Thursday, 10 July 2014

Kathleen Spring

Ernest Giles Road, south of Kings Canyon
When Ernest Giles and his party explored central Australia his route depended on where the next waterhole was, and they relied on the creeks, springs and Aboriginal wells to survive. He found and named Kings Creek that flows out of Kings Canyon and also used Kathleen Springs as a depot - it's about 30 km east of Kings Canyon along the same range. (In fact you can do a strenuous two-day walk (one way) along the range from Kings Canyon to Kathleen Springs.)

We visited Kathleen Springs. It's a permanent waterhole in a canyon that is now a protected reserve but in the past has been used as a convenient catching paddock for cattle and horses - the old yards are still there. But prior to that the Aboriginals treasured it for unknown thousands of years as a sacred site as the waterhole is the home of the Rainbow Serpent. They never camped close to the water for that reason, but they certainly used the shape of the canyon to trap and spear animals that came in to drink.

Giles and his party occasionally came under attack in this area by Aboriginals and you can understand why the original inhabitants were upset - the sacred places were being violated and their water holes drained. Now that it and other places are reserved there are signs and fences to encourage visitors to respect their rich heritage and sanctity.

There was a bushfire through the Kathleen Springs are 18 months ago and the flora is starting to recover. We saw lots of plants flowering in this beautiful place, and dozens of butterflies.

Spring at Kathleen Gorge


Long-nosed Dragon Amphibolurus longirostris

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