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Witjira National Park - Dalhousie Springs

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Witjira National Park - Dalhousie Springs ~ Images of Australia
The special Witjira National Park, on the western edge of the Simpson Desert, is in one of the driest regions in Australia. Yet this region of South Australia has something very special, that attract travellers, like the early explorers to the region. In a seemingly arid desert landscape, amidst endless sand dunes and gibber plains, are countless thermal springs, often surrounded by lush greenery that beckons like desert oasis remembered in old movies. You may even get to see the odd camel or two, alien creatures transplanted into this strange land.

Witjira National Park is part of the traditional country of the Lower Southern Arrernte and Wangkangurru people, rich in evidence of past occupation dating many thousands of years. It is a place that holds special cultural significance, rich in Indigenous heritage and tradition, and humming with song lines and dream time stories such as the Two Boys songline - 'Kingfisher Dreaming'.

European explorers and pastoralist stamp their mark across the land, evident by the decaying buildings of the Dalhousie Homestead ruins. The only things that have survived from their attempts to tame this land are the stands of date palms and the feral animals. Today, a new breed of explorers have come, travellers from around the world to see the spectacular country of gibber plains, stony tablelands, flat-topped mesa hills, salt pans, sand dunes and flood plain country. But most of all, they come to experience the beauty of the mound springs, and a dip in the warming waters of Dalhousie Springs, a refreshing moment after the long dusty drive.

With the steam gently rising from the pools, some claim the waters have health benefits. Indeed the indigenous name is 'Irrwanyere', translated as 'healing waters'. The water percolates to the surface from deep within the Great Artesian Basin, water that date back many millions of years. In the cool of the early morning, mist rises off the springs, enticing the traveller for another swim or soak in the invigorating water, whilst the native fish nibble your dead skin.

For those planning the trip, 4 wheel drive only is recommended, the turnoff to the park is just north of Oodnadatta for those coming from either Coober Pedy, Marla or William Creek. At a mere 887 km from Port Augusta, you should always check for weather and road conditions and a Desert Parks pass is required for those staying.

More information about Witjira National Park, Witjira National Park Fauna and Flora
Ruins of the Dalhousie Homestead, Dalhousie Springs, Desert People, Dreaming Story, Plants, Walks, Wildlife

Witjira National Park - Dalhousie Springs - Snapshots from South Australia

Stand of Date Palms near Dalhousie Homestead Ruins Dalhousie Homestead Ruins Dalhousie Homestead Ruins Stockyards Early morning on Dalhousie Springs (Irrwanyere - healing waters)
A swim in the Dalhousie Springs Rainbow Serpent Spring (Atyetyarr uthen) Mound spring on the Kingfisher Springs Walk. Arid landscape at Dalhousie Springs with the flat-top mesa hills on the horizon.
Salt deposits around Dalhousie Springs Dalhousie mound springs overflow creating wetland Dalhousie Springs is a popular destination for many 4 wheel drive clubs AusEmade in Witjira National Park
Photos © Ausemade Pty Ltd

> Australia's desert springs. Retrieved July 27, 2012, from
> Great Artesian Basin Springs: Witjira-Dalhousie. AHC final assessment report: Witjira-Dalhousie Springs (PDF 104 Kb). Retrieved July 28, 2012
> Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources: Witjira National Park
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