About South Australia outback: Woomera, Coober Pedy and Lake Eyre
South Australia outback: Woomera, Coober Pedy
and Lake Eyre
Here is a magnificent journey from the south coast to the heart of Australia at Alice Springs. It runs along the Stuart Highway, which is tarmac all the way – but be careful of the huge lorries which thunder past.
For most of the time you’re travelling through desert and wilderness. Some 170 km outside Port Augusta you come to Woomera, at the edge of the secret range where Britain’s first atomic bomb was exploded in the early 1950s. Another 370 km down the road you come to Coober Pedy, the famous opal-mining centre which is equally famous for the individualistic characters who mine the opals and live in their own burrowed-out accommodation.
East of here are the large salt flats of Lake Eyre where Donald Campbell broke the world land speed record in 1964.
The distances on this route may be huge, but you should be able to cover it and still cover the best places to visit within four days.
The famous Ghan train runs from Adelaide to Alice Springs and Darwin twice a week in peak season and fortnightly December and January (http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/trains/the_ghan/). There are also buses between Alice Springs and Port Augusta. If you want to do any off-route exploring, you’ll need a 4WD.