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Oodnadatta Track: Gibber Plains

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Oodnadatta Track ~ Gibber Plains ~ Images of Australia
The Oodnadatta Track provides some wonderful examples of the "gibber plains" or "stony country".

Gibber plains, or as the locals say, the "hard country" are stretches of country covered in small polished rocks or pebbles called gibbers. These are polished fragments of the original duricrust (a layer of silica formed by the deposition of silica, iron oxides or calcium carbonate) that capped the plain some 65 million years ago. Fine abrasive material has swept past, wearing them down and rounding them off during rain and wind scour.

Today, they remain as a surface lag, protecting the underlying soils from water and wind erosion. You need to get out and pick up a few to appreciate their smoothness and the intensity of their wonderful colours. Gibber plains are common along the Track. A couple of favourite spots are on Allandale Station and just north of Algebuckina where the gibbers are black rather than red-brown, the colour being derived from the type of iron mineral (goethite) they contain.1

More information about the Oodnadatta Track and the many locations along the route.

Oodnadatta Track - Gibber Plains - Snapshots from South Australia

Oodnadatta Track Gibber Plains
Oodnadatta Track Gibber Plains.
Goethite gibber pavement along the Oodnadatta Track
Goethite gibber pavement.
Rolling gibber plains of the Australian outback
Rolling gibber plains of the Australian outback.
Black gibber plains of the Oodnadatta Track
Black gibber plains of the Oodnadatta Track.
Trekking the Oodnadatta Track pass gibber plains
Trekking the Oodnadatta Track pass gibber plains.
Photos © Ausemade Pty Ltd

1 Government of South Australia - SA Arid Lands Natural Resources Management: Publications & Resources - Tourism brochures: The Oodnadatta Track - String of Springs (PDF)
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