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Coward Springs

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Coward Springs

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Coward Springs - Cities, Towns and Localities

Coward Springs / Pitha Kalti-kalti

Coward Springs is located next to Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park. The spring complex has 12 active spring groups, including those in the neighbouring conservation park.

The springs were named by Peter Warburton in 1858, after Corporal Thomas Coward who was one of the members of the exploration party.

A bore was sunk in 1886-87 and unsuccessfully capped in 1889. As a result, an artificial wetland developed. Date palms were also planted in 1898.1

The government bore at Coward Springs is 400 feet deep. The rush of water is so strong it shoots nearly 15 feet into the air, falling in a shower of spray and forming a most exquisite fountain... The supply is unending and never varies... A large pool of water, quite 40 feet long, lies at the foot of the fountain and the overflow fills a drain about six feet wide with a depth ranging from six inches to one foot. The inhabitants of Coward are justly proud of their beautiful fountain and talk enthusiastically of the delights of bathing under it in the summer...

The spring and the hotel are described in the Observer, 27 March 1897, page 33d 2

The Aboriginal name is Pitha Kalti-kalti 3 (after the crooked box tree which once stood at the site). The springs were a resting spot for the Urumbula people as they travelled north for trade.

The Old Ghan Railway reached Coward Springs in 1888, the siding was once the most western point on the line. Now listed with the South Australian Heritage Register in 1998, the only two buildings remaining, and now restored are the Station Masters House and the Engine Driver Cabin.

Known as Coward Springs Campground and Heritage Area, Coward Springs today is privately owned and managed. With a permanent wetland, providing an oasis for wildlife, the 'natural spa', a self-guided heritage walk, and of course campground facilities.

In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

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Flinders Ranges and Outback Information

1 The South Australian Tourism Commission, South Australia. The Oodnadatta Track - String of Springs (PDF). Retrieved August 1, 2012
2 The Manning Index of South Australian History - State Library South Australia: Coward Springs. Retrieved August 8, 2012
3 PlaceNames Online, South Australian State Gazetteer. Government of South Australia, Coward Springs. Retrieved August 8, 2012
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