Marree Hotel owners, Phil & Maz Turner and William Creek Hotel owner, Trevor Wright joined forces this week to breath new life into the mysterious giant geoglyph known as ‘Marree Man’.
The original 4.2 km high geoglyph near Lake Eyre in South Australia first appeared in mysterious circumstances back in 1998.
The original artwork appeared to have been created using a grader or bulldozer cutting a 28km long outline of an Aboriginal hunter in the desert which was clearly visible from the air and even from space.
Over the years however the elements have taken their toll and the outline was gradually fading back into the desert to the point of being almost invisible as you can see in the image below which is from Google Earth.
When we stopped into the Marree Hotel in September last year on our way back from a trip to Mataranka, Phil Turner told me that they were working on a plan to restore the Marree Man to its former glory but it was still uncertain whether or not it was going to happen.
Having the support of the local Arabana Aboriginal Corporation was the first step before working out the best way to go about actually restoring the artwork.
Using satellite and flyover images, the restoration team plotted the original outline in a GPS so that they could follow the coordinates with a grader and accurately retrace the outline.
Last week the plan came together and the team headed out to the site and between Monday and Friday working 12 hour days they used their GPS plan and grader to bring the Marree Man back to life.
Phil Turner directing the grader driver - Photo credit Greg Dunstan via The Advertiser
In an interview with the ABC Radio, Phil mentioned that while they were out there they had found approximately 250 bamboo stakes spaced around 10 metres apart that were used by the original creator to plot the outline. The artist most likely used a surveyors theodolite rather than a GPS.
With the Marree Man now restored to it’s former glory, Phil is optimistic that it will attract more travellers to the area.
For more information, contact the Marree Hotel http://www.marreehotel.com.au/