Rock-holes in Semi- Arid Landscapes
The Murray Mallee region has a rich Indigenous history and as such there are many culturally significant sites including rock-holes.
Rock-holes are cavities or hollows in rocks where water collects and are traditionally an important water source for Indigenous people living in arid areas. In many cases they were modified to increase the amount of water that would collect. Rocks or branches were sometimes used to cover holes to reduce evaporation and to stop animals from using them.
In many cases rock-holes were also managed to maintain water quality – an example of this is placing sticks in holes to allow small animals to enter and exit without getting trapped and fouling the water.
As rock-holes did attract animals, including large macropods they were also important for hunting.
Knowledge of the location of rock-hole networks was vital to assist with travel across the landscape and enabled permanent occupation of many low rainfall regions.
Recently the Murray Mallee LAP and the Mantung Maggea Land Management Group in partnership with Natural Resources SAMDB’s Aboriginal Partnerships Program hosted a tour for the First Peoples of the River Murray & Mallee Region in the Mantung area of the SA Murray Mallee. The tour visited local rock holes and an active Malleefowl mound.
The day was important not only for the sharing of knowledge, but also for strengthening connections between people who work to protect natural and cultural assets.