Known simply as "The Breakaways", the
Breakaway Reserve gets
its name from the massive rocks and plateaus that from a distance looks like
they have "broken away" from the main range known as the Stuart Ranges. This ancient Australian
landscape, dates back over 70 million years ago,
and features many flat-topped mesas, that would once have been islands in a vast inland sea.
Located in the far north of South Australia, just 25 km from the opal mining
Coober Pedy, The Breakaways is located on the Aboriginal Antakirinja Land.
The Aboriginal people have lived in this area for thousands of years, and this
area holds a very important place in their stories and dreamtime. Prior to white
settlement, the area was known as "Umoona", named after the tree that grows in
the area and meaning "long life". With the arrival of the white man searching
for opals, the Aboriginal people named the area "Kupaku Piti", meaning "white
man's hole". The Breakaways is a teaching place for young Wati's (men). Although
Aboriginal culture does not allow the full story to be told to the uninitiated,
some information is permitted to be told.
Take the time to
read and learn some of the stories, such as that of the "Two Dogs (Pupa)".
The formation is known by non-aboriginal people as "salt and pepper" or the
"castle". To the Aboriginal people, they are known as the two dogs sitting down,
one yellow dog and one white dog. To the south west of Two Dogs is a peaked
hill, known as Man (Wati) who is the owner of the dogs. Other Aboriginal stories
include the Emu (Kalayu) and Bearded Dragon (Ungkata).
One of the hottest places in Australia, with summer temperatures often
reaching 45°C, and ground temperatures reaching as
high as 65°C. Despite the heat, this harsh arid region, is the location of a
number of major movies, filmed here on location including Mad Max III -
Beyond Thunderdome (Tina Turner and Mel Gibson), Priscilla Queen of the Desert
(Hugo Weaving, Terrance Stamp, Guy Pearce, Bill Hunter), Ground Zero, and Pitch Black
(Vin Diesel). Visitors to the region can also stand next to the "Dog Fence".