The William Creek Hotel Story

Austalia's smallest Outback town


The South Australian heritage-listed William Creek Hotel has evolved over the years from a boarding house to a bustling tourist town with 53 accommodation rooms and a campground.  The William Creek Hotel has played an integral part of South Australia’s railway history and nowadays the railway sleepers salvaged from the Old Ghan railway line form the walls of the Restaurant.

Town History

  • 1887      William Creek Hotel was established as a boarding house
  • 1888      William Creek was opened as a stop on the Old Ghan train line
  • 1890      Wine Saloon was opened
  • 1925      An extension of the Hotel is built to include a Post and Telegraph Office
  • 1930’s    The Federal Government establish an emergency airstrip at William Creek
  • 1935      Hotel license is granted and the Hotel is opened up for accommodation
  • 1940’s    The Old Telegraph Line is upgraded and William Creek Hotel has access to the national telephone network
  • 1960’s    Railway maintenance is centralised in William Creek
  • 1970’s    A town water supply is installed
  • 1979      The Oodnadatta Track is named and promoted as a tourist trail
  • 1980      The Old Ghan train line is relocated
  • 1980’s    Road mail service begins to William Creek
  • 1987      William Creek becomes home to the first solar-powered public telephone in Australia
  • 1990’s    Wrightsair is based at William Creek
  • 2000      Dingo Café is opened using stone from the railway cottages
  • 2010      The William Creek main airstrip is sealed allowing it to be an all weather strip
  • 2011      Cabins are upgraded at the William Creek camp ground
  • 2012      Trevor Wright purchases the William Creek Hotel and main hangar is built
  • 2015      Trevor Wright owns all the property in William Creek
  • 2017      William Creek gets mobile coverage with Optus
  • 2018      4G Optus network is connected in William Creek
  • 2019      William Creek gets mobile coverage with Telstra
Fettlers Camp

Why is it called William Creek?

The name William Creek derives from a lake and a creek, which flow to the north and south of the town. John McDougall Stuart named William Spring and Lake William in 1859. “William’ was the second son of John Chambers, one of Stuart’s co-sponsors for his many expeditions.