As you travel the Oodnadatta Track, you pass through
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
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.
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
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.
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,
More information about
the Oodnadatta Track,
Kadarbu Mound Spring Conservation Park
and the many locations along the route.