Sunrise Over Algebuckina Bridge by Jeff Catford

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Sunrise Over Algebuckina Bridge

Algebuckina Bridge is about 55kms south of Oodnadatta on the Oodnadatta Track – South Australia.
It’s a really beaut bridge as you can see. At 578mtrs it’s a pretty long bridge too. The longest in South Australia. It’s a good thing that it is a long bridge because it crosses the widest and longest river – the Neales River – on the Oodnadatta Track, not, mind you, that the Neales River often has a lot of water in it.
Algebuckina Bridge was opened in 1892 as part of the Old Ghan Railway. It wasn’t, as legend has it, originally designed for the Murray River and when found to be too short, built where it now stands instead. It was purpose designed and built for this very spot.
What isn’t an Outback myth though is the story of the wrecked car that is still there just to the side of the old track on the southern end of the bridge. It seems that the the car was stopped by a flooding Neales River. With no hope of making a crossing, the enterprising occupants of the vehicle reckoned, not unreasonably, that they could drive over the rail bridge. Bit bumpy maybe, but there is a pub at Oodnadatta and it’d be a long wait for the river to go down and the mud to dry, so, why not give it a go?
Problem was though, they forgot to check the train time table …..
There’s a famous waterhole just the other side of the Oodnadatta Track near the Algebuckina Bridge. It’s called, you won’t be surprised to learn, the Algebuckina Waterhole.
Algebuckina Waterhole is good place to camp apparently. Not that we’d know. We decided to camp right up close to the bridge – in fact, if you look very hard you can see out campsite in this image – and we never got around to checking out the waterhole. We did get to check out swarms of very unpleasant insects, a short but wild storm, complete with thunder lightning and rain, wind, and a not very well cooked meal of curried gritty chicken and unpleasant insects. We also had to quickly put out our fire – see wind above – using dirt and sand – see gritty chicken and insect curry above.
But we did get to see the Algebuckina Bridge – the longest bridge in South Australia – in the light of a not too foul sunrise. Not bad eh?
© Copyright 2009 – Jeff Catford

The Algebuckina Bridge is on the Register of the National Estate and the State Heritage Register of South Austrlia
Sunrise Over Algebuckina Bridge was featured in:
Australian Travel Photography and Writing – July 2009
Take Me Higher (Dynamic Range) – August 2009

Nikon D200 – Sigma 10~20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM
Manfroto tripod
Nikon MC-36 Remote
1/125 x f16 and f 14 – yes I know.. wrong way to do it.. :-)
Post Processing:
Photomatix – PSE – Noiseworks and the usual faffing about_

Best viewed LARGE.

Thank you for stopping by and thank you for your comments.


landscape, history, outback, heritage, oodnadatta track, national register, algebuckina bridge, the ghan railway, hdr

Inner urban dweller ~ Outback wanderer

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  • Rebecca Cozart
    Rebecca Cozartabout 5 years ago


  • Thank you Rebecca. I think WOW is what I said when we were there… :-)

    – Jeff Catford

  • funkyfacestudio
    funkyfacestudioabout 5 years ago

    Beautiful ! just love those swooping clouds

  • Thank you for stopping by and for your comment funkyface. It is much appreciated.

    – Jeff Catford

  • ozzzywoman
    ozzzywomanabout 5 years ago

    Cracker shot there, great story too!

  • Thank you ms ozzzy.. The story of out night under Algebuckina Bridge was really quite farcical, but pretty funny in the end. That’s more than I can say about the poor buggers who tried to drive across the bridge though .. :-)

    – Jeff Catford

  • Scott  d'Almeida
    Scott d'Almeidaabout 5 years ago


  • Thanks heaps Scott. Much appreciated.

    – Jeff Catford

  • Kevin Bergen
    Kevin Bergenabout 5 years ago

    Terrific! Besides being blessed by such a wonderful sunset, your composition is really nice!

  • Thank you Kevin.. although, as for the composition… I think the bridge needs to take the credit for that… :-)

    – Jeff Catford

  • William Bullimore
    William Bullimoreabout 5 years ago

    Excellent use of the wide angle lens. There’s a lot of depth and beautiful colour in this photo.

  • Thank you William. Outback sunsets can be stunning. And that 10~20mm lens… I am a bit fond of it.. :-)

    – Jeff Catford

  • John Vandeven
    John Vandevenabout 5 years ago

    Wow Jeff…This is an awesome capture…..Well done.

  • John, thank you… your comments are always very welcome. It was a very pleasant morning. I was lucky with the light… :-)

    – Jeff Catford

  • Barbara  Brown
    Barbara Brownabout 5 years ago

    Beautiful capture!!!

  • Barbara, thank you for looking and I am very pleased that you like this image

    – Jeff Catford

  • EarthGipsy
    EarthGipsyabout 5 years ago

    Lovely sky.

  • Thank you EarthGypsy. It was a lovely morning.

    – Jeff Catford

  • Brendan Schoon
    Brendan Schoonabout 5 years ago

    Excellent work! Fantastic!

  • Thank you very much Brendan. Very much appreciated.

    – Jeff Catford

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