How to Get Here
(Andamooka Grid reference: 30.27.90 S / 137.9.40 E)
Not being located on or near to a major highway, Andamooka was once one of the most isolated towns in South Australia, but with developments surrounding Olympic Dam Mine and nearby Roxby Downs township there is now an all-weather sealed road extending 120 kms from the Stuart Hwy at the Pimba turn-off, past Roxby Downs and into Andamooka.
Road signage provides clear direction to Andamooka from Pimba and the township offers a range of affordable accommodation options including a Caravan & Camping Ground, retro short stay shacks and the well renowned Duke’s Bottlehouse Motel. (see Accommodation for more information)
The town offers a full range of services and visitors are often surprised by the ‘town prices’ around fuel and other supplies including food and beverages with many visitors lamenting that they wished they had waited to stock up at Andamooka rather than ‘back down the track’ which would not only have saved money, but also the trouble of carting supplies so far.
It’s not hard to find what you are looking for in Andamooka with most facilities and services being located along, or just off the main sealed road through the town. Once settled into accommodation, so many local attractions and services are within walking distance.
(downloadable PDF of local map)
Travelers will find more information on SA outback towns at Outback Community Authority. Find the town of interest on the map and click to access specific information.
Located in a primarily flat arid zone, Andamooka can experience extremes of temperatures and conditions, but for much of the year spanning the months from April to October the weather is very liveable with temperate evenings, clear starlit nights and crisp mornings leading into temperatures peaking between 15 to 25 degrees mid winter.
Rainfall is sporadic but ranges from light falls that simply settle the dust to major downpours that can cause significant local flooding. Summer rains flow from cyclonic conditions in the North West and big winter rains are often a result of rain bands moving across from the South West meeting others sweeping down from the North East. Heavy rains can close outback tracks including the Borefield Road and the Oodnadatta and Strezlecki Tracks, but access into and out of Andamooka remains open, although this may rarely be temporarily closed during major rain events as water flows across the sealed road.
Andamooka experiences spectacular lightning storms from time to time and these can be an exhilarating visitor experience. The region also experiences significant winds that can whip up summer dust storms driven by hot northerly winds as well as the occasional inland cyclone, so it is best to check for the probability of these events if planning on visiting during the extended summer. (link to road alerts?)
What to wear…
Summer temperatures can reach into the upper 40’s and nights can remain quite hot dropping only to around 25 degrees in the early hours of the morning. However many summer days peak around the low 30’s leading into balmy nights and cool mornings. Regardless the sun is hot and so it is recommended that visitors during the months of November through to March pack light, cool clothes but also ensure that they ‘cover-up’ between the hours of 0900 to 1800 to prevent skin damage..
Flies can be an issue at times and so packing a ‘fly veil’ available from most camping shops, can be a good idea. Although located in an arid zone, there are mosquitoes present after rains, so we recommend applying an effective insect repellent, especially in the evening.
Between April to October it is recommended that visitors ‘think layers’. It is quite usual to start the morning and end the day rugged up, so best to start the layers with shorts and t-shirts, layer on a jumper and long pants, then top with a jacket, hat and warm socks. By around late morning t-shirts are generally the go, but by around 3.00pm most people are back into jumpers and long pants and because overnight winter temperatures can be quite cold, occasionally plummet to around zero, most folk with be looking to rug up by nightfall.
Hint: If you find yourself short of warm or cool clothes, take a visit to the Andamooka Boo-Teek Op Shop run by the local CWA. Located at the top of CWA Road, you will be pleasantly surprised by the big range of fashions available and super bargain prices. You can fill a wardrobe for $5 on the right day!