Ucontitchie Hill - A Unique
Eyre Peninsula Inselberg
Ucontitchie Hill is a prominent landmark
30 kilometres to the South of Wudinna. Ucontitchie Hill is a domed
granite formation rising to a height of 37 metres above the surrounding
plain. As an Inselberg structure it is of international geological
significance and exhibits many well developed and well defined structures
and forms that are a result of chemical weathering processes. About
300 people visit Uncontitchie Hill each year.
Around the base of the hill can be seen
unique wave structures indicating previous levels of long since
eroded soils. As you rise to the peak of Ucontitchie Hill you can
observe vast slab like structures and fascinating sheets and boulders
of granite that have been internally eroded into features known
as Tafoni. If you are a photographer wishing to capture Tafoni features
on film I would recommend using a flash. From a photographic point
of view it is a bit difficult to do full justice to Ucontitchie
Hill. I personally would recommend one or 2 distant shots combined
with lots of close ups of the many packed features that are found
on this unique Inselberg.
From the early days of settlement Ucontitchie
Hill has been used as a source for capturing rainwater runoff. On
the northern side of the hill can be seen a water train for collecting
this runoff and near the top of Ucontitchie Hill a rainwater tank
can be seen that gravity feeds water down to farms below the hill.
While the height of Ucontitchie Hill
is only 37 metres it is not a climb for everyone. My own view is
that it should not be climbed by the elderly, the infirm, or very
young children. The hill can be very steep in places and very young
children are best left at the bottom of the hill. My own view is
that the best approach to climb this hill is from the southern end
near where the gravity fed water pipeline descends to the farm below.
On wet days the lichen encrusted granite can become slippery and
so it is recommended that all care be taken.
Entry to Ucontitchie costs $1-00
or $2-00 which is placed in an honesty box at the base of the hill.
Just look for the old ice chest! A geological publication about
Ucontitchie Hill is also available from the icebox. The price is
written on the ice box. This publication may be a little on the
technical side for some however it is nevertheless an interesting
read. This publication is also available from the council offices
in Wudinna. If you liked Ucontitchie Hill maybe you should check
out Pildappa Rock near Minnipa or have a look at Murphy's
Hay Stacks which are located 40 kilometres south east of Streaky
Bay, about 1 kilometre off the Port Lincoln coastal highway. When
leaving Ucontichie don't forget to leave the gates as you found
them. Access to this area is dependent on the good will of local
to go to Wudinna