The Flinders ranges are the largest mountains within South Australia, starting about 200km north of Adelaide and stretching over 400km northwards. I’d had a recommendation from a friend that I should visit Wilpena Pound, a section of the ranges where the hills/mountains form a huge natural amphitheater shape. Wilpena pound also contains the highest point of the Flinders, St Mary’s peak at over 1100m. They aren’t exactly high in terms of mountains, but they are rugged and beautiful, and once you get to Wilpena Pound there’s pretty much only one thing to do, bush walking. There are numerous walking trails, many with informative plaques along the way, some are short and some are long while some are just damn crazy.
This was the view half way up Mary’s peak looking north, I didn’t walk all the way up because I needed to do some washing and cleaning in the van and I didn’t bring any water on the hike. Cloudy walked all the way to the top of the peak as well as walking the long way back around the Pound, a nine hour walk in total.
There are Ruins of old building scattered all throughout this country side, some extremely dilapidated with just a few rocks laying around, while others have either managed to weather the ravages of time well or they have been maintained to an extent over the years.
Some areas of the ranges up here are reasonably green in among the hills and mountains, though as you begin heading further north and into the flatter areas, it’s very dry and desolate, though in every stream or river bed, there’s always the old red river gums, some of them hundreds of years old.
The river red gums are magnificent trees, ranging from the simple trees above through to the really battle scared ones like below.
Some of these trees have experienced centuries of floods, droughts and fires.
The main problem I had travelling through this area is that I knew that every time I took a picture it really wasn’t going to do it justice, and also I was taking picture after picture of the same sort of thing, more and more mountains and countryside, but it was hard to stop, you wanted to try and capture it all as the sights were breathtaking. It literally was breathtaking driving through this countryside.
Constantly breathtaking, round every corner, over the crest of almost every hill, you just never knew when you would be hit with another magnificent sight.
After spending a few nights at Wilpena Pound caravan park, we headed further north into the northern Flinders and stayed in a national park campsite. This was a nicer spot than the caravan park, right on the edge of a dry river bed and very peaceful, with only a couple of other campers.
The rocks in the river bed were colourful in a pastel sort of way, certainly a great variety of colour in the rocks.
We ventured up into some fairly rugged country north of the national park, travelling through Blinman and the glass gorge, getting onto some small windy tracks when of course there had to be a glitch.
A rock wedged in the tread and pierced the back driver side tire. Luckily this was on a reasonably wide section of road just after a river bed crossing so we could pull over easily. It was a warm day, not nice to be out grovelling in the dirt but we were back on the road again fairly quickly. This did put an end to our plans for the day though, with no other spare wheel it was a quick retreat back to camp.
Still, as I mentioned before, the views around here just go on and on and the following day we continued looking around closer to camp, visiting sacred gorge to see the aboriginal carvings in rocks, and more majestic scenery.
Time to beat a retreat back to civilization in Port Augusta to get a new tire though, I don;t trust driving on these rocks without a spare.