How your photos can help document the history of South Australia’s Ngarkat Conservation Park

How your photos can help document the history of South Australia’s Ngarkat Conservation Park

Work is under­way to pre­serve the his­to­ry of two camp­grounds in this spe­cial park. Here’s how you can you help.

Two pop­u­lar camp­grounds in Ngarkat Con­ser­va­tion Park, rough­ly 250 km east of Ade­laide, are the focus of a project look­ing to high­light its his­to­ry through sto­ries and photos.

The Box Flat camp­ground is locat­ed about 30 km from Lameroo and Bucks Camp camp­ground is about 30 km from Keith.

Both have been pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions in years past for vis­i­tors from local towns, includ­ing Lameroo, Kei­th, Tinti­nara and Bordertown.

Both areas are also impor­tant sites for local First Nations, as the loca­tion of sev­er­al soaks.

Bucks Camp has a tum­bled-down, two-room hut with a near­by soak and old well, while Box Flat has an old three-room hut.

But cur­rent­ly there’s not many pho­tos or sto­ries on file to cap­ture the his­to­ry of these spe­cial spots.

Read on to learn about the park and see how you or some­one you know might be able to help pre­serve its history.

About Ngarkat Con­ser­va­tion Park

Ngarkat Con­ser­va­tion Park includes 270,000 hectares of veg­e­tat­ed sand dunes, Mallee and heath.

An abun­dance of wildlife is found through­out the park, includ­ing the rarely spot­ted malleefowl, west­ern grey kan­ga­roos, emus and more than 120 species of birds.

Ngarkat is famous for its win­ter flow­er­ing of key heath species, includ­ing the high­ly orna­men­tal banksia orna­ta, which means unlike many oth­er places in the Mallee dur­ing win­ter, it’s a busy time of the year for its many bird occu­pants. It’s also a good time to vis­it because the sandy hills are much firmer and eas­i­er to nav­i­gate with a four-wheel drive.

A num­ber of walk­ing trails give vis­i­tors the oppor­tu­ni­ty to see the wildlife and get a bet­ter appre­ci­a­tion of the vast Mallee landscape.

There’s mag­nif­i­cent views from Tyms Look­out along a 2 to 3 hour hike, and the ruins of ear­ly Euro­pean pio­neer­ing set­tle­ments at Box Flat give vis­i­tors an insight into the ear­ly – failed – attempts to farm this country.

How you can help

Have you vis­it­ed Ngarkat Con­ser­va­tion Park and spent some time at these camp­grounds? Or do you know some­one that has?

If so, you might be able to help the team at Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Service.

They are look­ing to col­late fur­ther infor­ma­tion on the sites, from pre-1980, to help with the devel­op­ment of fur­ther infor­ma­tion and sig­nage for these areas.

Whether it’s farm­ing infor­ma­tion, what peo­ple used to do, bits and pieces or pho­tos of pic­nics, the team is keen to see it all – as long as it relates to these areas.

So dig through your pho­to albums and rem­i­nisce on those sto­ries from the past, and if you’ve got some­thing to share sim­ply make sure you sub­mit them by 30 June.

If you like learn­ing about the his­to­ry of South Australia’s nation­al parks, you might like our sto­ry:5 nation­al parks in SA that are rich in Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tur­al her­itage.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living