One of the old Ghan diesel locomotives
(Click on the image above to see images of Marree)

Today we pulled up stakes at the beautiful Parachilna Gorge camp and moved further north to Marree. Marree is the head of the real outback in many ways as it is where both the Oodnadatta Track and the Birdsville Track commence.

Our first stop was Leigh Creek which was the base of the now closed Leigh Creek coal mine. Driving in, it really reminded me of an old army town in the way it was laid out and the type of accommodation available. Seems only the supermarket is open now and the local garage. In hindsight we should of filled up with fuel there as you could get water if you were a fuel customer. It turned out there was no water available at Marree so we had to make do with what we had in our tanks.

We did do some shopping at Leigh Creek and then drove on to Lyndhurst where the black top ends and the dirt begins. And so it starts, the dirt all the way now until we get off it. Still, it’s a far better way of seeing the country, or so it seemed at the time.

We stayed in Marree at the Oasis Caravan Park. It was highly praised on Wikicamps for its $15 a head camp meal of an evening. We enjoyed a lovely mixed grill, bread and butter pudding and some great company with other travellers on the road.

We also had an enjoyable tour of the town including the local cemetery.  Interesting thing about the cemetery is the graves of the Afghan cameleers.  Because they were Muslim, they are buried with their heads facing Mecca.

Another highlight was the truck that used to be used by Tom Kruse.  His was an amazing story as the outback mailman who used to deliver good and mail to all the stations between Marree and Birdsville.  I have a video about his life and he would be a very worthwhile Google search for you or follow the link on his name above to a Wikipedia article.


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