Gawler Ranges National Park

Submitted: Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 14:25
ThreadID: 22478 Views:2092 Replies:2 FollowUps:2
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Hi to All,

We are contemplating our annual trek out of Melbourne during the dark period and have resurrected a few articles from 4 x 4 Australia (July/August/September 2002) describing the trek through Lake Gairdner/St Ive station etc. in the Gawler Ranges It's an area we have never been to and I think it's time we made the visit. It sounds and looks pretty good and falls within the limited time we have on this occasion..about 6 to 8 weeks

The purpose of this forum is to solicit some advice from those who have done the journey and to get some advice as to what the conditions are like, the best places to go, and I suppose the sort of weather we can expect in July/August. Like most, we like wilderness, seclusion, peace and quite and good camping spots.

Our rig is simple, a Jayco Finch, towed by a 1997 Prado, both of which have seen some of the best parts of Oz ranging from Cape Leveque, Broome, Birdsville, Broken Hill, Oodnadatta, Burktown and just about everything else in between.

Any advice and help from like minded travellers would be most helpful.

Graham T
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Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 18:30

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 18:30
Went there last July Graham - in my view, Mount Ive is nothing much - Lake Gairdner is of course worth a look - we stayed about 5 nights up around the Panee area, then into the Chillunie campground - great camping, very quiet - lot of roos about - very little other wildlife - no water anywhere - cold at times, but we struck no rain - firewood aplenty in most places (though we are supposed to bring it in) - if it rains, quite a a bit of access will be limited - terrain is best described as low hills - bald topped granite rises in the main - in the summer, it would be damned hot and dry - there is no permanant water anywhere in that park. Plenty of good walking up hill and down dale, and interesting small vegetation. One or two interesting half day circuit drives in the Panee / Old Panee / Pondanna outstation area. We reckon Chillunie is the best spot to camp. Don't expect to be "blown away" - its just good, weather permitting :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 11:30

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 11:30
Banjo,

I'll second everything you've said. I was fortunate a few years back to see it with someone who knew the area very well. Lake Acraman on Yardea Station (need permission) is very interesting too. They reckon it was formed by a meteor skinning the earths surface - the rest of the meteor is believed to be in the Flinders Ranges. (Good section in Stuart Nicol's Outback SA book from the RAA).

Most of the National Park resembles a sheep station, which of course is its origin.

We sometimes use The Gawler Ranges for a quick jaunt before going up Googs Track.

Cheers
Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 17:27

Saturday, Apr 30, 2005 at 17:27
Indeed Phil - wanted to see Acraman but they were mustering and did not want any terrorists in there.... have read the Acraman story - powerful reading - said to have happened before life emerged from the ocean onto land ! Mrs Andrew of Mt Ive Station scoffed at the whole "theory" but she may not know what she is talking about.
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Reply By: motherhen - Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 18:59

Friday, Apr 29, 2005 at 18:59
We went in January - it was hot - we were probably the only tourists in the park at the time. Loved the curious kangaroos, and interesting rock formations. Because we were pulling a caravan, we didn't do most of the tracks marked 4wd, but did make it into the Organ Pipes (column like rock formation) with the van. Had thundery weather, and, being in SA just after the Pt Lincoln area fire, were a bit nervous when we saw lightning start a fire on top of a hill when we were in the station country to the North of the park. You would be wise to leave the Jayco at one of the camp sites, and do day trips around the 4wd tracks.
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