"The Arckaringas (or Painted Desert)" Oodnadatta Things to Do Tip by tiabunna

Oodnadatta Things to Do: 6 reviews and 12 photos

  Sunset at Mt Battersby
by tiabunna
  • Sunset at Mt Battersby - Oodnadatta
      Sunset at Mt Battersby
    by tiabunna
  • Mt Battersby - Oodnadatta
      Mt Battersby
    by tiabunna
  • The Painted Desert - Oodnadatta
      The Painted Desert
    by tiabunna
  • The Painted Desert - Oodnadatta
      The Painted Desert
    by tiabunna

Head west from Oodna for about 70km and you will come to The Arckaringas, or Painted Desert (you will hear both names used, you also will hear this described as ‘the Breakaway Country’). It doesn’t feature in most tourist itineraries, but surely would if it were better known. Mt Battersby is the most prominent feature near the road.

Here you have desert colours at their best. Dry riverbeds cut white lines across a landscape of ochres and browns; if there has been rain, there may be a flush of green grasses; white escarpments lead to flat-topped hills with reddish crowns. Find a suitable vantage point and look around: chances are that you see no other living thing, apart from possibly a hawk or eagle high in the sky. Have you ever wondered how it would feel being on Mars? This is about as close an approximation as you are likely to find. In a word – spectacular! If you wait till sunset, you may see intense reds and browns as the light changes – beware of wildlife on your return though, if you stay till dark.

Main photo: Mt Battersby, sunset
Second photo: Mt Battersby
Third photo: The Painted Desert.
Fourth photo: More of the Painted Desert.

Directions: From Oodnadatta, take the road toward Coober Pedy, then turn off toward Mt Willoughby Homsestead.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 7, 2007
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