Arkaroola to Marree

While spending 3 nights at Arkaroola was nice, we had to move on. Unfortunately our travelling companion Dave decided to leave us at this point, so from here on, there is just the 4 vehicles.

Our next stop was at Marree, which is the start of the Oodnadatta track.  However we have a bit to do today before getting to Marree and the day started off with the lovely drive from Arkaroola to Copely.

Along the way we encountered emu’s, massive birds of prey and of course kangaroo’s. Though there were some close calls, we managed to avoid hitting any. This image shows a stubborn eagle that didn’t want to let us past.


Arriving at Copely for morning tea was good timing as the Quondong Cafe in Copely had just taken a fresh batch of Quondong Pies out of the oven so we of course had to sample another one.

This pie was pretty good with the pastry not as short as the last one with more filling. It was still warm and a little runny but very tasty!


From Copely we headed to our scheduled supply point which is a little mining town called Leigh Creek, just 5 minutes south of Copely. Here we stocked up on fuel, which turned out to be a wise move (more on that in the next post), and food from the Food Store. The food store was well stocked with everything we could want, including non-frozen Gluten Free Bread for Rob.

While stocking up was great, the real goal for the day, for me anyway, was to get to the Farina Ruins. Farina is on the road to Marree and was a town set up in an attempt to grow wheat in this area in the 1800’s. Needless to say this didn’t work out all that well due to drought and the town degraded so that now only rubble remains of what used to be little town.

However, a very energetic group of local volunteer’s have been working to raise money and restore the ruins of Farina, and they started by restoring the old Farina Bakery, which is partially under ground. The Farina Bakery operates in peak times, which is the cooler months of the year.

You can stop in here and buys some freshly baked bread from the bakery as well as purchase some souvenirs  to help them raise money for the restoration project. You can even help by donating a bag of cement.

Here is a shot of us parked at the ruins, you can see the restored bakery on the left, as well as the make shift tent that is used as the store front.


And here is the fresh bread we bought to have for lunch 🙂


We stopped in a the camp ground here to use the facilities, and were pleasantly surprised by the camping area. Very lovely spot with good facilities, it would be a great place to stop and spend a night.

We continued onto our final destination which was Marree. This is a small town with maybe 2 dozen buildings. There is the Marree Hotel, which is very grand and a nice place for a drink. They also do meals and have a variety of accommodation options.

We stayed at the camp ground & caravan park which also has a few cabins available. This is operated by the Marree Roadhouse which is on the right as you enter town when heading north. This nondescript building is also the service station as well as being the general store, bottle shop and a restaurant that does breakfast, lunch and dinner.


We were lucky enough to be there on a Friday night when the roadhouse puts on a very special dinner for locals, with visitors also most welcome. We decided to join in for the meal and were very glad we did.  Along with chatting to the locals and enjoying the atmosphere there was a good selection of wine available.

However the most amazing part of the night was the dinner, which consisted of an all you can eat, help yourself spread of 3 different roasts along with roast vege’s and steamed greens.


What am amazing meal, all this for $19.50 and just the thing we were looking for at this stage in the trip.


Tomorrow we head off to William Creek on the Oodnadatta Track where we are hoping to take a flight over Lake Eyre while it is in flood.

Can’t wait!

Cheers, Kent.

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