Wilpena Pound and the Flinders Ranges National Park (4-7+ Days Stay)
Wilpena Pound is a majestic rock formation that is one of most famous landmarks of the South Australian Outback. With a number of excellent facilities including camping ground and a resort, Wilpena Pound makes an excellent base from which to see the rest of the Flinders Ranges National Park. The National Park is rich in natural history and the early heritage of South Australia and deserves serious contemplation before deciding how long to stay there to make sure you see and experience as many of the awe inspiring sights as possible.
Wilpena Pound itself is best enjoyed by following the bushwalking trails - a brochure for which is available from Wilpena Pound Visitor Centre with details of some 13 different tracks.
Only a few Kilometres from the resort is the Old Wilpena Station which once was an important pioneering pastoral lease first settled in 1851. The Station was added to the Park in 1988 and has been converted into the Old Wilpena Station Historic Precinct with one of the most complete groups of early station buildings surviving anywhere in South Australia. The Station Homestead was converted to become the National Park headquarters in 2003. It is now possible to take guided and self-guided tours of the historic precinct including the "Living with Land" Interpretive Trail.
Arkaroo Rock is an important Aboriginal Site within the park (located on the southern boundary). It features dramatic ochre and charcoal images depicting the creation legend of Wilpena Pound.
Another aboriginal site is Sacred Canyon where the sandstone walls have ancient rock engravings (animal tracks, people, waterholes etc). Sacred Canyon is located 19km from Wilpena off the main Hawker-Blinman road.
The Cazneaux Tree (made famous from the celebrated photograph taken by Harold Cazneaux in 1937) is another interesting feature to visit. Nearby the Cazneaux Tree is a mound of rock that is all that's left of the ruins of the Wilpena Eating House which served the passing trade up until it was abandoned in the 1880s.
The "Ruins of Blinman" is a self guided tour, and is located 50km North of Wilpena, and was once a thriving copper mining centre where 1000 or so people lived. The town is now ruins with only some of the pug and pine huts and stone buildings that were erected near the mine still standing.
Also worth visiting are the Appealinna Ruins, via a track 1km north of the Wirrealpa turn off on the Blinman Road. The rocks that form the stone ruins were all originally quarried on site. There is a homestead and stockyards on South of the creek and to the north another mining settlement.
Bunyeroo Valley is a scenic road with a razorback ridge and lookouts. Further ruins can be seen before go into Bunyeroo gorge, being the Yanyanna hut and stockyards. The pug and pine hut was built in the 1850's and iron shelter from 1937.
Brachina Gorge has become a very popular attraction. It's a natural refuge for the endangered Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby and many animals including birds and reptiles. It forms a 20km self guided East-West trail which reputedly passes through 130 million years of earth history. Well written signs on the trail provide information detailing geology of the region, past climates and even the evolution of early life forms. Detailed information on the trail is available from the Wilpena Pound Visitor Centre.
Glass Gorge and Parachilna Gorge, found north of Blinman, allow you to take in the beautiful scenery of the Heyson Range as you follow tracks that originally were for mining drays as they followed these gorges to reach the railway at Parachilna. Keep your eye out for the Great Wall of China, an inspiring bluff along the Trezona Range, a few kilometres north of the park boundary as you travel to the gorges.
Lastly the Moralana Scenic Drive is a 28km route following Moralana Valley which lies between the south western wall of the Pound and the Elder Range.
These are some of the great destinations to see while exploring Flinders Ranges National Park. Be sure to add them to your list of places to visit.
- Wilpena Pound - a majestic rock formation, camping ground & resort
- Flinders Ranges National Park - natural history and early heritage of SA
- Wilpena Pound - bushwalking trails.
- Old Wilpena Station - the Old Wilpena Station Historic Precinct
- Flinders Ranges National Park headquarters - "Living with Land" Interpretive Trail.
- Arkaroo Rock - Aboriginal Site
- Sacred Canyon - ancient rock engravings
- The Cazneaux Tree (photo by Harold Cazneaux in 1937)
- Wilpena Eating House abandoned in the 1880s.
- The ruins of Blinman - a self guided tour
- Appealinna Ruins - homestead and stockyards
- Bunyeroo Valley - razorback ridge and lookouts.
- Bunyeroo gorge
- Brachina Gorge - Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, 20km self guided East-West trail
- Glass Gorge
- Parachilna Gorge
- Great Wall of China, a bluff along the Trezona Range
- Moralana Scenic Drive - along Moralana Valley