Pildappa Rocks – Judy Sara

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Many people know about Wave Rock in Western Australia but did you know that South Australia has its own version of Wave Rock.

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Figure 1 Pildappa Rock- SA’s Wave Rock

It is on Eyre Peninsula.

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Turn off Eyre Highway at Minippa and take a gravel road through farming country for about 15km.

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Figure 3 Granite Inselberg

This granite rock is part of the oldest rocks in South Australia and was formed about 1,500 million years ago. It is an Inselberg – the granite from which it is made has resisted weathering and erosion much more that the surrounding rocks and so today it is surrounded by paddocks.

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Figure 4 Gutter to direct runoff water into an underground tank.

The wave or flare shape was actually formed while the rock was still underground. As water seeped into the base of the granite rock faces it chemically weathered the minerals that make up the granite. When the surrounding soil was eroded away the flare structure could be seen.

There are a number of inselbergs through out Eyre Peninsula and they were very important for the early farming communities.  In 1928 the local farmers constructed the gutters you can see in this image. These gutters channeled water runoff into a huge underground water tank.



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Figure 5 Indentations on top of the rock cache water.

The holes on the top of the rock caught water and were an essential survival resource for the Kokatha aboriginals as the surrounding land was dry and arid.

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Figure 6 Greg climbing the rock.

The rock is quite large and visitors can climb up it.

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Figure 7 Walking path to the rock.

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Figure 8 The effects of weathering and erosion are clearly seen here.

Different sides of the rock have different features. One side is this orange but the southern side is dark and covered with lichen. The patterns they make are beautiful.

Figure 9 – 12 the lichen forms beautiful patterns.

There is a rest area with toilets near the rock and although some people do camp there, the council would prefer that they just used it as a day area.

It is a great place to visit on the way to the Gawler Ranges National Park.

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Figure 13 The view towards the Gawler Ranges

The Gawler Ranges which can be seen in the distance in this image were formed by a short series of volcanic eruptions about 1,600 million years ago.

Above, Figure 14, a gully in Gawler Ranges National Park and Figure 15, Basalt columns in Gawler Ranges National Park

As the basalt from the eruption cooled it formed columns.

Another attraction to visit on the way to or from Pildappa Rocks is the Australian Farmer Statue at Wudinna. This has been carved from similar granite as found at Pildappa Rocks.

Figures 16 and 17 The Australian Farmer Statue, Wudinna

So, if you are planning a trip to Eyre Peninsula set aside some time to visit Pildappa Rocks.