Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Torndirrup National Park

10 km south of Albany, across Princess Royal Harbour. More evidence of the the collision between the 2 continents can be found at the Porongoruo Range, 40 km north of Albany.

Access is by Frenchman Bay Road. Sealed roads lead to all major features. Torndirrup was the name of the Aboriginal clan who lived in the area prior to European settlement. 

Some of the natural features of the park are:

 The Gap, a natural bridge carved out of the granite by the Southern Ocean. 

The Blowholes, a line of cracks in the granite through which air and occasionally spray was blown.

The rock of the Torndirrup Peninsula is pf several different ages. The oldest, the striped gneisses, formed between 1300 and 1600 million years ago, before the continent of Australia collided with Antarctica to form the beginnings of Gondwana. These rocks can be seen most easily at the Gap.

1160 million years ago the great amount heat generated by the collision between Australia and Antarctica caused the rock at the base of the crust along the collision zone to melt and ruse to the surface. This is the granite which is best seen at Stony Hill, though some can also be seen at the Gap, where molten granite forced its way into cracks in the gneiss at the time of collision. The rock seen here formed about 20 km below the surface of the time, but the overlying rock has been eroded away over the last billion years to reveal it at the present surface. The granite can be recognised by its large crystals and the rounded shape of the eroded tors, large granite boulders.


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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading