CAMPSITE # 96 - Coward Springs Cup

After we journeyed along a rather bumpy Oodnadatta track from the Pink Roadhouse and just beyond William Creek, we were pretty ready to start working and stop spending. Then we realised how pathetic we were being – were we really looking forward to WORKING?! Perhaps we were indirectly looking forward to working because we knew that it would mean we would be EARNING for the first time in 6 months!!
Of course, we had to stop in to the William Creek Pub...

This 'R3' was fired from Woomera in 1971 & was the last to be launched before the project was terminated. The satellite launched is expected to remain in orbit until 2071. These are the parts of the first main fuel tank and it wasn't recovered until 1990 near Anna Creek Station, SA.

Once we both snapped ourselves out of that stupid way of thinking, we realised that we shouldn’t just find ourselves wishing the next week away but rather to enjoy the journey along the way.
After counting down the last few km’s until we reached it, we finally turned into Coward Springs. We really were hoping for a cheap night, I mean we were in the middle of bloody nowhere, how much could it really cost? $20 for a night for two people is actually quite ok considering we had hot showers and toilets except we were feeling rather deflated about the price because we were desperate to keep costs down.

After allowing exhaustion and laziness to take over, we decided to give in and pay up for the night. That very moment was a true turning point for us. This was without a doubt one of the best decisions we have made during the course of the entire trip. If you are driving the Oodnadatta Track, DO NOT PASS COWARD SPRINGS. Do yourself a favour and stay at one of the most sustainable, resourceful campsites in the whole of Australia.
We realised how much the last two weeks had been all go, go, go. Racing up to Ayers Rock and back really took it out of us. We realised that by staying at the super remote Cowards Springs for the next three nights guaranteed us of spending no more than $20 a day. $20 compared to our daily average over the last two weeks of $95 would definitely give the back pocket a bit of a rest.

So, why do we recommend this desert campsite with so much conviction? Think of those thriller movies where the bad guy drops the good guy off in the middle of the desert. After he’s there for a few days, so thirsty that he’s right on the verge of death, until up ahead on the horizon he sees a desert oasis with beautiful people sipping ice cold cocktails out of oversized fancy chilled glasses while frolicking in and out of the overflowing fountain of mineral spring water surrounded by giant, shady palm trees. Fortunately for us however, Coward Springs was no mirage. (Although the beautiful people with cocktails may have been a bit of a stretch).

I must admit that I’m quite pathetic when it comes to swimming in something that I can’t see the bottom of (or even 20cms below). Once Tom had jumped in as my crash test dummy and confirmed there were no water snakes or dead bodies, I was good to go. Having the ‘spa’ available for a refreshing dip whenever we felt our body temperature reaching anywhere near remotely beyond warm, considering our location, was more than magnificent.

And just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any better... During the late 1800’s, Afghans were employed in Australia to carry out building (now referred to as) “The Old Ghan Railway”. We can thank the Afghans for the wild camels that are still found amongst our Australian deserts as once their duties were completed, the cost of shipping the camels home was money not very well spent.
Another aspect Coward Springs can certainly thank the Afghans for introducing to Australia is the Date Palms. It took a little while for us to twig but there are actually a very friendly number of fully grown date palms scattered around the campsite. Ever picked a date straight off its palm and placed it straight into your mouth? Well these little fresh & juicy gems almost taste better than chocolate and make those dates you buy in packets taste like leather.
We made a new friend while at Coward Springs, Denise and her little puppy, Sparks. Denise and Sparks are on a journey to find their new home, wherever it may be. And if they just so happen to take a year to do so, well what a shame they may just have to continue to explore this beautiful country of ours in the meantime.

One thing staying in the desert proves is that you have way too much time on your hands. With our two bicycles, Tom, Denise and I all entered ourselves as contestants in the Coward Springs Cup, a pre-famous bike racing event created by us. And of course, we needed Sparks as race official and judge to oversee the event ensuring that no illegal supplements/enhancements we taken and that each contestant followed the race course without any shortcuts (yes, I was heavily reprimanded and had to cop the wrath of Sparks when I was getting my butt royally kicked by Tom and decided to take a little unethical super-shortcut).

We knew it within the first ten minutes of our arrival. Coward Springs has now been awarded first prize in “Our favourite paid campsite to date”. Step aside Pebbly Beach NSW, this desert oasis has taken over.

Site :  Coward Springs Camping Ground
Rating : 17 / 20
Facilities : Boil your own hot water for the loveliest mineral hot water shower. They are drop dunnies but they are the cleanest, least smelliest drop dunnies I have ever seen. Just 300metres off the Oodnadatta Track between William Creek & Maree. Natural springs spa with a continual temperature of 22 degrees. Loads of shady sites. Beautiful sunrise & sunset views.

Satay Chicken & Vegies with couscous and roast pumpkin

The shower blocks only resident...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

LOL! The Coward Springs Cup is definitely a highlight for me. Thanks for the memories guys!!

Denise and Sparks