Australians all know what billabongs are and they need no explanation because they are part of our cultural heritage. For those that are new to the word, a billabong is a small body of fresh water. The exact definition is open to debate, as is the origin of the word, but all Australians know what they are when they see one.
Typically billabongs are found in the drier interior of Australia or the monsoonal country in the “Top End”. Sheoak Ridge contains over 20 billabongs that are anything but typical. The majority of these are located within the rainforest, and a few are on the juction between the rainforest and the ecotone. Most are seasonal, holding water for at least eight months of the year, while others are permanent. In fact there appear to be many differences between billabongs on the property and this has been the focus of research in 2012 by students from Stanford University.
You can read these comparative studies by following these links – [ insert link to TRPs ]
Due to the lack of sunlight reaching the rainforest billabongs there is not much plant life and the water is the colour of strong tea due to the concentrations of tannins from the submerged leaf litter. This gives the rainforest billabongs an eerie feeling and as yet I have not met anyone who has deliberately gone fore a swim in one – deliberately. (falling in, is another matter)