COOBER PEDY News & Events


Human effluent is building up at the rest area near Coober Pedy, with approximately 15 campers per night using the welcome entrance on the Stuart Highway as a camping ground.  

Overnight campers at the “rest area” on the Stuart Highway at Coober Pedy, about 100 metres from a designated camping site with clean ablution facilities. Photo: Sue Britt

Concerns are growing, that it could equate to a conservative 1,350 toilet flushes in just three months, not including day stops. That’s if there was a loo facility available, which there isn’t.

 The “No Camping” sign normally visible to travellers has recently gone missing leaving campers at risk if road trains swing in for a rest during the night.

Behind the Welcome to Coober Pedy Mural is a growing cesspool of human effluent

The area is a parking bay and rest area which services large road trains travelling lengthy distances on the state highways and territory roads.

Campers are possibly risking lives by camping in parking bays on the Stuart Highway at places such as the entrance to Coober Pedy. 

Local residents driving their children to school have expressed concerns that many of the campers do not have suitable facilities on board that would be sufficient in keeping the surroundings hygienic.  

The large ‘Welcome to Coober Pedy’ mural painted by the local youth group is currently hiding a growing cess pool of human effluent. 

Effluent is piling up by the day as travellers leave a DNA trail along the highway

Although the area is at the entrance to Coober Pedy it is enjoyed, but not maintained, by the town. 

Travellers need to consider the environment which others frequently enjoy and keep highway rest areas safe and sanitary by planning wise, long distance travel and by using designated camping facilities.

The intersection is only a few hundred metres from a tourist park with camping and toilet facilities.

Travelling on a budget this overnighter didn’t mind airing his linen in public

There is also adequate signage on the highway with phone numbers for checking camping locations. 

Camping in an undesignated area could be costly in the long-term if fines are implemented. 

Photographs:  Sue Britt, Coober Pedy


Possibly Related Post

Not what we expected 
Geoff & Marg Ritchie travellers from the East coast say in their blog at Blogs & Travel Journals:

Quote: “I am forced to digress here for a moment and lodge an official complaint about the roadside rest areas in South Australia.

The problem is not the number of them, nor is their presentation, the issue which I first noticed on our trip around the block in 2008 that only about 1% of them have toilets. Don’t South Australians defecate or their women need to urinate???”

“It seems that they do from the amount of used toilet paper littering every roadside stop we saw. It is just such a contrast in comparison to every other state and territory in the country. We did have to laugh when we reached the border with N.T to find a very impressive building (the only one for 100’s of kms, and right on the border) which showed that the Territorians understand the plight of the poor traveller – the best ablution block you could imagine. Or perhaps it was just our unbridled joy after hanging on for the last 7 days! “

“Note that I am writing to Transport South Australia to express my displeasure – stay tuned for an interstate incident”

Prologue: Despite a week passing since I sent my note to the South Australian Dept of Transport (copy to the Dept of Tourism) regarding their abysmal lack of toilet facilities on the road, I have not heard anything back!

We were spoilt for choice with the number of caravan parks in the Alice …..”

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