28°S 145°E Eulo – Queensland by Degrees

AT THE POINT

cyc

Degree confluence 28°S 145°E, Google Earth

n

Looking north

e

Looking west

s

Looking south

w

Looking east

Location: The point is located on private property about 8.8 km west of Yerrell Road and about 16 km north of the Bulloo Development Road. The photos were taken alongside the Yerrell Road at its nearest point to the confluence point. The land owner did not permit entry to the property.

The point falls within Paroo Shire and is about 70 km west of Cunnamulla.

ne

North and East aspects (Col Grant 2008)

sw

South and West aspects (Col Grant 2008)

The Landscape: Flat country with an elevation of around 150 m ASL. Roadside vegetation is low Acacia woodland with mulga, gidgee and brigalow the most common. There is a sparse ground cover of Spinifex, tussock grasses and herbs. The soils are ochre clays over sandstone and ironstone. Vegetation at the actual point is probably similar to that along the road. Fauna is mostly familiar kangaroos, emus, lizards, Brown Snakes, Fierce Snakes, brown frogs and native bees.

Reading the GPS

gps

GPS reading (Col Grant)

Observations were carried out 8.8kms due east of the degree confluence.(Col Grant)

Point information and photos: Jane Terrell-Payne, Les Payne 2008 and Col Grant 2008 (Authors email: cgrant@vnc.qld.edu.au).

 

IN THE DEGREE SQUARE

The Country: The country throughout the square is relatively flat. Elevations range from around 200 m in the north to 150 m in the south. The geology is predominantly late Cainozoic outwash sand, soils and gravels. It falls within the Condamine-Culgoa part of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Much of the native vegetation across the square has been removed and replaced by pasture for sheep and more recently cattle grazing. What native vegetation that remains is mostly mulga and gidgee woodland with taller eucalypts including Coolibah (Eucalyptus coolabah). Riparian stands of River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) are found along the drainage channels.

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Mud Springs

The nearby signboard states:
"Built up over centuries these springs were the original release valves for the Great Artesian Basin. The tops are unusually soft and jelly-like. Occasionally they do explode with a loud report audible for kilometres."

Active mud (mound) springs of the Basin have served as water sources for indigenous people and native animal in the times of drought.

spring

Mulga woodland
The tree, mulga (Acacia aneura), is common across wide areas if SW Qld. The view shown in the image is of mulgo woodland near Eulo, on part of a local Heritage Trail.

Given the resistant nature if the mulga's timber, it is used for fence posts. 

tree

The Climate: The area has a grassland climate that is persistently dry. The Cunnamulla Post Office climate station to the east is representative of the area.

Cunnamulla Post Office (site 044026) 1897-2008

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Mean max
(ºC)

36.0

34.8

32.4

27.9

22.9

19.2

18.7

21.3

25.6

29.6

32.7

35.2

28.0

Mean min
(ºC)

22.1

21.7

18.8

14.1

9.8

6.8

5.7

7.1

10.6

14.8

18.0

20.7

14.2

Mean rain
(mm)

46.4

50.8

39.8

27.6

30.6

26.0

22.8

17.4

18.0

25.3

30.0

28.9

373.8

There is a great degree of variability on both temperature and rainfall. The highest temperature on record was 46.9°C in January 1973 and the lowest recorded temperature was -2.2°C in July 1968 and June 1971. Annual rainfall has ranged from a high of 924.5mm in 1956 to a low of 123.3mm in 2002.

Extremes of Nature: The Paroo River at Eulo has a record of flooding that goes back as far as 1890. In the past three decades there have been seven major floods at Eulo, the highest being in April 1990 with a gauge height of 5.8m. Floods in this area can extend over many kilometres from the main drainage channel and inundation can last for several weeks. They do, however, play a major role in restoring soil moisture and pasture growth.

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Cyclone tracks within 200 km of the confluence, 1906 to 2006 (Bureau of Meteorology web site)

The area experiences on average between 15 and 20 'thunder days' - a measure of the level of thunderstorm activity. The severe winds that can accompany some storms (including tornadoes) can be very destructive over a relatively small area. Dust storms may also cause disruptions to transport and other services. Bushfires can also be a significant hazard especially following a good growing season.

The National Earthquake Database maintained by Geoscience Australia includes no earthquakes with epicentres within the degree square.

The Indigenous Story: The area is the traditional lands of the Budjari (in the west), Kunja (in the east) and Margany (in the north) peoples.

MORE INFORMATION REQUIRED

European Exploration and Settlement: The early settlers of the area were sheep graziers and prospectors. The Yowah Opal Field was discovered in 1883 but remained a small operation until the major Southern Cross deposits were discovered in 1886. Sheep and wool growing were the major industries for many years.

The area was serviced by Cobb and Co with Eulo being a change-over stop between Cunnamulla and Thargomindah. The hamlet provided a general store and a shanty pub.

MORE INFORMATION REQUIRED

Today:

The total population of the degree square at the 2011 national census was 221. This has been in decline for at least a decade as the rural industries that dominate the area have been under drought and other hardships.

MEASURE

1996

2001

2006

2011

Total population

439

347

254

221

Total males

256

190

149

123

Total females

183

157

105

98

Under 5 years

33

3

12

12

65 years and over

77

78

56

56

Indigenous

14

24

15

14

Opal mining and trading from the Yowah and other fields in the area are a key tourist attraction and source of income. The so-called Yowah Nut opal (opal in ironstone) remains a popular gem. Sheep grazing has largely given way to cattle.

Eulo attracts visitors every September for the World Lizard Racing Championship as part of the annual Eulo-Cunnamulla Festival of Opals.

Site Summary:

Location

On private property 8.8 km west of Yerrell Rd about 18 km NNW of Eulo

Access

By road

Terrain

Flat

Catchment

Paroo River section of the Condamine-Culgoa system

Geology & soils

Alluvial soils and gravels over sandstone and ironstone

Vegetation

Mulga, Gidgee and other Acacias with Spinifex and other grasses.

Land use

Cattle grazing, opal mining

Climate

Grassland with persistently dry conditions

Population in degree square

254 at the 2006 national Census

Infrastructure

Bulloo Development Road and numerous dirt roads

Compilers: Jane Terrell-Payne, Les Payne and Col Grant with additional material from Ken Granger 2008.

Edited by:  Hayley Freemantle