Arabana Mound Springs Outback South Australia © DEWNR

Land and freshwater stories

The Mound Springs of Arabana

Our past work to protect the bubbling springs in the desert

The hot deserts of Outback South Australia might seem an unlikely place to find freshwater springs bubbling up from underground.

Up to three kilometres deep and lying beneath 23% of the Australian continent, the Great Artesian Basin is the largest and deepest artesian basin in the world. The water it contains is under high pressure and in places like Arabana Country, South Australia this forces water to rise to the surface as freshwater springs. Along with the rising warm water comes sediment which can pile up several metres high hence the name – mound springs.

In the hot dry landscape, the springs create an oasis for local wildlife and migratory birds. They’ve also been extremely important to Indigenous people for many thousands of years.

To help manage these precious resources, we worked with the area’s Traditional Owners, the Arabana people, to create a Healthy Country Plan to manage their country and in particular the mound springs. This will help conserve these remarkable physical icons of the South Australian desert.

We would like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Land we help to conserve and pay respect to the Elders both past and present. Photo courtesy of National Parks South Australia