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The Great Artesian Basin is the world's largest basin, taking about one fifth of the land area of Australia. Once a large inland sea, now all that water is underground, and the only source to why many outback towns exist in NSW, Queensland, SA and the NT.



The Great Artesian Basin in Australia is the largest and deepest aquifer (artesian basin) in the world. It stretches over 1,711,000 square kilometres, which is 22% of the surface area of Australia. This includes most of Queensland, the south-east corner of the Northern Territory, the north-east part of South Australia, and northern New South Wales. The basin is 3,000 metres deep in places. It may contain 64,900 cubic kilometres of groundwater. Its temperature ranges from 30°C to 100°C.

The basin is the only reliable source of freshwater through much of inland Australia. The Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee (GABCC) coordinates activity between the various levels of government and community organisations.


Map of Great Artesian Basin

Most of the water in the Bore Baths are approximately about two million years old, and often reach a temperature of about 40°.

New South Wales


Queensland and the Northern Territory

  • 9 The Great Artesian Spa, 2 Cambridge St, Mitchell, +61 7 4624 6923, . 8AM-6PM daily. $8.
  • 10 Julia Creek Artesian Baths. Some of the water here has been extracted from water 900m below. Has some facilities for caravans as well.
  • 11 Artesian Mud Baths, Leo St, Eulo, +61 405 030 707. 9AM-7PM. Not as great as some of the others but still worth it.
  • 1 Elizabeth Springs, Springvale Rd, Min Min. Great Artesian Basin Springs: Elizabeth (Q38167335) on Wikidata
  • 12 Talaroo Hot Springs, Gulf Savannah Way (Gulf Development Road, Mount Surprise, +61 456 793 764. The water here can get to about 62°C. Guided tours only.

South Australia

  • 2 Lake Eyre. The lowest point and largest lake of Australia, and it holds a significant importance to the Aboriginals and is one of the continent's most important reserves of Australian wildlife. Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre (Q179970) on Wikidata Lake Eyre on Wikipedia
  • 3 Witjira-Dalhousie Springs. National heritage site, and is the most northerly group of springs in South Australia. Also associated with many Aboriginal songs and traditions. Great Artesian Basin Springs: Witjira-Dalhousie (Q38164677) on Wikidata

See also

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