Gawler Ranges Feedback

My partner and I are hoping to spend 4 or 5 days in the Gawler Ranges this spring. I have two questions, what is the best time to visit the Gawler Ranges for the wild flowers, mid or late spring? and is it possible to tow a small caravan along the 2WD tracks in the park, Minnipa - Yardea Rd and Old Paney Scenic Route?
Any information would be very much appreciated.
David Forsyth
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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 at 23:49

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 at 23:49
You would have no problems towing in the Gawlers. We towed a big caravan, including on some of the 4wd tracks.

Can't advise about wildflowers.

I have received a trip report from a friend who recently stayed at Mt Ive Station and loved it.



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AnswerID: 288388

Follow Up By: DavoF - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:03

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:03
Thanks for the reply Motherhen I apprecieat it.
FollowupID: 553840

Reply By: solo - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 at 23:59

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 at 23:59
Hi Davo,

Gawler ranges is about my favourite piece of Australia. I've been travelling through them for about 30 years and never get bored with the scenery and am still finding places that I have not been before. The country here changes every few kilometres and it is always fascinating. There is so much history out here and the Gawler Ranges people are great if you treat their country with respect.

I find that late September is the best time, when everything is fresh after the winter but you cannot rely on the seasons in this country as some areas can be totally dry for 10 years then receive flooding rains. In October I was there and it was 40 degrees, rained all night and in the morning you would have though you had been dreaming, there was little evidence of rain. 100 kms down the road they did'nt get a drop.

Minnipa to Yardea is a good road as is Wudinna to Payney in fact all of the roads that you would find marked on a map I have travelled often in a conventional vehicle and should be reliable. Beware that conditions may change overnight on lesser station tracks but even in wet conditions I have never been stranded with care. Generally this area is in drought and dust is your only problem.

Mt Ive station is a great place to stay. New owners (the Newman's) are great hosts and the accomodation and caravan facilities are welcoming on a working sheep station, I stayed there last October and was pleasantly surprised. There are some great scenic drives and unique features on and around Mt Ive. Lake Gairdner on Mt. Ive hosts speed trials at the beginning of March for anything that goes very fast on salt.The Gymkana at Nonning Station in May is a great bush event and anyone would be made welcome. Bush Camping facilities only.

The National Park (Payney Station) is the feature area of the Gawler Ranges ( fee payable to visit or camp) Wildlife in here is unbelievable. From the Yardea Rd to Payney and on to Mt ive should be no problem, with a small van with care. Other tracks in the Park might be better with the vehicle only.

I strongly recommend that you spend as much time as you can in this region as it is truly a unique and facinating piece of the Australian outback. If you need more info just ask.

AnswerID: 288389

Follow Up By: Chaz - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 10:39

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 10:39
Hi Solo,

I’m heading over to the Gawlers this Saturday for a week and was thinking of going up via Mt Ive from Iron knob. Can you tell me if diesel fuel is available from Mt Ive, because I normally go through Wudinna for fuel and turn up from Minnipa. The other option is Kimba through Buckleboo.
I’ve been visiting the Park every year since early 2002 and would recommend it to anyone.

FollowupID: 553744

Follow Up By: solo - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 20:48

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 20:48
Hi Chaz, Are you going up to Lake Gairdner for the speed trials?
My mates are going up on the weekend of the the 1st but unfortunately I have another more important engagement ( in Adelaide) and am unable to join them. Should be a great event. They will be in a silver current model disco and a white navara dual cab.

Yes, Mt Ive will sell you diesel ( and beer) but I anticipate that all facilities there will be at maximum capacity during the event. You could phone Len & Joy Newton ( not Newman!!) on 86481817 to confirm available services. They are very friendly and helpful and eager to accomodate.

The Iron Knob to Mt Ive road is usually a good run and although unsealed saves many Kms. There is currently a bushfire burning north of Minnipa. The road from the Park Ranger station at Payney Homestead (not to be confused with "Old Payney" ) is probably the quickest way back to the bitumen from the Park and comes out at Pygery just west of Wudinna.

Have a great trip and if you need further info please ask. Hope to catch up with you sometime in the bush.


FollowupID: 553861

Follow Up By: Chaz - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 22:55

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 22:55
Hi Solo,
Thanks for the reply. I heard the speed trials were cancelled.
We go to assist the GRNP with feral goat control, so they close the park to the public for the week and send us in to do what we have to. At this time of the year it’s usually very hot and not too popular with the tourists, so we take the opportunity to do some conservation work.
I just thought it would be a nice change to take a different route and see some more of the country, so a stop over at Mt Ive could well be on the agenda.
I have done the Pygery to Payney road before, but usually head up from Minnipa toward Scrubby Peak. We’re staying at Pondanna Outstation for the week and will be frequenting the area around Mattera and Old Payney in search of the old smelly’s.
Thanks again for the info, cheers.

FollowupID: 553889

Reply By: DavoF - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:05

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 19:05
Thanks for the info Solo I apprecieat it
AnswerID: 288480

Reply By: Blueheeler - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 18:46

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 18:46
Try looking up Mr. A. king in the phone book that covers the Minnipa, Wudinna area, & tell him "Bobcat" former co worker from Shambles told ya ta try him.good luck,
Bobcat if ya are South Auzzies try the Flinders Rangers,
Lake Eyre etc, we lived there for 10 years, best camping in SA.
good luck Bobcat.
AnswerID: 288654

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