The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) is one of Australia’s greatest natural wonders. It stretches over 1.7 Million square kilometres and covers some 22% of the continent from Cape York down to central NSW and SA, parts of NT, and all South West Queensland.
The Artesian Time Tunnel is an interactive explanation of the Great Artesian Basin and how it breathes life into the outback and is the primary source of water for all developed communities in the Paroo Shire. It drives agriculture and livestock farming production and is one of the key pillars delivering economic growth to the outback. Over 3 kilometres deep in places, the Basin is estimated to hold over 64,000 cubic kilometres of ground water.
In a time long past, much of inland Australia was below sea level. A layer of sandstone caused by continental erosion held the water in place as the seas receded. Layers of sedimentary rock eventually covered and trapped the water. New water enters the GAB primarily from its eastern side in Qld and NSW and flows through the system at a ‘hectic’ rate of 1 to 5 metres per year!
Recent scientific studies estimate the age of the water to vary from several thousand years in parts to nearly 2 million years in the south west. The water is perfectly safe to drink and is sourced through bores and naturally occurring springs for beef cattle, crop irrigation and domestic consumption. It is a truly remarkable resource!
If you’re interested in a bit more history about the GAB and how it works, check out this great 5 minute video from the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy.
In the modern era, the Great Artesian Basin also drives economic development through tourism and drinking water production. Visitors to Eulo and other locations across the shire soak away their stresses and muscle aches in the famous Artesian Mud Baths. After all, wouldn’t you like to relax in a bath tub of warm artesian water rubbing in rejuvenating mineral rich mud whilst overlooking an outback sunset!
Life Energy Water is sourced and bottled locally in Wyandra, and it’s a favourite with locals and visitors alike with its soft and sweet taste.
The Great Artesian Basin – It’s a natural wonder, full of history, and drives economic development in the South West. It is the life of the outback!
The GAB is only the start of what you can experience in the Paroo Shire. Contact the team at the Cunnamulla Fella Visitors Centre and start planning your journey.
The Paroo Shire is truly part of the amazing outback Queensland experience – come and Live a local!