Flinders Ranges

Always just like a painting, the purple and green colours of the Flinders entices visitors back for more. The Flinders is huge and stretches through outskirts of Broken Hill, Yunta, Hawker and Adelaide regions.
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Page Updated: 18 Feb 2013

Go to top Description

There are a number of routes through the ranges depending whether you want a quick trip or one that is more complex. If you are in a hurry the 159km run up the bitumen from Hawker via Parachilna and Copley to Lyndhurst is the quickest but doesn't really take you through the mountains, being just a distant blue haze to your right.

The Flinders Ranges in South Australia is probably the most accessible outback region of Australia. This accessibility however, does not alter the beauty or majesty of this wonderful mountain range area. In fact, many sites are very significant to both pastoralists, and environmentalists. The Flinders encompasses both the southern areas around Quorn, Cradock and Hawker, the Flinders Ranges National Park, areas further north up to and including the Gammon Ranges National Park (called the Northern Flinders), Arkaroola and beyond to finally meet up with the Strzelecki Track.

The major areas of interest are Wilpena Pound, Bunyeroo Gorge, the Heysen Trail, Blinman historic town, Chambers Gorge, and Arkaroola but there is lots more to explore if you have the time. In fact, many people make the Flinders Ranges an annual holiday returning each time to a different location until finally settling upon a favourite. Because the region changes so significantly throughout the seasons, a place you saw on last year's trip could appear completely different at another time of year, making it worthy of return visit.

The Flinders is popular with campers with a range of locations to choose from depending on your level of required amenities. Bush camping among the gorges and valleys is quite spectacular, although others prefer to set a base camp with more facilities.

For self-drives, there are a huge range of options available with the following scenic drives all at no cost: Arkaroo Rock, Buckaringa Gorge & Proby's Grave, Cradock & 'Outback Tour, Death Rock & Kanyaka Waterhole, Flinders Ranges National Park, Bunyeroo Gorge & Brachina Gorge, Horrock' Pass Tour, Kanyaka Ruins & Cemetery, Moralana Scenic Drive, Port Augusta via Horrock's Pass & Pichi Richi Pass, Warren Gorge & Dutchman's Stern, Willochra Creek & Simmonston & Gordon Ruins, Willow Waters, Yourambulla Caves.

There is also a network of private tracks, mostly suitable specifically for 4WD vehicles on station properties for a small fee, throughout the region. These are known as the "The Great 4WD Journeys of the Flinders Ranges".

Take the link to Trek Notes in this region to find out more about these self-drive tours through the Flinders Ranges.

Wilpena Pound is the most notable natural feature of the region. Often mistaken for a volcanic crater it is in fact a natural amphitheatre 11km long and 5km wide. All camping in Wilpena is with private operators, as it is for Arkaroola.

The vegetation is very dependant on rainfall and soils with much of the area falling in a semi-arid or arid zone. Salt marsh, mallee and savannah formations are frequent and harsh red ranges are lightly covered with spinifex. Valleys have flourished since the grazing has ceased and now eucalypts, native pines and sheoaks abound. River beds bear massive red river gums. In spring or after good rains, the Flinders becomes a delight with a transformation from a dry and rocky landscape to lush fields of wildflowers and green grass. Wildlife in the Flinders is also abundant with emus, wedgetail eagles, red and grey kangaroos, blue tongue lizards, snakes and all sorts of reptiles.

The best way to experience the Flinders is on foot. There are countless excellent tracks throughout the region ranging from 10 minutes - many days. The Heysen Trail is one of Australia's premier long-distance walking tracks. It starts 110km south of Adelaide and wanders through the Mt Lofty Ranges to Parachilna Gorge in northern Flinders Ranges. The total walking distance is 1500km. The trail is closed during the heat of summer (1st November - 30 March). You can get details about the track at most good map stores or locally in the region

Go to top Treks

Arkaroola 4WD LoopArkaroola 4WD Loop
The Arkaroola-Mt Painter Wilderness Sanctuary provides some of the most exciting off-road tracks in SA. The Echo Camp Track & backtracks wind their way through the impossibly steep mountains and deep gorges and will keep the 4WD enthusiast happy.
Bunyeroo Gorge Scenic DriveBunyeroo Gorge Scenic Drive
If there is just one drive in the Flinders Ranges that you have time to drive, then the Bunyeroo Gorge Scenic Drive is one of the finest scenic routes not to miss. It does not matter how many times you drive this route, you will never get tired of the picturesque landscapes that unfold before your eyes, from sweeping plains covered in Native Pine to the rugged Gorges,
Flinders RangesFlinders Ranges
The Flinders Ranges is semi-arid, harsh yet beautiful. There are many unique features here including gorges, ramparts and dry creekbeds.This is the region that Hans Heysen loved to paint and is a popular part of the Australian outback.[Feature Story]
Gammon Ranges Bunyip ChasmGammon Ranges Bunyip Chasm
The drive into the Gammon Ranges National Park will reward you with spectacular views of rugged terrain, chasms and deep gorges, towering mountains, tree-lined creeks and freshwater springs.
Glass Gorge Scenic DriveGlass Gorge Scenic Drive
An alternative to Parachilna Gorge, the Glass Gorge Scenic Drive between Blinman and Parachilna offers some stunning scenery and a chance to visit one of the best mining ruins in the Flinders Ranges - Nuccaleena.
Moralana Scenic DriveMoralana Scenic Drive
The Moralana Scenic Drive connects the main Hawker - Wilpena and Hawker - Parachilna Roads via a good dirt road that offers stunning scenery and features like Wilpena Pound Range, Bunbinyunna Range, Black Gap Lookout, Elder Range and the historic Old Cueing Yards.
Nilpena - A Pinch of SaltNilpena - A Pinch of Salt
This is one of the few access tracks to the shores of Lake Torrens. It is accessable via Nilpena Station
St Mary Peak and Wilpena Pound WalkSt Mary Peak and Wilpena Pound Walk
The St Mary Peak Hike offers the adventurous and fit outdoor person the opportunity to enjoy a challenging, long hike to the highest point in the Flinders Ranges, which is also central to the local Adnyamathanha Aboriginal people Dreaming Story. Hikers will be rewards with 360° views of the ranges, surrounding plains and further west to the dry salt lake of Lake Torrens.

Go to top Flinders Ranges Weather & Climate

Closest Weather Station

Leigh Creek at 26/10:30am CDT
Distance from Leigh Creek 2.25km E
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Leigh Creek Airport
Distance from Leigh Creek 2.25km E
Mean Max. °C35.534.531.126.220.917.016.619.123.226.730.533.0
Mean Min. °C20.720.417.312.
Mean Rain mm20.228.720.313.


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