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Seaford Stone Stacks

Home > Adelaide > Beaches | Escape the City | Free | Outdoor | Quirky
Published January 28th 2016
Balance on the beach
An interesting phenomenon has been occurring at Seaford beach lately. Piles of delicately balanced rocks that seem to defy gravity appear overnight as if by magic. The stone towers vary in shape, size, and degree of complexity. They can be seen on the shore and the cliffs that shape it.

Deliberately stacked stones similar to these are known as cairns. They are sometimes constructed simply as landmarks to point the way or warn of danger on hiking trails and the like. Other times, the purpose is much deeper and meaningful and a cairn is a memorial to a lost loved one or marks one's final resting place.

Folklore also suggests the stacking of these stones brings good luck, so don't even think about knocking one down! Nowadays, however, they are usually made as a personal, creative, or even spiritual statement, but aren't necessarily considered true cairns. A statement of some kind is the most likely reason behind the piles appearing at Seaford.

In some areas where such traditions and practices are more prevalent (particularly in the case of landmarks, statements, and wish making), cairns can be deemed unnecessary and at times even a nuisance. It's difficult to believe, but they are sometimes thought to disrupt the natural surrounds and cause damage to the environment.

Others would argue, however, that a pile of balancing stones is much more natural, less obtrusive, and pleasing to both the eye and the environment than the usual signage found in many conservation and national parks.

Likewise for graffiti art, which in the right location can certainly be visually spectacular and send a powerful message, but when it comes to making a statement on the beach - be it personal, artistic, or spiritual - a beautifully and thoughtfully created pile of natural stones seems much more appropriate for the setting.

In any case, the rock piles at Seaford are essentially harmless and it's difficult to think of them as anything less than lovely and enchanting. They serve as an important and timely reminder to find balance in your day (and life in general).

There is a meditative quality to the stone stacks and they bring a Zen-like energy and an element of the sacred to an already tranquil location. With an ever-changing background and 360 degree views, this is organic art at its very finest and a unique feature of Seaford beach.

There's no guarantee, but if you're lucky enough and wander the stretch of sand from Seaford to Port Noarlunga on your next trip to the mid-coast of South Australia, you might just be able to see some of these cairns. The beach is located about a 45 minute drive south of Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Of course, all of the beaches in this region are wonderful and have something special to offer.

For example, you can SNUBA at Port Noarlunga, let your dog run free at Moana, see maritime ruins at Port Willunga, drive on the sand at Aldinga and Sellicks, get your gear off at Maslin's, snorkel at Second Valley, and now see stone stacks at Seaford.

The occurrence has many locals intrigued and as charming as it is to imagine the intricate creations have evolved from the earth, there's someone behind this. For that reason, the only thing left to do is acknowledge the effort involved and express gratitude to the mysterious Seaford Stone Stacker. Thank you for sharing your vision with us and making our beach even better.

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Why? They rock!
When: Now
Where: Between Seaford and South Port beaches
Cost: Priceless
Your Comment
What a strange and thought provoking find Hayley.
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11307) 2063 days ago
Awesome, I love stuff like this. What a lot of enjoyment their maker is leaving behind for others. Well done mystery person.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8978) 2063 days ago
A good pickup Hayley. I just come back from the Great Ocean Road where the same phenomenon was occurring on one beach, while I also noticed it at The Balconies in the Grampians. Perhaps a new craze ?
by Stefano (score: 2|215) 2063 days ago
Lovely article Hayley, thanks!
by cjdal (score: 1|11) 2061 days ago
Thanks for this refreshing article. Something that's simple, mysterious, interesting, free, entertaining wonderful. The very best part is compared to other articles its perceived to be natural without bright lights, drum rolls, parking issues etc. nature and surrounds.....simply wonderful thank you.
by macje (score: 1|20) 2059 days ago
These are inuksuit, found throughout the Arctic, built by the Inuit for centuries. They are a form of communication - for navigation, hunting, food caches, sacred places, I imagine absolutely vital in a flat white world.
by wwill (score: 0|4) 2056 days ago
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