Agnes Creek – our first awesome free camping

Crossing NT border

Agnes Creek – First Free Camping

Following an action-packed four days in Coober Pedy, we set our sights on the Red Centre and began our journey northwards. With a considerable distance of 690 kilometers still to cover to reach Alice Springs, we decided to take a break and rest at a free camping ground located at Agnes Creek.

Agnes Creek is a spacious free campground situated along the Stuart Highway, offering ample space for camping. Located approximately 320 kilometers from Coober Pedy and 370 kilometers from Alice Springs, it serves as an excellent resting spot for travelers.

As the desert nights can be quite chilly, it is essential to build a fire to keep warm. However, due to the high volume of campers, firewood may not always be available on site. It’s best to drive a kilometer north or south to collect firewood before settling in for the night.

Despite the lack of firewood, Agnes Creek is a popular stopover for travelers, offering a beautiful and peaceful setting for camping. The sounds of nature, the starry sky, and the nearby creek create a relaxing ambiance, providing a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

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Agnes Creek was visibly dried out when we arrived, and we couldn’t help but wonder about the safety of staying in such remote places. However, we were happy to see other campers around, which gave us a sense of security and community.

Marius even had the chance to enjoy a game of bowls with a friendly elderly man from the nearby caravan.

This was the first time on our trip that we truly felt a sense of freedom, surrounded by the vast and rugged beauty of the outback. Our appreciation for the natural world grew, with each passing moment in this magnificent landscape. The friendly and talkative people we met along the way added to our enjoyment, creating a welcoming atmosphere.

As the sun set, we gathered around the campfire, sharing stories and enjoying the warmth of the flames. The nights in such remote areas, with the stars shining bright and seemingly within arm’s reach, were an unforgettable experience, reminding us of the true value of simple pleasures.

As we started the campfire, a sense of nostalgia and reflection came over us, and we found ourselves lost in conversation, reminiscing about the past and sharing stories of our adventures. The only thing limiting us was the availability of firewood, which Marius had gathered from the other side of the Stuart Highway.

Nell, in particular, was overjoyed and couldn’t resist adding more sticks to the fire, watching as they burst into flames and illuminated the darkness around us.

As the night wore on, we continued to enjoy the warmth and comfort of the campfire, marveling at the beauty of the starry sky above us.

Travel Spiced Life

When free-camping in busy campgrounds gather firewood before arriving

The atmosphere around the campfire was made even more enjoyable by the addition of mulled wine, which gave me a comforting warmth and a hint of spice to the chilly desert evening.

Dingos came at night to check for any dinner leftovers, fortunately, we left none.

Agnes Creek free camping
Agnes Creek free camping

We had camped a short distance from Stuart Highway, and as we sat around the campfire, we could see the massive road trains thundering by, their headlights creating a mesmerising trail of light that looked like a nebula of stars.

The intense red hue of the Australian sun, just before sunset, added to the stunning scenery that was unlike anything we had ever experienced in the city.

The following morning, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast without the need to rush, as we had only 370 km to cover before reaching Alice Springs, where we had already pre-booked our camping spot. As we ate, we were joined by a hawk perched on a nearby tree, observing us with curiosity.

The natural beauty of the Australian outback and its abundant wildlife made for a peaceful and enjoyable start to our day, providing us with a renewed sense of appreciation for the simple pleasures in life.

In summary, we really enjoyed our first free camping on Stuart Highway at Agnes Creek.

Read 11 Tips to successful Australian outback camping

Travel Spiced Life

When free camping, it’s always worth taking the time to strike up a conversation with fellow campers and getting to know them.

Careful – House on the road

Next day our trip got off to an interesting start. After packing up, we hit the road and began driving along Stuart Highway. As we drove, we noticed a car in the distance with a sign that read “Oversized load.” The car quickly passed us, and we didn’t see anything else approaching, so we continued driving along the highway.

However, just a minute or two later, we were surprised to see a huge house right behind us! We quickly realised that it was the oversized load that we had seen earlier. Suddenly, we heard a voice come through on the UHF radio:

He is not a smart cookie… 

You know, for some people “oversize” does not mean anything…

Stuart Highway - House on the road
Stuart Highway – House on the road – in Australia it is normal to buy a house and move it somewhere else

An enormous truck was transporting a house and taking up both lanes of the road. After hearing a reprimand on the UHF radio, we pulled over to the side of the road to allow the oversized load to pass in front of us. We followed the truck and the house it was carrying all the way to the state border.

Crossing Northern Territory border

At the South Australia-Northern Territory border, there were no restrictions on carrying fruits and vegetables, so we were able to bring our apples without worrying about having to eat them immediately. As for potatoes and onions, we had already eaten them the night before, just to be on the safe side.

Roadhouse - Dog Concert
Stopping at the Roadhouse for lunch

We stopped at a roadhouse halfway to Alice Springs to grab some lunch. What we saw there left us speechless. The roadhouse had a small restaurant at the back, and when I walked in to buy our favorite meat pies, I couldn’t believe what I saw.

meat pie on the road
Getting delicious meat pie on the road

The entire room was full of people, all completely still and silent, listening to a concert. What was unusual about this concert, you ask? Well, it was a dog playing an old piano! The human sitting in front of the piano was playing “something” with just one finger, while the dog was howling…and howling…and howling. Can you picture it?

Tomorrow will find out why Alice Springs is called Alice.

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