By Ines Badman
When people think of the desert they often think dry, dusty, hot and boring. Sure, dry, dusty and hot – yup that’s Roxby Downs for most of the year, but boring, that’s something this little town definitely isn’t.
Based 6 hours North of Adelaide, Roxby Downs sits nicely in the middle of the desert with approximately four thousand people living in it. The town itself is amazing; we have a range of services such as a cinema, youth centre, café, library, gym, sports and a whole lot more. We even have two schools, a council and a hospital (incredible right!) Doesn’t sound too different from the city hey? Well it’s not just the town that makes Roxby an incredible place; the beauty of the people and land it’s surrounded by really makes the town amazing.
Each year the town comes together and holds events such as the World Food & Music Festival, Happy Healthy Expo, NAIDOC festival, family days, outdoor movies, nature plays, fundraisers…the list is endless. The community spirit here is quite unique, and one that often surprises people when they move to town. Roxby is a very transient town, most people move far away from family, friends and life as they know it, however this town takes you in as one of its own. Everyone supports everyone. It doesn’t matter if you have lived here for 5 seconds or 5 years, you are always welcomed. And because of this, Roxby friends quickly become family.
You must be thinking, ‘what is there to do in Roxby apart from the town services?’ Well 20 minutes from Roxby is another little town called Andamooka which is a small opal mining town. It’s full of history, gives you the opportunity to go noodling (searching for opal), has a showroom full of stunning opal and the Andamooka Yacht Club serves up fresh coffee and treats.
Apart from visiting surrounding towns, a common interest is going camping and 4WDing and visiting some spectacular spots. Lake Torrens that sits out the back of Andamooka or one of several lakes that fill after a good rain and burst to life with birds and shield shrimp. Marree, Lake Eyre and the Oodnadatta track are only an overnight trip away. We have so much freedom and there is nothing better than sitting around the campfire with friends, watching the contrast of the red sand reflect through the sunset. Once the sun goes down you are treated to a spectacular view of the stars that go beyond the horizon in every direction.
Roxby Downs is full of amazing scenes, critters, flowers and people. Just like the red sand will take up permanent residence in your car (and trust me it will), it finds a permanent spot in your heart.
Right now, many of us in Roxby are staying home to keep our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the perfect time to go out, explore our backyard (while being careful to practice social distancing) and appreciate what Roxby Downs really is – a true beauty in the desert.