The Witchelina’s Spell

An area so remote and stunning , yet it’s seen by so few each year – put this one on your bucket list!

Our epic adventure kicked off heading north from the majestic Flinders Ranges towards the quaint little town of Marree, with the aim of stocking up on supplies and tackling the Witchelina Track. Now, if you like isolation and solitary, this track is equal to that of anywhere else that you might consider to be remote. In fact, to access the Witchelina Track you need to obtain a key from either the Farina Station, or the Marree Pub. Yep, that means there is usually no one else out there but you and your mates. So when it comes to leaving the crowds behind, Witchelina is the perfect escape.

THE ADVENTURE BEGINS 

You can kick off your Witchelina Track journey from the conic Marree Hotel, a true outback watering hole. Phil and the team will help you out with maps and information on the track, and specific details on how to access the gate to enter the track itself. Pay attention to detail here, as the gate can be a little tricky to locate!

Once you’ve locked the gates behind you, the fun starts right away. The track’s signage is quite sparse and easily missed, which actually adds to the adventure and keeps the place looking just like Mother Nature intended. The track itself may only be a 120km sojourn, but it feels like so much more than that once you hit the wide-open spaces and leave the main road behind. 

ENJOY THE VISTA!

Once underway it was not long before we came onto the one of the highlights of the track, which is where it intersects the Old Ghan Line. A spectacular ochre bed of brilliant yellow and rusty red awaits you. It’s well worth the stop here to try making your own ochre paint or climbing the bridge for an epic photo, but be warned, the old 12-span bridge is exactly that – old! Do not risk walking across, and keep the kids well away from the old sleepers, she’s a long way down from up there!

TEST YOUR SKILL

One of the best things about this track is the variety of terrains you encounter the further along the track you travel. Everything from sandy sections, to rocks, black soil, wash-a-ways and bull dust, the Witchelina has it all! Towards the middle section of the track is where you will find some of the more challenging driving, with plenty of dried up creek beds to test your nerve and skill. Some are a simple to drive as a fast food drive-thru, but others have steep, rutted banks with a bit of erosion or wash-a-ways to keep you on your toes. Care needs to be taken here with larger campers or off-road vans to ensure you don’t leave bits of your camper behind! 

MOUNT NORWEST GORGE

Just when you think the Witchelina has given all it has to give; it saves the best for last! The mighty Mount Norwest Gorge! The gorge is an unbelievably pretty drive, particularly if you are lucky enough to be there right on dusk. It is a bit of a challenge to negotiate, but a well prepared 4WD and off-road camper should have no issues making the run through the gorge. In regards to local wildlife, kangaroos and rock wallabies can also be seen in the gorge, along with a myriad of birds too.

FINISH ON A HIGH

Once you’re safely through the gorge you are rewarded with the beautiful old Witchelina Station that makes the perfect place to setup camp for the night. If you like, you can pre-arrange to book the new homestead to stay in, but since we are camper trailer folk, we elected to set the trailers up and enjoy a great night around the fire surrounded by the odd trillion stars or so that illuminate the night sky in these parts. As usual, a great night was had by the crew, but with the dawn of a new day it was time to pack up and head toward the main road and into Maree to return the keys wash away the dust with the odd ale or two.