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Our guide to the amazing Flinders Ranges

Even though it is only a five hour drive from Adelaide, you would be forgiven for thinking you have somehow teleported to a different planet when exploring the natural marvel that is the Flinders Ranges. In this article, we share our experience and recommendations for visiting this 600 million year old region, including where we stayed/camped, what to see, how to explore with your furry friend and more.


Getting there

The drive up to Flinders Ranges from Adelaide is a pleasant five hour tour of some lovely countryside passing through some great towns such as Hawker and Quorn. There are plenty of great camping areas on the way up and one we can recommend is the Appila Springs Campground.


Some of the many views along the way


For those inclined, you can charter a flight to the area as well, however you will miss some great scenic driving on the way up.


Getting Around

The best way to get around is to drive, and the best vehcile to tackle the rougher gorge roads would be a 4wd or a car with nice clearance and suspension. We managed to take Indy through the main gorge roads without too much trouble, but it certainly wasn't what we would consider a comfortable drive in parts.


We would also recommend taking a setup that allows you to camp overnight in some of the awesome camp spots withing the Flinder Ranges National Park and along the Parachilna Gorge Road.

Indy our bus with Scotch the bus from @scotchtravel exploring the gorge roads


Where to Stay

We consider Rawnsley Park Station the best place to base yourself to explore the Flinders Ranges. We stayed in the caravn park section of the station, however they also have a range of cabins for those not coming with a camping setup. It is situated at the foot of Wilpena Pound and offers hiking trails, scenic flights and more from the station and is well located for day drives throughout the region with easy access to multiple lookouts, gorge roads, the National Park and surrounding towns. Oh, and it is dog friendly!


Our camp setup at Rawnlsey Park Station

Our camp setup at Rawnlsey Park Station


There are also other caravan parks on offer in the area, for example Wilpena Caravan Park, but we didn't stay there so can't comment.


The area is also filled with awesome camping sites throughout the National Park and also in dog friendly areas along the Parachilna Gorge. Just be sure to check the restrictions and make sure you book your national parks pass and campground spot.


What to See

Where do we start?! There is soo much to see and there is no way that we will cover everything off, but the below is a selection of sites that we can recommend from our trip.


Lookouts

The whole area is an absolute pleasure to drive around with views galore and lookouts a plenty, so be prepared to pull over numerous times as you drive up Flinders Ranges Way. A couple of great lookouts we recommend are; Stokes Hill, Hucks, Elder Range and our absolute favourite situated in the National Park, Razorback Lookout.


Some of the many lookouts in the Flinders


Wilpena Pound

This natural ampitheatre of mountains is a MUST see, and for those staying at Rawnlsey Park Station, you can't miss it. There are some great hikes you can do up to the ridge and to Rawnsley Bluff and the Wilpena Lookout from within the station, but even from the ground below it is a magnificent sight, especially at sunset. Make sure to check the forecast as we went for a morning hike up the steep ridge to take in the view but were unfortunately unlucky with the weather and got only grey mist and rain.


Wilpena Pound at sunset and us hiking during bad weather.


Arkaroo Rock

Arkaroo Rock is a beautifully preserved and easily accessible Aboriginal rock art site. From the car park, it is an easy 1 hour loop walking track that also offers great views of the ranges. The rock site is of great significance to the Adnyamathanha people and are thought to be over 5,000 years old. The artwork were made with a mixture of red and white ochre and charcoal.


Arkaroo Rock Art

Some of the art at Arkaroo Rock


Blinman

This historic copper mining town has the claim of being the highest surveyed town in South Australia. Whislt it is a very small and verging on a ghost town, there are a few things to see and do, mainly the mine tour, pub and Blinman Pools. It definately has some charm and well worth a stop on your way through to the Parachilna Gorge.


Parachilna Gorge

For those in a self-contained motorhome, we highly recommend taking the Parachilna Gorge road and setting up camp at one of the many spots available as you take the scenic road from Blinman to Parachilna through the mountain ranges. This section of the ranges is also dog friendly, so your furry friend can camp with you too.


Our campsite at Parachilna Gorge and some of the views you can expect along the way


Ikara - Flinders Ranges National Park

One of the best ways to take in the immense beauty of the ranges and the national park is to take the Brachina Gorge Road into the park and explore the many lookouts, campsites and scenic trails on offer. We highly recommend taking Bunyroo Road through the valley to the Razorback and Bunyroo Valley lookouts. Some of the road can be quite rocky, so be prepared for a bumpy ride.


Some of the stunning scenery you can expect from the National Park


And soo much more. We have barely scratched the surface. We spent a good five or so days in the region to see the above as we like to take it a bit slower, but you can add much more to your list in the surrounding area if you wish.

Archie our dog goes outback

Archie getting into the outbck theme

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