Strzelecki Track

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesArkaroola Village
DifficultyDifficulty 2.5/5
Suitable ForAWD Motorbike 
Distance427.44 km
Minimum Days1
Average Speed62.95 km/hr
Travel Time6 hrs 47 mins
Page Updated: 28 Oct 2021


The Strzelecki Track is steeped in history: discovered and named by Charles Sturt in 1845 the Strzelecki Creek and the subsequent discovery of the Cooper Creek opened the area. The actual "track" was originally blazed by Harry Redford, a cattle thief droving 1000 stolen cattle over untracked country from central Qld to Adelaide. The thief was caught out, but due to his heroic efforts in establishing a new stock route he was let off and became one of the greatest drovers in Australian history.

But the tragic death of explorers Burke and Wills on the banks of the Cooper Creek near present day Innamincka is the region's most famous incident. In 1861 the South Australian government offered 2000 pounds to the first explorer to reach the top end of the continent.

The Victorians at that time were brashly rich and with much pomp and ceremony Robert O'Hara Burke left Melbourne with his team of 20 men, 18 camels, 22 horses and 20 tonnes of food bound to reach the Gulf of Carpentaria. Unfortunately, Burke was not a bushman, had absolutely no tracking or surveying experience and was extremely hot tempered. His second in command was not initially Wills but a fellow who had an unfortunate habit of feeding the horses rum! When Burke discovered this he sacked the man, smashed their entire supplies of rum and appointed William John Wills to the position.

Their race to be the first to reach the top of Australia was fraught with incident but amazingly three of them actually made it to the top and returned to their supply depot at Cooper Creek. They were Burke, Wills and King. The tragedy is that they were over a month overdue and the supply team had retreated south only 9 hours before their arrival. The supply team had left supplies buried beneath a tree which bore the markings "Dig 3ft NW" and various other markings. The tree is now called the Dig Tree and is protected by the Qld pastoral commission. It's just a half day drive from Innamincka to visit the tree and the surrounding area where plaques mark the grave sites of Burke and Wills who died of a combination of starvation and poisoning from eating berries after the supplies ran out and they couldn't make their way south. Only King survived - he had the sense to befriend the aborigines and when Burke and Wills died they cared for him until he was rescued in 1861.

How to Use this Trek Note

  • To download this information and the route file for offline use on a phone, tablet, headunit or laptop, go to the app store and purchase ExplorOz Traveller. This app enables offline navigation and mapping and will show where you are as you travel along the route. For more info see the ExplorOz Traveller webpage and the EOTopo webpage.


ExplorOz Traveller now features the NEW EOTopo 2023 mapset!

TrekID: 38


MUST READ: You are strongly encouraged to read the following articles prepared by the knowledge experts at ExplorOz for your safety and preparation before undertaking any published ExplorOz Trek - Outback Safety, Outback Driving Tips, Outback Communications, and Vehicle Setup for the Outback.


Please refer to Road Reports published by the local shire and/or main roads for the area you intend to visit. Road/Track conditions can change significantly after weather events. Travellers must be responsible for their own research on current conditions and track suitability.
Tyre and Mechanical services at Innamincka will be opened by local John Osborne for approx 1 hour first thing in the morning daily. This is for tyre enquiries only and is from Monday 18th Feb 2008 until approx 18th April 2008. Services that will be available from April onwards will be advised later.


There are no permits required to travel this track, however one must be obtained for visiting Coongie Lakes.

Fuel Usage

4cyl 50 litres *4cyl 69 litres4cyl 85 litres
6cyl 62 litres *6cyl 66 litres *6cyl 75 litres
8cyl 66 litres8cyl 71 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

The cooler months are definitely the best time to visit, although always check local conditions as this area can be impassable especially after heavy rains.

Closest Climatic Station

Moomba Airport
Distance from Trek Mid Point 104.57km N
Mean Max. °C38.736.733.729.123.619.919.522.627.430.433.936.3
Mean Min. °C24.623.620.215.610.
Mean Rain mm13.734.
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended


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Arkaroola Village to Devils Slide
Driving: 2.12 km
Heading: 103°
Avg Speed: 46.28 km/hr
EST Time: 02:44
Devils Slide to Arkaroola
Driving: 2.44 km
Heading: 154°
Avg Speed: 55.18 km/hr
EST Time: 02:39
Arkaroola to Balcanoona
Driving: 25.55 km
Heading: 195°
Avg Speed: 62.85 km/hr
EST Time: 24:23
Balcanoona to Wooltana
Driving: 18.2 km
Heading: 40°
Avg Speed: 55.53 km/hr
EST Time: 19:39
Wooltana to Paralana Outstation
Driving: 20.64 km
Heading: 41°
Avg Speed: 66.24 km/hr
EST Time: 18:41
Paralana Outstation to North Mulga
Driving: 16.25 km
Heading: 58°
Avg Speed: 72.98 km/hr
EST Time: 13:21
North Mulga to Arkaroola Tk & Moolawatana Access
Driving: 40.94 km
Avg Speed: 69.18 km/hr
EST Time: 35:30
Arkaroola Tk & Moolawatana Access to Strzelecki Tk & Arkaroola Access
Driving: 55.19 km
Heading: 10°
Avg Speed: 59.24 km/hr
EST Time: 55:53
Strzelecki Tk & Arkaroola Access to Strzelecki Regional Reserve, Southern Boundary
Driving: 10.6 km
Heading: 62°
Avg Speed: 77.5 km/hr
EST Time: 08:12
Strzelecki Regional Reserve, Southern Boundary to Montecollina Bore
Driving: 16.17 km
Heading: 32°
Avg Speed: 72.39 km/hr
EST Time: 13:24
Montecollina Bore to Strzelecki Crossing
Driving: 53.88 km
Heading: 14°
Avg Speed: 85.29 km/hr
EST Time: 37:54
Strzelecki Crossing to Strzelecki Tk & Merty Merty Access
Driving: 43.32 km
Avg Speed: 81.45 km/hr
EST Time: 31:54
Strzelecki Tk & Merty Merty Access to Old Strzelecki Tk & Cameron Corner Access
Driving: 9.63 km
Heading: 112°
Avg Speed: 69.34 km/hr
EST Time: 08:19
Old Strzelecki Tk & Cameron Corner Access to Nappacoongee Waterhole
Driving: 54.21 km
Heading: 25°
Avg Speed: 72.32 km/hr
EST Time: 44:58
Nappacoongee Waterhole to Old Strzelecki Tk & Strzelecki Tk
Driving: 12.58 km
Heading: 34°
Avg Speed: 67.57 km/hr
EST Time: 11:10
Old Strzelecki Tk & Strzelecki Tk to Burlieburlie Waterhole
Driving: 38.3 km
Heading: 27°
Avg Speed: 66.92 km/hr
EST Time: 34:20
Burlieburlie Waterhole to Strzelecki Tk & Fifteen Mile Tk
Driving: 5.97 km
Avg Speed: 60.28 km/hr
EST Time: 05:56
Strzelecki Tk & Fifteen Mile Tk to Innamincka Town Common Turn-Off
Driving: 0.67 km
Avg Speed: 35.8 km/hr
EST Time: 01:07
Innamincka Town Common Turn-Off to Innamincka
Driving: 0.78 km
Heading: 40°
Avg Speed: 19.68 km/hr
EST Time: 02:22
Distance is based on the travel mode shown (Driving, Straight, Cycling, Walking etc), Direction is straight line from start to end, Avg Speed & EST Time is calculated from GPS data.

What to See

There are many things to see and do such as visiting the Burke and Willls Dig Tree, Coongie Lakes and not to mention the Cooper River being great for fishing and bush camping. A short drive from the Old Strzelecki Track near Merty Merty homestead heads east towards Cameron Corner where you can stand in the corner of 3 states.


Swimming, fishing and boating is all popular in the area, however no fishing is allowed at Coongie Lakes and nets are banned from the Cooper. Fish that can be found are: catfish, callop, barcoo, Welch's grunter and yellowtail. Photography, birdwatching, bush walking and vehicle touring are all popular activities in the area.

Some people come to Innamincka for a day and stay and a week. Camps along the Cooper are not only beautiful but teeming with wildlife at all times of the day and night. Before sunrise you can hear the distinctive call of the eagles, the rustle of rubbish bags being vandalised by crows and the distant howling of a dingo. By sun up the corellas are in full chorus, ensuring everyone within a hundred kilometre radius is awake. During the day pelicans and ducks patrol the narrow stretch of creek in front of the camps, teasing the fishermen with their skilful extraction of yellowbelly. And by dusk the corellas and sparrows return in pairs, fighting and screeching to demand their tree. The few minutes after sunset are the quietest moments of the day when everything seems to suddenly stop. But by dark, as you stoke the camp fire, the fish start jumping and as you try to sleep the cooling camp fire is raided by scavenging dingos.

For a taste of what you can expect to see along the Strzelecki Track, please enjoy this 30 second film by Member - George Royter.


Where to Stay


You can camp on what's called the Town Common, which is a stretch of about 2km along the Cooper Creek and within easy walking distance of the town facilities. It's a good spot for a base camp to explore the area and is within walking distance of the pub! Good camping on the south side of Cooper Creek.

Cullyamurra Waterhole is further out of town, but worth it. For those not looking for a bush camp, there are some options in town with facilities. Enquire at the Innamincka Tyre and Auto Service for their campground out the back (white gravel, adjacent to laundromat, showers, phone, toilets etc). The Homestay, also has a camping area with access to facilities.

Services & Supplies


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