The Flinders Ranges is a large mountain range about a five hour drive north of Adelaide. It’s the largest mountain range is South Australia, stretching over 430 kms with some of the oldest rock formations on the planet.
Visiting the area will feel as though you’re entering the outback. There’s orange-red dirt as far as the eye can see, dry rocky mountains and jagged cliffs spotted in vegetation with plenty of Kangaroo’s and rare Yellow-footed rock Wallabies to keep an eye out for.
The Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is in the southern part of the ranges and covers around 95,000 hectares, with the main attraction being the Wilpena Pound.
The Flinders Ranges is packed full of look-outs, vantage points, hiking trails, scenic drives and campgrounds. Visiting for a few days will feel far too short, so when you head to the area, try and stay a while as there’s just so much to see and do.
Most people tend to stick to the southern and eastern side of the Flinders Ranges, as it tends to have many of the most popular places of interest all near by, although it’s well worth while to head a bit further north and visit the more remote parts of the area.
Here's some things to add to your list, for when you're visiting the Flinders Ranges:
The Wilpena Pound is the main attraction of the Flinders Ranges National Park.
It’s a huge natural enclosure that was originally used (by European settlers) for farming and breading horses, sheep and cattle. For a small fee, you can park at the tourist info centre and walk or catch a shuttle bus to the Hills Homestead, which in the base of the Wilpena Pound. From there, there are plenty of short and long walking trails and lookouts, some are easy, but plenty are steep and tough.
Blinman and the old mine
Around a 50 minute drive to the north of the Flinders Ranges National Park, where you’ll find the Wilpena Pound is the township of Blinman. This is a very small and remote town with a couple of great pubs, a cafe and a tourist information centre.
The main attraction for Blinman is taking a tour of the old mine. It’s inexpensive and a great experience. Over an hour and half, a tour guide will take you through the underground mine and explain the history of both the mine, town and area. A visit to the Flinders Ranges isn’t complete without taking this award winning tour.
Proceeds of the mine tour go directly back into supporting the town, which doesn’t have a council or Government support.
Book your tour by visiting the Blinman tourist info centre, calling them or by jumping onto their website.
Brachina Gorge Scenic Drive
Brachina Gorge is the best and most scenic drive in the Flinders Ranges National Park.
The dirt road takes you right along an ancient river bed where you’ll see some of the oldest rock formations on Earth.
While you’re there, be sure to keep an eye out for the rare and incredible Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies, there’s an abundance of them and unlike most sightings of Wallabies throughout Australia, if you see one, you’re almost certain to see many.
Between the townships of Parachilna and Blinman is the famous and remote Parachilna Gorge, running from east to west.
Parachilna Gorge is a great place for a scenic drive and it’s packed full of free campgrounds. The road weaves and twists through a dirt track below steep mountains and cliffs with plenty of Eucalyptus trees, Kangaroos, Birds and Mountain Goats to look at.
Although the area sees a lot of people hiking, driving and camping, there’s plenty of places to set up a tent or park the caravan and it never seems to feel too busy.
Take a look here for plenty more information about camping at Parachilna Gorge.
Getting to the Flinders Ranges
From Adelaide, drive north and keep on driving.
It’s about a 5 hour drive from Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges and if you’re towing a caravan (or get stuck behind one), it can easily take a lot longer, so you might want to consider breaking up the trip and free camping at Clement’s Gap Old School Yard Campground.
Once you reach Hawker, you’re almost there! The only decision to make is either to follow the highway and head to Parachilna (about another hour’s drive) or head out to the north-east along Flinders Ranges Way, which will take you to the Flinders Ranges National Park.
You can do a full loop around the Flinders Ranges from Hawker to Hawker, as there’s a road from Parachilna over to Blinman, then back down to the national park.
Flinders Ranges Accommodation & Campgrounds
Although Flinders Ranges is quite remote, there’s plenty of options for places to stay.
Inside the national park itself, there are several hikers campgrounds, a caravan park and resort, but keep in mind that no pets are allowed inside the national park, so if you’re brining the dog along, it might be better to stay at Rawnsley Park Station (between Hawker and Wilpena Pound/Flinders Ranges National Park) as they provide dog sitting services for $20 per day and by itself, it’s a great, comfortable and clean caravan park with a bush camping area.
Accommodation can be found in Blinman and Hawker, but if free camping is more of your style, then head over to the Parachilna Gorge Campground where there’s plenty of space there or nearby.