Acacia Ridge walk

Though this landscape is publicized as wilderness in reality it is a topographical or human altered landscape that has been shaped by a failed pastoral enterprise. Failed because the land and terrain was not suitable for sheep or cattle. The sheep and goats were removed in 1974 when the Sprigg family bought out the pastoral station and established the Arkaroola wilderness sanctuary.

The Ridge top offered views across the ranges to Lake Frome on the eastern horizon. Whilst looking across to ridges to the salt lake I recalled that I had walked to the southern end of the lake and camped overnight whilst on the camel trek in May. That was around three months earlier.

Acacia Ridge

The arid, rugged VulkathunhaGammon Ranges are best left alone and protected as a “wilderness sanctuary”, even if there is a now steady stream of tourists in their 4 wheel drives and caravans going to stay at Arkaroola and spend several days driving around the rough tracks to the various sites of interest. Arkaroola’s conservation is funded by tourism. 

Arkaroola Rd

What is impressive is the deep geological time of the VulkathunhaGammon Ranges that represents an extraordinary window into the major stage in Earth’s history.  The various rock formations provide an exceptional record of a major stage in Earth’s history; literally, “Archive Earth”. You can see a time lapse of deep time in the form of the first full tectonic plate reconstruction of the last billion years – spanning nearly a quarter of the Earth’s existence.

These rocks provide an exceptional depositional, tectonic and geothermal record of Earth history in a subsiding geological basin known as the Adelaide Rift Complex, which straddled Australia’s ancient continental margin, and spanned a 350 million year time period from the Neoproterozoic (850 million years) to the Cambrian (500 million years). This is the critical geological time-frame when complex, macroscopic (multicellular) animal life first emerged on Earth.

Xanthorrhoea, Acacia Ridge

This deep time brings Timothy Morton’s object-oriented ontology into perspective. This ontology, which puts things at the center of existence (eg., how objects exist and interact), rejects the claims that human experience rests at the center of philosophy, and that things can be understood by how they appear to us. There are non-human things that are not me that also have agency, and some of these are really, really big — tectonic plates or global warming. Morton terms these hyperobjects.

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