Five kilometres north of Lyndhurst on the Oodnadatta Track in the South Australian Outback you’ll see a tyre beside the road with the words ‘Ochre Cliffs’ crudely written on it.
Follow the side-road for a few kilometres and you’ll suddenly see an open ochre quarry containing spectacular red, brown and white ochre cliffs (an exposure of saprolite) mined for thousands of years by the local Aboriginal people.
It is believed that ochre quarried here was judged to be such high quality that it was traded with other groups of Aborigines who lived hundreds and even thousands of kilometres away.
These quarries were of great importance to the aborigines as they provided a rich source of multi– coloured ochre used for ceremonial purposes. This quarry along with others was the focus of well defined trade routes extending north into the Northern Territory, Queensland and south to the coast.
No European mechanical mining has occurred in this quarry. It is listed on the register of the National Estate. The cliff faces display a spectacular range of colours ranging from reds through to browns, yellow to white. Visitors are requested to assist with the preservation of this unique natural attraction by not removing ochre from the area – ozoutbacktours
A low afternoon sun will produce an ever-changing play of light and colour upon the Cliffs and adjacent landscape. The entire Cliffs location is an important Aboriginal site and visitors should stay OFF the escarpment itself – Location Report for Lyndhurst
You can view more photos that I took during my road trip travelling from Adelaide to Coober Pedy.
Lyndhurst is located 606 km north of Adelaide at the crossroads of the Strzelecki and Oodnadatta Tracks. For more information contact Flinders Ranges & Outback Information on Freecall 1800 633 060