The Flinders Ranges is not as well known as Uluru or the Blue Mountains in Australia but it is just as spectacular!
It’s hard to comprehend how large the Flinders Ranges actually are. They are the largest Mountain range in South Australia; the national park covers 912 km², with both the popular Heysen Trail and Mawson Trails passing through the park.
There are 2 main ways to drive to the Flinders Ranges.
- Best for overnight travel, via Port Pirie & Port Augusta (seaport on the east coast of the Spencer Gulf), Quorn and Hawker and then onto The Flinders Ranges.
- The Scenic drive via the Clare Valley (home of some amazing South Australian Wines!), Jamestown, Hawker and onto The Flinders Ranges.
There are several places to stay in the Flinders Ranges, we stayed in the National Park at Wilpena Pound resort and Rawnsley Park, you can either camp or stay in hotel or cabin accommodations. You also have the option to stay at places like Willow Springs station or other sheep/cattle stations in the area; these mainly have little homesteads on their property.
There is definitely no shortage of things to do in this area, from bushwalking to bike riding, 4wd driving to scenic flights or hot air ballooning.
We enjoyed the popular Willow Springs Skytrek (4wd track). The 60km track takes about 6-7 hours to complete!!
As the Flinders Ranges is SO huge, there are many different view points – Razborback lookout, Stokes Hill look out (which actualy looks over the Willow Springs station), Hucks look out, Rawnsley Bluff look out, just to name a few. If you have the stamina and enjoy bushwalking, you can take a 6-7 hour (round trip) to St Mary’s Peak, giving you an amazing view of inside Wilpena Pound and the surrounding areas. But to be honest the best way to see the area is by air, you have the option to go Hot air Ballooning or take in a scenic flight! Personally I prefer hot air ballooning as you go slower and you are able to take in the view, without it rushing past you or the sound of the engines disturbng the peace!
Alternatively there is a lot to see by just driving around, you can drive along the 28km dirt road, Moralana scenic drive, which takes you past southern wall of Wilpena Pound, the ABC ranges, Black Gap Lookout, Elder Range and much more and continue onto the Brachina gorge that is home to some gorgeous Yellow Footed Rock Wallabies. The Brachina Gorge is a 20 km self-guided trail that passes through 130 million years of earth history, showing different stages that the earth went through, its actually really pretty and incredible to see the different layers of the earth, its like seeing “the bones of the earth”
All in all, this is an incredible area that should not be missed if travelling to South Australia. Give South Australia a thought when planning your next trip to Australia.