Cities' 42 degree heatwave no sweat in Oodnadatta

"We stay indoors, get up early, get up before the real heat of the day" - Lynnie Plate. Photo / Getty Images
"We stay indoors, get up early, get up before the real heat of the day" - Lynnie Plate. Photo / Getty Images

To the hardy folk in Oodnadatta, a day or two of temperatures above 40C is nothing. They've been baking in the South Australian Outback since early November.

Daily maximums have hovered around the mid 30s to the low 40s since then, and over the past seven days have topped 45C.

A positively balmy top of just 40C occurred yesterday before the town heats up again with 47C maximums expected this Saturday and Sunday. Now that's a heatwave.

In fact, Lynnie Plate, who runs The Pink Roadhouse and has lived in the town since the 1970s, says the current hot spell has been setting records for the town that also boasts Australia's highest recorded daytime temperature, 50.7C back on January 2, 1960.

"We're just taking it a day at a time," she says. "Everyone in Oodnadatta owns an airconditioner and they just run 24-7. We stay indoors, get up early, get up before the real heat of the day.

If you want to go out, you do it after dark."

Plate says the severe conditions rarely deter the tourists. Many don't appreciate how hot it can get in the Outback. She gives them the best advice she can, but says sometimes they don't understand if English isn't their first language, or just don't listen.

Brenton Chester, of the Transcontinental Hotel, says the town has gone quiet in recent days.

"Everyone is just staying indoors, there's pretty much no movement around the town at all."

Children head for the school swimming pool or a local dam. Other than that, not much is happening.

However, the locals do enjoy a bit of chuckle at the reports of hot conditions in the cities to the south and the east. When the mercury topped 42C in Sydney on Tuesday, in Oodnadatta it was 47C.

"If it was 41C or 42C we'd be putting jumpers on," Chester said.

- AAP

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