Myall Creek – Outback South Australia
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Myall Creek – Outback South Australia

When on top of the sand dune near my camp at Andamooka Waterhole in outback South Australia, I noticed another waterhole, a kilometre or so further up Myall Creek, and just had to check it out with a view to getting some good arid region landscape photos.

Myall Creek comes from about 25 kilometres to the south, getting close to the boundary with Arcoona station and empties into Lake Torrens, not so far downstream, from Andamooka Waterhole.

Along Myall Creek are a couple of dams, Stone Wall Dam and Nick of Time Dam, as well as Nick of Time Well.

The creeks of the arid region are dry most of the time. Waterholes and dams may hold water for up to a couple of years. But when the floods come it must be a frightening thing. The clay country of the gibber plains sheds the rain rapidly and the usually dry creeks run a banker.

Flood debris may be seen along the creek banks such as Myall Creek, a hundred metres wide and easily six metres above creek bed level. In this area, all the water apart from what is saved in the dams and waterholes, empties into Lake Torrens where the salt pollutes it making it unfit for agricultural and pastoral use.

In many cases, waterholes on the lower reaches of the creeks, close to Lake Torrens, although flushed out with fresh water in a flood, soon turn salty when the flow stops, salt water infiltrating from the surrounding water table.

Strangely, Andamooka Waterhole remains fresh. Salt lies in the bed of Myall Creek, upstream and downstream, but Andamooka Waterhole remains sweet water for stock and human use.

So it’s in this context that I was keen to check out the waterhole further up Myall Creek. There turned out to be several waterholes, though none apeared as deep as Andamooka Waterhole and I wondered if they remain sweet.

Although not far, the ride on the quadbike was hard over the rocky ground and I was forced to leave the bike well back from the creek bed wherever I wanted to photograph.

5 Responses

  1. July 17th, 2011 | 8:23 pm

    Fantastic story mate. Great read

  2. July 18th, 2011 | 12:31 am

    Thanks Scotty! Sorry I don’t have the images up. Need to get to that.

    I made this post when camped out at Andamooka Waterhole. Couldn’t get any Next G signal at my camp so I went about a kilometre and a half up the hill to an old sheep holding yard. Put a bit of straight tree root up on the rails with my external aerial on top. Got one bar of signal, hardly enough to upload photos.

  3. Rob Kemenyvary
    February 1st, 2012 | 9:21 am

    Hi Laurie, you have some great photos there mate. I live in Andamooka and have done for a long time, I’ve worked on the station as well. I know these places you talk about and would dearly love to visit them again sometime. Please tell me how you got access to this area (Andamooka Waterhole etc) as it’s been 25 years since I was last there?
    Thankyou and Regards.

  4. February 1st, 2012 | 6:08 pm

    G’day Rob! Thanks for making contact

    Yes, great spots! I really come alive when I get out in that country, all alone.

    This last trip I accessed Andamooka Homestead from Arcoona Homestead, via the original main Road to Andamooka. Previous trips I’ve come in from Olympic Way.

    From the homestead it’s out past the rubbish tip and across the creek, then use the map and GPS to follow the right tracks.

    As you’d know, Andamooka Station has been de-stocked and abandoned for a good three years. Added to that, there had been a good season and some major rain events. The tracks were overgrown and badly washed out in places, as were some creek crossings.

    I lost the track twice, making it the second night I’d camped out pretty rough, covering the 65km from Arcoona Homestead where I’d left my ute.

    Peter Paisley is the contact person for Andamooka Station. (You probably know that).

    In late winter or early spring, my wife and I will be out your way on a much more civilised trip. Really looking forward to seeing Andamooka again and going out to Lake Torrens. Maybe we could look you up and share a cuppa.

    Best wishes, Mate!

  5. Rob Kemenyvary
    February 17th, 2012 | 10:23 am

    Thanks for the reply there Laurie, yes I do know Pete Paisley. I’ll be here mate and I know some great spots to access that are near Lake Torrens. I’d be happy to show you them if you’re interested. You can contact me @ ….. anytime.
    Thanks again, I will contact Pete for more info

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