A 'must stop' location - an oasis in the desert with a warm 'natural' spa.
A former station for the Ghan railway, the site once contained a number of buildings including a weatherboard station, 4-room stone house, 2-room stone crew rest house, iron engine shed, and a double set of cottages. A hotel and store existed until 1962.
Now nothing remains apart from a pleasant camping ground - on the site of the former hotel - and a couple of restored buildings. The restored Engine Driver's cottage is open for inspection with an interesting history of the former station, and the restored Station Master's residence is now the home of the current owners.
The area was named after Corporal Thomas Coward, from P. Egerton Warburton's exploration party which discovered springs in 1858.
The artesian bore alongside the railway flowed 1.2 million gallons per day, with rail crews bathing in the warm pools while the train was stopped at the station. The bore became a fast flowing stream when bore casings collapsed, forming a wetlands area in the desert.
Attempts made to 'kill' the bore failed, so now itís 'controlled'.
The spa is natural because the water is coming from the Great Artesian Basin. Itís 'natural' (with quotation marks) because the water is coming through an artificial bore. Nice, relaxing, warm water to soak in every morning - every camping ground should have one!