Motorcycle Explorer Issue 17 - Page 37

Continuing, passing numerous salt pans, we reached Lake Eyre South, providing some indication as to how vast this mostly dry salt lake is – in fact it’s said to be the size of Belgium. Here we met an old German fellow who was on his third solo trek of the Australian outback. He’d made his first about 10 years earlier when he had retired and loved it so much he bought an old 70 series Toyota Landcruiser which he picks up every time he comes back to Australia. His stories were very interesting and a great inspiration. Amazingly, he was in greater awe of us riding bikes.

Our last stop would now be Marree, end of the Oodnadatta Track, that is until we came over a hill and saw a giant dingo on the side of the road. Then in the distance a couple of single engine aircraft sticking out of the ground, as well as a giant robot thing with a huge male member. It was also carrying a baby, I’m not sure if it was excited by the bikes or was some weird representation of St Christopher. I laughed as I remember a story once told by the great comedian, Billy Connolly.

Apparently this strange collection is Mutonia, a sculpture park created by one man. It was certainly interesting and I could’ve spent hours exploring but we had to push on, it was around 40 degrees, getting late and Megan was feeling quite ill, the heat was taking its toll. Marree was just down the road … 30km in fact.

Marree, sits at the southern end of three iconic tracks (Oodnadatta; Birdsville and Strezlecki) and is a living monument to what was the original line for the Ghan. Train memorabilia litter the town that boasts an impressive station and hotel. Sadly, the town is now in decline and has a population of just 150 people, mostly male.

Marree is unique, a place that needs to be visited, not least the Yacht Club (you read right, in the middle of the desert there’s a yacht club) but that’s all for another time … perhaps when we take on the Birdsville Track …

The end of the track. Marree is the hub of several iconic Australian desert track. The streets are littered with the ghosts of the past, some are even for sale.