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Oodnadatta Track: Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park

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Oodnadatta Track ~ Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park ~ Images of Australia
As you travel the Oodnadatta Track, you pass through Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park. Visitors to the park will experience the mound springs. Each one of these mound spring is an island, unto itself, an island of water, locked by the surrounding land.

There are more than 1,700 individual springs across 23 complexes, found within the South Australia part of the Great Artesian Basin. Most of these springs are relatively small with low discharge, although the group of springs with the largest discharge being within the Dalhousie Springs complex. 'The Bubbler' in the Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park and part of the Lake Eyre Supergroup, has the highest discharge of any individual spring in the Lake Eyre Supergroup. The spring is called 'The Bubbler' because it has been known to 'erupt' every so often. Previously it was reputed to rise 3-4 feet into the air, before current extractions rates of water.

Whilst some springs lie at ground level, many springs have a distinctive mound and are known as 'mound springs'. Mound springs are formed by the mineralised material coming to the surface with the ancient artesian water. The height of the mounds vary, depending on a number of factors such as water discharge rate and concentration of minerals.

In Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park, the mound springs vary in size and height, with Blanche Cup being about 20 metres high above the surrounding landscape and a width of some 25 metres.

Hamilton Hill is an ancient spring deposit that is about a million years old. It is thought that the top of this hill represents the former level of the surrounding landscape.

Aboriginal Dreamtime
It is said that the Kuyani ancestor Kakakutanha followed the trail of the rainbow serpent Kanmari to Bidalinha (or the Bubbler) where he killed it. He then threw away the snake’s head, which is represented by Hamilton Hill, and cooked the body in an oven-Dirga, which is now Blanche Cup. Kakakutanha's wife, angry at missing out on the best meat from the snake, cursed her husband and he went on to meet a gruesome death at Kudna-ngampa (Curdimurka). The bubbling water represents the convulsions of the dying serpent.1, 2

More information about the Oodnadatta Track, Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park and the many locations along the route.

Oodnadatta Track - Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park - Snapshots from South Australia

Blanche Cup, Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park
Blanche Cup, Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park
Water runoff from the mound springs, creating a unique wetland environment in the middle of the arid desert
Water runoff from the mound springs, creating a unique wetland environment in the middle of the arid desert - Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park.
Blanche Cup Spring with Hamilton Hill in the background - Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park.
Blanche Cup Spring with Hamilton Hill in the background - Wabma Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park.
 
Photos © Ausemade Pty Ltd


Source:
1 The South Australian Tourism Commission, South Australia. The Oodnadatta Track - String of Springs (PDF). Retrieved August 1, 2012
 
2 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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