Larrikins, Landscapes and Loos! Lyndhurst South Australia
If you’re passing through Lyndhurst when nature calls, you can’t miss this little Outback Beauty – it’s right on the highway next to the Lyndhurst town sign. That’s how I knew it couldn’t possibly have been there back in 2013 when I first went to Lyndhurst.
So after crossing my legs for 25 km (15.5 miles) while driving back from my second trip to the awesome Farina bakery, I just HAD to stop.
And not just so I could check it and its classic outback setting out as a possible contender for my as yet unwritten second book of Aussie Loos with Views (read about the FIRST one HERE), either!
Aussie towns don’t come much smaller or more Outback than Lyndhurst. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see – so if you’re stopping for a loo break, stay a bit longer and check out the other Lyndhurst attractions!
Like what? Like THESE!
Lyndhurst doesn’t need a Red Nomad OZ to put it on the map – it’s already got a pretty high per capita proportion of Aussie larrikins.
Like cattle duffer (read: bushranger) Harry Readford who drove 1000 head of stolen cattle from Longreach in Queensland through Lyndhurst to Marree in 1871, thus pioneering the modern day version of the Strzelecki Track. An amazing feat – not least to the jury at his trial who acquitted him, despite compelling evidence of his guilt. While he’s not from Lyndhurst, Harry certainly helped put it on the map, and his legend lives on in Captain Starlight – a character from classic Aussie novel ‘Robbery Under Arms’.
Modern day visitors won’t find Harry Readford, but they CAN find another legendary Aussie character at his talc sculpture gallery just out of town on the Innamincka Road.
Or not! For some unknown reason, Talc Alf wasn’t at his gallery the day we dropped by so you won’t hear from me whether or not his theories about the origins of the English alphabet are valid!
But as I’m possibly the only traveller to pass through Lyndhurst South Australia without meeting TA, you’ll find records of other encounters online. Click HERE for Dr Karl Kruszelnicki’s account of his encounter with Talc Alf!
And if TA’s nowhere in sight, meet a few locals at the Lyndhurst Hotel/Motel and Caravan Park or recently re-opened Roadhouse!
Although the section of the Great Northern Railway aka ‘The Ghan’ that once made Lyndhurst an important freight centre no longer operates (a re-location 200 km (124 miles) to the west will do that!) some memorabilia remains.
And if you’re lucky enough to be travelling with a railway
obsessive enthusiast, you’ll get to see it all!
If it’s not your lucky day, look out for the old siding and stock yards between the dunny and the pub, and the old track embankment and station sign out by Talc Alf’s gallery.
Once the town was established as the main railhead for stock transport, it soon expanded. But who needs a store and post office when summer temperatures regularly exceed 40° C (104° F)?
The pub is unlikely to have been built if not for the railway, but am I the only one to find the presence of the pub and absence of the railway ironic?
A lake of this small size wouldn’t generally rate a mention anywhere else. But in a town with those killer temperatures – 46.3° C (115 F) on 6 Jan 2013 – I mentioned earlier? And an annual rainfall of around 232 mm (~9 inches)?
Down in a hollow behind near the old railway stock yards, the dam was a pleasant, albeit unexpected surprise. And all the more scenic for its dry and dusty setting!
The Strzelecki Track
To travel the Strzelecki Track, I’d need new tyres, spare parts, extra water, survival gear – actually, make that a whole new rig!
So even though driving this iconic Outback road-trip, once an Aboriginal trade trail, was off the agenda I still got a thrill from driving a little way (read: 1 km!) up the track.
The last fuel and facilities stop before Innamincka, nearly 500 km (310 miles) away, Lyndhurst’s position at the start (or is that the end?) of the Strzelecki Track makes it a scheduled stop for travellers from either up or down the track.
But with a surface like THIS (see above), just watch those tyres!
The Ochre Pits
The classic outback landscape around Lyndhurst can be stunning. But it’s at its most spectacular just 5 km (3 miles) north on the main highway at the Ochre Pits – especially in the late afternoon light.
Used for trade, ceremony, ornament, medicine, art and burial (according to the sign on site), ochre remains an important part of Aboriginal life and culture. Ochre from these pits was traded along what is now known as the Strzelecki Track – a route following the waterholes – meaning the site is protected under the Aboriginal Heritage Act.
I’d seen Ochre Pits before – but never one this big, or with so many colours.
And against that amazing blue South Australian winter sky?
Awesome! Take a break and experience Lyndhurst’s main attractions on your trip north to Marree and the Birdsville and Oodnadatta Tracks; South to the Flinders Ranges and Adelaide; or north-east along the Strzelecki Track to Innamincka!
Where: 606 km (376 miles) north of Adelaide; 33 km (20.5 miles) north of nearest town Copley; and 80 km south of Marree.
When: Temperatures are very hot in summer (Dec-Feb) so travel is recommended for the cooler months
How to get there: Self-Drive. Lyndhurst South Australia has the last facilities before Innamincka, 500 km (310 miles) away up the Strzelecki Track.
Facilities: Food, Fuel, Accomodation, Camping facilities, Toilets, some supplies available from the Roadhouse and/or Lyndhurst Hotel. It’s also only 25 km north to the Farina ruins with its seasonal bakery!
Oh! Nearly forgot. There’s one more thing to track down in Lyndhurst – its very own UFO! Can YOU find it?