The end of a long & hot summer

The end of a long & hot summer

Over the last week I had the opportunity to “circumnavigate” NGT’s entire focal region in Victoria and South Australia – initially heading to Melbourne via Warrnambool, Colac and Geelong, before driving to Adelaide along the main highway via Horsham and Bordertown. Then after a few days in Adelaide, it was home home to Mumbannar, via Victor Harbor, the Coorong and Kingston.

The consistent theme in travelling around is just how dry this part of Australia is after a long, hot summer with little or no rainfall. With the notable exception of a couple of places where thunderstorms have brought a tinge of green to the landscape in very localised areas, the rest of the landscape is about as dry as you’ll ever see it. To illustrate the point, one of the normally permanent springs in the Eight Mile Creek area south of Mt Gambier has dried out over this summer – reducing the refuge habitat available in that part of the region for a number of important aquatic species.

Eight Mile Creek Area Spring – December 2012

Eight Mile Creek Area Spring – February 2013 (left – these Southern Pygmy Perch were left stranded as the last pool of water disappeared)

The cool change has brought some temporary relief after the last heat wave, but here’s hoping we receive a little Autumn rain soon to dampen things down… and top up the rainwater tanks!

Mark Bachmann