The Flinders Ranges stretch out over 400km, so if you want to make the most of it, stay for at least a week. Many of it can only be done by 4WD drive though, but there are still some good options for regular cars as well. Via the town of Hawker you can drive to Wilpena Pound. Hawker is a nice place to stop since there are some artists around. This town used to be a stop on the Ghan Railway.
From Hawker it’s a 55km drive to Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges national park. Wilpena Pound is a 80km2 plain surrounded by mountains. Aboriginal dreaming says the mountains were two snakes that disturbed a ceremony and devoured all the people participating in it. Wilpena Pound has a restaurant and campsite with swimming pool. From here you can choose from a range of walks. I took an 8km walk to a lookout over the mountains.
At the start of the walk the trees provided some shade. The weather was hot and the kangaroos and wallabies were hiding under the trees. Every now and then I saw an emu and I even encountered some wild goats. I walked past dry river beds with red gum trees. The trees were often half burned, but would still continue to grow. Even if they’d fallen over, the branches would just grow towards the sky and create trees on a tree.
We took a break at a cottage that had some information about the area. After that it got tough. Trees turned into bushes and the shade was gone. The blazing sun and humidity made it a sweaty walk up over the ocre red rocks. Flies kept attacking my head and once again I felt like the queen, waving to my fans. The view was worth it though. This is the real Australia, the mix of different shades of red and green from the bushes and sand. This is what I know from the films about Australia.
Close to Wilpena Pound are the ruins of a Kanyaka station, which held about 41.000 sheep once upon a time. All that is left now are the foundations of some buildings. It is a nice place to visit though if you can imagine that these building were the living quarters of the farmer and his staff. This farmer lost his station due to the regions harsh weather.
Another attraction of the region is Warren gorge, an important place for the rare yellow footed rock wallabies. You have to have luck on your side. I only saw one. The gorge itself was pretty stunning too, so either way it’s worth the drive.