Although travelling through the Outback should not IMHO be regarded as just another kind of pub crawl, there is considerable pleasure to be derived from visiting some of the Outback’s memorable watering holes. This is the first in a series on some that come to mind, with emphasis on the overall experience, not just visiting the bar. Readers may like to mention others in comments. I’ll plan to mention some more in later posts.
Situated on the Oodnadatta Track halfway between Marree and Oodnadatta (200 kms either way) in South Australia, and just 160 kms from Coober Pedy, William Creek has always been an eccentric sort of place, with the pub being the focus of a very small local community. I can remember earlier days when Adam Plate’s large painted mud map of the area showed the population as 2 – these days it’s mushroomed to more like 10 or 12 – and the light planes that landed on the adjacent airstrip would taxi over and park on the road in front of the pub. (The kibosh was put on that quaint custom when a visiting pilot, having put away two or three cleansing ales in the bar, thought it would be a cool idea to take off along the road. But after one’s wing tip clips a parked car and the plane swings around and its propeller hits another parked car, and the plane is rendered unflyable, and at least two of the car-owners emerging from the bar are decidedly unimpressed, the expression “It seemed like a good idea at the time” starts to sound inadequate to say the least.)
The bar of the pub is decorated with an enormous number of photos, business cards, old hats, assorted items of clothing, etc. Accommodation, meals, basic vehicle repairs, and scenic flights over Lake Eyre and the nearby Painted Hills are available.
For an interesting video of the pub, see William Creek Hotel . However, note that it’s a bit out of date – Lake Eyre is pretty much dry once again.