Port Augusta, South Australia
At the crossroads
Port Augusta is located 322 km north of Adelaide and is a real crossroad. There are roads heading north to Alice Springs and Darwin, west to the Nullarbor and the Eyre Peninsula and east to Adelaide.
The town is literally on the edge of the desert. Drive north along the Stuart Highway and only a few kilometres to the north, the edge of town gives way to flat scrubby land which stretches to the horizon. To the west lie five huge plateaux and there are dry salt lakes beside the road. The strange thing was there had been unseasonal rain, and instead of the dry red earth we came across green fields!
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Termites mix mud and saliva together to create a kind of cement. They use this to build mounds up to 6 metres in height. A single mound can take over 50 years to complete and can contain up to several million residents. Compare this mound to the one in Weipa, Queensland.
The green countryside was a bit of a shock. Mostly the landscape around here is brown and dry but recent rain made for a strange transformation.