Marree Man is Fading

Marree Man is fading

There is interest in reviving the outback’s mysterious Marree Man to attract tourists to the far north of South Australia.

The desert etching of an Indigenous man is more four kilometres long and became a tourist drawcard 15 years ago.

But over time it has faded significantly.

Its creator remains a mystery although many have their theories.

The desert artwork is at Finniss Springs near outback Marree.

The area’s traditional owners, the Arabana people, have just signed a 99-year lease for Finniss Springs to let them run tourist ventures on the land.

Chairman of the Arabana Aboriginal Corporation, Aaron Stuart, said resurrecting the drawing in the desert sands could give a boost to tourism, especially for those times when there is no water in Lake Eyre to attract interest to the area.

“Once the lake dries up a lot of people tend to don’t come up this far north and we think it’s such a large formation again on a plateau right next to the lake, it will generate more interest,” he said.

Interest remains

Outback roadhouse owner Lyall Oldfield said joy flights over the huge drawing had stopped since it faded.

Mr Oldfield said the unusual artwork still held some intrigue for tourists.

“Most certainly anyone that comes up and wants to go for a fly over the lake, they’ll certainly want to do the Marree Man as well,” he said.

“It needs brightening up a bit, it just gradually got a little bit duller from his waist up.”

Meanwhile, there was an outback ceremony at the weekend on the southern edge of Lake Eyre to mark the revival of its Aboriginal name Kati Thanda.

The Geographical Names Unit agreed last year to use Kati Thanda alongside the English name after a request was made by the Arabana People.

Aaron Stuart said it was important to recognise the Aboriginal heritage.

“Through history we go back through our family trees and we can only go back a certain distance until we lose who was who and who was what. In this case with a name of Kati Thanda, it actually means it lives on and you know that’s a great achievement we believe,” he said.

You can read more on Marree Man on Wikipedia. Read an article about the Mystery of Marree Man in the Adelaide Advertiser

Marree Man