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Strangways Springs

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Strangways Springs - Cities, Towns and Localities

Strangways Springs / Pangki Warrunha

Strangways Springs is located between Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park and William Creek, along the popular outback drive, the Oodnadatta Track.

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 Australia.

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.

Strangways Springs was one of the earliest pastoral leases in the area. The owners were also one of the first to learn the harsh realities of drought, when from 1864 to 1866, some 6,000 sheep were to die, two-thirds of the stock. Throughout the district, some 30,000 animals perished from the drought.

Strangways Springs Overland Telegraph Station
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

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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Strangways Springs Images

The Strangways Springs is one of the heritage stops that can be visited along the Oodnadatta Track.

More information and images can be seen on our Snapshots of Australia - The Oodnadatta Track
Images coming...    
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