It’s been a burning desire of mine for many years to head out to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, & now we finally got to go there, it didn’t disappoint!
I grew up regularly heading to the Grampians, camping, hiking and exploring the place as though I was on a mission – in many ways, the Flinders Ranges was the same for lots of my family, from my Mum to uncles and aunts, even some of their elder relatives still live out there. So, naturally it became a major place of interest.
Here are some of the highlights of our trip:
With national park in the south, we headed to Parachilna Gorge in the north. Growing up, my mum had a painting on the wall of a sandstone mountain that glowed orange and red, spotted in green vegetation and Eucalyptus trees – our MO was to find the place and without much effort, we did just that, then set up camp right at the base of it.
Parachilna Gorge was unlike anywhere else either Eva or I had ever been. There was red dust as far as the eye could see with dry, rugged and rocky mountains on either side of ancient riverbed. It was great to call this place home for a few days and soak up the sun.
After a few days in the remote wilderness, we were starting to run out of water, food, supplies and good company, so we set off to Rawnsley Park Station, the main caravan park of the Flinders Ranges, just near the national park.
This was a great place to set up base and we did just that for the next week, allowing us to get out and explore the main attractions of the Flinders Ranges, while leaving our little dog in the good care of their dog sitting facilities, which meant we could head into the national park, where no dogs are allowed.
With Papi (our dog) safe and secure, off to the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park we went!
The Wilpena Pound is a massive natural enclosure that’s surrounded by mountain ridges, used by European settlers to breed and farm livestock. We hiked into the centre of it to take a look at an old homestead built in 1901 by a family that lived there, then climbed up to the top of the Mount Ohlssen Bagge summit to get a view back into the pound.
Hiking around the Wilpena Pound was pretty tough and hard on the legs, so rather than taking another hike, we spent the rest of our time at Flinders taking a tour and going on some scenic drives.
About an hour’s drive north from Rawnsley Park is a small, remote town called Blinman that was originally established to mine copper. We took an underground mine tour!
Our tour guide, Susan, explained the significance of the rocks around Blinman, then went on to tell us that there’s a nearby place called Brachina Gorge and it has some of the oldest rock formations on the planet, dating back to over 600 million years. Off we went!
Back at the campground, an old bloke near us had spent the day in the Brachina Gorge trying to spot a rare Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby – he didn’t have any luck, but we managed to spot about half a dozen or more of them! Poor bugger couldn’t believe what he was hearing when we told him.
Leaving the famous and iconic gorge, it felt like we hadn’t yet finished the scenic drive when we looped back around to Rawnsley Park.
Our visit to the Flinders Ranges wasn’t what we expected, even with grand expectations, it was whole lot more! We planned to spend a few days there, but after 10 or so, we still felt as though we could have easily stayed for another week or two – we’ll be back!
Now, we’re going to head back to the coastline, spend some time at Streaky Bay and prepare for a long drive across the Nullarbor, over the Great Australian Bight to Esperance on the south coast of Western Australia.
If you’ve been to the Flinders Ranges, we’d love to hear what you thought of the place in the comments below!