Before you get started

What can you expect from this walk?

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Self guided inn-to-inn

Highlights:

  • 8 day fully supported itinerary (includes 6 days of walking)
  • Hike the Heysen Trail with only a day pack from the trail head
  • Climb the incredible St Mary’s peak, with stunning views into Wilpena Pound
  • Enjoy the challenge of hiking this remote wilderness and the abundance of wildlife that inhabits the area
  • Penetrate into the arid heart of the Australian outback
  • Experience this one of a kind landscape with its unique, vivid red and yellow colours
  • Traverse one of the oldest geological landscapes in the world
  • The glorious mass of wild flowers in Spring
  • Eat and stay in comfort and meet some of the locals

Overview:

This is a challenging walk make no mistake, but well worth the effort because it is an experience that will definitely stay with you for a lifetime.

The 1,200 kilometre Heysen Trail is rated as one of the world’s premier long distance trails and begins in the stunning Flinders Ranges, the Heysen’s spiritual birthplace. We have selected the best walking in the Northern Flinders for this 8 day (6 days of walking) itinerary.

This is a stunning, unforgettable landscape which reveals more and more of its incredible diversity over time. By electing to walk, by taking this slower approach, you truly immerse yourself in this remote wilderness. What makes this walk unique is its continual ability to wow you when you make a turn on the track or emerge through a high pass, you’ll bare witness to transformation over and over again as mountains appear or reappear in all their splendour.

What strikes you most about the Flinders Ranges other than the vivid rich colours, is the amazing geology of the place. It contains one of the most intact and rich Ediacara fossil sites in the world. Sir Hans Heysen observed and commented that the Flinders was akin to seeing “the bones of nature laid bare”. 600 million year old rock formations, older and once higher than the Himalayas. Worn down by time, these landscapes are respected and revered worldwide. Also home to more than half of South Australia’s 3100 plant species, the Flinders Ranges are famous for the wildflowers that carpet the plains and foothills during spring.

The walk starts from the Heysen Trail Head and travels well beyond the Wilpena Pound wall. The walking begins by a gentle 18km saunter between the ABC and Heysen Ranges to Aroona ruins from Parachilna Gorge.

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More on what you'll see

Then it’s up and over the ABC Ranges and the Brachina Formation, continuing on through Yanyanna Ruins past Bunyeroo Gorge into Wilpena. Savour 3 days of glorious walking where you’re likely to enjoy the splendid isolation all to yourself. You then walk up to St Mary’s Peak where the majestic views are likely to prompt a moment of contemplation as you soak in the beauty of your surrounds. The walking continues across the Pound and up and over the Pound wall to Black Gap, the easiest of the walks. You finish up walking to Rawnsley Bluff and Wilpena lookout which allows you one last look into the Pound, a great way to cap off this epic walking experience.

Prior to European settlement, the indigenous people hunted here and the place holds tremendous cultural significance to them. The Aboriginal word Wilpena means ‘cupped hand’. Spiritually uplifting, this is an ancient place offering sanctuary and tranquillity and an unparalleled stage or platform to disconnect from the 21st century and reconnect with yourself.

This is a world class experience where you will be supported all the way. You will be rewarded each day after the adventure on the track with a hot shower, perhaps a wine or a beer, a chef prepared meal and a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed. You awake refreshed and primed for the next day’s fabulous walking.

Like all of our self-guided walks, we organise all your accommodation, meals and transfers on tour and provide current, detailed maps and comprehensive walk notes. This allows you more time to focus on the walking and have a stress free experience knowing that Auswalk are handling all the arrangements.

The friendly locals we work with for accommodation, meals and transfers are aware of your itinerary and eager to help make your departure and arrival each day as smooth as possible.

Accommodation on this walk is in cabins and the beautiful Ikara Resort. All of them are in inspired locations that provide a welcoming and comfortable base to rest, relax and reflect on the day’s highlights.

If your preference is to hike with a group, we also offer a group guided Flinders Ranges trip.

Why not build in a rest day or two along the way?

This is a reasonably long and tough walk thus we highly recommend that you incorporate a rest day. Wilpena is a nice place to take some time out or alternatively walk some more. Spending an extra night or two in Rawnsley Park at the end of the trip is also a relaxing way to round off your holiday. This can be arranged for you at the time of booking.

Let's dive into

More Details

Location

This holiday starts and finishes in Rawnsley Park.

Grading

40% easy, 30% moderate, 25% more challenging, 5% Hard. 18-27km
(5-7.5 hours) walking each day. Bush tracks, walking over mostly flat well walked paths, some rocky sections, forests, beautiful gorges and mountains, mostly long days.

For more detailed information including daily walk distances and times please download our Fact Sheet below.

Accommodation

Cabins located in the beautiful Angorichina Gorge and Rawnsley and Glamping tents at Wilpena. The single supplement of $795.00 is for your own private ensuite on all 7 nights. If you’re happy to share a bathroom for 5 nights of the trip then the single supplement can be reduced down to $410.00.

What’s included

7 nights accommodation, 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners, vehicle transfers required for the itinerary, luggage transfers, National Park fees, insulated lunch bag, maps, map case & info pack.

What’s not included

Alcohol, meals not listed in itinerary, drinks with meals (except tea/coffee and juice with breakfast).

The best time to go

April through to early September offer the best weather for hiking in the Flinders Ranges. The temperature is still very comfortable to walk in but warm clothes are necessary as the temperature drops at night. This holiday is not available over the hot summer months of December to February.

See the Bureau of Meteorology’s information about average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.

Regional food and wine

Good wholesome food with Kangaroo and Emu occasionally on the menu. The region is remote, so the 200 page wine lists are few and far between. Don’t be concerned though as world class South Australian wine and a cold larger are available. You will need to bring some wine on the first night.

The Itinerary

Let's Review

Day 1

The holiday starts at Rawnsley Park in the late afternoon where you will be transferred to Angarichina Village.

Accommodation: Angorichina Village.

Day 2

You start this amazing adventure from the Heysen Track trail head. The days walking starts with a very gentle stroll along various creek beds, then onwards over a procession of creek crossings as you slowly make your way uphill. The last 7 kms you amble very gently back down the same beautiful valley to Aroona Ruins, with the Heysen Range to the Right and the ABC Range to the left.

Accommodation: Rawnsley Park.

Day 3

Today’s walking contains many ascents and descents as you traverse the ABC Range with incredible 360 degree views of the mountains. You walk across the Brachina formation, one of the oldest rock formations on the planet. The last section of walking is through an open flat valley typical of the Flinders region. Lots of wildlife viewing opportunities along the way.

Accommodation: Rawnsley Park.

Day 4

Today’s walking is characterised by a greater variety of landscapes, beautiful forest and gullies, including an exploration of the beginnings of Bunyeroo Gorge. Take in great views of the Heysen Range and St Mary’s Peak.

Accommodation: Ikara Safari Camp.

Day 5

This is an iconic walk but challenging. It requires a certain level of stamina and determination because there is one reasonably long ascent, but it’s well worth the effort as from the top you will get some of the best views of the entire walk. There is the option to miss the Peak and walk just to the saddle.

Accommodation: Ikara Safari Camp.

Day 6

Walking through Wilpena Pound you get to view the path where you have come from and truly capture what this place is all about.  As you continue your journey across the valley floor, you are totally surrounded by the impressive Pound walls that rise up above you in a spectacular vision.

Accommodation: Rawnsley Park.

Day 7

This walk is a fantastic way to say goodbye to the Flinders Ranges with views looking back inside the Pound and over to St Mary’s Peak. Then as you progress to the Bluff you get to enjoy the views of the expansive Chace Ranges and the Elders Ranges to the South and a chance to contemplate what you have accomplished.

Accommodation: Rawnsley Park.

Day 8

This holiday finishes in Rawnsley after breakfast.

Flinders Ranges

Select a departure

$ 2695 per person twin/double share
$ 795 Single Supplement (private room)

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