Strangways Springs is a nationally significant heritage site.
It is the location of the Strangways Springs Overland Telegraph Station, an
essential link in the Overland Telegraph constructed between Adelaide and the
north coast of Australia, in 1870-72.
The Overland Telegraph connected with cables to Europe, enabling rapid
communication between southern Australia and Britain. The Strangways complex is
one of a number of repeater stations established at about 300 km intervals to
re-transmit the telegraphic signal.
The Strangways site was chosen because of the water supply available from the
natural springs (mound springs) in the area. These and many other mound springs
in the Marree-Oodnadatta region played a vital role in the early exploration of
the Far North and greatly influenced the location of both the Overland Telegraph
and the Central Australian Railway.
The Strangways Station employed six men and was an important stop-over point for
overland travellers. It operated until September 1896, when nearby William Creek
on the newly constructed Central Australian Railway took over its services.
Subsequently, the buildings fell into disrepair.
The South Australian Government plans to stabilise the ruins and to provide
overall protection for this outstanding heritage site. In the meantime, visitors
are urged to treat the area with care and respect.
Source: Department of Environment and Planning, 1988 signage
Erected with funds provided by participants in the Victorian CAE Simpson Desert
tour 1987 & Escorted Outback Tours of Nhill, Victoria
Strangways Springs / Pangki Warrunha
Strangways Springs is one of the many clusters of mound springs in South
Australia's far north. Mound springs are natural outlets for the underground
waters of the Great Artesian Basin and many hundreds occur around the margins of
the Basin in Queensland, north western New South Wales and northern South
Many, but not all of the springs have the characteristic mound which has given
them their common name. The mounds are composed of precipitates and sediments
form the spring waters, as well as wind blown surface material.
Spring activity varies greatly, with flows ranging from seepages up to a maximum
of around 14 million litres per day from one of the springs at Dalhousie north
east of Oodnadatta. Many of the springs around Strangways (and elsewhere) have
stopped flowing, a process which has been hastened since European settlement by
the sinking of numerous artesian bores.
More information about
the Oodnadatta Track
and the many locations along the route.