Posted on June 17, 2021
Blog #13 – The Oodnadatta Track Pt 2 – Days 73 to 79 of 180
I was determined to finish the final stretch of the Oodnadatta Track from Marla to Oodnadatta. This last leg of the track is roughly 220 klm long. This section was not part of the Ghan line as it deviated north just out of Oodnadatta so there really are no major points of interest. The road was quite good and we had read that there was a good campsite to be found at Kathleen Creek some 120 klms out of Marla. We passed the turn off to Todmoden Station so knew that the campsite was just a couple of kilometres further on the right.
Luckily for us the section of creek was full and we found a lovely flat campsite area. The game plan was to spend a couple of days here which turned into six days so we could fill in some time before the need to head north for the Finke Desert Race.
Added bonus was once the camp was setup and beer-o-clock was upon us we discovered that two wild budgerigars had built a nest in a broken branch of the tree just on the edge of the waterhole in front of us. They were not fussed by us being so close and chattered away on a branch only 10 metres away – probably critiquing our camp setup!!!!
The next few days went past in a blur and it was very relaxing. As our only chore was to find firewood to keep us warm around the campfire at night. We found a complete dead tree which another camper identified as Acacia Estrophiolata, commonly known as Ironwood, we can attest to that as it blunted both of our chainsaw chains in a matter of minutes. We found the best tool to cut this timber was my Silky 650mm Katanaboy saw.
This two-handed, professional, heavy-duty folding saw has a 650mm blade. Can easily compete with a chainsaw! Compared with the Katana, the legendary Japanese samurai sword, it is the largest folding saw on the market today. The long, well-balanced, taper-ground blade with an impulse-hardened, non-set tooth design provides extended working reach, faster cutting and handles large limbs and trunks with no effort. The non-slip, two-handed, rubberized cushioned handle provides a sure and comfortable grip even in the most difficult operating conditions. Suitable for serious tasks like cutting large timber and tree trunks. Exceptional design, strength, balance and superior finish quality. Comes with a sturdy nylon shoulder bag with Velcro fastening and a pocket for replacement blades. Made in Japan. So, the blurb goes – I know they work as I also have the 300 mm BigBoy saw for smaller jobs. For those who do a lot of camping in NSW National Parks these can be used in place of chainsaws which are not allowed. A very good investment to add to your camping gear.
The next few days was spent doing some very lazy photography sitting in a camp chair as birds flew into the tree next to us. Main visitors were galahs as well as our resident budgies with a few small honeyeaters. There were Australasian Grebes on the waterhole as well as Pacific Black Ducks and Wood Ducks but they stayed too far away to get really good shots. Everyday we had a flying visit from a Black Kite but he also stayed too far away for a really good shot but I did try.
Finally, it was time to pack up and complete one of the more unpleasant tasks of camping off grid and that was to empty the toilet cassettes. Being good campers, we had dug a pit over a metre deep that was out and away from the watercourse. That task done it was time to hit the road for the last 80 klms into Oodnadatta.
A few kilometres outside of Oodnadatta we came to Angle Pole Memorial, which marks the point where the Old Telegraph Line and the old Ghan line turn north and commemorates all those involved in the building of the Overland Telegraph Line between Adelaide and Darwin.
We also passed many of the old mound spring mesas which have warning signs not to drive up and over them on the final leg into town which most people have respected. Finally rolled into Oodnadatta to complete the track from end to end all 640 klm of it.
Time for another Oodnaburger washed down with a cold ale. Replenish the beer stocks and purchase some nibbles, top off the fuel tanks before heading north on our next leg of our adventure. We had completed the 617 klm of the Oodnadatta Track.