Port Augusta
Iron Knob 
Streaky Bay
Smoky Bay
Denial Bay
Cactus Beach 
Fowler's Bay
Head of Bight
Border Village
Eyre Bird



  A good time
 Down Under!










Inselberg pillars - Murphy's Haystacks

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.


Haystacks by sunset




Sun Set at

Murphy's Haystacks



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.


Sue does the yabba dabba doo!





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.


Pink Hiltaba granite pillars

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.


mystery rock

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.


the haystack

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.

silent sentinels

Murphy's Visitor Book Comments:

  • Australia's Stonehenge.
  • A bit like Granite Island combined with Devil's Marbles.
  • Yabba Dabba Doo! (Not written by Fred Flintstone)
  • Incredible, Nature baffles.
  • $1 too cheap - Port Augusta
  • The Inland Remarkable Rocks. Irish for sure!
  • Hot pebbles as pebbles go.
  • E Tutto Bellissimo. Cristina Prati (Italy)
  • Best Inselbergs I've seen to date. Rjeck Rjelic (Finland)


tafoni structure

Tafoni Structure


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.