Landscape in the Dig Tree area
Photo: Lee Beanland
The Dig Tree is in a semi-arid region on a natural floodplain with low lying swamps.
When William Wills first encountered Cooper Creek he said it was ‘rocky, sandy, and dry’, but with ‘some good waterholes’.
He described ‘sand dunes and flats…bounded on either side by sandstone ranges from which innumerable small creeks flow east and west until they are lost in small flats and clay pans amongst the sand hills’.
Permanent and semi-permanent waterholes are a particular feature of Cooper Creek, and the other Channel Country rivers.
The rich clay soils tend to swell up in wet weather and shrink in dry periods causing wide, deep cracks. The main soils are Vertisols or Vertic Torrifluvents which are quite fertile.
Cattle and sheep farming on natural grassland in the main land use. The rainfall is too erratic for crops.