The Rocky Creek Glacial Area is yet another geological wonder to explore.
Before you jump in your car and head out there be warned, there is no ice to be seen! Nor will you find any of the typical glacial landform features, such as steep-sided, flat-bottomed, U-shaped valleys. These landform features are the result of glaciers that existed during the last one million years, in the Pleistocene Epoch.
The Rocky Creek glaciation is very much older, dating back some 290 million years to the Carboniferous Period. A vast amount of weathering and erosion occurred in over 200 million years, so all the original glacial landscape features have been eroded away and replaced by those typically associated with running water.
How then do we know a glacier did exist in this area? The answer lies in the creek bed. It is best to pick a spot down close to the water where flood borne gravels have ground the rock down and left a nice ‘polished’ surface to look at. You will see it is made up of many different sizes and types of stones, all cemented together in a matrix of finer gravels, sand and clay. It is a conglomerate, or to be more exact it is a fluvio-glacial conglomerate.
So how did it form? As a glacier flows it gathers and carries with it broken rock material. Eventually, all this transported material is deposited at its terminus, that is, the point at which higher temperatures cause the glacier to melt. Of course, this is the simplified version!
If you wish to continue this geology lesson pick up a more detailed information leaflet at the Visitor Information Centre in Narrabri. And if geology’s not your thing the glacial area is also a lovely picnic spot and a great place to go for a swim.
Camping is permitted in this area although there are no facilities. Please take all rubbish with you.
- Head north out of Narrabri along the Newell Highway towards Moree.
- Just 3km out of town, turn right onto the picturesque Killarney Gap Road (Bingara Road) for a further 67km until you reach the Glacial Area on your left.