Flinders Ranges Recommendations

Hi, guys.

I'm planning "to visit" the Flinders Ranges next year and will be towing a single-axle Marvel Seabreeze Sport 18'.

Any suggestions, recommendations of the places to visit within the Ranges would be highly appreciated.

Thank you beforehand.

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Reply By: Jarse - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 04:26

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 04:26
Skytrek at Willow Springs is a good drive if you have a 4wd. If not, Camping there is good, with very clean facilities.
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Follow Up By: Laz - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 04:42

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 04:42
Thanks, Jarse. Very much appreciated. I'll check the place.
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Reply By: Mick O - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 08:10

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 08:10
Laz what tug do you have? It would be handy to know the vehicle you drive as it would influence the recommendations. Given the van I'm assuming it's a largish SUV or 4x4 vehicle.

Look forward to your advice.

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Follow Up By: Laz - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 21:49

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 21:49
Hi, Mick. I have a Land Cruiser 79, dual cab.

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 08:12

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 08:12
Have camped at Willow Springs several times over the years.
Another place worth looking up is Alpana Station, with camping (powered and unpowered) available close to the homestead, or at their Horse-yards bush camping location. We have just recently spent a week at the Horse-yards and loved the remoteness, but still within an easy drive to either Blinman or the Prairie Hotel at Parachilna. There is also the Angorachina "Tourist" Village just up the road if you need replenishment of supplies.
It just depends on what type of camping experience you desire.

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Follow Up By: Laz - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 21:55

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 21:55
Thank you very much for suggestion, Bill.
I'll keep the place on my list.

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Reply By: FatGaz - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 09:01

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 09:01
I drove the the area a month back and found a magazine with list of attractions and places to stay.
This was so full of good info that I kept the mag. They have the same info online.
2019 Flinders Ranges Magazine

And below is a link to their more general website.
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Reply By: Members Pa & Ma. - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12:55

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12:55
Hi Laz,
The Flinders Ranges are spectacular, there is sort of 3 different sections in the Ranges starting at the South you have The Flinders Ranges with Wilpena Pound being a must see, it has many drives & you must not miss The Moorilana scenic loop drive. You do it so that the sun is behind you or the view gets spoilt by the glare. In the morning go E to west & in the evening go west to East.
There are lovely gorges which are gorgios just out of the Wilpena pound area
southern end.

As the Ranges extend North they are in drier climates and this year has been extremely dry.
The top section has the beautiful Arkaroola it is very expensive because of it's
isolation. It is the other extreme as the southern Flinders are usually lush, the Northern end is usually very arid.Arkaroola is a sancturary and the restaurant is very expensive, they are trying to save the sanctury from mining.
If you have the time you could spend ages in both areas depending on your preferred weather conditions and if your fun is 4x4 and beautiful scenery.
Be warned that the water at Arkaroola is bore water & washing your hair in it isn't a good experience because it's very salty it sort of cements your hair. Water for drinking is very expensive, we usually take our own. Always find out what the weather is doing on each day.
There is so much to see,we've been back several times as holidays just weren't enough.
Wilmington has a very nice caravan Park if you like quiet.
As said, good idea to get the visitors book & pick out the places you think you'd like to do before you leave. I don't know if they still have these books at visitor centres but your best bet is to go into Port Augusta to the Warialda centre or ring them from home & get them to post one to you pre trip. They used to do it for me. Have a great holiday
Take care, safe travels.Ma.
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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 13:11

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 13:11
Sorry I didn't tell you that Arkaroola is in what are called The Gammon Ranges
Regards Ma.
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Follow Up By: Laz - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 22:05

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 22:05
Thank you very much for your recommendations, Ma.
Looking forward to our adventure.

Laz, Tash & Chezza.
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Reply By: Member - Gary R M (VIC) - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 13:59

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 13:59
G'day Laz, Rawnsley Park Station is a good spot to camp.
Great views towards Rawnsley Bluff, you can buy firewood there and if you feel like eating out the restaurant in the wool shed is first class.
Regards, Gary M.
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Follow Up By: Member - Robert1660 - Friday, May 31, 2019 at 21:16

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 21:16
Yes, another vote for Rawnsley Park. Excellent caravan sites and an absolutely first rate camp kitchen. Willow Springs also has good camping and again a very good camp kitchen.
Arkaroola has a great tour but the caravan park, at least when we were there in November 2016, left much to be desired. Basically just a paddock.
Regardless the Flinders is a great place to visit. Highly recommended!
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Follow Up By: Laz - Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 00:12

Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 00:12
Thank you very much, guys. We will definitely visit the place.

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Follow Up By: rumpig - Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 07:39

Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 07:39
There's nothing forcing people to stay in the powered area at Arkaroola, you can camp in other sections away from there....we were at Arkaroola last September, the powered area is a sloping place that is terraced with roads inbetween sites to give everyone staying there level sites, just as you'd find at any other caravan park. Being how dry it is there it is just a big rocky dirt area though, anyone expecting to find grass out that way with it's climate is asking a bit much. There's a nice enough ammenties block there, we had a fire ring at our site as many appeared to have and they have washing machines and dryer and there's a camp kitchen for people to use aswell. The one main downside to there if I was to be picky, is that the wind can and does whip through the valley there at times. We did the self drive 4wd track that you pay to do and need to get a key for, it's a nice drive that takes most of the day to do, though every waterhole was bone dry and dead roo carcasses everywhere....they really did need a break from the rain gods out that way. If you go there and do that drive, probably don't head out to the radioactive spring afterwards due to time constraints unless you leave pretty early in the morning, it's a pretty bumpy track to get to the spring and slow going, if you aren't into it's radioactive significance, it was really just a green slimey tiny stagnant looking creek when we visited it and a bit disappointing to see after the trek to get to it....we got back to reception about an hour later then expected and they literally were about to send staff to look for us (you need to sign in to get the key and give expected time back....so allow maximum time just incase).

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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 12:53

Saturday, Jun 01, 2019 at 12:53
As rumpig said there are special campsites other than the caravan Park & they are very nice ,much better than the C.P. The C.P is only for normal cars I think.
Some of the other campsites were in or near the creek bed which we don't use
some of the others are great.
The self drive that rumpig speaks of I think is called The Echo Creek back track.
The scenery is lovely but some places can be a little bit tight & you need to be careful.
Some people were starting at the wrong end & if you meet some one else on some of the tight corners it becomes very scarey particularly on the one section
where we met some one coming the wrong way. That is why you have to get a key now.
The Paralana hot Springs are awful other than for their educational attraction.
They are interesting but they stink.
If you really want to see them, I would do them from the other end on a separate trip.
Take care, safe travels.

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Follow Up By: Laz - Sunday, Jun 02, 2019 at 20:06

Sunday, Jun 02, 2019 at 20:06
Thank you, guys, for very informative posts.

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 02, 2019 at 15:30

Sunday, Jun 02, 2019 at 15:30
Hi Laz

Further to the replies above, here is my 2 cents worth.

As for places to stay, there are many great locations where you can stay with your van, and then do further sightseeing for your chosen location.

If you wish to get a lowered site close to most of the easy drives, you can not go past either Wilpena Pound or Rawnsley Park. I have stayed at both locations and are both suited for all setups, but Wilpena Pound does fall within the National Park regulations, so no pets and limited number of powered sites. If you with to stay a little further out, still with power, Merna Mora is a great little site with less facilities.

The most important drives , ie the Brachina Gorge and Bunyeroo Drives can be undertaken in a stock standard conventional vehicle, proving it is dry, and please do not let anyone tell you any different. Also other great drive for any type of vehicle is the Glass Gorge drive, heading north from Blinman. Again there is a great side track off of this road out to the great Nuccalinna mine site and well worth the detour. One time we were out there, I thought that someone ahead of me must have been going too fast, as many of the small creek crossing showed scrape marks, with turned out to be a very small Holden Barina.

One very popular 4X4 track (well over priced and not as good as other track through the Flinders is Skytrek, its great to do, but there are others that blitz it in both scenery and true full on four wheel driving.

In my opinion, the Arkapenna drive from Rawnley Park kills Skytrek, as do the drives from Merna Mora, which are a lot cheaper as well.

A drive when in Hawker that is well worth the drive is out to Jarvis Hill, as well as a number of locations around the town.

The Flinders Ranges are a top location that we have been exploring for over 45 years, when it was all dirt roads and no national park where you could camp along the creeks and pay a very small fee to the station owners.

It does not matter how many times that you visit the area, it will always lure you back.

Enjoy one of South Australia's best locations.


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Follow Up By: Laz - Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 12:53

Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 12:53
Hi Stephen,

Sorry for the late reply. Thank you very much for your very comprehensive list of suggestions. I will definitely look up at them before I go.

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 14:16

Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 14:16
Hi Lal

We are heading up there again soon, as it is one great location that we never get sick of visiting.

Enjoy your trip, as I know that you will.


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