The Maree Hotel is a monument to a bygone era…..the most impressive building in a small outback town that’s the junction of the famous Oodnadatta and Birdsville tracks.
Built like a lot of outback pubs in the early 1900′s, it boasts high ceilings, a substantial bar, several dining rooms, and accommodation in rooms on the top floor for the passing traveller.
It’s now a stopover point for bus loads of people wanting to see the waters in nearby Lake Eyre.
The town became a major railhead for the cattle industry back in the late 1800′s and you can still imagine the bustling activity at the pub in those days.
Sadly, the Ghan railway line linking Adelaide with Alice Springs closed over half a century ago and that spelled the end of Marree as a major outback centre.
One of several relics that mark the previous fame of the town is the old truck used by Tom Kruze, one of the Birdsville Mail men, whose epic 700 kilometre journeys delivering mail across some of the most inhospitable sand and rocky desert country in Australia are now legend.
The history of the truck and the mailmen is well documented, but again it is sad to see this monument to the outback spirit slowly becoming a rusting wreck.