Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater  (Kandimal to the local Aboriginal people.). About 90 km south of Halls Creek, Western Australia

Formed about 2 million years ago when a nickel-iron meteorite crashed into the Kimberley plains. The 30 m-high walls of the crater are circular, 850 m in diameter at the top of the rim and 107 m deep, but there are 55 m of windblown sand in the bottom. The flat-topped, near uniform rim is composed of angular blocks of sandstone and quartzite. It is sparsely vegetated with spinifex.

The rim drops steeply to the crater floor, where the very porous gypsum floor has a large number of sinkholes. In the centre of the crater is a circular area of very fine grained sand where a variety of trees grow. Outside the circle the surface is coarser grained, the coarseness increasing towards the rim. The area outside the circle is vegetated with scattered spinifex and a small number of shrubs.

Wolf Creek Crater National Park

It has been dated to about 300,000BP. About 90 km south of Halls Creek

This crater, one of the largest and most notable landforms of its type in the world, having a near perfectly circular shape and remains comparatively uneroded, it is made more noticeable because it is situated on flat pains of the Kimberleys.

This is a more sharply defined meteorite crater than the bigger but older ones such as Gosse's Bluff and Lake Acraman. At 850 metres in diameter at the top of the crater rim and 107 metres deep. The bottom 55 metres have been filled in with wind-blown sediments. It is the largest known meteorite crater in Australia containing meteorite fragments and the second largest in the world.

Aboriginal dreamtime stories tell how the crater was formed. 2 rainbow snakes travelled across the country, forming Sturt Creek and Wolfe Creek as they moved across the ground. Wolfe Creek Crater is the place where one of them emerged from the Earth.


  1. Wolf Creek Crater
  2. Wolf Creek Crater
  3. Ancient Scars
  4. NASA picture of the day


Sources & Further reading

  1. Helen Grasswill & Reg Morrison, Australia, a Timeless Grandeur, Lansdowne, 1981
Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated: 25/08/2011



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