AT HOME IN THE RANGES

Herald Sun - Cars Guide - - LAST DRIVE -

ARKA­ROOLA’S re­mote­ness — it is 600km north of Ade­laide — en­dows night skies free of light and air­borne pol­lu­tants. That makes it ideal for pro­fes­sional and am­a­teur as­tronomers and the re­sort, sit­ting in a 610-square-kilo­me­tre wilder­ness sanc­tu­ary, has three ob­ser­va­to­ries.

An “Arka­roola blow job” is a must-have when vis­it­ing the area in a 4WD. The risque name refers to the com­pressed air clean­ing of un­der­car­riages to pre­vent weeds from be­ing trans­ferred around the re­gion. It’s a good deal for the en­vi­ron­ment and you get the sticker to prove you did the deed.

In the north­ern Flin­ders Ranges, there are high con­cen­tra­tions of ura­nium and the un­sta­ble el­e­ment heats the wa­ter in sev­eral hot springs. Arka­roola co-owner Doug Sprigg says researchers have re­cently iden­ti­fied a ura­nium-munch­ing mi­crobe found in those springs that is be­ing de­vel­oped to help bio-re­me­di­ate wa­ters con­tam­i­nated by in­dus­trial ra­di­a­tion.

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