Mount Oxley (New South Wales)

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Mount Oxley
Aboriginal: Oombi Oombi[1]
Mount Oxley NSW.JPG
Highest point
Elevation 307 m (1,007 ft)
Coordinates 30°11.968′S 146°14.377′E / 30.199467°S 146.239617°E / -30.199467; 146.239617Coordinates: 30°11.968′S 146°14.377′E / 30.199467°S 146.239617°E / -30.199467; 146.239617
Mount Oxley is located in New South Wales
Mount Oxley
Mount Oxley
Location in New South Wales
Location Far West region of New South Wales in outback Australia
Country Australia
State nsw
Age of rock Cretaceous
Mountain type Sedimentary

Mount Oxley (Aboriginal: Oombi Oombi[1]) is a hill[2] situated 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Bourke in the Far West region of New South Wales in outback Australia.

The hill appears as a mesa-like inselberg, rising 150 metres (490 ft) above the Western Plains. It is a small relic of a formerly large sedimentary rock formation, mostly now eroded away.[3][4] The underlying and surrounding rocks are sedimentary sandstone and metamorphic quartzite.[5]

The first European to visit the mountain was Charles Sturt in December 1828.[6] He mentioned "a report as of a gun discharge" near Mount Oxley. He surmised "it might be some gaseous explosion".[7]


Named after the explorer John Oxley, the mountain is known as Oombi Oombi to the Indigenous Australians.[1] Archaeological evidence suggested that they quarried the area for grinding stones. Stones from Mount Oxley were highly regarded and expensive, and reportedly managed by indigenous elders.[8]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Plants growing here have adapted to the semi-arid climate. They include species of Acacia, the desert bloodwood, weeping pittosporum and leopardwood. Wildflowers of the daisy family are prominent after rain. Animals seen here include western grey kangaroo and feral goats. Wedge-tailed eagles are often seen flying above the mountain.


A number of small crater-like rocky formations may be seen in two distinct lines on the top part of the hill.[5] There is ongoing speculation regarding their formation. The most likely explanation for the explosions and craters is geological. Other theories include meteors, evil spirits, omens, artillery, animals or unidentified human activity.[9][10] Charles Sturt also described similar small rocky hollows near the top of Oxley Range located about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north northeast of Mount Oxley.[11]

Mount Oxley has been mooted as a site for a seven-turbine 18 megawatts (24,000 hp) wind farm.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Jones, Garry (2009). "Yengo Country: A Source of Cultural and Spiritual Awakening" (PDF). Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Mount Oxley". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Süssmilch, C A. "Mount Oxley". An introduction to the geology of New South Wales. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Mount Oxley and Coolabah Geological Mapping Project Project update – December 2011" (PDF). Geological Survey of NSW. NSW Trade & Investment – Resources & Energy. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Cuneo, W.A. (2 October 1918). "A Glimpse of the Western Plains". The Sydney Mail. p. 9. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Mount Oxley – The History & The Mystery (Brochure 2005)
  7. ^ "Mount Oxley". Outback New South Wales. Travel Downunder. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  8. ^ George L. Benwell, Bruce R McLennan, Thomas Grasberger & John Fryer. "Spatial Data Analysis of Aboriginal Rock Extraction Sites at Brewarrina, NSW, Australia" (PDF). University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Mysterious Mount Oxley". Mount Oxley. Outback Online. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "Mount Oxley". MYSTERIOUS MOUNDS, CURIOUS CRATERS, ROCK PILES & OTHER DISTURBANCES. Geosites Zoom Share. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Expedition Down the Banks of the Macquarie River, In 1828 and 1829 Chapter II pages 81-82 [1]
  12. ^ Marsh, George (2007). "Australia slowly embraces renewables". Renewable Energy Focus. 8 (4): 64–68. doi:10.1016/S1471-0846(07)70110-5.