that the explorers left a base camp while they continued north, along with King and Grey. In charge of the camp, Brahe waited longer than he’d been requested to but his decision to return south only hours before the Burke and Wills party returned, is one of the most unfortunate coincidences in Australian history. Grey died en-route to Innamincka, Burke and Wills died along Cooper Creek and King was the sole survivor, being cared for by Aboriginal people until the back up party found him.
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Innamincka Pub Hotel (2 night stay)
Innamincka Hotel once played host to early drovers who brought cattle down the Strzelecki Track and nowdays the Outamincka Bar has become the stuff of bush legends.
Day 7 (B,L,D)
We catch our breath today as we spend the day in Innamincka.
Go for a walk down to Cooper Creek and depending on conditions, it may be possible to swim, take a cruise or hire kayaks from the pub (cruise and kayaks are additional cost).
We can, depending on your preferences, also visit Wills Memorial or Kings Marker.
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Innamincka Pub Hotel
Day 8 (B,L)
We depart Innamincka this morning and head south through the Strzelecki Desert and join the last of our legendary Outback Tracks- the Strzelecki Track. Explorer Charles Sturt named the track after Polish explorer and geologist Paul Edmund de Strzelecki and the 465km track runs north <>south from Lyndhurst to Innamincka.
The Track was pioneered as a cattle route by bushman Harry Redford (AKA Captain Starlight), who brought 1000 stolen cattle from Queensland to South Australia in 1871 without a single death.
Our first stop today is the viewpoint at the Moomba oil and gasfields. Natural gas was first discovered in the region in 1966 and was followed by the discovery of oil in 1970. Moomba is now a major supplier of both for Australian and overseas markets.
We continue down the Strzelecki Track until we reach Lyndhurst and our accommodation for the night at the Lyndhurst Pub.
Overnight accommodation- basic motel room with shared bathrooms, Lyndhurst Pub Hotel OR the Leigh Creek Pub Hotel in Copley
**Though not an Outback Pub, an alternative option is the Leigh Creek Outback Resort in Leigh Creek, in rooms with en-suites**
Day 9 (L,D)
Today we make our way into the central Flinders Ranges, known for their unique beauty, indigenous history, ancient geological formations, rich colours and textures and abundant wildlife. The Flinders Ranges are home to a huge array of plant species, birds, reptiles and mammals and the vibrant colours of the 800 million-year-old quartzite and limestone outcrop that is the Flinders, are truly spectacular.
Firstly we take the Brachina Gorge Geological Trail, a trail that passes through 130 million years of earths history, including meteorite debris, stromatolites and fossilized plany and animal life. It offers an insight into past climates, the formation of the ranges and the evolution of early forms of life. It's also an important refuge for the rare and endnagered Yellow- footed rock wallaby.
We travel through the ABC and Heysen Ranges to nearby Bunyeroo Gorge and a stop for photos at Razorback Lookout.
You also have the option of taking a walk into Wilpena Pound or take a scenic flight (at own expense). Walk along the beautiful Wilpena Creek, framed by huge river red gums, into Wilpena Pound. Walking on to the Old Hills Homestead, you can learn about the hardships the Hills family had to face at the turn of the century with the option of walking up to the Wangara lookout to see the mystical heart of the Flinders Ranges with stunning views over Wilpena Pound. There is a shuttle available to shorten the walk.
We finish theday taking the Moralana Scenic Drive, which connects the Wilpena and Leigh Creek roads and is known as one of the best drives in the Flinders Ranges. We'll see stunning scenery featuring the Southern wall of Wilpena Pound, Black Gap Lookout, Red Range, Elder Range and more
Our accommodation tonight and the last Outback Pub on the tour, is in the tiny town of Parachilna, at the Prairie Hotel, a favourite among film makers and photographers and famous Australia- wide for it's Feral Food :The Feral Mixed Grill has been listed as one of the top 10 Gourmet experiences in Australia ! Don't worry- non feral food is also available !
Overnight accommodation- motel room with en-suite, Prairie Hotel
Day 10 (B,L)
Departing the Flinders Ranges, we head south towards Hawker, the hub of the Flinders Ranges and a thriving railway town until the line was relocated west in 1956.
We continue to Quorn, home to the famous Pichi Richi Railway and many heritage buildings. The Quandong Café is located in the oldest stone building in Quorn, at 130 years old and is home to the famous Quondong Pie.
The last leg of our journey takes us back onto the highway and from here we continue south to Adelaide
We arrive in Adelaide at approximately 6pm and you will be dropped off at your accommodation
B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner
This tour is operated as a private tour only (sole use of tour vehicle and driver guide) and can depart on any day, subject to availability and weather and road conditions, between October and April inclusive.
The itinerary can be amended to suit your requirements, so please contact us for more information or a quote.
Click here for our scheduled 11 Day South Australia Outback tour, including many of the pubs in the above itinerary.
• Sole use of 4WD tour vehicle with professional driver guide & purpose built heavy duty trailer
• Meals as stated
• Accommodation as listed
• Permits and entry fees
• Big Red sunset tour
• Opal mine tour at Coober Pedy
• Pre & Post tour accommodation
• Travel insurance
• Arrival / departure flights
• Optional extra activities such as cruise or kayaks in Innamincka and Lake Eyre scenic flight
Opportunities to see practically everything in the area toured. Our guide was full of information and responsive to requests. Good accommodation considering the locations. Your tour made it possible to see isolated places that we have heard about. It would have been otherwise difficult to see so many places so effortlessly and comfortably. Great tour !
Jeff and Jill, travelled Oct 2019