Kanku – Breakaways Conservation Park is Aboriginal owned and the entire park is a registered aboriginal heritage site. It lies 32km north of Coober Pedy and it consists of colourful low hills which have broken away from the Stuart Range, hence their name ‘The Breakaways.’
There are two lookout points which highlight the open spaces and colourful environment, leaving an impression of the long gone inland sea that our early explorers dreamt of. From the lookout, the locally named ‘Castle’ or ‘Salt & Pepper’ can be seen in an easterly direction. This outcrop has been used in a number of films and advertisements, while Panorama Hill situated in the middle, features in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Ground Zero. As the day goes by, the passing of the sun changes the desert colours, creating photogenic scenes that appear surreal.
The 70km round trip back to Coober Pedy takes you east along the hills to the dog fence. This 2m high wire barrier stretches for over 5,300km across three States, to protect the sheep country in the south from the native dog, the Dingo. The desert-like moonscape along the fence, with its fossilised shells, grey, soft clay dirt and cracks that appear to be bottomless, has been nicknamed the ‘moon plain’. It too has been the scene for numerous movies.
Permits are required and can be purchased at the Visitors Information Centre. Price $10 per vehicle or $8 concession.