Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater

Saturday 20 July – written in Halls Creek 21 July

The Djaru people call the crater Kandimalal. They knew of its existence long before this aerial photograph was taken in 1947 from Vacuum Oil Company’s survey plane and reproduced in The Horsham Times on 3 August 1948.

Wolfe Creek Crater - Aug 1948

John Goldsmith is a radio astronomer and talented photographer of night skies.  In June 2011, he wrote this post on the wonderfully rich Australian Indigenous Astronomy blog.  In it he shares the aboriginal dreaming story of the crater where two rainbow snakes formed both Wolfe and Sturt Creeks and one of the snakes emerged from the ground to form the ring of the crater.

Goldsmith continues.

In 1999, I recorded a story about a “star” that fell from the sky and became buried in the ground, forming the crater. According to Djaru Elder Jack Jugarie, one day, the crescent moon and the evening star passed very close to each other. The evening star became so hot that it fell to the ground, causing an enormous explosion, flash, dust cloud and noise. This frightened the people and a long time passed before they ventured near the crater to see what had happened. When they ventured to crater, it was realised that this was the site of where the evening star had fallen to the Earth. The Djaru people then named the place “Kandimalal”…

Over 60 years after the first aerial photos, satellite imagery (via Google Maps) creates art of a majestic kind that can’t be replicated down here on the ground.

Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater - Google Map

We camped at the reserve’s camp site mid-afternoon and took a short walk up to the crater site. The road in off the Tanami Track is currently competing for most challenging drive in terms of the corrugations and time taken to drive the 20 kilometres in.

Here are a few late afternoon snaps as the near full moon rose.

Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater

Wolfe Creek Crater panoramamoon on Wolfe Creek Crater

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