The Outdorian Magazine - Page 34

In Hot Water
Tap into eastern Australia’s hot pool culture
By Suzanne Chellingworth
Credit: Destination NSW
It doesn’t snow, there aren’t any monkeys, and you’ll need to keep
your bathers on, but despite these improbable conditions, a hot spring
culture simmers away merrily within some of the most remote corners
of eastern Australia.
sure sign you’ve arrived in spa country is the
Earlier still, the movements of Aboriginal communities
presence of the iconic outback windmill, or at least
through the arid outback were guided by the availability
what it represents. Out there you won’t find too
of groundwater bubbling up from naturally occurring
many flowing rivers and hulking dams, and so the Great
Artesian Basin – the biggest, deepest basin in the world,
and the only source of fresh water across much of inland
Australia – is a lifeline for rural areas first and foremost.
mound springs.
The basin lies beneath an area that extends from northern
New South Wales and northeast South Australia, into most
of Queensland – almost a fifth of Australia’s landmass. At
Its water has been tapped to feed animals, irrigate crops
3000m deep in places, it holds an unfathomable 65,000
and support remote settlements since European arrival.
cubic kilometres of fresh water.


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