Flinders Ranges

Submitted: Wednesday, May 29, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1226 Views:2136 Replies:9 FollowUps:3
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Hi, my husband and I are planning a trip from Brisbane to Birdsville in about 3 weeks and we were planning on going down the Birdsville track then over to the Flinders Ranges and back up the Gammon Ranges to home. Can anyone give us any hints on the best camping spots and exciting 4WD challenges in the Flinders Ranges area? We have a fairly well equipped 80 series, and are pretty self sufficient. Also any info on the best maps to purchase for the area would be great. We already have a desert parks pass and maps for the Birdsville region. Thanks heaps. Linda and Jeff.
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Reply By: Steve - Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00
Linda : (and Jeff of course) .. unless the weather is against you this is a Sunday drive in a well prepared 80 series Cruiser.. you will enjoy every bit of the trip.. I haven't found the need for any maps other than the Desert Parks Pass issue, they are first class. There is one campng ground in B'sville and that's all you need ! ( Say hello to Ian ).. WE had a lousy night at Wilpena Pound--the buses started up at 4.30am and ran their motors to run lights etc to serve b'fast and pack up so reckon you could miss all that rot.. Don't miss Bratchina Gorge and stop there as you wish.. A meal at Parachilna is a must , you will see why when you get there ! (EXCELLENT) the boss wanted to stay the night in one of their rooms (6star)!! but i was happy in the Aussie Traveller and saved the two hundred bucks for another feed ! This is my two bobs worth !

AnswerID: 3912

Reply By: Andrew - Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00
RAA put out a good map for the Flinders Ranges overall. It shows locations of PAR's and also pay to use tracks on private land through out the Flinders with contact details.
Regards Andrew
AnswerID: 3919

Reply By: mal58 - Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00
Linda & Jeff,
Can't comment on the Birdsville track, but in the Flinders Ranges, you might want to see it in a number of sections. There are three parts. 1) The Northern Part around Arkaroola across to Leigh Creek, 2) The Middle Part around Wilpena pound, 3) The Southern Part around Quorn.
With regards to camping, my family and I stayed in several places when we went last year.
In 1) above, we stayed at Copley Caravan Park, and in Arkaroola, in the Resort's Bush Camping Area,
in 2) we stayed in Rawnsley Park in the Bush Camping Area,
in 3) we stayed in Quorn Caravan Park, out the back in the non powered sites.
All the above were good places to stay, except that it has to be noted, that Arkaroola can be bit dry, dusty and very rocky for camping compared to the other places.
For 4wd challenges, there is a book by Ron and Viv Moon on 4WD'ing in the Flinders Ranges. I would recommend it, mind you it was very hard to pick which tracks are good based on the book as they suggest that they all are, if not for the 4WD'ing, but for the scenery or historical interest etc. Based on our experience,
In 1), Argadells is a steep drive, but would rate as moderate, and has a spectacular view at the top.
In 2), Skytrek is a bit more difficult cf Argadells, but also has spectactular views and scenery.
In 3), We went to the thermal springs, (not very spectactular), but the drive was pretty (not difficult but quite bumpy), and there were many things to stop and have a look at.
Hope This Helps.
Rgds, Mal58
AnswerID: 3923

Reply By: Mike - Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00
The Birdsville caravan park is just fine, good facilities and close eneough to walk to the pub and everywhere else in town. (Add to this, ExploreOz Forum contributor Ruth, who's always on for a chat and you can't miss.) Mid way down (or up) the birdsville track, the Mungerannie camping ground is lovely with showers, a pub, magnificent birdlife and of course it's hot spring.
In the mid Flinders, Brachina East camping area is quiet, seclude and beautiful, no noisy buses or the like. No showers but there are fire places and log drop toilets. I must agree that the Prairie Hotel at Parachilna should not be missed. We wouldn't go past without stopping for a meal. The rooms BTW are not all $200, they have some beautiful 'Heritage rooms' at quite reasonable prices, all with ensuites. Last trip though, we had a great lunch at the Prairie, then only had a short drive back to Brachina East camp site....ideal really. In the lower Flinders the Melrose caravan Pk has great facilities and a choice of either proper site or bush campsite. We found the Hema map of the Flinders excellent.
Happy trails, Mike.

PS See you and the Indians for coffee in 6 weeks, Ruth.
AnswerID: 3924

Follow Up By: Ruth - Wednesday, Jun 05, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jun 05, 2002 at 00:00
Hey Mike, been so busy haven't had time to check the mail. There has been a siting of John Wayne & the Comanches at Arrabury. The coffee beans are freshly ground and ready. See you soon. (Thanks for the nice things you said - I theenk!)
FollowupID: 1706

Reply By: Jeff and Linda - Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks heaps guys. I'll take all that information on board. If not for the 4wdriving, the scenery sounds spectacular in the Flinders Ranges. We were also thinking about driving out to look at Big Red. Any camping out near there?
Thanks again.
AnswerID: 3925

Reply By: Gordon - Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00
Linda, Big Red is only about 3/4 hour west of Birdsville. Last year, we heard that Eyres Ck was flowing and went into the Simpson for a swim. It's only about another hour further on and the whole excursion from Birdsville and back to Birdsville took us an afternoon but you get to see and try Big Red and you get a feel for the Simpson without the major logistics of trying to cross it. There is heaps to do at Arkaroola. We planned to spend one night but stayed for 3. Reg Sprigg was a famous geologist (one of the founders of Santos) and his son now runs the place. I recommend the Hill Top Tour, Aerial Tour and Radium Hot Springs (no swimming!). Look for and ask about the mirad of other places to swim. We swam every day on a 2 week trip in the northern Flinders which was quite a surpise given how dry it always looks. Nobody mentioned Chambers Gorge and for a bit of affordable luxury try the Blinman Hotel.
AnswerID: 3926

Reply By: Maree - Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, May 30, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Linda
We've just returned from 2 weeks in the Flinders Ranges. We visited Arkaroola (in the Gammon Ranges), Wilpena Pound and Mt Remarkable National Park in the Southern Flinders. I can't agree with the unfavourable comment about camping at Wilpena. The campsite is huge and we were warned by the staff if we camped near the bus camping area that it would be noisier. The site is so large that when we were there some people were totally on their own. Our nearest neighbours were 200 to 300 metres down the road. We had a lovely time there. On a drive to Brachina Gorge though we discovered Aroona Valley (where Hans Heysen painted a lot of his paintings). This valley was gorgeoous and the camp sites which had tank water and toilets were secluded, each with their own fireplace. We would have stayed there but for the fact that we were all set up back at Wilpena. At Arkaroola we stayed in the normal campsite rather than the bush camping. It was extremely dusty and the staff said some of the trees were dying even though they were bringing water up by tanker. Despite that we had a great time. The staff were great, the people we met fantastic, and the stories we heard were wonderful. Most of the waterholes were close to empty around Arkaroola and we were told that within 3 months they would all be dry. I put off going on the ridge top tour until the last day, even though everyone raved about it. After doing it I've joined that group. It was a highlight of the trip. At Mt Remarkable we stopped at the main campsite (can't recall the name). There are cold showers and amenity blocks. The site is lovely and our stay could have been longer. I'd go back and do it all again tomorrow.
AnswerID: 3928

Reply By: pen - Friday, May 31, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, May 31, 2002 at 00:00
Linda & Jeff, If you are planning a round trip, depending on time at hand, here's a suggestion. Here goes (take in to account all the other excellent suggestions above) Birdsville, Marree, Lyndhurst, Copley, Beltana & Sliding Rock, Parachilna & Gorge, Blinman, Brachina Gorge & Aroona Valley, Hawker, Quorn, Melrose, Orroroo, Carrieton, Craddock, Hawker, Wilpena, Bunyeroo Gorge, Blinman, Mt Chambers Gorge, Gammon Ranges & Grindell's Hut/Loch Ness Well, Arkaroola, Wooltana, Moolawatana, Mt Hopeless, Innaminka, Coongie Lakes, then head home via Nappa Merrie/Noccundra. These places & camp grounds are all marked on Hema Maps & the maps that come with the SA Desert Parks Pass. We are going home in about a month, so if there's a car in the driveway at the Old Police Station, Beltana, call in & say hello. Cheers, pen.
AnswerID: 3937

Follow Up By: Jeff & Linda - Friday, May 31, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, May 31, 2002 at 00:00
Wow, I'm overwelmed with the response. Everyone's enthusiasm is fantastic. I can't wait to go now. It's great to get so much feedback from different poeple. We went to Cape York 2 years ago and everyone said don't go to Chilli Beach. Well we went and it was an absolutely perfectly sunny day, we had a great campsite and thorougly enjoyed our stay (apart from the rubbish washed up) . I reckon it pays to go and check it out for yourself! Cheers
FollowupID: 1674

Reply By: Rob Roy - Friday, Jun 07, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Jun 07, 2002 at 00:00
Hi all,

We travelled that way last year (and are heading across the Simpson in a couple of weeks).

A highlight along the Birsdville Track was a couple of nights at Kalamurina station to the west of Mungeranie. The station is on Warburton Creek and is bounded by the Simpson Desert on the west, the Tirari Desert on the south and east, and Sturts Stoney Desert on the north and east. Very remote and very beautiful. Around 200 km long running down the the north shore of Lake Eyre, and about 50km wide. All that run by 3 people for most of the year!

They are great people and helped us out arranging a visit from the Flying Doctor for one of our party. (also the manager of Cowarie 'next door')

Their phone is (08) 8675 8310

The Flinders are fantastic also.

Finally, another endorsement for Coongie Lakes near Innamincka. Well worth a couple of lazy days.

Have a great trip.

Rob Roy
AnswerID: 4068

Follow Up By: Jeff And Linda - Sunday, Jun 09, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Jun 09, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks heaps for all your replies. Sounds like we have a few places to visit, but if we don't get to all of them this time, it looks like we might have to go again in the future. Life's hard sometimes! Cheers
FollowupID: 1756

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