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MURPHY'S HAY STACKS
Murphy's Hay Stacks
Murphy's Hay Stacks is a fine example of an inselberg formation and is well worth a visit. Murphy's Hay Stacks is located 40 kilometres southeast of Streaky Bay and can be accessed by following the Flinder's Highway and turning onto the Calca - Point Labatt Road. After travelling approximately 1.6 kilometres along a sealed road a picnic area becomes visible. This marks the entrance to the viewing area.
Sun Set at
Murphy's Hay Stacks were weathered and sculpted into their present form about 100,000 years ago. Geologists say the Hay Stacks are composed of pink granite from the Hiltaba suite of rocks whch were laid down some 1500 million years ago. Amazingly these beautiful pink granites were formed at a depth of 7 to 10 kilometres below the earth's surface. Today when we look at Murphy's Hay Stacks we see these Hiltaba granites exposed on the surface. Clearly a very great deal of erosion has occured since the granite's formation.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Local legend says that Murphy's Hay Stacks acquired its name from an Irish agricultural expert who saw this landmark in the distance whilst travelling on a coach. Apparently the learned Irish gentleman was very impressed and informed his fellow passengers that the farmer must have harrowed his land to produce such a great abundance of hay! Well, by now you must have guessed it! The original farmer of the land was a Mr. Murphy and to this day the landmark is known as Murphy's Hay Stacks.
At Murphy's Hay Stacks the traveller can see a variety of inselberg formations including boulders and pillars. Upon entering the viewing area a unique and magnificent Tafoni structure can be seen towering above the walkway. Elsewhere within the viewing area a variety of wave forms and flared rock structures can be seen. These are indicative of ancient physical and chemical weathering processes occuring when soil levels were several metres higher than now.
Murphy's Hay Stacks really is one of nature's lesser known gems and I personally recommend that you bring a camera and take some postcard quality photographs. Your time and effort will be rewarded. The photographs in this gallery were taken by Nullarbor Net in both early morning and late afternoon light. Equipment used was a Canon A-1 camera with a 75 - 200 mm zoom lens.
If sights such as Murphy's Hay Stacks are to your liking you should consider visiting Ucontitchie Hill near Wudinna - a sight of international geological significance. Arguably the best inselberg on Eyre Peninsula however, is Pildappa Rock which is located approximately 20 kilometres from Minnipa. Both Ucontitchie Hill and Pildappa Rock exhibit a wide range of well developed inselberg structures very different to those found at Murphy's Hay Stacks.
Murphy's Visitor Book Comments:
From the budget traveler's point of view a visit to Pildappa Rock also has the added advantage of an excellent free barbecue, water and picnic facilities - all within a short distance of Highway 1 which is the main trunk route for travelers crossing the Nullarbor. I should also add many South Australians consider Pildappa Rock to be a rival to Western Australia's Wave Rock, located at Hyden.