Flinders Range N & S parking caravan to visit

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 at 21:27
ThreadID: 134097 Views:3556 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Finding loads of information here and SA tourist office and maps / articles I have saved over the years on the Flinders Ranges north & south sections all whetting the appetite to plan visits on our first full lap after a few 'sorties' to t'other side from the west and not having time to fit them into the sched previously.

One issue I haven't been able to pin down is where we could expect to park up a conventional 21ft van to go and visit these regions. It seems most visitors are pulling offroad vans into the national parks, but not sure how a standard van would handle the roads.

Please tell me if this is not the case, or perhaps suggest a suitable settlement to park up and do day visits if that is the more sensible approach.

We plan to head across the Nullarbor early in May so we can catch up with family & friends up the east coast and be as far north as we can come winter. We made Tassie and the west kimberley two years ago and east kimberley last year for few weeks but plan to be away 3 months this time - I know - not nearly enough for a full lap, which is why I am being selective about special spots off the paved roads previously travelled.

Lawn Hill NP also looms as a major attraction but I expect we need we will have to leave the van somewhere to get in there too.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated thanks.

Regards - Phil & Jill (Both senior citz)
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 at 23:02

Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 at 23:02
Hi PHIL and Jill

First of all, not not underestimate you van and the places above.

Firstly for the Flinders.

Make sure you allow lots of time ( as in weeks, not days ) to explore the countless great attractions that there is to see in the area. Not sure what your town vehicle is, four wheel drive on standard passenger vehicle, but there are many options available.

You will find that many people will stay a a few places to gully explore the various area and use these places as your base. Rawnsley Park is a great place and suitable for any type of vehicle or van. If you have a four wheel drive a week at Rawnsley will see you exploring the many sites in the area, including the fantastic Arkapena Four wheel Drive Track.

Merna Mora Station will again accomodate any type of van and vehicle, anf if you have a 4x4, 5 nights there will see you do there great tracks that they have on offer.

To explore the northern area, Farina is a must stop visit, again for any van, car setup. People even take stock stander pad vans and cars into Arkaroola, so again more time in the northern area.

Lawn Hill.

Do not get put off by lots of negative talk about killer roads. If you go up via Cloncurry, Burke and Wills Roadhouse, then across to Gregory, 100% all bitumen roads. From Gregory you will only have less than 40 kilometres of dirt road, just slow down and take your time and it will be no problems at all. Again lots of stock standard can and car, so do not get put off. At a bare minimum, 5 days at Adels Grove and you will be in heaven. We prefer the generator section as you have more sun for your solar panels, while down in the Grove is like a jungle setting and very little sun.

Proving you take your time, you will be able to get to most great places on your great trip.

All the Best.


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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 10:22

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 10:22
And to echo Stephen’s comments regarding Lawn Hill.

The route he suggests is straight-forward and easy access. Access north from Camooweal is also a great and scenic route and whilst the road may not be in the same condition as the drive from Gregory Downs it is a scenic route and one worth considering and should present no problems to those who drive to the conditions presented.

On the Flinders Ranges, it is Stephen’s backyard so tap into his knowledge, from my perspective, we stayed at Rawnsley Park Station – a great place to base and explore. Noting, there is traditional style caravan park sites, and better still, camping sites dotted across the property offering more traditional bush style camping.


Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 at 23:08

Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 at 23:08
Hi Phil and Jill
We have just spent 9 days in the Flinders, 9-17 December. I would thoroughly recommend Rawnsley Park Station. The powered caravan sites are excellent The facilities are modern and very well maintained and the camp kitchen is one of the best we have experienced. There is a pool, a shop and fuel is available. From here you can easily visit much of the Flinders area via day trips. Many of the interesting drives are on dirt roads thus it is best to park your van and do the day trips as suggested.
Wilpena Pound Resort has the National Park office and from here you can visit the Wangara Lookout which gives panoramic views of the Pound. However, there is a fairly steep track to negotiate after you pass the Hills Homestead. A shuttle bus is available which cuts out about 3 km of the walk in each directions. There is a caravan park there which looked quite acceptable, however we did not stay there. There is also a well provisioned shop and fuel is available.
We also stayed at Iga Warta and did the Red Gorge Tour to inspect the Petroglyphs. Although we enjoyed our two nights there the place has seen better days. The powered sites here are to be avoided.
The self-drive SkyTrek tour at Willow Springs Station is worth doing if you are into 4WD adventures. Very serious 4WD in places, however. You can stay at Willow Springs but with your van Rawnsley Park is a better option.
The main road is excellent bitumen as far as Blinman but from here it is all good dirt.
Arkaroola is dirt road access only and although The Ridge Top tour is well worth doing it is expensive. The caravan park does leave much to be desired unfortunately.
Ron Moon has a very good book on the Flinders.Well worth buying.
The Flinders and the surrounding areas really impressed us. We weren't expecting it to be so full of social history, impressive vistas and amazing geology. I am sure you will really enjoy this part of your trip.
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 10:12

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 10:12
WikiCamps indicates there are heaps of both powered and non powered sites in and around all the areas you are looking at.
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Reply By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 10:37

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 10:37
Thank you everyone for those responses - absolutely brilliant information.

The tug is a Pajero so no issue with that on its own - although the trail into Windjana gorge certainly gave it a fair sort of shake last visit - to the extent of dropping a bolt out of the dash assembly ... so the van would not have survived the first 5 k along that stretch.

I can now plan with far more confidence.

Greatly appreciated.

Cheers - Phil
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 11:14

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 11:14
Ditto to much of the above.....agreed re getting a good book on the area...well worth the outlay (such as: https://www.raa.com.au/shop/caravan-camping-and-4wd/maps-and-guides/explore-the-flinders-ranges).
Generally, gravel roads up there in that region are first class....the authorities obviously want to make it very easy for all and sundry to enjoy the place ! In my view, you could take your van camping to lots of places...in some places you'd need to take it quite easy, but rain washouts aside, you can do plenty. Trezona campground is one of our favourites - very easy access (and only a few km to the sealed road)....there are easy walks there (some cross 700M year old geo/fossil features) and its an easy day drive out of there to other interesting spots nearby. IF you want caravanning facilities though, agree that Rawnsley Park is a good place to stay.
As for the North Flinders - presume Arkaroola is an attraction for you...that is quite an expedition away from the sealed roads (130km from Copley)....that said, the roads are generally very good. As for access by 'on road vanners'...best to phone Arkaroola and have a chat** (http://www.arkaroola.com.au/....read on, down lower, on this front page)

Re Lawn Hill....its an easy run into Adels Grove** homestead / campground (private enterprise)**...then its only 10km to the Lawn Hill NP....that is a wonderful place too !
Have a great trip !
**where in any doubt, a phone call to any of these outback tourist places is the go - they can provide first hand advice on roads, day to day.
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Reply By: wendys - Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 19:19

Friday, Jan 13, 2017 at 19:19
I have spent quite a bit of time at Adels Grove, and know the roads and tracks in that area quite well. For a conventional caravan, would only recommend the route in from Burke & Wills - Gregory.
Once there, if Jill and Phil want to investigate a different way out, they could do a day trip down to the Gregory River fords (always flowing) and check out the conditions for themselves.
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