Brachina Gorge

My judgement was that this part of Brachina Gorge would be a good site for large format photography on a future visit, if we stayed at Hawker on a future trip.

gorge wall, Brachina Gorge

As Brachina Gorge Creek flowed across the plain west of the Flinders Ranges to Lake Torrens. But there was no access to the lake from the Outback Highway (B 83). Maybe it was possible to access the lake through staying at Merna Mora Station. There is the possibility to self-drive to the lake in your own 4 wheel drive. Or, presumably, you could fly over Lake Torrens from either Hawker or Rawnsley Park.

One of the treks offered by Flinders and Beyond Camel Trek was to Lake Torrens from Blinman. They would follow the various gorge creeks through the ranges near Parachilna, and then one which flowed across the plain to Lake Torrens. I had no idea which gorge/gorges it/they would be — though it probably would be those parallel to Parachilna Gorge.

wall, Brachina Gorge

I was stunned to discover that in 2020, SA’s Aboriginal Affairs minister, Premier Steven Marshall, had approved an application from exploration company Kelaray, a subsidiary of Argonaut Resources, to drill for ore on the lake’s surface. Native title is not recognised on Lake Torrens, but it is a national park. So why drill in a salt lake national park? Thankfully  a Supreme Court decision in 2022 overturned the authorisation for mineral exploration on Lake Torrens.

That day excursion ended our 2021 trip to the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges as  we returned to Adelaide the following morning via Orroroo, Pekina and Jamestown. I reflected on how walking these ranges opened up a world that I knew so little about: walking creates a basis from which we can meet and collectively experience and understand the world that we are in. The photography that I had done — both digital and film — had only scratched the surface.

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