Koolaman, Aroona Valley Flinders Ranges

Monday, Apr 03, 2006 at 00:00

Mick O

Monday 3rd April, 2006
Koolaman, Aroona Valley
Flinders Ranges S.A.

Didn’t get much sleep after the fox incident so was glad to get up at 7-ish. Jaffles for breakfast and then a camp pack up under a threatening sky. Indeed the gloom increased as we drove out of the gorge and the first spots of rain began falling. Snapped a few photo’s of the local wallabies on the way out and were amazed by their sure footedness as they negotiated the steep walls of the gorge.

We continued north along the Arden Valley Road taking a side trip into the Buckaringa Valley and it’s scenic lookout. Further along the grave of one of the early settlers a young earl from Scotland who drowned in 1852 while establishing the Hamilton family’s Pastoral dynasty (at that time anyway). The route was dotted with ruined stone farmhouses and settlements like Gordon. Sad testament to those who ignored the lie of Goyder’s Line! Just short of Hawker we took in the Yourambulla caves and their somewhat primitive aboriginal art. Not exactly “Bradshaw’s” but special in their own right.

Hawker provided the pivotal toilet stop for Amanda who is yet to use the facilities provided at any of the bush camps. After obtaining a free RAA map from the local servo, we were off for a look at Wilpena just as the rain started to settle in. Damn! Whilst the scenery is impressive, Wilpena is not so we continued on intending to make Brachina Gorge via the razorback scenic route. It was great scenery despite the rain and mud. The road wound through the small valleys and hills towards the very impressive Bunyeroo Valley. Took lunch during a brief lull in the rain at Yanyanna Hut before driving through the scenic razorback road and down into the Bunyeroo. “Note to self…must stop at the Acraman campsite next time”. It looked beaut.

While Brachina was spectacular, its campsite locations were less than impressive (location only…well setup by Nat Parks). We headed back out and then north along the Aroona Valley finding the Koolaman campsite more to out liking. Backing onto a dry creek with spectacular views across the valley to its western ramparts.

An early stop gave time for a walk around the area and a great shower under a nearby tree. Leftovers from the previous nights fare again. Incident of the night; Amanda pointed out a spider of reasonable proportions crawling on our shade cloth doormat. Obviously drawn by the light. As a despatched it, it exploded into a thousand tiny scurrying fragments. Half the spiders bulk was made up of hundreds of young carried on its back. Had to quickly pull the mat away so as not to get any in the tent. Found three more similar in quick time. Imagine one of those getting packed in the trailer. We’d be pulling them out forever. Judicious use of aeroguard around the door and windows tonight. Still overcast but no rain…touch wood.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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