South Australia

Places

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Marree

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William Creek

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Innamincka

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Oodnadatta

National Parks
 

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Flinders Ranges National Park

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Gawler Ranges National Park

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Mt Remarkable National Park

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Innanincka Regional Reserve

Tracks

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Cordillo Downs Road

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Oodnadatta Track

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Birdsville Track

Map

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The Birdsville Track

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facts:

 

Total length

524 km

Longest distances to fuel

Marree to Mungerannie :210 km
Mungerannie to Birdsville :314 km

Degree of difficulty

Easy to Medium: normally an good Gravel-Road; medium because of  long, monotonuos driving

General Stores, Petrol Stations:

Marree, Mungerannie, Birdsville

Time

2 days

Maps

Westprint-Heritage Map: Birdsville- and Strzelecki-Track

Camping Spots Cooper Creek camping area (137 km north of Marree), Mungerannie Roadhouse, Tippipila Creek camping area (178 km south of Birdsville)

Description

In 1880 E.A.Burt pioneered the route that we know as the Birdsville Track. The Track was used as a stock route to drove the cattle down from southwest Queensland to the closer markets of Adelaide. The cattlemen needed 5 to 6 weeks to cover the 524 km from Birdsville to Marree.

In 1884 the railway line reached Marree and the town became a major supply point for the places further north, including Birdsville. Afghan traders led their camels from here along the Birdsville Track taking all the goods for the places north of Marree.
The camels were replaced by vehicles in the 1930 and the drovers by Road Train 30 years later. During the 1930s Tom Kruse began driving the mail along the Track. During that time the track was hard and many people lost their lives in this remote and very hot area of South Australia.

Today the Birdsville Track is a good dirt road (when dry) and is a famous Outback Track. But it is a long trip and should not taken too easy. The Track goes through very dry and remote areas and vast empty spaces. It can be exhausting, when driving all the day. It's better to plan at least 2 or more days to cover the track and to explore the area. There's more to see than it seems at first glance (see also: Planning ahead).
On the half way between Marree and Birdsville Mungerannie Roadhouse is the only supply point along the track. A visit at the bar for a cold drink is a must.
There are some good descriptions of the Birdsville Track in several Travel Guides, e.g. "Outback Australia" (Lonely Planet). If you want to know more about history of the Birdsville Track, I recommend the book "Marree and the tracks beyond" by Lois Litchfield. You can buy this book in Marree or Mungerannie Roadhouse.

Camping at the Mungerannie Wetlands near the Roadhouse can be a unique experience, especially at sunrise. This place is a must for those who like bird watching.

I did the Birdsville Track several times, the last time in March 2006. The road conditions were fairly good. I camped at the Wetlands near Mungerannie Hotel. The bird life here is amazing. John and Genevieve at the Hotel, where I went to in the evening, have been very friendly hosts. They can tell you about everything you need to know about the area along the Birdsville Track. There have been some more people at the Hotel that night and it is a lot of fun to have some drinks and talking to other travellers.

 
Sunrise at the Mungerannie Wetlands:

 

 
Dingo Fence at Birdsville Track  
 

Near Coopers Creek

Mungerannie Wetlands  
 

You can't miss Mungerannie Roadhouse

© 2006 / Jörg-Jost Michaelis. Updated: 23.6.2006