Ilfracombe Spa

Ilfracombe
23’29.376, E144’30.359

As the drill bears down into the dry earth, the workers wait with bated breath; sweat beading their sun weathered cheeks. They have toiled long and hard, hundreds of feet into the earth, and found nothing. The drought has robbed them of their crops and livestock, their families are hungry, and the entire district thirsts for rain. But today all that will change…. Finally, they hear a rumble from deep in the earth. In an instant, a powerful jet of hot water blasts over their heads, saturating the dust beneath their feet. The group let out a mighty cry, clapping and stamping their feet.

This is 1897 and a new era in Ilfracombe has begun. Hope you brought your swim suit!

Prehistoric Water
The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) is one of the largest artesian groundwater basins in the world. It underlies approximately one-fifth of Australia and extends beneath arid and semi-arid regions of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory, stretching from the Great Dividing Range to the Lake Eyre depression.

Europeans first discovered the groundwater of the GAB by mistake. When drilling a previously hand dug well in New South Wales, the Wee Wattah Bore produced flowing water. Why? The water had been confined and pressurised within the Basin’s permeable sandstones. As these were covered by an impermeable layer, the water became pressurised. When the drill reached the sandstone, the pressure was released.

The water from the GAB continues to be of vital importance to outback regions of Queensland. They often rely solely on this supply for domestic and farming requirements, irrigation, mining, and other essential industries. These days the average groundwater flow rate is 1-5m per year. This means rainwater that fell two million years ago, might just reach you today– now that’s what you call a prehistoric spa!

How can I experience Artesian Waters?

Ilfracombe Spa:
Feel the benefits of these therapeutic mineral waters as you soak your travel weary muscles in the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa. Step on in and immerse yourself in the rejuvenating mineral waters of this artesian spa. These warm waters have been waiting up to two million years to alleviate your weary muscles and are believed to contain healing properties. The best part is that entry is absolutely free!

While you are passing through:
Visit Langenbaker House a uniquely preserved window back to 1892. Harry Langenbaker and his wife, Mary-Anne had eleven children and the home stayed in the family for a century. In 1991 when the last and the youngest child, Bernie died, the house was purchased by the Ilfracombe Shire Council because of its special place in the history of the area. This home is a amazing memorial not to be missed.

For more information
For more information about activities in Ilfracombe head to the Wellshot Centre Phone: 07 4658 3551

 

Heading West
Longreach is home to Starlight’s Lookout, the jumpup used in Captain Starlight’s infamous cattle heist. Get your hands on dinosaur fossils at Winton’s Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, and take a detour to the rustic mining settlement of Opalton— you might find treasure to take home! And don’t miss the Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways, the only recorded dinosaur stampede in the world.Your next geo-stop, heading east:
Starlight’s Lookout, Longreach
Heading East
Stop in at Barcaldine, spiritual home of the Australian Labour movement. Carry on through Alpha, where dramatic shifts in tectonic plates formed the Drummond Range, and keep your eyes out for petrified wood. Enter the Central Highlands and try your luck fossicking at the Sapphire Gemfields, or enjoy a mine tour.Your next geo-stop, heading east:
Drummond Range Lookout