Blogs from Flinders Ranges National Park, South Australia, Australia, Oceania

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DAY 11 WILPENA POUND Woke to a warmer morning due to cloud cover. A plunger coffee before poached eggs and avocado on toast, and it was all systems go. Well, as far can go for me as I rested my ‘severely’ injured groin whilst Jane went for one of the short walks. We met up for a famous, on-the-spot-Jane-made-lunch, which we devoured ravenously washed down with a little wine. Gratitude indeed. The drizzle had settled in and so had we for an half hour afternoon snooze. We finished the day by driving across to the Wilpena Resort and splashing out on dinner. More gratitude. The Xtrk is all set for departure tomorrow as we head to Arkaroola along a different route than previously planned.... read more
Poached eggs and avocado on toast


Day 10 EXPLORING THE FLINDERS RANGES Today we explored the Flinders Ranges by first finding the Bunyeroo Valley Drive along the Geological Trail. The track is windy and very undulating with numerous sharp dip creek courses and now is in-between well graded and rough. There are many bush-style campsites. We stopped at numerous places … Yanyanna Horse Yards and hut (both now unused), Razorback Lookout, giving views over the Ikara-Flinders Ranges NP, Bunyeroo Gorge through to the Brachina Gap into the Brachina Gorge which creates a striking appearance with its crumbling walls of shale, limestone and quartzite. There are scattered lone graves and ruins of shepherds huts, a reflection of hard times endured, north through the Aroona Valley to the Aroona Homestead and hut with magnificent scenery enjoyed. I remember seeing documentaries of the great artist, ... read more
Feeling the cold
Vista from Razorback Lookout


DAY 8 CEDUNA-WILPENA POUND (FLINDERS RANGES) “The Eagles” and “Dire Straits” helped us cross the Eyre Peninsula today. We did not sleep well. It resulted in early rising and early departure; however, the overnight dew was extremely heavy resulting in the canvas being totally wet. We wiped down what we could reach and knew that packing a wet canvas would have repercussions on arrival. Our hands were freezing from the wiping. The fog was thick and stayed with us for the first 200 odd kms until we reached Kimba to refuel ($2.25/L). Kimba is a rural service town on the Eyre Highway at the top of Eyre Peninsula in the state of South Australia. There is an 8-metre tall statue of a ga... read more
Kimba ... halfway across Australia ... largest galah symbol
Arrived


I exited the Xtrk at 6.45am on a very, very cold clear sky morning. I hadn’t walked 2m before 6 kookaburras sitting together 5m on a tree branch about 30m from me began their laugh, and laugh they did, waking anyone who was still asleep at that stage, for a full 2 minutes non-stop. It was sensational. I had heard kookaburras laugh before but not that many all at once for 2 minutes. Those brave enough to test the outside cold stumbled from their warm interiors to check out nature at its best … again. We conversed with a few fellow travellers and visited the inside of their caravans as we discussed the type of van. Jane is nearing the end with canvas! I quite fancy the eco-tourer outback type. Will do some research. We completed ... read more
On the trail
Enjoying the trail


Issy and small planes have often not been a good mix, so I head down to the airstrip alone for a scenic flight over the area. Our pilot Mark takes my temperature as part of COVID-safe procedures. It comes back as 33.5. I think that probably means I’m dead, but Mark says that doesn’t matter; as long as it’s less than 37.5 he’s allowed to take me. I ask Mark if he needs to watch out for kangaroos on the runway. He says that the tall fence around it does a fairly good job of keeping them out as long as no one leaves the gate open. He tells me that one of the refuellers did just that a few weeks ago and one got in. He says that he chased it around and eventually caught ... read more
View from Hucks Lookout
Wilpena Pound from the south
Looking south towards Wilpena Pound


Today we’ve booked for the so-called “Time Travel” tour, which is being led again by the very entertaining Mick, our indigenous guide from last evening’s Stokes Hill sunset tour. We’re not quite sure why it’s called the Time Travel tour, and are now thinking that we probably should have thought to ask when we booked. Perhaps unsurprisingly, our transport isn’t something out of “Back to the Future“, it just looks like the bus we were on last night. Mick explains that we’ll be heading north from Wilpena Pound and then turning west onto the Brachina Gorge Geological Trail. The “Time Travel” tour title is apparently a reference to the journey we’ll be taking through 130 million years of geological time in little more than about ten kilometres of road distance. First stop is an inspection of ... read more
Brachina Gorge
Heysen Range from the Razorback Lookout
Issy with our guide, Mick


I spend the small hours tossing and turning wondering how I’m going to fulfil my promise to Issy that I’ll work out how far it is to the horizon when you’re standing on a perfectly flat plain. I have nightmarish visions of diagrams of the earth with a small person standing on its surface, and of my fingers not being able to find the right buttons on the Google machine. There's only one way out; I get up and try to work it out. I think the answer is 4.85 kms if you're my height and standing on the equator, but only 4.84 kms if you're standing at one of the poles. If you're Issy's height the corresponding answers are 4.59 and 4.58 kms. I hope she's not too disappointed that she can't see the extra ... read more
Rawnsley Bluff
The trail up to Arkaroo Rock
5,000 year old indigenous art - Arkaroo Rock


Today we have a very long drive to Wilpena Pound in South Australia's Flinders Ranges. We pass the Broken Hill Cemetery. It looks very big, and perhaps just a bit too big for the size of the town it serves. I know a lot of miners have died here, but I'm not sure that's sufficient explanation in itself. There's clearly a lot of dying going on here, and we reflect that maybe it's just as well we're leaving while we still can. They do seem to go in for large infrastructure here (I think a cemetery is probably classified as infrastructure?). We pass the town's solar farm, which looks like it would probably be visible from outer space. We also saw a sizeable wind farm the other night as a backdrop to the sunset over the ... read more
Cockburn
The Cockburn Pub
Cafe in restored theatre in Peterborough


After our 457 visa recipient cooks an enormous breakfast spread and makes us a couple of cappuccinos we head down the Oodnadatta Track. We have a big day of driving so we don’t stop a lot just for fuel and the 3rdworst coffees so far at Marla. I may have to add Irish backpackers to the Asian barista rule. I have to show the guys Leigh Creek which is like one of those towns they build to test nuclear bombs. I think it was actually built to service the coal mine which the Government subsequently closed down. The SA Government tried to sell the town but couldn’t. We have a great run down to the turn off to the Flinders Ranges National Park. Luckily all the vanners seem to be headed South. In the late afternoon ... read more
Flinders Ranges
Me in my black rights


We woke to another perfect day in the Flinders Ranges. It was freezing until the sun peaked over the hill and then it was glorious. We walked the Bunyeroo Gorge which is an interesting geological trail showing the different rock strata through the gorge. Some of the trails in the NP are great although possibly not well advised as we were going through water and some reasonably heavy duty rocks which were fine for us. We let a lady pass in a small white SUV and she looked quite ashen. After the gorge we headed to Wilpena Pound to check out the facilities. And what a tragedy it is. I’ve always struggled with caravan parks after Jac O’Connor told me you have to wear thongs in the showers so you don’t get tinea. One couple were ... read more
The road
The emu




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