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Flinders Dreaming and geology


The almost tangible spirit of the Flinders Ranges is reflected in the wealth of Adnyamathanha (“hill people”) legends associated with them. Perhaps more obvious here than anywhere else in Australia is the connection between landscapes and Dreamtime stories, which recount how scenery was created by animal or human action – though, as Dreamtime spirits took several forms, this distinction is often blurred. A central character is Akurra, a gigantic serpent (or serpents) who guards waterholes and formed the Flinders’ contours by wriggling north to drink dry the huge salt lakes of Frome and Callabonna. You may well prefer the Aboriginal legends to the complexities of geology illustrated on boards placed at intervals along the Brachina Gorge track, which explain how movements of the “Adelaide Geosyncline” brought about the changes in scenery over hundreds of millions of years.

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