What an amazing adventure! 14 hours, 600 kilometres and a mailman with a passion for the country and a great sense of history,
The Mail Run travels over diverse country, including gibber plains, red sand hills, and 120 million year old in-land sea beds.
We left Coober Pedy at 8.30am and arrived back at 10.30pm. Our route was a huge triangle that took us out to William Creek, up to Oodnadatta and then back to Coober Pedy. But where we went on the way was amazing!Dingo Fence. This fence was originally built in the 1880’s to keep the dingoes out of the sheep country and it travels from Queensland, through New South Wales and into South Australia with a length of over 5600 kilometres – the longest fence in the world – and reputedly the longest man made structure – even longer than the Great Wall of China. Anna Creek Station is the world’s largest working cattle station, covering an area roughly 23,500 square kilometres or 6 million acres. This makes it over seven times the size of the King Ranch in Texas, which is the USA’s biggest ranch. It is roughly the size of the country of Belgium, in Europe. It has an outstation called The Peake which we also delivered mail too. These cattle stations are part of the Kidman empire, founded by Sidney Kidman in 1899 and still held within the family. If you have a cool $350 million or so you could become the proud owner of this family business as it is currently for sale!
The Algebuckina Bridge is a Victorian era railway bridge south-east of Oodnadatta, on the Central Australian Railway in South Australia, and opened in January 1892. It is the longest bridge in South Australia. Of lattice steel construction, it comprises 19 span each 100 feet (30 m) long. It was strengthened in 1926 to allow it to carry heaver trains. It was built by a team of around 350 men, working in extreme desert heat. The grave of one of them, David Saunders, lies nearby. He died in January 1890 from “heart disease accelerated by heat apoplexy.” The bridge crosses the floodplain of the Neales River, which is prone to seasonal flooding, and replaced a surface-level railway which was frequently washed away. After a severe flood in 1974, which almost reached the bridge decks, the line was closed in 1981 and a new route built 100 miles further west.