The mountains formed 800 million years ago and are rich with culture and history, as well as the home to many sheep and cattle stations. Here is some information to help you decide how long you want to stay in the Flinders Ranges.
On average the recommended time to visit the Flinders Ranges is 7 days as a whole to appreciate the splendour of the largest mountain range in Australia. There are several tours that last 7 days to help guide you through the park and explore its beauty and wildlife.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Flinders Ranges?
During summer, it can get hot in Flinders Ranges. Some parts of the mountain and walking trails may close to due Fire Bans. Trekking season opens in April when the weather cools down. It might be colder from June to August, but you can easily keep warm and comfortable outdoors.
As a whole, the open season for visiting Flinders Ranges is from April to October. On average temperatures are between 17°-27° Celcius. The peak time for visiting the Flinders Ranges is from June to August because the rain fills up the waterholes attracting wildlife in the area.
Meanwhile, the summer months are no stranger to hot weather in this part of South Australia. Some parts of the range can go up to 45 degrees Celsius. As a result, many of the longer walking trails are closed from December-February or have limited operating hours.
Open season in Australia is the equivalent to the United States’ summer season being vacation/holidaying time, as our seasons are reversed. Ideally, due to the extreme weather conditions due to high heat temperatures, you will find most National Parks in Australia have an open and close season just like you would a hunting season. In Australia, the seasons are based on fire season to protect those who may come to visit.
The Seasons Of Australia are as follows:
|Summer: December To February||Winter: June To August|
|Autumn: March To May||Spring: September To November|
How To Get To The Flinders Ranges
It takes around 5 hours from Adelaide to Flinders Ranges by car, but you do not need to own a 4 wheel drive. There are plenty of rest stops along the way if you need to take a break. When driving from Adelaide, you will first arrive at Mount Remarkable National Park, which is the Southern Flinders Ranges.
From there, you can make your way towards Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. Most main roads towards National Parks and Reserves are sealed, so it will be easy to navigate as long as you stay on the bitumen road.
Places To Visit Around The Flinders Ranges
We have selected a few areas to check out to find out more so continue reading about the amazing places below.
Alligator Gorge In South Australia
When you arrive at Mount Remarkable National Park, it costs $11 AUD to enter Alligator Gorge. Be sure to pre-pay before arriving. There are 3 campsites in the gorge, which are included in the park entry fee. There is also a walk-in camping area that is only for tents.
The Membray Creek campground offers wheelchair-accessible toilets, hot showers and baby change rooms for families. If you have a vehicle like campervans and caravans, you have to book a spot in the Baroota Ruins or Membray Creek campground. For tent sleepers, you have more options.
The park offers Native Pine and Red Gums group campground if you are having big family groups in camp. They have toilets, a communal area and a fire pit for everyone to gather.
Alligator Gorge has a beginner and intermediate-level mountain biking trail that loops around Mount Remarkable. You may have to bring your own bicycle. There are easy bushwalking trails for families with young children, with Gorge Lookout Walk only 20 minutes to complete.
The best trail may be the Alligator Gorge Ring Route, which is 9 kilometres, to see the full length of the gorge and takes 4 hours to complete.
Quorn Home Of The Pichi Richi Railway
You do not have to go to Quorn, but it is a good resting spot if you like trains. Quorn is home to Pichi Richi Railway, and the train departs at 10:30 am to Woolshed Flat and back again on selected days. You can check out the timetable at Pichic Richi Railway.
Quorn also offers a Railway Station Yard Heritage Walk, which is a 1-hour walk around the buildings. And if you are lucky, you may see the Coffee Pot train running. The Coffee Pot is a steam train that is only available for special hire, so that will be a special occasion worth remembering.
The Centre Hub InThe Town Of Hawker
From Quorn, make your way to Hawker, one of the town hubs in Flinders Ranges. You can refill your petrol, take a break or plan your next destination at the Hawker Visitor Information Centre. You can stock up on supplies, and take beautiful photos of the Outback before making your way north. If you like art, visit Jeff Morgan’s Art Gallery, which features many paintings of Flinders Ranges from many angles.
You can stay in the Hawker Caravan Park or a hotel motel if you are tired of a day’s excitement from Alligator Gorge to Quorn. You can check out the Heysen and the Mawson Trails if you are keen on a walk. Otherwise, this is the place to check out park closures or special events around the Flinders Ranges
Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park
Before you get to Wilpena Pound, you need to pay for a park pass to enter the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. It costs $11 per vehicle. If you are planning to visit a few more parks around Flinders Rangers, the 2-month multi-entry pass is $44 and is a good deal.
The park fee includes campgrounds, but you have to pre-book the sites as they are limited. Most sites have space for campervans and caravans, except for Wicolo, which is only for tents.
Wilpena Pound Resort is a private camping spot. If you want to be spoiled, try their glamping option: glamourous camping. They offer air-conditioned Safari Tents with modern bathrooms. They also have 60 hotel rooms. Powered sites are $25 per night and unpowered campsites cost $14 per night if you choose to keep your budget low.
They offer facilities like showers, laundry and a swimming pool, but more. There is a lounge bar & bistro, visitor information centre, and general store.
The Resort offers a range of cultural tours hosted by the Adnyamathanha people. Walk their path as they teach you the history and stories of the First Nation people at the Sacred Canyon and see Akaroo Rock. If you have time to spare, stay for a day or two within the Ikara- Flinders Ranges. Head to the Brachina and Bunyeroo Gorges for a hike and bushwalk, or do some more mountain biking down Mawson Trail.
For stargazers, Ikara is one of the iconic spots to watch the night sky. You can see them from your campsite or head to Razorback or the Bunyeroo Valley Lookout for an unobstructed view of the Milky Way. The lookouts are good to places to watch sunrise and sunset, just remember to pack extra warm clothing as they are not camping spots.
Take A Ghost Tour In Parachilna
Finally, you drive to Parachilna, another town hub in the Flinders Ranges. Once you arrive at Parachilna, head to the Prairie Hotel to test your culinary courage by trying their Feral Food Menu. They offer smoked kangaroo, camel mettwurst and quandong pie, to name a few.
From there, the Blinman Copper mine is just 40 minute drive away. It was a working copper mine from 1862 to 1907. Now it is a historical site with a well-preserved mine and miners’ living quarters. After visiting the mines, have a miners’ pasty at the Miners Crib Cafe, where the recipe has been passed down for more than 100 years.
It is worth paying for the guided tour, as you can see how the miners lived and worked when the mine was active. The self-guided walking tour is mainly above ground for safety reasons. For brave souls, they have a night ghost tour. The guided tour is $30 for adults and $15 for children under 15; a family of 2 adults and 2 children is $80.
You can stay in Angorichina Village in Parachilna, which charges $14 per night per person for camping. Powered sites are $35 per night for 2 people. There are accommodations in Prairie Hotel, or you can camp for free at many campsites along the Gorge or the Heysen trails. Most campsites have clean but not drinkable water, while Parachilna Gorge camp allows fires.
What Should I Pack For A Trip To The Flinders Ranges?
Warm clothing is important while you are in Outback Australia, as well as good communication methods. There are phone and Internet connections if you stay on the main roads and towns, but if you are planning to go further inland, it will be wise to consider hiring a satellite phone for safety reasons. Otherwise, arrange with a friend or family to check in regularly, so that if you run into trouble, they can call for help.
Things that you should also have in the car include first aid kids, a solar charger, dry emergency food, and drinkable water. You should also pack sunscreen and a hat, good quality sunglasses and insect repellent. Stock up on necessities when you arrive at towns, and check for fire bans or park closures before heading there. Things can change pending on the weather, so always be ready for last-minute plan changes.
The Flinders Ranges has a lot to offer. How long you want to spend exploring the majestic mountain range depends on what you plan to do while you are there. While 3 days is the minimum to enjoy the view and wildlife, you can easily spend 7 to 10 days finding new gems hidden throughout.
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