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.