It may surprise you but there are actually volcanoes in Australia. Okay, they may not do anything like this:
However since there is a fault line that does pass through Australia it is not surprising that at one time there were active volcanoes here. However these volcanoes are long since dead, so don't expect a major St Helens style eruption any time soon (though anything could happen). There have even been a number of significant earthquakes in Australia, such as:
- A 6.7 magnitude earthquake in the Canning basin in Western Australia in 1971;
- A 5.5 magnitude earthquake in Adelaide on 1 March 1954 which left a damage bill totalling $90 million;
- A 6.7 magnitude earthquake in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory in 1988;
- An earthquake in Newcastle on 28 December 1989, which to date has been the most destructive earthquake in Australia's history.
However, due to Australia's sparseness, most of the earthquakes occur in areas of low population and are generally never felt, and if any damage is done, it is usually a cowshed falling down, or a couple of roads that need to be repaired. We do occasionally feel an earthquake closer to the cities, but they generally result in a couple of broken windows, and our Facebook feeds being flooded with jokes such as this:
|Unfortunately the poor guy had to pick his chair up again three years later|
Anyway, despite the plethora of harmless (and not so harmless) earthquakes that rock the Australian continent from time to time, we are actually talking about volcanoes in this post, namely because the place I visited when I was down in Warrnambool was an extinct volcano. There are a few extinct volcanoes scattered around the Australian countryside, if you know where to look, though the most famous would be Mount Gambier, the home of the Blue Lake - which is famous for changing its colour at certain times of the year.
Another of these extinct volcanoes, albeit a much less famous one (probably because it doesn't have a lake the changes colour) is Tower Hill. Tower Hill is a short drive (and probably a much longer walk if you don't happen to own a car) outside of Warranambool and doubles as a wildlife reserve, as well an an extinct volcano. Mind you, I'm not sure how many of the people that were wandering around the reserve the day that we visited knew that they were walking through the crater of an extinct volcano, but if they did, they probably didn't care.
Just in case you needed a map
While I could go into a few more technical details about this particular volcano, I won't simply because I will probably end up boring you to tears, so instead I will direct you to the fount of all human knowledge that happens to be Wikipedia. Instead I will say a few things about this park that, for some reason, I always end up stopping at on may travels past (though one time was simply to marvel at modern technology by placing an order for some shares on my mobile phone while standing in the middle of the country - though I highly doubt I would be able to do the same thing in the Sahara).
The thing that I have always remembered about this park is the narrow, one way, road that winds its way down the cliff, across the lakes, and through the park, to exit at another spot. By the way, when I say that this road is narrow, I mean really, really narrow. It is basically only one car wide, which means that if some dude (like me) decides to stop and take photos, well there are parts (in fact most parts) where you will simply have to stop and wait for the person up the front (usually me) to finish what they are doing. Mind you, I have yet to have a horn beeped at me, but then again I have only driven along this road during a peak period once.
|No overtaking anybody here|
|You climb all the way up here to see - A Rock|
|They're pretty harmless, until they attack you that is|
|Wikipedia can tell you all about Drop Bears|
There's just something cool about active volcanoes
Tower Hill - An Australian Volcano by David Sarkies is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.If you wish to use this work commercially please feel free to contact me.