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Kimberley Warm Springs Reserve, Knutsford St, Kimberley, TAS, Australia

Photographs None
List Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)
Class Natural
Legal Status Rejected Place
Place ID 19966
Place File No 6/03/032/0065
Nominator's Statement of Significance
The Kimberley Warm Springs represent a rare land form and habitat, including rare flora and fauna, among which is an endemic snail. Representing special aesthetic values and a long historical association with the Kimberley community. The phenomena is little recorded, consequently it offers the opportunity for scientific investigation. The Kimberley Warm Springs have long been regarded as a special place by members of the local community who are determined to ensure the on-going integrity of the site.
Official Values Not Available
Description
Kimberley Warm Spring is located in an alluvial flat surrounding the Mersey River near the town of Kimberley. The Kimberley Warm Springs Reserve consists of an area of approximately 1.838 hectares of open bush land. Water percolates up through Quaternary gravel sediment in the south-eastern part of the place into a pool approximately 13m by 20m wide and 1.2m deep. A stream about 100m long carries the water to a culvert through which the warm water flows into a pool now developed for recreational use.
The water from the spring is at a constant temperature of 24 - 25 degrees C and is slightly alkaline (pH 7.3). The dissolved solids content is fairly low and it contains mainly bicarbonate and calcium ions. Evidence of the chemical composition of the water suggests that the Kimberley spring may have its origins in a limestone aquifer at depth, with the water gaining its heat from hotter sub-surface materials .
For much of the year, flocculent masses of algae accumulate on the surface and in the benthos of the pool. These appear to be a response to the openness of the site following the clearance of natural vegetation at the edge of the pool.
The constant water temperature sustains a macro-invertebrate community adapted to such conditions and offers opportunities for research into physiological, morphological and life-cycle adaptations of these species.

The spring represents the only one of its kind in the north west of Tasmania. The spring is home to an endimic snail and an alga (Pithophora sp or spp) not previously recorded south of Sydney. The special micro environment created by the warm springs represents a unique habitat profoundly worthy of conservation. The reserve area adjoining the springs has been over cleared in the past although many remnant species remain. The Warm Springs Committee have undertaken to revegetate the area with local native species with a view to shading the springs and reducing algae. Historically the springs were recorded in the midst of dense titree which provided adequate shade to suppress the growth of algae and water weeds. The Kimberley Warm Springs have been a noted tourist attraction since the mid 1800s with frequent references made in travel guides printed between 1810 and 1910. In 1845 Nathaniel Kentish, the Government Surveyer, noted the presence of the springs and commented on their value as a recreational bathing site. It is reported that convicts from the nearby Mersey Probation Station often utilized the secluded spot for a tepid bath.
History Not Available
Condition and Integrity
The Warm Springs at Kimberley are semi-developed as a visitor site with modification of the riparian vegetation and introduction of exotic species. The clearance of shading vegetation has led to excessive algal growth which is periodically removed as it covers the naturally sandy bottom of the spring. The emission of warm water continues at a regular rate and the water quality is generally good as it emerges at the spring.
Location
About .8ha, within block SP14258, Lot 1, corner of Knutsford Street and Allport Street, Kimberley.
Bibliography
Becker, Jane (1994) 'Landscape as a Primary Artefact', the growth and decline of Kimberley as a rural settlement in North West Tasmania. NEGP Report.

Croome K. (1980) The 'hot' spring at Kimberley. Tas. Naturalist 92. 1-5

Horwitz, Pierre - Edith Cowan University, Joondalup WA 09 4055558

Horwitz, Pierre (1991) A Preliminary Investigation into the
Prolific Plant Growth at the Kimberley Warm Springs, Northern
Tasmania. Commissioned Research Report 1991-4. Uni of Tasmaina,
Centre for Environmental Studies. for the Deloraine Municipal Council
and the Dpt Of Resources and Energy.

Houshold, Ian - Earth scientist, Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania 002 333868

Matthews, W.L. (1978) Thermal springs at Kimberley. Unpublished Report 1978/12. Tasmania Department of Mines.

Ponder W.F. & Colgan D.J. (1992) Conservation of aquatic invertebrates with restricted distribution with special reference to hydrobiid gastropods. Report to Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service

Smith, Brian - Research Associate, Queen Victoria Museum 003 316777

Sharples, Chris - Earth scientist, Forestry Tasmania 002 337166

Report Produced  Fri Aug 29 09:56:11 2014