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Ucontitchie Hill



Ucontitchie Hill - A Unique Eyre Peninsula Inselberg


ucontitchie a unique 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.


Inselberg wave form

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.


Inselberg - Tafoni structure


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.


Inselberg pillars

 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 farmers.


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