The next major milestone before William Creek was the Overland Telegraph Line, a milestone for communication with the rest of the world and particularly London. Completed in 1872 it headed north to Darwin then ultimately to London. Whilst very little of the original telegraph line exists, there are a couple of the original cypress pine poles by the side of the road. It was aligned with the new Ghan railway in 1891 but remained the main telecommunication link with the outside world for some time.
William Creek is a small town with a population of approximately 20 people and owned by Trevor Wright who introduced himself as diesel mechanic, pilot, waiter and other stuff. His days are busy keeping the place going, flying tourists and journalists over Lake Eyre (due to the recent flooding) and the second day we were there he was interviewing with ABC News about installing Optus Micro Cell telephone technology. He claimed that shortly after he arrived 25 years ago, on a brief flying post, everyone left and sold it to him.
A macabre tree “Pussy Willow” stands at the entrance to the campground, with a dozen carcasses of feral cats, the ones who didn’t make it!
The hotel originates from 1887 and is adorned with plenty of interesting paraphernalia and graffiti contributed by visitors for a donation to the Royal Flying Doctors Service. Look out for our contribution and send us a photo – we forgot!
Just over the road lie some historical artefacts, including some rockets from nearby Woomera, worthy of a browse.
The next day Xavier and I took to the air with Trevor, flying over Lake Eyre and getting a good view of the water entering in brown plumes from Warburton river system to the north. Unfortunately for Xavier air sickness got the better of him and he fell asleep missing the magical calmness of the lake mirroring cloud reflections below us.
Mid afternoon saw us back on the ground and left William Creek behind and hit the dirt again.