Mound springs have long been an oasis in the outback for people and wildlife. There are many plant and animal species that exist nowhere else - mainly due to the constant, but very localised, supply of water. The native plants and animals associated with mound springs have been recognised as endangered under both Commonwealth and State government legislation.
The Bubbler and Blanche Cup are just two of the estimated 5000 individual mound springs in the South Australian section of the Great Artesian Basin.
The Great Artesian Basin is one of Australia's most significant hydrogeological entities; covering more than 1.7 million square kilometres under Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory - a massive 22% of the size of Australia itself. The volume of underground water stored in the Basin is estimated to be 64,900 million megalitres. It's one of the largest groundwater basins in the world.
While many of the springs have a slow, seeping discharge, the Bubbler and Blanche Cup, which are part of the Lake Eyre Supergroup, have very high discharge rates. Both pools have a constant flow of bubbles that pop to the surface of the water pools. The water that comes up from the earth's mantle is estimated to be two million years old.
The mound springs vary in size and height. Blanche Cup is about 20 metres high above the surrounding landscape and is approximately 25 metres wide.
The area was proclaimed a Conservation Park in 1996, making the Bubbler and Blanche Cup a popular stop for the many tourists who drive the Oodnadatta Track.
The carpark is approximately 4 kms from the main road. There's lots of car parking and the boardwalks and signage make it an interesting and easy visit. There are no toilets, no picnic facilities and no fresh drinking water at the springs. Dogs are not permitted in the park.