William Creek, South Australia

William Creek, Australia is located halfway on the Oodnadatta Track, 210 kilometres north west of Marree and 166 kilometres east of Coober Pedy in South Australia. The town has a permanent population of 10. William Creek is in the federal Division of Grey and the state electorate of Stuart. It is outside of council areas, and administered by the Outback Communities Authority.

William Creek
South Australia
William Creek
Coordinates28°54′33″S 136°20′27″E[1]
Population10 (2016 census)[2]
Elevation77 m (253 ft)(railway station)[3]
Time zoneACST (UTC+9:30)
 • Summer (DST)ACST (UTC+10:30)
LGA(s)Outback Communities Authority
State electorate(s)Stuart
Federal Division(s)Grey
Mean max temp[4] Mean min temp[4] Annual rainfall[4]
27.8 °C
82 °F
13.7 °C
57 °F
158.0 mm
6.2 in
Localities around William Creek:
Anna Creek Anna Creek Anna Creek
Anna Creek William Creek Anna Creek
Anna Creek Anna Creek Anna Creek
FootnotesAdjoining localities[1]


William Creek is the entry point from Coober Pedy to Lake Eyre in the Tirari Desert. William Creek offers the only petrol station between Marree, Coober Pedy and Oodnadatta on the Oodnadatta Track and has a campground, two motels and one of the world's most remote pubs. The world's largest cattle station is located in nearby Anna Creek Station [6] and the Woomera Prohibited Area, is also nearby.

William Creek is a good halfway stop along the track, with accommodation and meals at the Hotel as well as a well-maintained, if somewhat dusty campground. In the Memorial Park it is possible to see many diverse items although more sobering is the commemorative inscription to a young Austrian woman, who lost her life in 1998 trying to walk back to William Creek from a 4WD vehicle bogged in the sand beside Lake Eyre.[7] The first stage of the Black Arrow Rocket, Britain's only successful independent space launch was recovered from the surrounding Anna Creek Station and located in the memorial park for nearly 50 years but has been recently brought back to the UK by technology firm Skyrora. [8]

William Creek is serviced twice weekly by the Coober Pedy Oodnadatta One Day Mail Run. The 4WD mail truck also carries some general freight and passengers.[9]


William Creek was named in November 1859 by explorer John McDouall Stuart during his expeditions in the area. William was the second son of John Chambers, a pioneer pastoralist of South Australia and a strong ally of Stuart.[6]

The town was once on The Ghan railway line.[6]

The town has always been small: never larger than a few cottages, a small school and a Hotel-store.[6]

The historic William Creek Hotel is listed on the South Australian Heritage Register.[10]

Near William Creek

Lake Eyre can be seen from several vantage points along the Oodnadatta Track and appears as a large, rather featureless, white saltpan. It is only from the air that its immensity can be appreciated. The curvature of the Earth can be seen on the horizon and beneath it is possible to identify the courses of the ancient rivers that still occasionally flow into the lake. Trevor Wright and the pilots from Wrightsair [11] take up to five passengers for a 60-minute flight out of William Creek, passing over the spectacular Painted Hills to the west, then along the southern edge of the lake, pointing out the features beneath and explaining the topography. The Painted Hills are brilliantly coloured eroded sandstone ridges. These, and all of the country traversed in the one-hour flight, are part of Anna Creek Station. From the air the Track can be seen, stretching to the horizon in two directions.


  1. "Search results for 'William Creek, LOCB' with the following datasets selected - 'Suburbs and localities', 'Counties', 'Government Towns', 'Hundreds', 'Local Government Areas', 'SA Government Regions' and 'Gazetteer'". Location SA Map Viewer. South Australian Government. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  2. "2016 Census QuickStats: William Creek". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  3. "Search results for 'William Creek Railway Station, RSTA' with the following datasets selected - 'Suburbs and localities' and 'Gazetteer'". Location SA Map Viewer. South Australian Government. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  4. "Monthly climate statistics: Summary statistics Coober Pedy (nearest weather station)". Commonwealth of Australia, Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  5. "Coober Pedy - William Creek - Opal Capital of The World". cooberpedy.sa.gov.au. Retrieved 20 February 2014.
  6. Collins Anderson Management (August 2001). "William Creek Community Plan" (PDF). Government of South Australia. Archived from the original (pdf (38 pages)) on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  7. "Finding of inquest into death of Gabriele Grossmueller". South Australian Coroner. 10 March 2000. Retrieved 23 June 2008.
  8. "Black Arrow: UK space rocket returns home from Australia". BBC News. BBC. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  9. "Coober Pedy - William Creek - Oodnadatta One Day Mail Run Tour".
  10. "William Creek Hotel". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  11. "Flights over amazing Lake Eyre and the Painted Hills".
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