Wilpena Pound Wilpena Pound – Image courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission

Flinders Ranges – Sights & Attractions

Step back in time on a journey through the Flinders Ranges, a 540 million-year-old landscape that offers a treasure trove of nature's bounty in South Australia.

Located about 380km (240mi) north of Adelaide, the Flinders Ranges are the largest mountain range in South Australia. The discontinuous ranges stretch for more than 430km (265mi) from Port Pirie to Lake Callabonna.

Here you can be surrounded by ancient mountain ranges, spectacular gorges and sheltered creeks only five hours drive from Adelaide or a short plane trip to Port Augusta, Coober Pedy or Wilpena Pound.

Explore caves and rugged, colourful gorges along the famous Heysen Trail or Mawson Trail that run for several hundred kilometres along the ranges, providing scenic long distance routes for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.

Along the way, pass stands of red gums, spinifex clumps, eucalypti woodland, mallees and acacia. Spot yellow-footed rock wallabies, emus and western grey kangaroos, as kookaburras and galahs swoop overhead.

Take an aerial tour above Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre or above the awesome amphitheatre that is Wilpena Pound in the Central Flinders Ranges.

Several small regions in the Ranges have protected status. These include the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park near Wilpena Pound, the Mount Remarkable National Park in the south near Melrose, the Arkaroola Protection Area in the north, The Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park west of Quorn, and the Mount Brown Conservation Park south of Quorn.

The Flinders Ranges and Outback are of cultural significance for the Adnyamathanha people who have lived in the Flinders Ranges for tens of thousands of years.

Discover nature's wonders at a choice of attractions in the Flinders Ranges including the following…


Hiking Flinders Ranges National Park, SA

Ikara - Flinders Ranges National Park

Rugged mountain ranges, towering clifftops, spectacular gorges and sheltered creeks lined with river red gums bursting with wildlife are just some of the highlights that make this park one of South Australia's most popular destinations.

World-renowned for its geological history, Aboriginal rock art sites, impressive fossil remains and ruins of early European settlement, the park covers an area of 912km² (352mi²).

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park lies northeast of the small town of Hawker and around 450km (280mi) north of Adelaide in the northern central part of the Flinders Ranges.

In 2016, the park was renamed to include the Adnyamathanha word, Ikara, meaning 'meeting place' – the traditional name for Wilpena Pound.

The park's most characteristic landmark is Wilpena Pound, a large, sickle-shaped, natural amphitheatre covering nearly 80km² (30mi²), containing the range's highest peak, St Mary Peak (1170m).

Despite being a remote wilderness area, dusty-red roads and walking trails – including the famous Heysen Trail and Mawson Trail – provide access to the many lookouts, scenic vistas, small canyons and unusual rock formations located in the park. Camping is also permitted at many locations.

Lookouts include Wilpena Pound, Wilkawillina Gorge, Hucks Lookout, Brachina Gorge, Bunyeroo Gorge and Arkaroo Rock.

The park offers a wide range of activities including bush walking, cycling, scenic tours and bird watching, as well as Aboriginal cultural experiences.

Explore rugged mountain ranges, gorges and sheltered creeks crowded with River Red Gums and hike past stone ruins of early European settlement and Aboriginal rock art sites.

The area is teeming with wildlife and is renown for its geological history and impressive fossil remains.

Admire ochre and charcoal images depicting the creation of Wilpena Pound at Arkaroo Rock, an important Aboriginal art site located on the southern boundary of the Park and offering spectacular views of the Chace Range.

Experience 130 million years of history on a self-guided walk along the 20km (12mi) Brachina Gorge Geological Trail, known as a refuge for the yellow-footed rock wallaby as well as many species of birds and reptiles.

Or head to Sacred Canyon, a small rock fissure adorned with ancient Aboriginal rock engravings representing animal tracks, people, waterholes and other symbols.

Signage offers an insight into the formation of the Flinders Ranges and the evolution of early life forms.

Don’t miss the well-preserved Old Wilpena Station Historic Precinct, a pioneering pastoral settlement that operated from 1851 to 1985.

The park centre at Wilpena Pound is accessible by sealed road from Hawker. Other areas in the park can be reached by unsealed roads, which are mostly accessible by two-wheel drive vehicles except in bad weather or after heavy rain.

One of the best ways to experience the rugged beauty of this ancient landscape is on foot along a choice of tracks, including the following…

Red Hill Lookout Hike – This 8.4km (5.2mi) return trail takes fours to complete across often steep terrain, with panoramic views from the top of Red Hill across the Aroona Valley and south to the peaks of Wilpena Pound.

The hike starts from the car park at Aroona Campground, and follows the Heysen Trail out from the northern end of the camp ground.

An alternative to this hike is the Yuluna Hike.

Yuluna Hike – This 8km (5mi) circuit walk allows you to experience some of the 1200km (745mi) Heysen Trail. The trail offers views of Heysen Range and the distant peaks of Wilpena Pound – the same rugged Flinders landscape that inspired the famous artist Hans Heysen in the 1920s.

You may start the walk from either Aroona Campground or Koolaman Campground.

Aroona to Youngoona Hike – Experience some of the 1200km Heysen Trail on this 13.4km (8.3mi) one-way hike from Aroona Campground to Youngoona Campground.

Walk in the footsteps of early shepherds and discover the ruins of old pastoral runs. Pass through contrasting rock formations and plant communities while enjoying beautiful views of the ABC, Heysen and Trezona ranges.

The hike should take seven hours one-way, or 14 hours for the 26.8km (16.6mi) return trip.

To walk south, begin the hike from the car park at Aroona Campground, the trail follows the Heysen Trail out from the northern end of the camp ground. To walk north, begin from Youngoona Campground.

Trezona Hike – This 8km (5mi) loop trail takes you through the open, undulating grassland country of Heysen Range with scenic views. This area was heavily grazed when the park was a pastoral property.

Along the way discover some of the earliest life forms on earth in the Trezona geological formation.

The loop takes in part of the 1200km Heysen Trail. The trail starts from the Trezona Campground, or from either of the two points where the trail crosses Brachina Gorge Road, and should take around four hours to complete.

Wilkawillina Gorge Hike – Located on the eastern side of the national park, you have a choice of starting this walk from either Mt Billy Creek Trailhead (recommended) or Little Bunkers Trailhead.

Mt Billy Creek Trailhead sits at the end of the 6.5km (4mi) gravel Wilkawillina Road, off Wirrealpa Road; while Little Bunkers Trailhead lies on the Wirrealpa Road, 6km (3.7mi) after the Wilkawillina Road turn-off.

The hike is 12.7km (7.8mi) – around six hours one-way – or 25.4km (15.7mi) return, taking around 12 hours.

An other option is to start from Mt Billy Creek Trailhead and hike to the eastern end of Wilkawillina Gorge where the trail leaves the gorge and turns south resulting in a 7.3km (4.5mi) one-way hike, or a 14.6km (9mi), seven-hour return hike.

Follow Ten Mile Creek through Wilkawillina Gorge to spot yellow-footed rock-wallabies, where they are attracted to the permanent water source.

Mount Ohlssen Bagge Hike – Take the steep rocky climb to the summit of Mount Ohlssen Bagge, with rewarding views both inside and outside the Pound. Along the way look for native reptiles.

This 5.6km (3.4mi) return walk starts from the trailhead at the Wilpena Visitor Centre, then follows the main trail a short distance along Wilpena Creek into Pound Gap, before branching off to begin the climb up Mount Ohlssen Bagge. The hike should take four hours to complete.

Note: The trail is closed from 30th November to 1st March each year.

Malloga Falls Hike – This remote trail allows you to explore Malloga Falls and Edeowie Gorge across undulating terrain. The trail enters the Pound through the Gap, passing the Hills Homestead, then traverses the floor of the Pound on the north-western edge.

The Malloga Falls are a set of adjacent twin falls, but are usually dry. Edeowie Gorge is a deep gorge draining from the Pound out to the north-west plains.

Just beyond Cooinda Camp, the trail leaves the main St Mary Peak trail and heads to Edeowie Gorge. For this section, bushwalkers need to be experienced and possess some navigational skills.

The trail is easily followed but can also be easily lost. Prior to commencing this hike, bushwalkers must discuss their route with the Wilpena Visitor Centre staff.

This 23.2km (14.4mi) return trail takes around nine hours to complete.

Note: This trail is closed during the summer months of December, January and February.

St Mary Peak Hike – This challenging 19km (11.8mi) circuit hike takes you to the summit of St Mary Peak/Ngarri Mudlanha – the highest mountain in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park at 1171m – with panoramic views of the Flinders Ranges, Aroona Valley, and the salt plains to the west.

The direct route (on the escarpment edge) is a 14.6km (9mi) return hike taking around six hours to complete; the loop route is 21.5km (13.3mi), taking around nine hours.

Rangers recommend you leave on this hike no later than 9am (10am during daylight saving).

Note: St Mary Peak is central to the Adnyamathanha creation story. For this reason the Adnyamathanha people prefer that visitors do not climb to the summit of the peak (beyond Tanderra Saddle). The shorter option to Tanderra Saddle also affords spectacular views.

This hike is closed from 30th November to 1st March each year.

Bridle Gap Hike – Experience some of the iconic 1200km Heysen Trail by walking out to Bridle Gap, on the south-western escarpment edge of Wilpena Pound.

The 18.6km (11.5mi) return trail starts from the Wilpena Visitor Centre complex then passes through the Pound Gap and Hills Homestead, before continuing across the Pound floor, taking around six hours to complete.

A variety of mallee, native pine and heath habitats provide excellent opportunities for keen naturalists to observe local birds including wrens, robins and parrots.

Arkaroo Rock Hike – This 3.1km (1.9mi) circuit hike leads to a rock shelter with rock paintings featuring ochre and charcoal images that depict the Yura Muda (Dreaming, or creation story) of Ikara (Wilpena Pound).

Arkaroo Rock is a significant cultural site for the Adnyamathanha people of the Flinders Ranges.

The rock paintings are best seen in morning light. Enjoy spectacular views of the Chace Range at sunset.

The trail includes some bridges and seating benches, with interpretive signage at the car park trailhead.


Aerial of Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges National Park

Wilpena Pound

Choose from one of the many walking bushwalking trails to visit the Pound or join a 4WD tour to see this magnificent natural amphitheatre, the result of millions of years of erosion and the centrepiece of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park.

Along the way, spot emus, kangaroos and euros. Or take to the skies for a panoramic sightseeing flight.

The large, sickle-shaped, natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound covers and area of 80km² (31mi²), and is home to St Mary Peak (1171m (3842ft) – the highest peak in the Flinders Ranges.


Aerial of Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park

Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre

Discover the largest inland salt lake in Australia, with a catchment area from three states as well as the Northern Territory.

The lake itself is huge, covering an area 144km (89mi) long and 77km (48mi) wide, and at 15.2m below sea level, it is the lowest point in Australia.

Flood waters cover the lake once every eight years on average. However, the lake has only filled to capacity three times in the last 160 years.

Formerly known as Lake Eyre National Park, Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park is located 697km (433mi) north of Adelaide. The park embraces both the north and south sections of Lake Eyre as well as sections of the Tirari Desert.

Kati Thanda is the original name of Lake Eyre given to it by the local Arabuna People. Native Title of Lake Eyre (Kati Thanda) was granted to the Arabuna People in May, 2012.

A network of channels, streams and floodplains from South Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory and western New South Wales all converge in Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park, bringing with them an abundance of wildlife, stunning natural beauty and dreamlike pink and orange hues.

Experience the beauty of Lake Eyre with its seemingly endless expanse of shimmering salt crystals on a guided 4WD tour or from above on a scenic flight.

The contrasting whiteness of the salt lake surrounding by the red dunes of the desert give you a sense of the wilderness and remoteness of this outback icon.

When filled with water, waterbirds converge on the lake by the thousands including pelicans, silver gulls, red-necked avocets, banded stilts and gull-billed terns – a breeding site teeming with species that are tolerant of salinity.

The Lake Eyre drainage basin covers just under one-sixth of all Australia, and is the largest endorheic basin in Australia and amongst the largest in the world, covering about 1,200,000km² (463,323mi²), including much of inland Queensland, large portions of South Australia and the Northern Territory, and part of western New South Wales.


Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, Flinders Ranges National Park

Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary

Located in the northern Flinders Ranges, the rugged mountains, towering granite peaks and deep gorges of this 610km² (235mi²) award-winning wilderness sanctuary offers great bushwalks and some of the best four wheel-driving in Australia.

Join an ecotourism-accredited 4WD tour to the depths of ancient seabeds and across razorback ridges and peaks of the Flinders Ranges to Sillers Lookout.

Explore the Yudnamutana track to an old copper mine or take the Echo Camp Backtrack for great views of Lake Frome before arriving at Paralana Hot Springs, a geothermal pool.

Arkaroola is home to more than 160 species of birds and the endangered yellow-footed rock-wallaby.

Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is located around 670km (416mi) north of Adelaide in the northern Flinders Ranges.


Blinman Pools Walk landscape

Blinman

Located at the northern edge of the Flinders Ranges National Park, Blinman is a good base for exploring the sparse, hilly countryside to see old homestead ruins, Aboriginal carvings and rock pools, either on foot or by four-wheel drive.

See the so-called 'Great Wall of China' – lines of rocks topped with ironstone that resemble the Chinese landmark; the Gammon Ranges and Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary; and the ruins of Artimore Station and the Nuccaleena Mine.

Blinman Pools Walk – This 12km (7.4mi) return hike starts from Angorichina Village, on the Parachilna to Blinman Road, and follows the Parachilna and Blinman Creeks, as they wind their way through beautiful rugged country.

The walk is physically demanding in some sections, as no formal track is developed. The walk takes you across a rocky creek bed with large boulders and steep inclines. Signage includes direction and distance indicators and points of interest along the walk.

In some places, sheer cliffs rise almost straight up from the creekbed, providing a spectacular backdrop.

The two spring-fed creeks keep the first pool filled with water all year round. The second pool is low in summer, but after torrential rainfall it can fill up to a depth of three metres. At these times, the waters can stretch 20m to 30m across the waterhole.

The first pool is a 10km (6.2mi) return walk, taking around four hours; the second pool is 12km (7.4mi) return, taking around five hours to complete.

The Blinman Pools, with their pretty waterfalls, have been popular picnic spots since the 1800s.

Blinman is a located just north of the Flinders Ranges National Park, around 60km (37mi) north of Wilpena Pound, and about 425km (264mi) north of Adelaide.


Hawker Hotel Motel, Hawker, Flinders Ranges

Hawker

This little outback town, located 365km (227mi) north of Adelaide, is a good base for exploring the Flinders Ranges and also features numerous heritage buildings dating from the 1880s.

From here it’s easy to enjoy half-day and day trips to Wilpena Pound, the Flinders Ranges National Park, Bunyeroo Valley, Brachina Gorge, Blinman, Parachilna Gorge, Quorn and the Pichi Richi Railway.

Enjoy the Moralana Scenic Drive – a 28km (17mi) picturesque route along the Moralana Valley, between the south-western wall of Wilpena Pound and the dramatic Elder Range.


Old hotels and buildings on the main street of Quorn, Flinders Ranges

Quorn

Discover this pretty Flinders Ranges town that retains an old-world character with charming bric-a-brac stores, cafés and a pub on almost every corner.

View the many heritage buildings on the Quorn Heritage Walk, a 1.6km (1mi) circuit taking around 90 minutes.

Quorn was established in 1878, when the Great Northern Railway reached the farming town.

In 1917, Quorn became the crossroads of any north–south (on the Central Australian Railway to Oodnadatta) or east–west travel in Australia, when the Trans-Australian Railway was completed between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie.

This made Quorn an important town, given that any person travelling east–west or north–south in Australia would need to pass through Quorn. As a result, many fine buildings were built as the town expanded.

The Visitor Information Centre in the railway station (open five days a week from 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm) offers an informative brochure about the town and its history.

Quorn is also home to the Pichi Richi Railway, a steam train journey through rugged countryside to Port Augusta.

Afghan Express, Pichi Richi Railway

Pichi Richi Railway – See the ancient Flinders Ranges landscape unfold before you in comfort aboard a steam-hauled train along the last remaining operating portion of the old Ghan route from Port Augusta.

Watch the ranges creep closer before entering the Pichi Richi Pass with its rocky outcrops, dry riverbeds and beautiful hilly scenery. Settle back for a charming rail journey in genuine timber-body carriages past deep rock cuttings, stone-wall embankments and across iron bridges.

Choose from the Afghan Express for the six-hour, 78km (48mi) return journey between Port Augusta and the historic outback town of Quorn (or visa versa). Or ride the Pichi Richi Explorer from Quorn to Woolshed Flat and return – a 32km (20mi) journey taking just two hours.

Quorn is located in the Flinders Ranges around 39km (24mi) northeast of Port Augusta and around 337km (209mi) from Adelaide.


Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens, Port Augusta

Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens

Follow the 12km (7.4mi) of walking tracks through this 250ha (617ac) property showcasing a variety of arid land flora and fauna.

Stroll around Australia's largest Eremophila Garden, which contains more than 120 species, many of which are rare or endangered.

Look out for wedge-tailed eagles, kestrals and spiney-cheeked honeyeaters – just some of the 100 bird species seen locally.

Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens– open seven days per week from 7:30am until sunset – is located in Port Augusta, about 322km (200mi) north of Adelaide.


Wadlata Outback Centre

Enjoy an interactive hands-on experience that takes you through the evolution of the Flinders Ranges and Outback South Australia in a series of entertaining displays.

Step back 15 million years in time when lush rainforests covered the Flinders Ranges and dinosaurs roamed the area freely. Learn how the Aboriginal people believe the Flinders Ranges were formed in the Dreamtime.

Listen to the experiences of the early explorers and discover the hardships experienced by these European settlers. Hear children chatter on the School of the Air.

Wadlata Outback Centre is located in Port Augusta, about 322km (200mi) north of Adelaide.


Views over Spencer Gulf from Battery Track, Mount Remarkable National Park, SA

Mount Remarkable National Park

Mount Remarkable National Park is best-known for its rugged mountain ranges, dramatic gorges, abundant wildlife, steep vegetated valleys and exposed red quartzite cliffs, with some of the landscape dating back 800 million years.

Situated between Spencer Gulf and the southern reaches of the Flinders Ranges, Mount Remarkable National Park is located about 240km (149mi) from Adelaide’s city centre, a three-hour drive.

The park is a popular destination for campers, hikers, bird watchers and cyclists.

Climb to the summit of Mount Remarkable (960m) for panoramic views over the national park. Hike through remarkable rock formations and along deep gorges and see an intriguing mix of flora and fauna along the way.

Stroll through the spectacular red-brown quartzite rocks of Alligator Gorge or beneath a canopy of ancient Red Gums at Mambray Creek.

The rugged landscape is carpeted in eucalypti woodland, mallees and acacia. Watch out for native wildlife including the endangered yellow–footed rock-wallaby, lace monitors, tree goannas, echidnas, scorpions and western grey kangaroos.

Above in the sky and in the trees, spot kookaburras, Adelaide rosellas and galahs. The park has 117 native bird species including brightly multi-coloured wrens, Australian ringneck parrots, emus and wedge-tailed eagles.

Each of the three sections of the park – Mt Remarkable (via Melrose), Alligator Gorge and Mambray Creek – have their own distinctive elements, including walking trails for all fitness levels, picnic areas, scenic lookouts, gorges, ruins and camp grounds with facilities.

Mt Remarkable Summit Loop – Hike along some of the Heysen Trail up to the summit of Mt Remarkable on this 13.8km (8.5mi) return walk. The trail is gently graded as it contours up to the summit and should take around five hours to complete.

The trail consists of two sections: the Mt Remarkable Northern Summit Trail and the Mt Remarkable Southern Summit Trail; this enables you to walk to the summit as loop, heading up one trail and returning via the other.

You can start the trail from the camping ground or the main street of Melrose, walking up to the Monument on the bitumen road past the caravan park.


The Narrows, Alligator Gorge, Mount Remarkable National Park

Alligator Gorge

Explore the ancient landscape at Alligator Gorge and discover the Terraces, a long series of small cascading waterfalls or a two or four hour hike.

Despite its name, there are no alligators here, instead, expect to see local wildlife including kangaroos, echidna, wallabies and goanna as well as some of the more than 117 bird species, including emus and kookaburras that make the park a haven for bird watching.

For millions of years Alligator Creek cut the gorge though ancient rocks, which is easily accessible along a short walking trail. Explore the gorge during Spring to see abundant wild-flowers.

You can also take longer walks with several walking trails to suit all fitness levels.

Camp-grounds offer the chance to explore the gorge for a day or two. Toilets, a picnic area and barbecue facilities are provided.

Gorge Circuit Hike – Explore the Narrows and the Terraces in Alligator Gorge on this 3.3km (2mi) loop hike.

The Narrows is a gorge just a couple of metres wide which stretches for several hundred metres. The Terraces are a series of rock platforms which the creek flows down.

The hike begins from Alligator Gorge car park. The trail through the gorge can be loose and uneven, and slippery when wet.

Alligator Gorge Ring Route Hike – This 8.9km (5.5mi) circuit hike encompasses the full length of Alligator Gorge, including the Narrows and the Terraces, taking around four hours to complete.

Along the route, take a brief side trip to The Battery for spectacular views over Spencer Gulf.

Walking Hidden Gorge Hike, Mount Remarkable National Park

Hidden Gorge Hike – This challenging but well-marked 18km (11mi) circuit trail showcases the many attractions of Mount Remarkable National Park, including the beautiful Mambray Creek Valley, amazing views of the Spencer Gulf from the top of the Battery Track and the stunning geological formations of Hidden Gorge.

The walk begins from either Mambray Creek Day Visitor Carpark or Mambray Creek Campground.

Walking along Mambray Creek, past pools of permanent water, through native pine forest, the walk passes Hidden Gorge Campsite to enter the ever-narrowing Hidden Gorge.

With steep red-rock walls, you can walk through and out along a trail up to The Battery, with extensive views over Spencer Gulf. The fire track meanders back to the trailhead at Mambray Creek car park.

As the complete circuit walk takes around seven hours to complete, you may want to split the hike over two days and stay overnight at Hidden Gorge Campground, located around 7km (4.3mi) from the Mambray Creek Day Visitor Area.

Mambray Creek to Hidden Gorge Campground via Mambray and Alligator creeks is around 10.2km (6.3mi), taking roughly three to four hours; Hidden Gorge Campground to Mambray Creek via The Battery is around 7.3km (4.5mi), taking three hours.

This camp ground is one of 11 camp grounds that are only accessible on foot. These camp grounds must be booked directly through the Clare Natural Resources Centre and due to safety reasons are closed during fire danger season (usually November to April).

Mambray Creek to Alligator Gorge Hike – The 13km (8mi) hike can be done one-way in around five hours, or as a return day-trip for fit hikers. Alternatively, you can take the hike as a two-day return hike or a three-day circuit hike.

Two Day Return Hike: Day 1 – Mambray Creek to Longhill Camp (near Hidden Gorge), 14.1km (8.7mi). Optional side trip into Hidden Gorge (3km (1.8mi) return).

Camp at Longhill Camp and make a short trip north into Alligator Gorge to the Narrows (1.3km (0.8mi) one-way) and the Terraces (2.3km (1.4mi) one-way).

Day 2: return to Mambray Creek, 13.8km (8.5mi).

Three Day Circuit Hike: Day 1 – Mambray Creek to Longhill Camp (near Hidden Gorge), 14.1km (8.7mi);

Day 2: Longhill Camp to Kingfisher Camp via the Narrows, Terraces, Battery Ridge Track and Fricks Track, 14.3km (8.8mi);

Day 3: Kingfisher Camp to Mambray Creek via Hidden Gorge and Battery Ridge Track, 12.9km (8mi).

Hike along the course of the Alligator and Mambray creeks. The hike explores the river past red gum and native pine forests that line the creeks.

You have the option to extend the walk by camping at Hidden Camp, and/or walking on to Alligator Gorge.

The best time to hike in Mount Remarkable National Park is from May to October. Overnight hikes are not permitted during the Fire Danger Season, usually 1 November to 30 April.

Accommodation options exist at Alligator Lodge, which is located near the northern entrance to the Mount Remarkable National Park. The lodge offers solar power, gas appliances, hot water and a combustion heater. Bookings are essential; you can book online. There is also a camp ground and cabin at Mambray Creek.

Other accommodation is available in the towns of Melrose and Wilmington.


Walking the Conservator’s Trail, Bundaleer Forest Reserve, South Australia

Bundaleer Forest Reserve

Meander through tranquil scenery in Australia's first plantation forest. The 3100ha deciduous forest offers a choice of sign-posted tracks that offer a panorama of old stone walls stretching across green valleys.

The longest trail is a 4.6km (2.8mi) return loop that takes about 90 minutes. A half-hour sculpture walk has artwork, including a giant sundial, dotted along the track. The Conservator’s Trail meanders past the Conservator’s hut – where the Conservator of Forests once lived.

Sections of the Heysen Trail run through Bundaleer Forest with magnificent views from higher points and sunrises on the trail are spectacular.

The 900km (560mi) Mawson Trail also cuts through the forest. This challenging, scenic track has been rerouted due to the fires that wiped out much of the forest’s southern end.

Along the way, look for western grey kangaroos, rock wallabies, echidnas and birds, including kingfishers, whistlers and kookaburras.

Bundaleer Forest Reserve is located 10km (6.2mi) south of Jamestown, and around 220km (136mi) from Adelaide.


Wirrabara Forest Reserve,

Wirrabara Forest Reserve

Choose from a range of scenic drives and walking trails through this pretty forest in the Southern Flinders Ranges, with great views of Spencer Gulf.

Stroll past large shady gums and pines to the historic Old Nursery, home to many large specimen trees, planted as an arboretum more than 100 years ago.

Don’t miss the King Tree, a gnarled 400-year-old Red Gum that stands 36m high and more than 11m in circumference.

Wirrabara Forest derives its name from an Aboriginal word for 'a place of big trees' and is situated in the Southern Flinders Ranges just west of the Wirrabara township, around 210km (130mi) north of Adelaide.


Heysen Lookout on the Heysen Trail, South Australia

Heysen Trail

Hike all or just part of South Australia's Heysen Trail, which runs for 1200km (745mi) from Cape Jervis on the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges.

The trail is ideal for all levels of walkers, with multi-use sections for cyclist and horseback riders. Along the way, discover some of South Australia's most diverse and scenic landscapes.

In the Flinders Ranges section, the Heysen Trail runs from Hawker to Parachilna Gorge, a distance of 120km (74mi), offering spectacular views and wildlife sightings over rugged and challenging terrain.

Alternatively, try the 18.8km (11.6mi) Bridle Gap section of the trail, which weaves across the floor of Wilpena Pound. With views south to Elder Range and west to Lake Torrens, the six-hour return hike passes a variety of mallee and eucalypti habitats that offer a great opportunity for spotting local wildlife.

Constructed during the 1970s and 1980s, the trail takes its name from Sir Hans Heysen, the artist whose paintings so popularised the Flinders Ranges.


Cycling the Mawson Trail, South Australia

Mawson Trail

Discover the spectacular landscapes and unique flora and fauna of the Flinders Range along one of Australia's premier off-road cycling trails.

Starting at the River Torrens Linear Park, about 15km (9.3mi) north of Adelaide, the nearly 900km (560mi) trail traverses the Adelaide Hills, the Barossa Valley and the Clare and Gilbert valleys before reaching Blinman, South Australia’s highest town in the Flinders Ranges.

Along the route cycle through paddocks, forest trails, open deserts, gnarled single-tracks, grassy fields and into the Flinders Ranges, with the occasional highway side-trip to get into a town.

While the trail is open all year round, it’s best enjoyed between the months of April and November when temperatures aren’t quite as hot as they tend to be in summer.


Adelaide

Adelaide

The genteel city of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, is aptly nicknamed ‘the City of Churches’.

Planned in 1836 by Colonel William Light, then Surveyor-General of the colony of South Australia and settled by English free settlers, the city named in honour of Queen Adelaide (the wife of King William IV) still retains a touch of Old England.

Wide tree-lined streets, lined with gracious colonial architecture, surrounded by hectares of spacious parks and gardens and straddled by the Torrens River, make Adelaide the perfect city for walking and cycling.

Read more about Adelaide and its surrounding attractions.


Best time to visit the Flinders Ranges

The best time to visit the Flinders Ranges is from April to October when you can expect mild temperatures, with an average high ranging from 16°C (61°F) to 25°C (77°F). This is the most comfortable for bush walking and cycling.

Hawker – a good base for exploring the Flinders Ranges – has a semi-arid climate with hot summers and cool winters. You can expect an average high of around 33°C (92°F) in summer – January and February; with an average high in winter of around 16°C (61°F) – June and July. Rainfall is very sparse throughout the year.

During the summer months, the maximum temperatures can rise to 44°C (111°F).

The southern part of South Australia enjoys a Mediterranean climate, while the rest of the state has either an arid or semi-arid climate.

South Australia's main temperature range is 29°C (84°F) in January and 15°C (59°F) in July.

For more about Adelaide weather


Latest update: Flinders Ranges Sights & Attractions: 16 November, 2020 -->


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