Larrikins, Landscapes and Loos! Lyndhurst South Australia

Lyndhurst Loo, Outback South AustraliaIf 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. Inside the Loo, Lyndhurst South Australia

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! Ochre Cliffs near Lyndhurst South AustraliaLike what? Like THESE!

Lyndhurst Personalities

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. Near the start of the Strzelecki Track, LyndhurstAn 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. Talc Alf's Talc Town, LyndhurstOr 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!

Railway History

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. Outback sky above the old railway yards, Lyndhurst

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.

Old Railway Station Sign with Lyndhurst in the background, South AustraliaOnce 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?  

The Lake

Lyndhurst Lake, Outback South Australia

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

Sky above the Strzelecki Track, via Lyndhurst, South AustraliaTo 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. Strzelecki Track surface, via Lyndhurst South Australia

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

Early evening at the Ochre Pits via LyndhurstThe 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. Outback Colours at the Ochre Pits, Lyndhurst South Australia

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!

FAST FACTS:

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!

Outback evening sky, Lyndhurst

Want MORE?

Lyndhurst South Australia

The Strzelecki Track

Marree

The Farina Bakery

MORE Lyndhurst photos on Flickr

Oh! Nearly forgot. There’s one more thing to track down in Lyndhurst – its very own UFO!  Can YOU find it? Lyndhurst UFO makes a landing

18 comments

  • hmm… at first glance I thought Lyndhurst was one of those blink and you miss it places, but then when I went back and checked on my photos from 2013 I realised that we had in fact been there. My husband actually changed the tyre on our camper trailer in the carpark of the hotel because the tyre repair guy had gone to lunch! No doubt I did visit the loo, as you do! Happy travels Red!

    • I went for years without really noticing the loos I visited, Jill – now my first thought is to take my camera in with me, although that sometimes scores me some VERY strange looks 😀 I thought if you’d been on one of the ‘tracks’ you would have been through Lyndhurst – but there’s more to it than meets the eye!

  • I must have driven through Lyndhurst on our way to Maree and Lake Eyre but I can’t say I remember it. (we were on a tour bus). The colours are magic.

    • It’s a real blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town, Diane! A tour bus probably wouldn’t have stopped there unless the bus was full of railway enthusiasts! I wasn’t actually going to write a separate post about Lyndhurst, but I really like the photos I took of it and thought they deserved their own outing!

  • Great shot of Lyndhurst Lake with the reflection of the trees in the water. I have an Aussie post for you today Redz 😉

  • There sure is a lot of nothing out there! But I do love the barren-ness of the outback, the blue skies and the ochre dirt. It has an appeal all of its own. I haven’t driven through the centre of Australia yet, only done the Ghan train which was incredible.

    • I would LOVE to do the Ghan trip, Kathy – I’m SOOO jealous! The older I get, the more I like the nothing – there’s something about those dramatic Outback colours and vistas I find very appealing. Even though I AM a fairweather traveller who only sees them when the weather is cooler!

  • The “legends” (I need quotation marks!) are so fun to read! I’m not used to this kind of stories – I’m not Aussie – but I don’t hate the atmosphere. With your photos of outback views, I can imagine that the “legends” could take place there.
    But I like the UFO the best, actually!!

  • You make the small town of Lyndhurst seem quite fascinating. Great photos.
    My wife is giving me your book for my birthday. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

    • Haha, TFG – there’s a lot of intriguing history in many of these old towns, but because they’re out in the middle of nowhere with inhospitable temperatures for much of the year, they’re often overlooked!! On another matter, I thought you had my book already??

  • Love this post with all the wonderful colours and the surprise of the lake. How the locals must love that!

    • I didn’t ask anyone why the lake was there Pauline – it’s possibly the town water supply, and more than likely bore water, given the low rainfall. I’m such a fair weather tourist – the winter temperatures were perfect for me, and I sure wouldn’t want to be there in summer 😀

  • That toilet block is a TARDIS in reverse, much bigger on the outside, if your inside photo is anything to go by.
    It’s quite desolate out there, but still very beautiful.
    Australia is commonly known as ‘the wide brown land’, but all your photos prove that wrong. The reds, oranges, yellows of the landscapes, plus the trees and lakes, show we are just as colourful as the rest of the world.

    • I’ve often wondered where that ‘wide brown land’ thing came from, River! Although it DOES look very brown from a plane flying over the interior!! Desolate is an understatement, but its beauty is not – and although I get that aridity is an acquired taste for some, I find it fascinating, dramatic and endlessly beautiful!!

  • We very surely missed Lyndhurst!
    Despite seeing Marree , Windorah, Birdsville and Oodnadatta (not in that order).
    Lotto… huh. Need to play and win.

    • Haha, you probably blinked when you when through it, Iris! If you’ve been to those other places, the chances are you’ve also seen Lyndhurst unless you went straight from the Oodnadatta track to the Birdsville track (or vice versa)? And you’re WAY ahead of me – I haven’t done either of those tracks! Have a great day, my friend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *