God - where to start with William Creek? What's not to love about this place?
After Birdsville, it was the second outback town I ever flew in to. I often talk on this site about places being in the middle of nowhere; well William Creek puts new meaning into the word nowhere. Mind you, it's very handy to public transport as long as you're OK with a light aircraft or hitching a ride with a heavily bearded road train driver hurtling along the Oodnadatta Track.
Every outback town in Australia has a beating heart, and you'll find plenty of stuff pumping at the William Creek Hotel - well worth calling in for a breather if you're passing.
You’ll probably need some fuel by the time you get here; you might even need a bed. It’s all here, and delivered with a good dose of that outback hospitality the bush is famous for. Book early and you may even score one of their new air-conditioned rooms.
Whether you’re headed up to the Birdsville Races or out to see the sun go down over Uluru, it’s worth a small diversion. You might even be on your way to Coober Pedy - call in for a night on your way past.
About 50nm south-west you need to find the much celebrated Painted Hills. At sunset and sunrise in particular, the colours of the hills in this limestone landscape are breathtaking.
If you've flown out, one of the team at Wrightsair will gladly give you any help needed whether it be the latest weather, suggestions for local scenics or what’s good to order for lunch at the pub. The hundred yard walk from the strip to the pub is pretty well mandatory if you want to tick off the legendary William Creek Hotel from the wish list, and that also means you’ve walked the Oodnadatta Track.
Originally built to service the old Ghan railway line, the timber and corrugated iron structure dates back to 1887. Since then, thousands of visitors crossing our outback over the years have left the place soaking in a colourful history which now translates into sheer fun once inside the doors.
The various publicans over the years have worked hard to please travel-weary visitors with a remarkably good menu, decent coffee and a unique and quirky atmosphere that’s worth crossing the miles for. These days, the pub is in the juggling hands of Mr William Creek, Trevor Wright, who took up residence here 35 years ago and has now slotted comfortably into the role of Minister of Most Things Worth Knowing around here.
Location: Approx 40nm west of Lake Eyre, and 85nm east of Coober Pedy.
YWMC Runway: 11/29, sealed. Further details in ERSA. Phone Wrightsair for extra info.
William Creek Hotel:
Ph: 08 8670.7880
Read my story here on the Wrightsair girls of 2010, as published in Australian Flying.