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Australian Dictionary



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Australia Decoded
'O-1'




One-sided Bottlebrush>—(Calothamnus quadrifidus)
By Fritz Geller-Grimm (Own work)
[CC BY-SA 2.5 or CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons




oak—any of many Australian trees thought to resemble the oak.

oat kangaroo grassThemeda avenacea, tufted perennial, leaves concentrated at base 10-20cm, tops may be 70-120cm above ground. May occur on all soil types except very deep sands, more common in wetter sites, gilgais or roadsides or in sites protected from grazing but regularly burnt. Very palatable grass easily grazed out by continuous stocking. Feed value not high.

oatcake—a thin, unleavened, biscuit-like food made of oatmeal.

obdurodonObdurodon dicksoni, an extinct genus of platypus containing three species. It is not Australia’s oldest monotreme (Strepodon and Kollikon are older). It looked like the modern platypus but was larger, with a larger bill that contained teeth, unlike the modern variety. Obdurodon lived much like today’s platypus. Obdurodon dicksoni is known from a single skull found at Riversleigh, Queensland. Obdurodon insignis is known from some teeth and fragments of jaw and pelvis found at the Tirari Desert, South Australia. Both lived during the Middle Miocene. Monotrematum sudamericanum is now more often held as part of the same genus as obdurodon. It is known only from two lower and one upper platypus teeth found at Punta Peligro, Argentina. It lived during the lower Paleocene. Monotrematum is the only known non-Australasian platypus. The main difference, apart from continent and age, is its size: the teeth of Monotrematum are around twice as large as other platypuses'.

obs—objections.

Ocean Grove—the twin town to Barwon Heads. It is the largest town on the Bellarine Peninsula, second in population only to the city of Geelong. Fishing was the basis of the local economy until after the Second World War, when Ocean Grove's potential as a holiday resort and residential area was fully recognised. Located in the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria.

Oceania—a group of islands between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, east of Indonesia.

Oceanic Shoals bioregion—a marine environment within the Timor Sea, stretching across the reefs of northern Western Australia to Darwin, NT.

ochre—the most important painting material used traditionally by Aboriginal people. It is mined from particular sites and is a crumbly-to-hard rock heavily coloured by iron oxide. The source material was traded extensively across Australia in the past, with some material traveling many hundreds or even thousands of kilometres from where it was mined to where it was used. It comes in a variety of colours from pale yellow to dark reddish-brown.

ocker—anything typically Australian, but especially referring to the uncultivated Australian male, displaying qualities such as excessive boozing, chauvinism, uncouthness, footy worship and so on.

ockerism—pertaining to the ocker character.

ocky—an octopus.

odd bod—eccentric, strange, peculiar or weird person.

odds and sods—1. miscellaneous or random collection of people or things. 2. stray, miscellaneous articles, remnants, scraps; odds and ends.

odds-on—a situation where success is more likely than failure; a situation where one thing is more likely to happen than another.

OEA—(see: Office of the Employment Advocate).

Oenpelli—(Gunbalanya) is about 300km north-east of Darwin in the Gulf of Carpentaria, NT. Every August, the Aboriginal town hosts its Open Day Festival. This is the one day each year that outsiders can visit Arnhem Land without a permit. Oenpelli is home to about 1000 native people from the Kunwinjku tribe. For the festival, they stage an inter-tribal Australian Rules football tournament and run a number of short excursions along the river and to local rock art sites. In the Oenpelli school yard, exhibit booths are erected and performances of native dancing and music are staged throughout the day. Locals sell foods such as roast turtle (still in the shell).

Oenpelli painted caves—the Western Arnhem Land style of rock painting is typified by the art of Oenpelli, in which X-ray paintings, forceful images of spirit ancestors and delicate paintings of the Mimi spirits predominate. All are painted very finely on a plain, monochrome background. The earliest paintings collected this century were from the area now known as Oenpelli, and it is these figurative images of hunting animals and stick-like figures which have come to symbolise, for many, the very essence of Aboriginal art. The term X-ray art was originally coined because many of the Oenpelli paintings of figures, animals, birds and fish, reveal the internal organs as well as the external features. Heart, lungs, intestinal canal and spinal column were often clearly shown. Paintings of Mimis in the traditional Mimi art style depict them as thin spirit creatures in various positions which display their extreme agility and flexibility. The oldest cave paintings in Western Arnhem Land are of Mimi figures running and hunting, often wearing head dresses and carrying several weapons and utensils.

of all the cheek!—an expression of indignation at a person's impudence etc.

of the blackest/deepest dye—of the worst kind: e.g., He's a crim of the deepest dye.

of the first water—of the first or best quality; excellent.

of the order of—approximately; about.

off—(cricket) designating the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) to which the striker's feet are pointed.

off form—not playing or performing well.

off like a bride's nightie—1. remove an item of clothing in haste. 2. depart in haste; act promptly, quickly.

off like a bucket of prawns/lubra's loincloth—extremely smelly.

off like a larrikin's hat in a breeze—1. removed quickly. 2. depart hastily.

off like a robber's dog—to depart in great haste.

off (one's) block/cruet/crumpet—1. insane; crazy; mad; eccentric; foolish; stupid; irrational. 2. extremely angry.

off (one's) face—1. insane; crazy; mad; eccentric; foolish; stupid; irrational. 2. under the influence of alcohol or drugs; drunk; stones.

off (one's) game—not performing at (one's) best; out of form.

off (one's) oats—not hungry.

off (one's) own bat—independently: e.g., He did it entirely off his own bat.

off (one's) pannikin/rails/ rocker/scone/trolley—1. insane; crazy; mad; eccentric; foolish; stupid; irrational. 2. very angry, upset.

off (one's) tucker—having lost (one's) appetite for food.

off the beam—crazy; unsound; insane; mad.

off the peg—pertaining to ready-made clothes.

off the planet—1. very angry; furious. 2. drunk; intoxicated; under the influence of drugs. 3. in a confused state. 4. excellent; wonderful; worthy of admiration.

off the rails—1. mentally unbalanced; crazy; insane. 2. unbalanced; chaotic; out of control.

off with the fairies—not concentrating; absent-minded; in a dazed, dreamy state of mind.

off-drive—(cricket) drive (the ball) to the off side.

off-putting—disconcerting; rude; impolite; discouraging: e.g., His manner was very off-putting.

Office of the Employment Advocate—(OEA) a federal agency that provides assistance to employers and employees about their rights and obligations under the Workplace Relations Act. The OEA is responsible for assessing and certifying Australian Workplace Agreements and for ensuring ‘freedom of association’ in industries other than the building and construction industry. These responsibilities formerly belonged to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

Office of the Industrial Registrar—a statutory authority that carries out administrative arrangements for the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC). The registrar also keeps a register of organisations and publishes decisions, orders and awards of the AIRC.

Office of the Registrar of Aboriginal Corporations—a statutory office appointed by the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs under the Aboriginal Councils and Associations Act 1976 (ACA Act). The Registrar has powers similar to those of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for corporations registered at the national level set up by Indigenous Australians. Incorporated of other bodies and companies can occur at the State and Territory level. The Office of the Registrar of Aboriginal Corporations (ORAC) assists the Registrar in administering the ACA Act and in supporting and regulating corporations for Indigenous people throughout Australia.

offish—aloof; distant; haughty; pompous.

offsider—the Australian National Dictionary gives the meaning of offsider as “an assistant in an occupation of enterprise” – and this is the most common use of the word in Australia. Offsider (in the sense of “assistant, friend or mate”) is an Australianism, which arose from a bullock-driver's assistant being called an offsider. He was so called because he walked on the offside of the bullock team, while the bullocky himself walked beside the leader and cracked the whip. From this, offsider was extended to anyone who was an assistant in any occupation or enterprise. The earliest citation for this distinctively Australian use of offsider is from 1879. It's nice to know that when you refer to your mate as your offsider you're recalling the role the bullockies played in building Australia.

oil—reliable advice or information.

oil (someone) up—1. advise, give (someone) reliable information: e.g., Don't worry, I'll oil him up on what needs to be done. 2. flatter (someone) in order to get (him) to do something.

oinker—1. a pig. 2. a policeman.

okiri—either of the soft-leaved plants of the genus Nicotiana.

old cheese—1. one's mother. 2. any older person.

old chook/cow/crow—(derog.) term for a disliked woman.

Old Dart—(the...) England: e.g., Some poms still identify themselves with the Old Dart even though they've lived here for twenty years.

old dear—one's mother.

old dears—parents.

old dog at—skilled at; well versed in or familiar with due to a long association with.

Old Government House—Australia's oldest surviving public building. Built by governors John Hunter and Lachlan Macquarie between 1799 and 1818. The general tour explores the life and times of the people who lived in the house, from the Governor and his family down to their servants. Faithfully restored and furnished to the Macquarie period (1810-1821), Old Government House boasts the nation's most important collection of early Australian furniture. Overlooking the Parramatta River, Old Government House sits on 260 acres of parkland alive with stories from Australia's past. Ancient trees bear markings made by the traditional owners, the Burramatagal, and the site of the original 1788 Rose Hill settlement can still be seen. Located in Parramatta Park, NSW.

old hand—a person with much experience, especially of life in Australia (as opposed to a new chum).

Old Hobart Town—a model of Hobart in 1820. Built from original plans, it is an accurate look at life in Tasmania's capital city during this era. This unique historical model village is a result of three years of full-time work by John and Andrew Quick, who are the owner-operators. The authenticity of this model makes it unique in Australia. There are other model villages but all are English, make believe or not done from original plans and maps. With a great eye for detail John and Andrew have not only built the sixty odd buildings but have also made some four hundred period figurines which all tell their stories of the cruel times of our forebears. Coming to Old Hobart Town means experiencing Australia's only model of one of our early convict-built towns, as well as learning the history of one of Australia's oldest capital cities.

old lag—(hist.) ex-convict.

old man kangaroo—a fully grown male kangaroo.

old man saltbushAtriplex nummularia, a chenopod fodder plant that grows on saline soils in arid areas. Primary producers have found that lambs and hoggets thrive on old man saltbush. Enthusiasts claim that it has an important place in the rehabilitation of both mildly saline and highly saline land. It has a capacity to take in high-saline water, and produces 3 times as much dry matter per unit of water as other plants. It will support 6 to 8 times more sheep per hectare than native pastures, and grows well right across southern Australia.

Old North Road—constructed in 1817 from the government farm in Castle Hill to the present township of Galston, in New South Wales. Served as the starting point for the Great North Road, connecting Sydney to the Hunter Valley.

Old Parliament House—made headlines for more than sixty years as home to Australia’s Federal Parliament from 1927 to 1988. Today, this much-loved heritage building offers the visitor a unique glimpse into Australia’s fascinating past. Located in the ACT.

old people—Aborigines of an earlier generation, regarded as repositories of traditional knowledge.

old school-tie—pertaining to staunch traditionalism or conservative people.

old-age pension—a means-tested pension paid by the government to people above a certain age.

older than Adam's father—very old person or thing.

oldies/olds—1. parents. 2. elderly people.

Olgas—(the...) Kata Tjuta, also known as Mount Olga (or colloquially as the Olgas), are a group of large domed rock formations or bornhardts located about 365km south-west of Alice Springs, in the southern part of the Northern Territory. Uluru, 25km to the east, and Kata Tjuta form the two major landmarks within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The 36 domes that make up The Olgas cover an area of 21.68km2, are composed of conglomerate, a sedimentary rock consisting of cobbles and boulders of varying rock types including granite and basalt, cemented by a matrix of sandstone. The highest point, Mount Olga, is 1,066m above sea level, or approximately 546m above the surrounding plain. The name 'The Olgas' comes from the tallest peak, Mt Olga. At the behest of Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, Mt Olga was named in 1872 by Ernest Giles, in honour of Queen Olga of Württemberg (born Grand Duchess Olga of Russia, daughter of Tsar Nicholas I). On 15 December 1993, a dual naming policy was adopted that allowed official names consisting of both the traditional Aboriginal name and the English name. As a result, Mount Olga was renamed Mount Olga / Kata Tjuta. On 6 November 2002, following a request from the regional Tourism Association, the order of the dual names was officially reversed to Kata Tjuta / Mount Olga. The surrounding region lies in the Amadeus Basin, an intracratonic basin formed during the Adelaidian, roughly 850-800 mya. During the Petermann Orogeny, approximately 550 mya, an event known as the Woodroff Thrust, thrust granulite facies rocks northward over low-grade metamorphic rocks. The eventual erosion of the formation resulted in a molasse facies, or deposition in front of rising mountains, in this case the Petermann Orogeny, to create the deposit known as the Mount Currie Conglomerate. The Mount Currie Conglomerate is made predominately of basalt, porphyry, granite, gneiss and volcanic rock fragments with a matrix composed of angular quartz, microcline and orthoclase among other minerals. Both Uluru and the Kata Tjuta are made of sediment originating in this Mount Currie Conglomerate and both have a chemical composition similar to granite. Scientists using Rb/Sr dating techniques to accurately date the rock have given it an age of 600 mya, matching the date of the Woodroof Thrust event. The actual fresh rock that makes up the Olgas and Uluru is medium to dark grey with green or pink hues in some laminae. The bright orange-red hue, for which the structures are noted, is due to a patina over finely divided feldspar coated in iron oxide. There are many Pitjantjatjara Dreamtime legends associated with this place and everything in the vicinity. A number of legends surround the great snake king Wanambi who is said to live on the summit of Mount Olga and only comes down during the dry season. The majority of mythology surrounding the site is not disclosed to outsiders.

olive python—one of Australia's largest snakes, being exceeded in length only by Liasis oenpelliensis and the scrub python. It has a long head and its colour is generally drab olive green to pale fawn or rich brown, merging on the lower scale rows with the creamy white ventral surface. It averages 2.5 metres in length but specimens over four metres have been recorded. It is found throughout monsoonal Australia west of the Great Dividing Range (in eastern Australia). Its distribution extends more than half-way down the coast of Western Australia and includes arid areas in that state.

olive Ridley turtle—the smallest turtle in Australian waters, it nests around the Gulf of Carpentaria and on Arnhem Land beaches and islands.

olive sea snake—the common name of a massive, highly poisonous sea snake, Aipysurus laevis, that mainly inhabits coral reefs. It is abundant in coastal waters off the northern half of Australia and southern Papua New Guinea and in the Coral Sea. Adults may exceed 1.8m in length.

olive whistlerPachycephala olivacea. The male has a grey crown and neck with the rest of the upper body being olive-brown. The throat is dull white with grey speckles. The female is smaller and duller than the male. All calls are rich and melodious, resembling such phrases as peee-poo or wheet, wheet, ha-wheet, ha-wheet, ha-wheet. Found throughout south-eastern Australia in small population densities. The northern subspecies is found in brushes and beech forest on the high mountain tops. Diet comprises berries and insects. Breeds from September through to January. Builds a loose cup of fine twigs and grass stems for a nest (usually placed fairly low). Can be found in both trees and on the ground and usually occurs in pairs or singly.

olive-backed orioleOriolus sagittatus is a very common, medium-sized passerine, native to northern and eastern Australia and Papua New Guinea. The most wide-ranging of the Australasian orioles, it is noisy and conspicuous, but drab in colour. The olive-backed oriole prefers open woodland environments, tolerating dryer climates (but not desert). Common to very common in the north, they are less frequently seen in the south, but nevertheless reach as far as south-eastern South Australia. Most birds breed during the tropical wet season, but some migrate south to breed in the southern summer. Established pairs will sing to one another throughout the year to maintain their bond.

Olkola—an Aboriginal tribe of the upper Mitchell River region in the Northern Territory. Also know as the Uw Olkola.

Olympic Dam Project—most major mines in South Australia were discovered by chance by pastoral workers who noticed copper stains on rock outcrops. The discovery of the Olympic Dam deposit, three hundred metres below the surface of the Stuart Shelf, was made in a Melbourne office. After six years of studies, Western Mining Corporation took out Exploration Licence 190 in 1975. The deposit of copper proved to be one of the world's largest, nearly 7km long, 4km wide and 1km deep—enough to keep mining for the next sixty years. When RD10 was completed it not only contained copper but also uranium. By 1984 more than 250km of drill core had been obtained, adding a vast knowledge to the mineral content of the Olympic Dam deposit and the general mineral content of the area. The CSIRO Mineral Chemistry developed a process in 1985 for the removal of uranium from the mine's concentrates. By this time more than $150 million had been used in the discovery, exploration, evaluation and feasibility studies of the mine. Finally on 11 June 1985 it was announced that the project was considered economically viable and six months later on 8 December the joint venturers, Western Mining Corporation (51%), and the BP Group (49%), committed themselves to the mining of the ore deposit of the Olympic Dam Project. Finally, on 5 November 1988 the mine was officially opened by the South Australian Premier, John Bannon. Within a short time more than 500 tons of ore were brought to the surface every hour via. Located in Roxby Downs, Western Australia, a town created to house and service the mine workers. It is located 560km north of Adelaide.

on a bad trot—experiencing bad luck or misfortune.

on a good cop—to have a profitable job or position.

on a good lurk—1. to have a successful and profitable job or position. 2. to be involved in a successful and profitable venture, enterprise or activity.

on a good screw—to have a profitable job or position.

on a good trot—experiencing good luck, fortune or success.

on a good wicket—(see: on a good lurk).

on a sticky wicket—in trouble; experiencing difficulty, problems.

on appro—on approval; without obligation to purchase.

on for young and old—an outbreak of disorder; commotion; absence of restraint: e.g., Someone threw a punch at the pub and then it was on for young and old.

on holiday—on vacation.

on it—drinking heavily.

on (one's) ace—alone; on (one's) own.

on (one's) beam-ends—in a state of poverty, trouble, misfortune or distress.

on (one's) ear—1. in trouble or difficulties. 2. out of favour; in disgrace.

on (one's) hammer—on (one's) back; badgering, watching (one) closely.

on (one's) Pat Malone—(rhyming slang) alone; on (one's) own.

on parade—1. taking part in a parade. 2. on display.

on remand—in custody pending trial.

on strike—(cricket) of the batsman who is facing the bowler.

on the back foot—caught unawares, unprepared.

on  the blower—living off the expenses or hospitality of others; cadging, borrowing, with no intention of paying back.

on the board—employed as a shearer.

on the boil—immediate, hot, current: e.g., The TAC account remains with Grey but we have some new projects on the boil.

on the bones of (one's) bum—destitute; ruined—especially financially.

on the bugle—1. (see: on the blower). 2. having a highly offensive smell.

on the con—1. predisposed to cheating, swindling, fraud, deceit. 2. intent on personal gain. 3. intent on making a sexual conquest.

on the conk—having a highly offensive smell.

on the crest of the wave—prospering; at the height of good fortune, luck.

on the cuff—on credit.

on the dole—receiving social security or welfare benefits, or payments for being unemployed.

on the fiddle—involved in illicit money-making activities, especially in tampering with records or documents.

on the game—involved in prostitution or thieving.

on the grog—excessive indulgence in alcohol.

on the hoof—(of animals) alive; e.g., They're taking so long to cook my steak that it still must be on the hoof!

on the hop—1. unprepared; by surprise: e.g., Inspectors of any kind usually try to catch people on the hop. 2. busy; active; on the move: e.g., I've been on the hop all day.

on the knocker—on time; punctually: e.g., Be there on the knocker.

on the Murray cod—(rhyming slang) on the nod: on credit.

on the nod—on credit.

on the outer—not included in a particular activity; a social misfit.

on the piss—excessive indulgence in alcohol, especially beer.

on the quiet—1. secretly; without anybody else's knowledge. 2. in an underhanded manner; illicitly.

on the ran-tan - drinking heavily; on the booze.

on the ropes—in danger of failing: e.g., His business is on the ropes.

on the shicker—excessive indulgence in alcohol.

on the side—something extra, especially of sex in a secret or illicit manner.

on the slate—on credit.

on the slops—in a sly manner; secretly; illicitly.

on the sly—stealthily; secretly; illegally: e.g., Travis was selling fags to his mates on the sly, and not charging the GST.

on the square—1. abstaining from alcohol or illegal activity. 2. fair; fairly; just: e.g., I I think the court's decision was on the square.

on the strap—broke; penniless.

on the turps—excessive indulgence in alcohol.

on the wallaby (track)—(hist.) during the 1800s through until the early 20th century it was common practice for men to travel the outback looking for work. When the swagman headed out across the land he was considered to be “on the wallaby track.” Generally the wallaby track was not a marked route, but the path the swagman took while looking for his next job. Notable Australian poets at the time wrote extensively of the thousands of men travelling all over the outback during hard times, looking for work. The now famous song by Banjo Patterson, Waltzing Maltida, was written about a swagman who was on the wallaby track, pushed his luck too far and took his own life rather than face the consequences. Frederick McCubbin painted “On The Wallaby Track” in 1896 about a swagman looking for work while providing for a wife and young baby.

on tick—on credit.

on to a good lurk—(see: on a good lurk).

on to a good screw—a profitable or otherwise rewarding career or occupation: e.g., He's onto a good screw in that government office.

on top of (one's) game—giving one's best performance; in form.

on ya!—an expression of encouragement; contraction of: good on you!

oncer—something that happens only once or very rarely.

one for the pot—(of tea) an extra spoonful of tea leaves.

One Nation—xenophobic "nationalist" party led by a controversial right wing Australian politician, former fish-n-chip-shop owner Pauline Hanson. Analysts say One Nation is largely responsible for forcing the issue of race to the forefront of Australian politics, but it has so far failed to persuade Australians it is worthy of more than a protest vote against the established parties.

one out of the box—an outstanding person or thing.

one-eyed—partial; biased.

one-sided bottlebrushCalothamnus quadrifidus was named by botanist Robert Brown, who collected a specimen from Lucky Bay, near Esperance, WA in 1802. It flowers from mid-winter to early summer, having red, white and yellow flower forms. It is an extremely hardy and widespread shrub to 2-3m in height, growing from within metres of the coast to high inland granite outcrops, in acid or slightly alkaline sandy soil, particularly when over clay, gravel, limestone or rock. In rocky gullies on granite outcrops they can form dense impenetrable thickets. In this cool sheltered environment where the soil has been enriched by the slow decomposition of their leaves, numerous orchids, fungi, lichens and mosses are to be found, along with the scratchings of local indigenous mammals. With such a widespread plant and a liking for so many habitat types, there are numerous forms that sometimes make positive identification difficult, especially if too much attention is placed on the foliage. The leaves can be long or short, deep green to yellowish, hairy or not, flat and broad or thin and round, with or without bumps. The stamen bundles of the flowers will number only four, and will be of equal width, length and general appearance. The one-sided bottlebrush has small petals but large, bright red stamen bundles that make a striking display over many months. The honeyeating birds are greatly attracted to this shrub and are constantly moving from flower to flower.

one-tonner—a small truck or utility vehicle.

onion grassRomulea rosea, a perennial which produces a small brown corm underground. Flowering occurs in Spring each year, with one to four pinky-violet flowers are produced per plant. A capsule containing many small oval seeds is produced soon after flowering and, as seeds mature, the capsule angles down to the soil surface. Eventually the capsule dries and splits open, releasing the seeds. Onion grass is a widespread weed throughout Tasmania. It most commonly occurs in run-down areas or pastures and turf areas such as sports fields, and on roadsides. Onion grass is extremely difficult to remove once an infestation has become established. The tough, leathery leaf blades readily blunt mower blades, and animals rarely graze the plant. Romulea rosea is not a declared weed under the Noxious Weeds Act 1964.

onka/onkapringa—(rhyming slang) finger.

onkus—out of order; not functioning properly.

oobidat—term for something for which one cannot think of a real name; thingummyjig; gadget.

oodles of boodle—large amounts of money; wealth.

Oodnadatta—a government town, created to receive the railway line extension. Oodnadatta became the chief supply point for central Australia, upon completion of the track from Warrina in 1891. The town also became a large depot for camel caravans, which carried mail and supplies to remote regions, including isolated communities, pastoral properties, and outback expeditions. Oodnadatta at its height had roughly 500 inhabitants, but the population dwindled when the Ghan ceased service in 1980. Opposite the town's 120-year-old pub is Anna Creek, the world's largest cattle station. The only town between Maree and Oodnadatta is William Creek, which often has a population of four or five people. The town's name is an approximation of the Aboriginal for 'blossom of the mulga'—it comes from an Antikarinja word, utndatta.

Oodnadatta Track—the name given to the stretch of good dirt road from Maree through to Oodnadatta, which follows a major Aboriginal trade route—the original track taken by the explorer John McDouall Stuart, the Overland Telegraph Line and the Old Ghan Railway Line. Following the Oodnadatta Track is a journey back to the days of early European exploration and settlement. The most obvious historical relics are the last remaining sleepers and ruins of the original Ghan railway that run alongside the track from Maree to William Creek. Along the Oodnadatta Track route there are mound springs, Lake Eyre, Anna Creek Station and an ever-changing countryside that is both harsh and beautiful. The Oodnadatta Track begins at Marree, 647km north of Adelaide, SA, and spans 619km of earthen road with corrugations, potholes, loose stones, sand patches and bulldust. After crossing the famous Dingo Fence, the track passes through increasingly hilly country, including Roxby Downs and Andamooka, then the Painted Desert. The track ends at Cadney Park.

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