An outback drive blazed by famous cattle thief Harry Readford in 1870, the Strzelecki Track is today one of Australia's most iconic 4WD tracks.
Hema HX-1 Navigator
|Grading||High ground clearance required|
|Time||Two days minimum|
|Distance||475km, Lyndhurst to Innamincka|
|475km, Lyndhurst to Innamincka|
|Best time of year||April to October|
|Warnings||Light truck tyres are recommended for this route. Remote area with no reliable water and no supplies along the track.|
|Permits and fees||None apply but entry to Innamincka Regional Reserve requires a day/camping permit or a Desert Parks Pass|
|Camping||Lyndhurst Hotel Motel
|Important contacts||Leigh Creek Police Ph (08) 8675 2004
SA Road conditions Ph 1300 361 033, http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/OutbackRoads
Desert Parks Hot Line, Port Augusta Ph 1800 816 078
Lyndhurst Ph (08) 8675 7782
Innamincka Ph (08) 8675 9909
The Strzelecki Track is perhaps best known for the fact that it was created by an infamous cattle thief named Harry Readford (spelt Redford in Queensland), who blazed the trail out of necessity, attempting to move 1000 head of cattle from South Australia to Queensland. In 1872, he was found not guilty by a jury that was so astounded by his accomplishment that they couldn’t convict him for the crime. These days, the journey can be completed in a 4WD vehicle without a high degree of driving skill.
What to expect
The Strzelecki Track runs for 475km from Innamincka to Lyndhurst, with a shorter route of 458km allowing travellers to get from Moomba to Innamincka. It is advised that travellers take this route mainly in the dry season, as the single lane track can become somewhat treacherous during the rains.
It is important that visitors venture out onto the Strzelecki Track fully prepared, with food, fuel and water, since the track requires self sufficiency. There is a fuelling station located on the track, but unfortunately it is situated at the end.
The Flinders Ranges
Journeying along the track, travellers will find that they pass through the Flinders Ranges right at the start. This is the biggest range in South Australia and begins about 200km north of Adelaide. The Wilpena Round is perhaps the most characteristic aspect of the range and it is this natural amphitheatre that boasts the highest peak on the range, St Mary Peak. Once the northern tip of the ranges has come to an end, the landscape becomes flat and very easy to traverse, with dunes offering 4WD enthusiasts the chance to let loose.
Mount Hopeless, otherwise known as Maiurru Mitha Vambata, makes up part of the Flinders Ranges and it reaches a less-than-impressive 127m high. It was Edward Eyre who named the hill after becoming disillusioned with his attempt to reach the centre of the continent of Australia.
Montecollina Bore Camping Site
The Montecollina Bore camping area is a rest stop for those who have already made it halfway along the Strzelecki Track. It is here where the bore reaches out to various dams in the area, spilling its waters into their basins. It should be noted that the camping site is only accessible during the dry season and it is on private property.
The site offers vehicle based camping and it is free of charge. It should be noted that there is no fuelling station available at this point. It is also worth noting that no animals are permitted at this camp site.
The Innamincka Regional Reserve
The Innamincka Regional Reserve is located 1,046km from Adelaide and it can be accessed via the Strzelecki Track by taking Leigh Creek. It is generally a good idea for visitors to read the Desert Parks Bulletin before paying a visit to the park because this resource will provide them with up-to-date information about access, as well as road conditions.
The reserve is set on 13,541 km2 of land and offers visitors everything from wetlands to arid outback conditions. From this location, visitors will the chance to experience some of the history of this area of Australia in the flesh by exploring the sites where famous explorers Burke and Wills died. The area also offers great fishing spots in the shade of the gums, as well as boating and canoeing opportunities.
The Strzelecki Track is an exciting destination for the well prepared, with the chance to experience historic landmarks along the way. The track will give visitors variety in scenery, but it isn’t as testing on the driver’s abilities as many other Australian tracks, making it one for a wider mixture of 4WD enthusiasts looking for a memorable escape.