Stretching from the coastal mining town of Port Pirie in the south to saline Lake Callebonna in the north, the Flinders Ranges are a discontinuous chain of mountains located inland, 450km north of Adelaide. This majestic range encompasses a crescent-shaped natural amphitheatre known as Wilpena Pound, as well as numerous vast nature reserves including historic Arkaba, a 19th century sheep station-turned-conservancy. With its wondrous wildlife and spectacular landscapes, the Flinders Ranges possess all the defining characteristics of the great Australian outback. Renowned Flinders Ranges National Park is home to some of the state’s last remaining yellow-footed rock wallabies, various sacred Aboriginal sites as well as St Mary Peak, the eighth highest summit in South Australia. Parts of the epic 1,200km Heysen walking trail pass through this preserve, as does the 900km Mawson cycling trail.
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A scenic flight over Wilpena Pound is highly recommended to take in the area’s breathtaking grandeur, and so is a multi-day guided walk, which provides the opportunity to sleep out under the stars. Trek or mountain bike for a close up look at the rugged, arid terrain and to uncover some of the many native creatures including emu and wallaby that inhabit it. Fall asleep in the rustic, romantic Arkaba homestead, where meals crafted from quality South Australian produce are served on an antique wool-sorting table.
- Arkaba, a 60,000-acre private wildlife conservancy
- Home of the epic multi-day Arkaba Walk
- The legendary Heysen walking and Mawson cycling trails
- The primordial Flinders Ranges
- Wilpena Pound, a gigantic natural amphitheatre
- Ancient Aboriginal rock art
- Iconic Australian wildlife including emus, wallabies and kangaroos
- Quality South Australian food and wines
- Spellbinding outback scenery
- Incomparable stargazing
Accommodation – Flinders Ranges
Suggested Tours Featuring Flinders Ranges
The closest major settlement to the Flinders Ranges is Port Augusta, which is serviced by Sharp Airlines (weekdays only, twice-daily flights), from Adelaide. Alternatively, you could drive north from the South Australian capital, stopping in at the Barossa and Clare valleys along the way.
South Australia’s well-planned capital Adelaide is famous for its high ratio of restaurants to residents, and the city is a worthy bookend to any Flinders Ranges holiday. Another major South Australian highlight is Kangaroo Island, whose healthy and diverse wildlife populations have earned it the moniker “The Galapagos of Australia”.