Dig Tree To Haddon Corner Via Planet Arrabury Road
The Dig Tree to Haddon Corner via the Planet Arrabury Road. Another day on the MARS Enthusiasts 2019 National Muster. We called in at Nulla Outstation along the way. We left the dig Tree and headed north on the Planet Arrabury Road. Our final destination for the day was Birdsville however we planned to call in at Haddon Corner for a look.
The Planet Arrabury Road
The Planet Arrabury road varies from quite rough with large stones (some big enough to end your day) though to sandy and it eventually becomes a wide gravel highway towards the northern end. The first part of the southern section was awesome. The Cooper Creek basin and northwards is an ancient valley. You are surrounded by eroded flat-topped mesas that let you see the original level of the land as it had been millions of years ago. The planet Arrabury Road follows the valley floor. You are surrounded by fantastic ochre coloured hills – it looks a lot like the painted desert out from Coober Pedy and Oodnadatta. It’d be an awesomely magical sight from the right vantage point at sunset.
We called in at Nulla Outstation for a look and to break up the trip. What a nice little detour it was. The old outstation looks just like it must have a hundred years ago. It shows signs of recent use. There are some more modern (albeit dodgy looking dongas) alongside the old building that are probably see more use these days more than the original. On the way back out of Nulla Outstation one of our fellow MARS Enthusiasts Scott White mentioned he’d seen a nice old antique shovel on his way in and he was going to pull over and pick it up. Guess what? Turns out it was his own bloody shovel that must have fallen off his car on the way in. It gave us all one hell of a good laugh!
After a few hours the Planet Arrabury Rd rises up onto the tableland. From here to the end the changes are more subtle. As usual out this way there’s a lot of of gibber country and stretches of flood plains and sand country. Eventually you get to Sturt’s Stony Desert. He wasn’t mucking about when he named it either! It’s a never ending view of gibbers covering the landscape. Good old Charles Sturt walked through this country in one direction then walked back through it in the other because he was enthralled by the landscape. The bloke must have been absolutely bloody bonkers.
200km north of the Innamincka/Thargomindah Road you come to the turnoff to Haddon Corner. After we’d all come this far there was no way we weren’t calling in for a look!
From the Arrabury road, take the Haddon Corner turn off. A green finger sign points to Haddon Corner. The road is gravel, but it’s generally in quite good shape. There will be a difference depending on whether rain has fallen recently. All roads in the region would become impassable if that were the case. A 15-km drive will take you to Haddon Corner. The final two kilometres are across two sand dunes. While these sand dunes aren’t large, dragging a caravan through them wouldn’t be a bright idea. Campers with off-road tyres could get in with reduced tyre pressures. We all unhooked our vans and camper trailers at the base of the first dune, and drove in with just our vehicles. The track across the first dune from the end of the main track is well enough – it’s both easy to find and easy to follow.
We all had our photos taken and signed the visitors book. El Supremo Peter Woolsey put up his drone and took some fantastic videos and photos – thanks Pete you’re a legend! Other than the corner marker there isn’t mush to see – in fact there’s nothing but that isn’t the point. The point is being there. There’s a lot of dust and wide expanses of pretty much nothing except for sand and rocks with the odd shrub having a crack at survival. There are no facilities and this really would be remote camping. There is a picnic shelter if you’re keen on spreading out the rug and munching on some cucumber sangas.
Camping At Haddon Corner
There’s a free camp at Haddon Corner. This free camping area is 4WD only and for tents and camper trailers only. Pets are allowed.
Haddon Corner Location
- 165.25kms East of Birdsville
- 178.05kms West of Windorah
- 195.77kms North of Innamincka
- 359.13kms South of Boulia
Haddon Corner is the north-eastern corner of the state of South Australia where it meets with Queensland. It was first surveyed by John Carruthers, Lawrence Allen Wells, and Augustus Poeppel around 1883.