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Flinders Ranges National Park
A rugged, 540 million-year-old landscape. Ruins of early homesteads and gnarled gum trees…
Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges, is a fascinating place. Millions of years of erosion have created a natural amphitheatre, surrounded by majestic mountain ranges.
Famous Australian Artist, Hans Heysen, quoted: “the bones of the earth laid bare”. It provides insight through exposure – layers, colours, vastness – an almost intimidating reminder that we are only on this earth for a short time.
The Flinders Range is a rugged outcrop of sandstone and quartzite that begins about 250 kilometres north of Adelaide and stretches for 800 kilometres. The mountains are extensively folded and fractured, with several deep gorges cut through them. One of the most unusual features in the range is Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre of stone covering 83 square kilometres, with interior dimensions of 11 kilometres by 8 kilometres. Source: Thunderbolts.info
Driving to the Flinders Ranges
The drive to Wilpena Pound from Adelaide can be done via two routes that take about the same length of time and only vary by 33 kms. Heading north through Port Augusta takes 5 hours 2 mins / 456 kms or wandering up via the famous Barossa Valley takes 5 hours 5 mins / 433 kms.
Visitors to the Flinders Ranges from Melbourne have a couple of options too. Driving via Ballarat and the outskirts of Adelaide takes 12 hours 38 mins / 1,179 kms or via Mildura takes 12 hours 19 mins / 1,161 kms.
Another option could be to drive to Ballarat, Horsham and then deviate via the Painted Silo Trail to Mildura and on to the Flinders Ranges.
A return self-drive tour from Sydney to Wilpena Pound would provide a round trip that takes in some awesome scenery. Driving via Wagga Wagga, the Murray River and Mildura takes 17 hours 4 mins / 1,165 kms or via Cobar and Broken Hill takes 18 hours 3 mins / 1,626 kms.
This would certainly be quite an epic drive to the Flinders Ranges and could incorporate a tour south through Victoria and along the coast too.
Brisbane to the Flinders via Moree and Broken Hill takes 21 hours 29 mins / 1,999 kms or via Tamworth to Nyngan and Broken Hill takes 22 hours 45 mins / 2,076 kms.
Flinders Ranges Accommodation – Wilpena Pound Resort
The Resort offers motel style rooms with a restaurant, bar and swimming pool. It has easy access to walking trails.
Two other options in the area include The Prairie Hotel near Parachilna in the northern ranges and Edeowie Station to the west of the ranges. Former shearers quarters and a holiday house can be rented for groups.
Caravan and Camping Parks
Rawnsley Station Caravan Park, Camping and Self-contained Cabins
Just outside the National Park boundary, Rawnsley offers camping and cabin accommodation.
Nearby Windana Cottages offers a great alternative place to stay.
Free Camping in the Flinders Ranges
It is possible to free camp in many spots in the Flinders Ranges, some campsites are well off the beaten track and can be found using the WikiCampsAU app. It costs under $10 to purchase on Google or Apple and is well worth the money.
Glamping in the Flinders Ranges
Glamping – staying in an upmarket tent with added luxuries! Two rather awesome options exist for anyone wishing to glamp in the Flinders Ranges.
Flinders Bush Retreat offer Glamping (and also Camping or an old homestead to rent…)
If you are looking to get away from all the stresses of everyday life, get back to nature and experience Glamping.
Accommodating 2 people, our Deluxe Eco Tent is a steel framed, insulated canvas tent with eco decking floor. A queen size bed including linen, a small kitchenette and quality outdoor furniture is provided. Complete with an attached ensuite with solar hot water – no dash to a shared bathroom block in the middle of the night!
Our Eco Tent is designed with minimal environmental impact creating the perfect nature-based experience.
Read more here.
Ikara Safari Camp, Wilpena Pound
Our 2 person Ikara safari tents are suitable for singles or couples wanting a luxury ‘glamping’ getaway.
Each tent has a modern ensuite bathroom, a luxe King bed, reverse cycle air conditioning and it’s own private deck and fire pit.
Our two family safari tents sleep up to 4 people and have all the luxuries of the couples tents, with an annexe added for the extra people.
Read more here.
Walking into Wilpena Pound and Lookouts
Old Wilpena Station (PDF download available) one of the most spectacular pastoral settlements in South Australia. It was a working station for 135 years before ceasing operations in 1985 and is now a place to learn about our pastoral history.
It is also an important Aboriginal heritage site and the setting of Ikara – The Meeting Place, an interpretive display providing an insight into the Adnyamathanha way of life.
Kanyaka Homestead Ruins, north of Quorn. Established in 1852, Kanyaka was one of the largest cattle and sheep stations in South Australia and at one time 70 families lived and worked on the property. Drought finally brought about the demise of the station and it was abandoned.
One of the most famous outback tracks in Australia. The Oodnadatta Track can be reached via the Flinders Ranges. Read a complete guide to the track by local experts, Gary and Amanda.
The Flinders Ranges can be included in a big lap tour of Australia including Uluru, Alice Springs and beyond…
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