The last time we were in the flinders was about 20 odd years ago and for the last 6 years we have lived about 300 kms away but up until now we haven’t been back to this magical place.
We left Wallaroo just before lunch on a Friday and travelled up through Crystal Brook to Laura with a small detour through Beetaloo Valley.
If you have kids on board (or even big kids) don’t go past the Laura lolly shop. We managed to head off with a bag of mixed lollies to keep us more than occupied.
Then it was off to Hawker up through Orroroo & Carrieton. After topping up with fuel at Hawker we continued up the Outback Highway towards Parachilna and about 80kms to the Brachina Gorge turn off.
The road into the Gorge had only just been reopened after heavy rains in the area, just a few muddy spots on the way in.
There’s a lookout before you drive into the gorge and from here you get a good view of the western end of Brachina Gorge.
It pays to keep an eye out for Road Closure notices before you head off as many of these dirt roads can be closed to traffic during the season due to rains. Luckily they don't take long to dry out and we had the all clear.
Road into Brachina Gorge and the Ranges are coming into view
Brachina Gorge - There is a self registration point for entry and camping permits as you drive in, we had to scratch around in the car to find $5 in small change for the $25 entry fee. (spent our small change on lollies remember!!)
With camp fees paid we set up camp at the Teamsters Campground which is the first camp site from the western end. The campsites along the Gorge have toilets and water, however you need to bring your own wood in if you plan to have a campfire.
With a drink in hand and the camp all set up we went for a quick walk along the creek while we still had a little day light left. BBQ tea and a few drinks what a top spot to camp.
This trip we thought we would try the new Mannagum Howqua 3 tent and the Hike-Lite large Refuge Bay tarp, plenty of room for the double swag and a bit of gear. The tarp over the top kept the camp nice and dry, this set up will be great for our next motorbike trip. The Mannagum gear is very good quality and designed for light weight travel.
You can see more info on the Mannagum range here.
Saturday morning we packed up and drove west along the Gorge, there are some top camp sites through the Gorge and large enough that there is plenty of room between campsites.
There are a few creek crossings through the Gorge and plenty of unreal spots along the way.
We turned south on the Blinman road then dropped into the Aroona hut site and had a look at how the early settlers did it.
The pug and pine hut sits down on the flat and the old stone ruins just a short walk up the hill.
You can only imagine how hard it would have been trying to live there years ago.
Just down the road a bit there’s the Wills house ruins and the story of the struggle they had with a mining company over the waterhole. Just a short walk along the creek is the Purser’s house which is also well worth a look.
Wills House Ruins
We went into Wilpena for lunch and a look around the campground, from here you can do the walk into the pound area. We decided to stay the night at Rawnsley Park Station which is not far down the road.
A great spot to stay with camp site spread out over a huge area and views of the southern side of Wilpena Pound. We didn’t put the tarp over the tent this time, “what do you know” it rained. The rain wasn’t heavy but enough to drive us into the tent early, this was the first time I haven’t used a tarp for cover and things were a little damp Sunday morning.
The tent kept us nice and dry with the fly giving plenty of cover to store your boots under cover without bringing them into the main tent and with a door on each side it’s easy to get in and out of.
Rawnsley Park Station entrance
After packing up the camp we called into Arkaroo Rock just a few kms north of Rawnsley Park. This is a great walk and a look at the rock art with some amazing views along the trail, and takes about 1.5 hours to walk the loop.
After the walk we headed for home, lunch at Hawker and a coffee at the Sightseer’s Café. There are some good historical sites on the way with some between Hawker and Quorn.
Kanyaka homestead is well worth a look with the cemetery on the other side of the creek and the old woolshed ruins a short drive down along the creek.
It was easy to spend an hour or so walking around the ruins.
Kanyaka Homestead Shearing Shed
Down through Quorn and turned at Murry Town and drove through the Germein Gorge road, then through Port Broughton and back to Wallaroo, what a top weekend.
This is a great country we live in and we don’t need to go too far from home to enjoy it!