AT THE POINT
Location: The site is located on the border between Queensland and the Northern Territory on the southern edge of the Toko Range. It was accessed cross-country from the internal track system of the Cravens Peak station. It is within Boulia Shire.
The Landscape: The local topography is of low undulation ironstone jump-ups interspersed by low sand dunes. It lies on the divide between the headwaters of the Mulligan River and the Field River, both of which drains to the Lake Eyre Basin. The geology of the area is Ordovician siltstones and sandstones. Soils are shallow and sandy with scattered silcrete rubble on the ridge crests.
Vegetation is generally sparse hummock grasses and low Acacia shrubs.
The Red Kangaroo is the largest of the native mammals, however, large herds of feral camels are also found in the area. The area has an exceptional number of smaller native mammals and reptiles. The more obvious bird life is dominated by raptors such as the Wedge-tailed Eagle and parrots including Galahs and Corellas.
The site had until recently been part of a marginal cattle station but is now within an area set aside for nature conservation.
Point information and photos: Paul Feeney and others, 2007 and 2008
WITHIN THE DEGREE SQUARE
The Climate: The site has a hot and persistently dry desert climate. The site experiences extreme variations of temperature with ranges from -2°C to 49°C. Rainfall is highly variable and unpredictable, with lengthy periods of drought frequently experienced. The nearest climate station is Boulia Airfield (195 km to the east).
Boulia Airport (site 038003) 1888 - 2007
The averages, which are based on a lengthy record, conceal the wide range of extremes of both temperature and rainfall events. The highest temperature on record for Boulia was 48.3°C in February 1915; the lowest temperature on record was -1.4°C in August 1906. Rainfall has ranged from a total of 798.6 mm in 1950 to a low of 24.1 mm in 1905.
Cyclone Image BOM
Extremes of Nature: An unnamed tropical cyclone penetrated as far as this square in March 1955 after crossing the coast near Cairns. As a Category 1 storm it would have brought heavy rain and strong winds to the area. Flooding in the main drainage channels can last for weeks following heavy rains such as these.
The area averages between 15 and 20 'thunder days' a year indicating that severe thunderstorms that can produce localised flash flooding and destructive winds are relatively common. Dust storms can also occur.
Following good growth seasons bushfires sparked by lightning can spread over wide areas, especially if driven by dry and hot winds from the interior. The climatic extremes most likely to cause significant harm remain drought and heatwave.
The National Earthquake Database maintained by Geoscience Australia shows one epicentre located within the square. It was a relatively small ML 2.6 event on 16 May 2005 about 13.5 km south-east of the confluence point.
The total population of the degree square at the 2011 national Census was probably less than 20.
The nearest settlements are Urandangi (160 km to the north), Boulia (200 km to the east) and Bedourie (210 km to the south-east).
In March-April 2007 The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland conducted a multi-disciplinary Scientific Study at Cravens Peak. Its purpose was to investigate the natural resources of the property; to share results across scientific disciplines during and after the study; and to contribute information to support the development and implementation of conservation management strategies for the reserve. This report is now published. Click here for more information.
Compilers: Paul Feeney, Kath Berg and Ken Granger
Edited by: Hayley Freemantle