The Little-Big Trip: From Outback to Outback
After revisiting the Flinders Ranges National Park for a couple of days, we thought it was time to head further north to get away from the cold front pushing through South Australia. The destination was Arkaroola Village, with a lunch stop at Chambers Gorge on the way. Even though we had now driven the Oodnadatta Track, out here it felt so much more isolated. There was no traffic to be seen on the tracks, for the entire day we passed one vehicle. There were some magnificent camping sites at Chambers Gorge, but being so isolated we thought we'd move on after a bite and head to the original destination.
We arrived at Arkaroola Village late in the afternoon, but had camp set up relatively quickly, in under 20 minutes - we'd had a bit of practice by this stage.
Watching the sun set behind the mountain ranges threw out some spectacular colour onto the mountains to the east, but what we were greeted with was nearly a pitch black night. There is no light pollution out here, and the moon had not risen. It all adds to the feeling of complete isolation from the rest of the world, despite being in a caravan park.
The following day was spent exploring around the Arkaroola Region, including driving the Echo Camp Backtrack 4wd track. Finally some low-range driving! It took a good 6 hours to complete the track, including a half-hearted attempt at a detour to the Paralana Hot Springs before it was decided the track was far to rough to be traversing with 2 young kids in the car. We slowly made our way back to camp, having a few stops on the way to take in the scenary of the rugged mountain ranges.
Since there didn't appear to be too much to do in the immediate region, we decided to pack up after another nights sleep, and travel as far as we could with Broken Hill as the intended destination, assuming we could make the distance.
Well, make the distance we did, plus a bit more! After a very long day of being in the car, a mixture of corrugated dirt tracks from Arkaroola to Yunta, then asphalt from Yunta to Broken Hill, I made the call to travel a little more to get to Eldee Station, and to accomodate a late arrival, we decided it a wise idea to stay in a self-contained cabin. It made for a pleasant change not having to set up the camper trailer, and to have our own personal shower and toilet - A good time to scrub the kids!
The colour of the sun set on the hills to the east was magnificent!
In one of the many gorges on the Echo Camp Backtrack loop track. Always a good time to get out, have an explore, and stretch the legs.
This gives a feel to the isolation of the region. Out here, broken down, no one would know you were here, and we only saw one other vehicle this day on this track.
Outback NSW sunset at Eldee Station. It was a great place to stay, with plenty of exploring for the little kids to get into around the old farm relics.
The camp kitchen for use by those camping at Eldee Station. It really didn't get much better!
While in the region, we visited the sculpture park in Broken Hill. Great views from the top of the hill.
One of the locals seen on the road near Silverton.
The creek beds were definitely dry out this way!
The kids having a play on one of the old farm machines on the property.
The night skies out here are very unpolluted by light, allowing some great images of the stars to be captured!