Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park

  • 4WD
  • Bird Watching
PDF Park Brochure
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Wabma Kardarbu SA map

Explore the Blanche Cup and The Bubbler at Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs and you will understand what has made them so important to all who have passed through this arid landscape.

About

Hear how to pronounce this park name

Wabma Kadarbu is the site of an Arabana Dreaming story, it literally translates to 'snake head'.

The Blanche Cup and The Bubbler are natural artesian springs created from water deep within the Great Artesian Basin which filters to the surface, forming mounds and bubbling ponds. The wetlands created by the spring's overflow provide habitat to a variety of waterbirds.

It is here among this fragile and arid environment that the extinct mound spring of Hamilton Hill can also be found.

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Contact details

Natural Resource Centre - Port Augusta

Phone: (+61 8) 8648 5300
Email: DesertParks@sa.gov.au

Desert Parks Information

Phone: (+61 8) 8648 5328
Email: DesertParks@sa.gov.au

Outback Road Report

1300 361 033 (24-hour automated service)
Northern and Western South Australian Outback Roads Temporary Closures, Restrictions and Warnings Report

Getting there

Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park is located 498km north of Port Augusta. Access is via Oodnadatta Track.

Dogs not allowed

Dogs are not permitted in this park.

Discover which parks you can walk your dog in on our find a park tool or read 12 dog-friendly walks in Adelaide Parks by Good Living for inspiration.

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are permitted in most public places and are therefore welcome in South Australia’s parks and reserves. Assistance dogs must be appropriately restrained on a lead and remain under your effective control at all times while in a park or reserve.

As per the dogs in parks and reserves policy, if the dog is not an accredited assistance dog, they must be trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate that disability and meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for a dog in a public place. However, refusal may be given if the person with the disability is unable to produce evidence the dog is an assistance dog with the appropriate training.

Before taking your assistance dog into a park that does not normally allow dogs, it is highly recommended that you contact us so we can provide you with the latest information on any potential hazards within specific parks that may affect your dog. Please contact the park via the contact details provided under the contact tab or call the information line on (+61 8) 8204 1910.

Useful information

Outback Road Report

1300 361 033 (24-hour automated service)
Northern and Western South Australian Outback Roads Temporary Closures, Restrictions and Warnings Report

Traditional owners

Words from the Arabana Parks Advisory Committee

We welcome visitors to our traditional lands and encourage them to learn about our stories and culture. In this area, visitor numbers vary greatly from about 5,000 in a dry year and soar to around 25,000 in a flood event year. We seek to establish culturally appropriate ways for people to experience the parks, in particular the waters and lake bed of Kati-Thanda and the mound springs of the area, which have high conservation and cultural values, and are sensitive to visitor impacts.

Aboriginal peoples have occupied, enjoyed and managed the lands and waters of this State for thousands of generations. For Aboriginal first nations, creation ancestors laid down the laws of the Country and bestowed a range of customary rights and obligations to the many Aboriginal Nations across our state. 

There are many places across the State that have great spiritual significance to Aboriginal first nations.  At some of these places Aboriginal cultural protocols, such as restricted access, are promoted and visitors are asked to respect the wishes of Traditional Owners.

In places where protocols are not promoted visitors are asked to show respect by not touching or removing anything, and make sure you take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

Aboriginal peoples continue to play an active role in caring for their Country, including in parks across South Australia. 

See and do

Mound springs

The most iconic mound springs are found in Wabma Kadarbu Conservation Park, 450km down the Oodnadatta Track.

Here you’ll find Thirrka (or Blanche Cup) and Pirdali-nha (or The Bubbler). Pirdali-nha takes its European name from the regular bubbles that pop to the surface as the water wells up. The main pools and overflows at both springs are ringed by lush, green sedges.

Nearby is Wabma Kadarbu (or Mt Hamilton), which translates as ‘snake’s head’ and is actually an extinct mound spring that is central to the Arabana creation story for this site.

Swimming is not allowed at these hot spots.

Bushwalking

There is currently no bushwalking information available for this park, please contact the park office for more information. 

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is currently not permitted in this park. 

Stay in the park

Camping is not permitted within this park.

  • Use Find a Park to discover which parks you can camp in.

However, there is camping available at Coward Springs, a privately run campground with separate fees.

Volunteering

Want to help?

To find out how you can help in this park or nearby, please visit Natural Resources Adelaide South Australian Arid Lands – Volunteering.

Want to join others and become a Park Friend?

To find out more about Friends of Parks groups please visit Friends of Parks South Australia.

You could join others to help look after a park. You can take part in working bees, training and other events.

Safety

Bushwalking

The international Trail Users Code of Conduct is to show respect and courtesy towards other trail users at all times.

Ensure that you:

  • keep to defined walking trails and follow the trail markers
  • wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
  • carry sufficient drinking water
  • be aware of weather conditions and avoid walking during the hottest part of the day
  • Walk, hike or trek - what's the difference?

Fire

This park is closed on days of Catastrophic Fire Danger and may be closed on days of Extreme Fire Danger.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Fire restrictions

  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.
  • Gas fires are permitted, other than on days of total fire ban.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

4WD

When 4WDriving in the park, it is important to be aware of the following:

  • Standard road rules apply when driving anywhere in the park, including the laws for speed limits, drink driving, vehicle registration and seat belts.
  • Take extreme care when driving in the park – be aware of blind corners, crests and narrow two-way tracks.
  • Observe all track and safety signs, especially 'No public access' signs.
  • Do not take your vehicle off the designated tracks. Wildlife can be threatened and precious habitat and indigenous sites can be damaged by off track driving.
  • Make sure you know what to do in the event of getting bogged and always carry a shovel.
  • When driving on sand, deflate your tyres as appropriate for your vehicle. Don’t forget to reinflate your tyres to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure before leaving the park. Take care when lowering tyre pressure as there is risk you could roll the tyre off its rim. Also, remember that lower tyre pressure can mean a change in how the vehicle handles.

Know before you go

Every national park is different, each has its own unique environment, it is important to be responsible while enjoying all the park has to offer.

Please ensure that you:

  • download the Oodnadatta Track visitor brochure 
  • leave your pets at home
  • do not feed birds or other animals, it promotes aggressive behaviour and an unbalanced ecology
  • do not bring generators (except where permitted), chainsaws or firearms into the park
  • leave the park as you found it - place rubbish in the bins provided or take it with you
  • abide by the road rules (maintain the speed limit)
  • respect geological and heritage sites
  • do not remove native plants
  • are considerate of other park users.
  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.

Maps

Fees

Entry fees

Please book and pay online for vehicle entry prior to arrival.

Where can I book and pay in person?

If you are unable to book and pay online you can do so, in person, at these booking agents across the state.

For online bookings enquiries please email:

DEWNRDesertParks@sa.gov.au

Park pass

Desert Park Pass

Heading to the outback? Purchase a Desert Parks Pass which entitles you to 12 months vehicle entry into seven selected desert parks. 

The pass also allows you to camp for periods of up to 21 nights at a time in the desert parks (excluding Wabma Kadarbu Mound Springs Conservation Park, where camping is not permitted). 

Camping and accommodation

There is no camping or accommodation available within this park. 

However, there is camping available at Coward Springs, a privately run campground with separate fees.

Other fees and permits

There are no other fees or permits associated with this park. 

PDF Park Brochure