The area north of the Eyre Peninsula and the Flinders Ranges stretches into the vast, empty spaces of the South Australian outback – about 70% of the state, covering the traditional lands of dozens of Indigenous nations. If you're prepared, travelling through this sparsely populated and harsh country is utterly rewarding.
Heading into the red heart of Australia, Woomera is the first pit stop, with its dark legacy of nuclear tests and shiny collection of left-over rockets. Further north on the Stuart Hwy and along the legendary Oodnadatta and Strzelecki Tracks, eccentric outback towns such as William Creek, Innamincka and Coober Pedy emerge from the heat haze. This is no country for the faint-hearted: it's waterless, fly-blown and dizzyingly hot. No wonder the opal miners in Coober Pedy live underground.