Oodnadatta - SA



DEG: -27.54957 135.449463
DMS: 27º 32' 58.45" S 135º 26' 58.07" E
UTM: 53 J 6952612mN 544375mE
Altitude: 119.84m


Place Type

Population - Town


871.27kms North of Adelaide - Driving 1040 km (12 hours 38 mins)

Address & Contact

Oodnadatta Track
Oodnadatta SA 5734
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Web: N/A


Oodnadatta is an unusual township with a checkered history. Located 1,011 km north of Adelaide via Coober Pedy, or 1092 km via Marree and the Oodnadatta Track Oodnadatta lies just south of Lake Eyre on the edge of the Tirari Desert. With many summer temperatures reaching over 50 degrees Celsius, Oodnadatta is very close to being the hottest and driest town in Australia. The town population of around 150 is 80 per cent Aboriginal, and its people have Aranda, Antakarainnja, Loritja and Pitjantjatjara family ties. The name of the town is probably an adaptation of an Aboriginal word 'utnadata' meaning 'blossom of the mulga'.

Every road leading into Oodnadatta is unsealed and today that means the passing trade is typically 4WD tourists. Oodnadatta however, was once an important stopover point on the Central Australian Railway - the route of The Ghan.

Significant early European infrastructure occurred in the region in 1859 when explorer John McDouall Stuart's 1857 to 1862 routes was adopted as part of the Overland Telegraph Line route. During the 1870's the region was utilised extensively by pastoralists. In 1874 the explorer John Forrest camped beneath a large box tree some 8km north of Oodnadatta at Angle Pool Waterhole on a branch of the Neales River. This was probably the start of significant early European discoveries of what the local aboriginals had known for thousands of years, that good quality artesian water was readily accessible throughout the region. The discovery of good water supply meant that Oodnadatta was the ideal railhead for the new Central Australian Railway upon which the famous Ghan train operated from 1891 for the next 90 years.

From this time on, Oddnadatta become rather cosmopolitan in much the same way as many townships in other parts of Australia were suddendly populated on the back of the Goldrushes. Oodnadatta had Chinese, Afghans and attracted enterprising pioneers such as John Flynn who in 1911 designed the Oodnadatta Medical Hostel. In 1928 the railroad was extended further northward and Oodnadatta lost some of its former importance as a railhead. The decision to close the railway line and build the new Tarcoola to Alice Springs railway appeared to herald the end of Oodnadatta for European interests, however the local Aboriginal community were determined to retain the town as their home and still remain today.

Oodnadatta now consists of just one main street with the Transcontinental Hotel, the General Store and the Pink Roadhouse on one side and the old railway line and the Railway Museum on the other side.

The following video prepared exclusively for ExplorOz by Member - George Royter will give you some idea of what to expect to see whilst in the township of Oodnadatta.
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Closest Weather Station

Oodnadatta at 23/12:00pm CST
Distance from Oodnadatta 0.74km SW
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Oodnadatta Airport
Distance from Oodnadatta 0.74km SW
Mean Max. °C37.936.633.728.523.219.919.622.126.630.333.736.3
Mean Min. °C23.022.319.
Mean Rain mm22.932.214.310.912.711.710.08.19.913.913.017.1

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