Australian Bicycle Camping Fact Sheets

WATER POINTS AdelaideDarwin

2002/ July 3

References & Links


Cyclists regularly travel independently between Adelaide and Darwin. The journey is over 3000 km, can be quite hot in summer ( 45 C +) , but is quite possible with some preparation and suitable equipment, particularly for carrying water. Cyclists planning this journey should have good quality water bottles for a minimum of two litres, and may need to increase this capacity up to eight or ten litres if travelling on the main highway, more if they want side trips away from the sealed roads. "Disposable" bottles are easy to buy on the way, (less easy to carry when full!). Bladders from wine casks are useful for this purpose, carried suspended in a water bag from the bike's top bar.

 In some places, ( not many) the cyclist may need to pay for drinking water (maybe $3.00/litre). The people who sell this water are not a charity, so don’t complain.

 The following information has been gathered from several sources and cannot be guaranteed. The list is continually up-dated by bicycle travellers who use it themselves & corrections & other suggestions are very welcome !

 Key : R/h = roadhouse ; H/s = homestead ; R/S = railway station ; b/s = bike supplies ; P.O = post office ; t/o = turn off., p/b = parking bay .Note that this site recommends that you not camp in rest areas & parking bays (which tend to be very dirty - bush camps are much cleaner!)

Towns along the highway generally have all required services (except bike parts) and are thus not described in detail.

Section 1 : South Australia - Upper & Far North

1. Pt Augusta + 50 km N - * Hesso R/S disused - small area with tap & some shade.

1a. Port Aug + 63 Km Range View RA , tank , shade , nice view

2. Pt Augusta + 70 Km : Campsite at Bookaloo Railway Siding

3. Pt Augusta + aprox 105 Km N - 3rd parking bay ( ? tank)

4. Pimba camping by donation, showers

( * Woomera : supermarket, liquor store & email at library. Neat "company town")

5. Lake Hart : * two tanks at p/b on E. Tap broken 2001/apr

6. Pimba + 40 km (? Tank)

7. Wirramina Homestead (H/s) camping area

8. Glendambo - *small general store, expensive. Wash clothes at bore tap outside Mobil . Rain water in tanks, ask nicely, use sparingly. Camping $14.00 minimum.

9. Glendambo + 84 Km N - Rain Tank, shade, p/b, emergency telephone,

10. Glendambo + 124 Km - * tank, shade [ no tank or shade 2001/apr]

11. Glendambo + 160 km - * tank, shade, emergency phone

12. Coober Pedy - c/p at Opal Inn (Grass + dog shit, $9.00) or dirt elsewhere $6.00. Grocery etc at good prices! Foodtown has great "out of code" section, 7D till 1900hrs. Free www at school library till 1700 . Internet café ($8.00/hr). Charity shop Thurs & Fri 12-1500. NB last real grocery till Alice Springs or Woomera. BP has b/s

13. Coober Pedy + 75 km -Portnoura p/b. rain tank, emergency phone, very dirty area. Camp elsewhere!

14. Cadney Park R/h. - fast food etc. rain water on request, or tap is OK. No general store. C/p. next to highway now free (? Noisy)

15. Marla - c/p $6.00. Tap OK. Expensive grocery, poor selection. Pub (beer $3.75). PO and Police.

16. Marla + 118 km - The Marryat P/b - well off the road, emergency phone, tank. Bleak & dusty. [ April 2001 : new amenities, grass ]

17. Marla + 157 km (SA/NT border) - large area well off road, tank

Section 2 : Northern Territory - Kulgera to Katherine

18. Kulgera - friendly pub, v.limited groceries, but ask for more (eg flour for damper.) C/p about $5.00, grassy but dog shit, nice showers.

19. Erldunda - R/h ,c/p about $6.00. Two shops, but few groceries. Not friendly. Water tap at petrol station driveway. : Internet, shower ( $4.00). Nice bush camp sites about 10 km to W.

20. Erldunda + 32 km - p/b on W, tank & shade

21. Erldunda + 73 Km - p/b at the Finke River, water tank, table and shade

22. Camel Farm on W. - supplies available. Friendly.

22a : $2.50/shower, c/p, groceries.

23. Stuart's Well - Jim's Place c/p $7.00 pp. Shady, limited supplies.

24. Stuart's Well + 32 KM - Rest area.

25. Alice Springs (2 bike shops) . For full detail, refer Bicycle Camping Fact Sheet "Central Australia". NB : Last real grocery till Coober Pedy . Happy hour at Outpost Internet Café.

26. Alice Springs + 93 km - Connor Well - dirty.p/b. water tank, table and shade.

27. Alice Springs + 114 km - Native Gap secluded area off the road. No sign. ? tank

28. Aileron - P.O., food, friendly_ 2001. $3/shower / 28 A : Aileron + 13 Km " Tank at rest area"

29. Ti Tree - C/p grassy $6.00/single, orange trees, shady, swimming pool, store, police, liquor shop?, clinic, no "take out" from the pub.

30. Barrow Creek : free c/p $2/shower , Very friendly. Cheap meals ,"very salty bore water " Bottled Water Only - for tank water, try race track 1 km to N , or Telegraph Station

31. Wycliffe Well - store, " expensive food & camping". Internet, shower $3.00. Self styled “UFO capital of Australia”.

32. Wauchope - tap, limited supplies, pub, $4/shower, camping $5

33. Karlu Karlu , or "Devil's Marbles" - camp site , NO WATER.

34. Bonney Well - windmill on W. - tank gone !

34 A : 30km South of Tennant Creek. Tank in rest area ??

35. Tennant Creek - cycle path into town. Nice YHA with Garden camping at "Tourist Rest House" $8.00.

36. Three Ways - r/h, supposed to be very expensive. For Qld , see Urs Arnold's list of water points http://home.datacomm.ch/ursarnold/9697/waterout.htm | 36 A : Attack Creek RA, tank, shade

36a : ? 75 km N of Three Ways : C/p at Banka Banka H/s

37. Renner Springs - "Historic Renner Springs Desert Pub" - Camping, fuel, restaurant informal PO, good meals, shower $2.00 . Bread $5.00.

38. Elliot -2 Roadhouses & a very small town - supermarket, caravan park PO at BP ( recommended)

39. Elliott + 25 km, rest area, tank .

40. Dunmara - r/h Bar, caravan and Camping $5.50/ single, noisy and shady, few grocery

41. Dunmara + 27 km - p/b - on E.

42. Hi-Way Inn

43. Daly Waters Junction , or 7km on right & left at pub ( "...owned by women & famous for its meals.." but also "..no groceries available..". Note : heading E. there are no groceries between here & Booroloola )

44. Larrimah bore water OK ( no groceries )

45. Larrimah + 40 km - p/b, tank

46. Mataranka Hot Springs - t/o 8 km, Internet at Library. Manor c/p recommended. Bitter Springs is free.

47. Mataranka + 58 km - large area near road, tank

48. King River - p/b just before. also Cutta Cutta caves

49. Katherine - bike shop. free camping including (cold) showers and electricity at the Horse and Pony Club on Bicentennial Road. Woolworths 7 D till 2200 hrs. Coco's backpackers maintains a cyclists' log book. Free word processor at library. Market Saturday 0900 - 1400.

Katherine to Darwin

Note : "Dry season" May to September, with winds from SE.

 

50. (Katherine + 42 km) - 19 km E to Edith Falls c/p $6.60/pp, toilets, showers, but no grocery! Recommended.

51. Pine Creek - 2000: new YHA with camping at $5.00 / tent ! pinecreekyha@topend.com.au beware park water ! Small grocery & liquor store - last real shop for Kakadu road.

52. Emerald Springs - c/p $4.40/pp. Grass & shade. Pub

53. Hayes Creek - c/p $8.00 / pp, clean & grassy. Friendly. Some grocery & pub.

54. Adelaide River - several grocery shops, parks, pub, c/p etc.

55. Coomalie Creek - c/van park. Also nearby RA with no tank, lots of campers. Swimming if you like

56. Accacia Store c/p $5.00/ pp. Two hot food shops, some groceries. Friendly. Plenty of tap water. EFTPOS.

57. Noonamah R/h & liquor store. Small noisy park. No campsite.

58. Coolalinga : shops, fruit etc. Alt bookshop w. free www (!), short home stay contact :Michelle <michdarr@mpx.com.au> tel 8983 1999. Market Sat AM.

59. Darwin

· pleasant separated bike way runs parallel to Stuart Hwy from Howard Springs

· NB :commercial camping grounds near the city are v. noisy. Private (small ) garden campsite in Ludmila . Contact :Martin <aussiebloke@hotmail.com >.tel 8981 2473

· Bicycle map "Darwin & Palmerston Recreation & Cycle Guide" free from Darwin Council offices on Harry Chan Ave , near CBD.

· www browsing ( eg to get a copy of this document !), email ( $8.00/ hr ) , word processor ($2.00 / hr) at Public Library on Harry Chan Ave 0900 - 1730 Mon - Fri & Sat AM. Discs available at $1.00 each. Tel 8982 2563 to book time.

· email "check " (ie first two mins free) at <Byte Me> Mitchell Street

· veg & produce at "Truly Organic" 2/33 Bishop Street STURT PARK & at Parap Market ( Sat AM) <dbath@ozebyte.com.au>

· second hand clothes (good quality !) at Anglicare 5 Nemarluk Drive LUDMILA.Last Fri is "dollar day" - all stock $1.00. 


References 

Notes provided to Bicycle SA by Colin Rogers in 1989 and David Fuller in 1999.  

Cycling Northern Australia – (1997 Bob Craine) pocket sized format. A highway route guide for Sydney-Cairns-Darwin-Perth written by a practical, low tech cyclist. Covers mostly sealed roads. Good information about camp sites, food and water. Some idiosyncratic theoretical ideas. About A$10.00. ISBN 0 646 32077 7 

 "Crossing Australia's North [by bicycle] " (1990, Julia Thorn 141 pp) pocket size format. Detailed route guide for Townsville-to-Broome and Darwin / Kakadu region. Useful history and other observations. (Kangaroo Press ISBN 0 86417 305 9 )

Map of the Northern Territory -Royal Automobile Association (RAA) (Scale 1: 1 210 000). Shows services, including some "rest areas", Aboriginal lands, National Parks etc. Very small print ! ( Tel 1800 244 060 . http://www.raa.net ) A$5.00

 "Bush Camps & Rest Areas Around Australia". (Second edition , March 1998) Covers the sealed coastal highways as well as the Darwin-Adelaide route. Lists picnic/rest areas, caravan parks, Forest Camps, etc. (Note : many of these "rest areas" are littered and dirty. Note also that this guide does not mention anything about bikes!).Available from RAA and map shops or Highwayman Productions PO Box 229 OAKLANDS PARK SA 5046. About A$12.00

see also

The Stuart Highway : Coober Pedy to Port Augusta Fact Sheet ( Grace Newhaven 1999 )

Watertanks in the Australian Outback [ W Qld & Stuart Hwy ] ( Urs Arnold ) http://home.datacomm.ch/ursarnold/9697/waterout.htm

Australian Bicycle Camping Fact Sheets : Central Australia

Western Australian Coast: Water for Cyclists


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