Joanna Spring - WA

  Water Tank,Tap


DEG: -20.08345 124.196198
DMS: 20º 05' 0.42" S 124º 11' 46.31" E
UTM: 51 K 7778836mN 625069mE
Altitude: 228.94m


Place Type

Services - Water Tank,Tap


187.44kms South of Yungngora
297.47kms SouthEast of Bidyadanga Community
419.01kms SouthWest of Halls Creek
713.08kms North of Warburton

Address & Contact

Telfer WA
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Web: N/A


In 1873 Peter Egerton Warburton was financed by Sir Thomas Elder and set out to make a crossing from the Overland Telegraph Line to Perth. He was equipped with 17 camels and accompanied by two Afghan cameleers, Richard Warburton (the leader's son), JW Lewis and Dennis White as cook and Charley, an Aboriginal man. Pursuing a route to the north of the MacDonnell Ranges he discovered less water than anticipated and turned north (away from the direction of Perth). The explorer were continually forced north in the search for water. Heat and lack of water were their greatest problems, as well as their dwindling provisions. The camels were dying, and Warburton famously provided a recipe for cooking a camel. By early November Warburton was forced to make a dash for the Oakover River. Joanna Spring was found and the expedition had only five camels left.John Lewis was sent ahead, both to search for water and seek help. On Christmas Day 1873 the expedition ate its last camel, weak and helpless in the rain that came too late to save them. Lewis arrived with a relief party several days later.

Warburton named the Spring, which had saved the lives of expedition, after Joanna Barr-Smith, the wife of his sponsor, Thomas Elder. The Spring, however, had been wrongly located on Warburton's map, and had dire consequences for members of the 1896 Calvert expedition when Charles Wells and George Jones were lost trying to find it in the fearsome heat.

Today Joanna Spring sits in an area of small saltpans and spinifex flats. It is backed to the south by a low dune. The trek to Joanna is long and arduous involving 4 or more days of hard slog along fast disappearing survey lines from the explorations of the late 1970's. The spring itself consists of a shallow depression some 10 metres across which is choked with bullrush. No water is visible on the marshy surface of the spring and you must dig a hole which will gradually seep full of fetid water. The area offers camp spots among tee tree 200 metres to the north east. The bird life in the area is amazing.

A white post marks the spring and a jar is located full of aging notes. On our visit in June, 09, we buried a cache at the base of thepost on it's eastern side. Please be careful with the shovel as it is a glass jar.
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Closest Weather Station

Fitzroy Crossing at 29/04:00pm WST
Distance from Joanna Spring 255.39km NE
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Fitzroy Crossing Aero
Distance from Joanna Spring 255.39km NE
Mean Max. °C37.736.536.436.533.030.130.733.337.239.840.739.1
Mean Min. °C25.224.723.920.715.612.512.113.718.722.825.425.7
Mean Rain mm165.9173.8127.833.311.

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