Flinders Ranges

Group-guided

Walk Alligator, Bunyeroo Gorge, Dutchman’s Stern, Rawnsley Bluff, Black Gap and Bridal Gaps, Tanderra Saddle and Wilpena Pound

Group-guided 7 Days From $3395 Moderate What's Included

Flinders Ranges

BACK
What's Included
  • Genuine all inclusive pack free walking holiday
  • The best of the Flinders Ranges walks
  • Luggage transport
  • 2 engaging, knowledgeable and experienced guides
  • 6 nights’ comfortable accommodation with ensuites
  • Chef prepared restaurant meals, including 2 course al a carte dinners.
  • Champagne and wine at sunset
  • All transport from Adelaide
  • National Park admission
  • Auswalk guide pack including notes, maps, lunch bag and container

Flinders Ranges

Self-guided

Walk the Heysen Track from the trailhead at Parachilna to Black Gap. Epic hikes to Tanderra Saddle, St Mary’s Peak, through Wilpena Pound & up to Rawnsley Bluff

Self-guided 8 Days From $2755 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Flinders Ranges

BACK
What's Included
  • All-inclusive 8 day pack free walking holiday
  • 7 nights’ accommodation in rooms with ensuites
  • All meals, including breakfasts, walkers lunches, and chef-cooked a la carte two-course dinners
  • Campfire bbq dinner under the stars on first night
  • All luggage transport and vehicle transfers
  • We shift you along the track from accommodation to accommodation to limit time in a vehicle, creating more time to relax and enjoy the region
  • National Park admission
  • Enjoy worry free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes, maps, map case, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • 24/7 support from Auswalk’s representatives on the ground

Flinders Ranges Highlights

Group-guided

Some of the best sections of the 1200km Heysen Trail. Black and Bridal Gaps, Aroona and Brachina Lookout, Tanderra Saddle and Rawnsley Bluff, Wilpena Pound & Dutchmans Stern.

Group-guided 5 Days From $2595 Easy to Moderate What's Included

Flinders Ranges Highlights

BACK
What's Included
  • Genuine all inclusive pack free walking holiday
  • 2 engaging, knowledgeable and experienced guides
  • 4 nights’ comfortable accommodation with ensuites
  • Chef prepared restaurant meals
  • Scenic helicopter flight at Rawnsley Park (*please note flights are subject to weather conditions)
  • Champagne and wine at sunset
  • All transport from Adelaide and luggage transport
  • National Park admission
  • Auswalk guide pack including notes, maps, lunch bag and container

Flinders Ranges 6 Days with Upgrade to Eco Villas

Self-guided

Walk the Heysen Track from Yanyanna via the Wilpena Pound to Black Gap. Epic hikes to Tanderra Saddle, St Mary’s Peak, through Wilpena Pound & up to Rawnsley Bluff

Self-guided 6 Days From $2355 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Flinders Ranges 6 Days with Upgrade to Eco Villas

BACK
What's Included
  • All-inclusive 6 day pack free walking holiday
  • 5 nights’ accommodation in rooms with ensuites
  • Walk with a light day pack as we shift your luggage from accommodation to accommodation
  • All meals, including chef-cooked breakfasts, walkers lunches, and a la carte two-course dinners
  • National Park admission
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes, maps, map case, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • 24/7 support from Auswalk’s representatives on the ground

Flinders Ranges 7 days

Self-guided

Hike the Heysen Track from the Aroona Ruins to Black Gap. Superb hikes include Tanderra Saddle, St Mary’s Peak, through Wilpena Pound & up Rawnsley Bluff

Self-guided 7 Days From $2475 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Flinders Ranges 7 days

BACK
What's Included
  • All-inclusive 7 day pack free walking holiday
  • 6 nights’ accommodation in rooms with ensuites (Upgrade available at Rawnsley)
  • All meals, including breakfasts, walkers lunches, and chef-cooked a la carte two-course dinners
  • All luggage transport and vehicle transfers
  • We transport you along the track from accommodation to accommodation to limit time in a vehicle, creating more time to relax and enjoy the region
  • National Park admission
  • Enjoy worry free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes, maps, map case, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • 24/7 support from Auswalk’s representatives on the ground

OVERVIEW

The lure of Flinders Ranges country runs very deep. The Flinders are often called the bridge to the outback interior as they are fairly easy to access from Adelaide. Once you’ve been bitten by the immensity of this place its is very difficult not to want to keep coming back. The highlights are abundant; however the most famous is the freakish ellipse of peaks that form Wilpena Pound or Ikara as the local indigenous people call it.

It’s the rugged escarpments and ridges that rear up from the surrounding plains in concert with the ancient river red gums, the dried-up waterways and the one of a kind colour palette that pull people in, that entices one to explore this place some more. The cliffs of burnished orange and fiery reds, terracotta-coloured dirt, silver-grey saltbush the swathes of jade-green native pine and the remoteness make you feel like your the first to set foot in this place. Once you get up close to the antiquity of this place, it does seem inescapable.

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history

The Flinders Ranges is the largest mountain range in South Australia. The rocks which you see that exposed in the Flinders and in gorges were deposited in a shallow elongate basin known as the Adelaide Geosyncline. The settlements were transported by rivers and at times by glaciers and deposited on the seafloor between 650 and 500 million years ago. The area was flooded by the sea for about 150 million year period during which the sea level rose and fell many times.

About 500 million years ago movements in the earth’s crust caused the pile of sediments now converted to sedimentary rocks to be compressed folded and pushed up into a mountain range much higher then we see today. This mountain building took place over many millions of years, large fold structures such as Wilpena Pound were formed during that time. Weathering and erosion have subsequently reduced the height of the original mountain range by several kilometres leaving the present range and the exposed edges of the folded layers. It was over time, that huge amounts of rock, silt and sand eroded from ancient highlands in the west and north-east found its way into the subsiding geosyncline. The wild storms, surging currents, rampaging glaciers, even meteorites and erupting volcanoes that all played a part in the region’s final genesis.

By walking through Brachina Gorge’s you can witness a sequence of rock formations 9 km thick that span 150 million years in its formation. There’s evidence of the region’s oceanic history scattered through the ranges, in sandstone slabs imprinted with the unmistakable corrugations of a tidal shoreline, much like the dirt road corrugations you drive over.

Mathew Flinders theoretically could have sailed over the place where the ranges now stand and charted a course to the continent’s heart but he was a few 100 million years too late. The first humans to set foot in this area where the Adnyamathanha people some 10000 years ago. Mathew Flinders made the first recorded European sighting of the Flinders Ranges. He didn’t name it after himself but that was left to Governor Gawler a few years later.

Flora & Fauna

FLORA

The plant communities found in the Flinders ranges are generally influenced by soil type, level of exposure to the sun and wind. The ability of plants to penetrate the strata to access deeper moisture reserves is another component. Some plant communities you pass through on the walks we offer include:

Acacia: These species are highly beneficial to the environment as they have nitrogen-fixing bacteria living on their roots. Acacias improve soil condition by taking nitrogen from the air and converting it so other plants can use it. This feature allows acacias to grow in very poor soil where other plants cannot.

Cypress pine: These are usually found with grasses and herbs growing like a carpet under them. There are a few young pine trees in the Flinders Ranges area and some bigger ones close in to Wilpena Pound Resort. They were very popular building resources for settlers as they are resistant to white ants. So they used them for fence posts and building huts and almost wiped out all the population of cypresses. They grow in deep red-brown clay loams (type of soil). This is one example of a Gondwana plant species that still survive today. It is the only Pinetree native to South Australia.

Eucalypts: There are many eucalypt species and each one has specific conditions that they prefer. Eucalypt trees that have multi-stem trunks are known as Mallees. The word Mallee comes from the aboriginal word Mali which means water, as some Mallee roots provide fresh drinkable water when cut. The red river gum has some interesting characteristics. They’re predominantly found in creek beds. The roots of the red river gum grow very deep to tap into underground water storages. Seedlings of river red gum’s have very long roots that enable it to survive drought and survive from a young age. This is why it is thought that some of the river red gums are thousands of years old, as they can lie dormant for tens of years when there is no rain. When stressed from lack of water the river red gum will drop whole limbs without warning, making them very dangerous to camp under. They also drop a percentage of their leaves during summer and periods of drought to reduce the amount of water they need it to survive. The leaves are spearhead shaped and their hard waxy surface reduces water loss by transpiration. The tree even rotates its leaves during hot days so there is minimal amount of surface area facing the sun.

Grassland: This can consist of Hammock and Tussock grasses e.g. spear grass that tend to grow on wide open plains in the region. Both types of grasses are found on poor quality soil and stony hills. These communities are particularly useful as a habitat for a diverse range of rare and common insects, reptiles and birds. Porcupine grasses commonly known as Spinifex is very prickly. This type of grass grows well in bad soil and on stony hills where it forms dense communities. Spinifex grasses grow from the centre outward and when the middle dies it creates a ring like a structure. Kangaroos often lie in these rings for protection from the wind. Spinifex contains highly flammable compounds that burn intensely in a fire. Many natural fires in the Flinders Ranges are caused by spinifex thanks to lightning strikes.

Yakka: Found on skeletal soils on ridge tops. Yakka grows well in poor soils. They are very slow-growing, respond well to fire and are endemic to Australia. Endemic floras are species of plants that can only be found in a particular region state or country. The Yakka is a highly evolved member of the sclerophyll community, thriving on poor soils and being highly adaptable to fire. A very hardy plant and unique plant. The Yakka has many uses, the resin extract can be used as adhesive, the fleshy heart shape bulb inside the trunk can be eaten and external parts of the trunk can be burnt and inhaled to improve the sinuses.

Other plants of the region:

Mallee saltbush is a grey bush was very insignificant flowers and you can see any time. Salvation Jane which you are likely to see whole swathes of across hillsides. It has blue flowers in spring which is also called Patterson’s curse as it is a weed. It is killing a lot of the native plants because it takes a stranglehold once it gets going.

Mallee grey box and peppermint box trees also dot this landscape. White box which occurs occasionally is confined to this district of the Flinders Ranges and is more widely distributed in Victoria New South Wales and Queensland.  Inter-disbursed are thickets of the golden wattle which appeared as dense undergrowth since the bushfire in 1988.

South Australian blue gum and sugar gum also frequent this area. Silvertails has a whitish leave herb with spherical pink fluffy flower heads which bloom in spring. Silver wattle is a small rounded shrub and grows up to 3 m which has yellow balls flowers in late spring.

Drooping Sheoks is a tree that grows to 9 m high has dark branchlet’s, often pendulous with leaves in whorls.

Kangaroo grass grows and flowers throughout the year when conditions permit as does Lemon-scented grass.

 

FAUNA

Kangaroos: There are three species of kangaroos found in the Flinders Ranges. The grey kangaroo also called a scrubber, is mainly found amongst dense Mallee scrub. The euro or hills kangaroo is another common species. The small females have long grey fur while the heavier males range through to dark brown and often have a rusty covering, especially about the neck and shoulders. The red kangaroos name aptly describes most of the mature males while the females also known as blues flyers have blue-grey fur. Red kangaroos prefer wide-open spaces and are the most abundant of the kangaroo species.

Wallabies: The Flinders and Gammon ranges are home to the yellow-footed rock wallaby. These animals are beautifully marked with white cheek and flank stripes. Their bodies are a soft grey while their arms and feet are rusted yellow and the long cylindrical tails of the same yellow are barred or ringed with brown. The populations within the Flinders Ranges are found on very steep rocky slopes and are mostly associated with permanent water. A good time to observe wallabies is in the early morning during summer. Yellow-footed rock-wallabies are generally more active at dawn and dusk, otherwise they are very difficult to observe, as they are well camouflaged and hidden high up on the rocky escarpments, often hiding and crevices and caves.

Birds of prey: The black-shouldered kite is commonly seen between Hawker and Wilpena. The small birds of prey spend a great deal of time hovering over open grasslands and saltbush. Black kites are commonly seen in the far north. They are soaring birds and may not flap their wings for a considerable period, but correct their flight continuously. They are carrion feeders and spend most of their time looking for food. There are also several species of falcon in the far north. The most commonly seen are brown falcon’s which are very swift hunters.

Usually wedge-tailed eagles hunt by themselves, but they can be seen to hunt in pairs for larger game. They have a massive wingspan making them easy to distinguish from afar. They make very large nests, preferring to establish them in large trees although they have been recorded nesting on rock ledges in the Flinders Ranges

Snakes: The western brown snake, mulga or king brown snake, death adders and the inland taipan or fierce snake are all found in the far north. Although the snakes are not common and generally try to avoid contact with humans, they are still dangerous and venomous. They are quiet stalkers of prey and are well camouflaged. The death adder is probably an exception being mostly nocturnal, lying in wait for its food with the tip of his towel twitching to attract prey.

South Australian Bats: Bats are insectivorous and consume large volumes of food some up to their own body weight in at six tonight. They use large amounts of energy for flying to keep warm. Most species of bats live in colonies.

Rodents:  There are many species of rodents including long-haired rats, stick nest rats and hopping mice. Some species are able to live without water obtaining sufficient amount from their food. That’s why you can find them in the Flinders Ranges. You are more likely to see these species at night.

Spiders:  Spiders can be divided into two groups, hunting spiders and the web-building spiders. The huntsman spider shelters under bark and often has its white messy web hidden under a bark sheet. It is not dangerous but will rear up and threaten if provoked.

The Simpson Desert trapdoor spider is also a hunter, buts burrows in sand. Unlike other trapdoor, it lives in shifting sand and has to use sticky woven silk web to hold the sand in place. Often found amongst the elegant wattle in the Flinders Ranges, is the Golden Orbweaver and its spectacular web. They will shake the web with threatening and this seems to keep large birds away, while small birds are sometimes caught in the web. In some cases, the birds become the meal but this is rare, flying insects are the main diet.

DragonsThese are long-legged lizards with long tapering towels and skin that feels like coarse sandpaper. The bearded Dragons will often be spotted sitting atop a tree stump or a fence post or some even bask in the middle of the road. They are not fussy in their taste eating insects, flowers and soft herbage. The male Tawny Dragon is a small colourful Lizard showing bright blue orange and yellow colourings. The female is grey or brown. They are found amongst rocks in the mountainous country only as far north as the northern Flinders Ranges. The painted dragon is as brightly coloured as the Tawny Dragon but prefers to live and forage in sandy hills amongst the low vegetation and ground litter.

Skinks: The sleepy or shingle back lizard is a regular site in almost all the Flinders Ranges. Hundreds of them could be seen near roads, crossing them or having perished as they are often run over. They move very slowly so can be hunted by feral animals. Amongst the Rocky outcrop‘s and the final small piles of black pellets with white ends can be found.  These pellets denote the home of the Gidgee skink. It is a moderately large skink up to 25 cm long and with a spiny tail, which uses had a great effect to resist being dragged from its rocky retreat.

FAQ

WHERE IS THE FLINDERS RANGES?

The Flinders Ranges is approximately 500 kms north of CBD Adelaide. It will take around 5 hours by vehicle to reach Rawnsley Park Station (where this adventure starts and finishes).

Did you know that the formation of the Flinders Ranges began about 800 million years ago? How ancient is that!!

WHAT IS A SELF-GUIDED WALK?

A self-guided walk is designed for walkers who prefer to be independent. Travelling self-guided allows you to walk from place to place progressing from one accommodation to the next at your own pace with who you want when you want. You can Enjoy Worry-Free Navigation. Our detailed maps and route notes ensure that you’ll easily find your way, whether you’re a beginner or veteran explorer—no compass or GPS needed. The paths are signposted irregularly. However, it’s a reasonably well-defined trail, so with the comprehensive notes, no technical expertise is required. Our self-guided trips offer the freedom to enjoy the splendid isolation of the trail, without the heavy weight of a pack on your back.

WHAT LEVEL OF FITNESS DO YOU RECOMMEND?

We expect people to have a reasonable to good level of fitness. Regular physical exercise in the lead up to the trip is recommended. This can be from walking, cycling, going to the gym or a combination of these. You will walk an average of 19kms, but most of the walking is reasonably flat and undulating with a few hills. Expect some long stretches through valleys on the first part of the walk and uphill climbs on just 2 days. If you exercise regularly, have a moderate to good walking fitness level and feel capable of walking up to 6 to 8 hours a day, this walk is for you.

HOW CHALLENGING IS THE WALK?

The Flinders Ranges walks are moderate to challenging with some rough tracks, where you’ll cover shorter distances. Full day walks average about 19 km and 5-7.5 hours walking each day. The walking is over mostly flat, well-walked paths and bush tracks with some rocky sections. There are two days with steep sections. This is a great opportunity for fit walkers to challenge themselves; however, easier options are available on some days. This is a reasonably long and tough walk and we highly recommend that you incorporate a rest day.

DO YOU HAVE AN INCENTIVE PROGRAM?

 

Walking with Auswalk gives you exclusive access to our incentive program. We love our Auswalkers and want to make it easy for you to return for another holiday. Here’s what we offer:

  1. Frequent Walker Points: Just by going on a holiday with us, you will earn 100 Frequent Walker Points which you can redeem for a $100 discount (per person) off your next Auswalk trip. These points are valid for 2 years. If you use your points on a new booking of a value greater than $2300 per person, and within 2 months of completing your previous holiday, we will double the points for you. This means that you will have 200 Frequent Walker Points to redeem as a $200 discount (per person) off your new booking. Please note: You can only use a maximum of 1 set of double points ($200) per new booking and points can’t be used in conjunction with any other offer.
  2. Save if your group is 5 or more with a 5% discount for all walkers. Full payment will be invoiced when booking. At the time of final payment the discount will be applied when the numbers are confirmed. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS FOR PRIVATE GROUPS?

If you have a group and you wish to undertake one of our many walking holidays we can apply a discount for the following group sizes:

Groups of 5-14:          5% credit

Groups of 15+:              7.5% credit

In both instances the group organiser receives a discount twice that of the rest of the group.

The group discount is taken off each walkers’ final bill according to how many group members actually register before final payment. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

CAN YOU CUSTOMISE THIS WALK FOR MYSELF OR FOR MY GROUP?

We specialise in customised trips. Whether it’s just for yourself, or a group of 30 walkers, we are here to help you with the logistics to ensure a stress free experience. Please feel free to contact us to find out more.

 

CAN I COMPLETE THIS SELF-GUIDED TRIP ALONE?

Due to the remoteness of the Flinders Ranges we do not offer this walk to solo walkers. The safety of our hikers is paramount.

WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY SITUATION?

It is essential that you carry a mobile phone (or satellite phone) on this holiday. If you have any serious problems, please contact Australia’s emergency services directly on phone number 000. Please contact our support people on the ground if you need assistance that doesn’t require emergency services intervention. These numbers will be provided in your walk notes.

IF REQUIRED WILL THERE BE SUPPORT ON THE GROUND?

We know that you need 24/7 support and safety. You definitely won’t be on your own during this self-guided walking adventure. Our local partners are the best people to contact if you have an issue on the walk. They are just a call away to help out if needed, no matter where you are or what the hour is. Auswalk is also there to assist; we will monitor your progress and can be contacted. We have carefully planned every aspect of your journey, from the best walking to seamless luggage transfers that whisk your bags from accommodation to accommodation while you’re out walking so that you can walk hassle and stress-free.

HOW DO I GET TO AND FROM THE START OF THE WALK?

By private car:

You will start and finish your walk at Rawnsley Park Station.

For the duration of this trip your vehicle will remain in the compound.

We also recommend that if you have time, why not explore the stunning Clare Valley. This region offers an epicurean experience; food, wine, arts, boutique B&Bs’ and walking, cycling and driving trails. You may also like to visit Lake Bumbunga – The Pink Lake at Lochiel. A wonderful photo opportunity.

Please note: Travelling by public transport is very complex and not always possible.

CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY PRE/POST WALK ACCOMMODATIONS IN ADELAIDE

There are numerous accommodations in Adelaide. The options are vast and will depend entirely on your budget.

We suggest that you visit the TripAdvisor to search for options to best suit your wallet and lifestyle.

WHAT LEVEL OF ACCOMMODATION DO YOU PROVIDE?

All the accommodations have been chosen to reflect the character of the region. Accommodations can range from cabins, chalets, holiday units, “glamping” safari tents and eco villas (upgrade 6 day walk). You can be assured that wherever you stay, you will be warmly welcomed. Most importantly, accommodations are in great locations and have all the necessary facilities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

CAN YOU CATER FOR SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?

On our walks, we can cater for specific dietary requirements. Please kindly provide this information when completing your booking form and only provide us with a list of your allergies or those food items that you absolutely cannot eat.

WILL I HAVE WI-FI ACCESS?

Please be aware that limited or no Wi-Fi access will be available at accommodations along the track.

HOW DO I GET ON AND OFF THE TRACK?

Some days you will walk directly out of your accommodation and or into your evening’s accommodation. On the days where this isn’t possible, we will provide the appropriate transfers for you on and off the track. Our transfer providers are locals and know the area you’re walking in intimately. In many cases, they offer a wealth of knowledge on your destination having lived there for many years (sometimes all their life).

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE?

The best time to go is April through to September as it is 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 as it way to hot with temperatures in the high 40’s.

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

WHAT WILDLIFE MAY I ENCOUNTER IN THIS REGION?

As you would expect there is an abundance of birds and animals to be found in the Flinders Ranges.

You will encounter red and western grey kangaroos, rock wallabies and short beaked echidnas. A variety of birds including quite a few species of parrots, red-capped robins, galahs, emus, wedge tailed eagles (Australia’s largest bird of prey), barking owls, and southern boobooks.

The rocky environment is also perfect for spotting reptiles such as bearded, tawny and red-barred dragons, sand goannas, shingleback lizards and a variety of geckos.

Snakes are also most likely to be around in the warmer months. They will usually move away from the sound and vibration of human activity. We recommend that you wear gaiters, stay on the walking tracks and not venture in the bush. Species that you might spot include king brown, eastern brown, and little whip snakes.

WHAT WILL BE INCLUDED IN MY PRE-DEPARTURE PACK?

You will receive an information pack before departure, including:

  • Map, Map case, luggage tag and pen
  • Insulated lunch bag, expandable lunch box, reusable cutlery and other useful bits and pieces
  • Comprehensive track notes developed by and authored by Auswalk with all the detail that will be needed to walk the Flinders Ranges Walk

Your pre-departure pack will be mailed around 6 weeks prior to departure after full payment has been made.

WHAT ARE YOUR LUGGAGE REQUIREMENTS?

You are allowed up to 23kgs of luggage, please no heavier as it may cause problems. Please also be aware that you may have to move your luggage to and from your room on some occasions, however your luggage is transferred while you walk.

WILL I NEED WATERPROOF CLOTHING?

A waterproof jacket is ideal. It serves two functions – to keep you dry and to keep the wind out. Cheaper plastic or nylon raincoats are good for keeping the rain out, but unfortunately, they do not breathe meaning that you’ll still get wet from condensation and not really suitable for any walk.

By far the best jackets are made from waterproof and breathable fabrics such as Gore-Tex. These wick your body moisture through the Gore-Tex material to the outside of the jacket through one-way pores. Goretex and other similar jackets aren’t cheap, but most of the quality outdoor equipment stores have sales where prices can often be reduced by substantial amounts. And they last a lifetime! Your waterproof jacket is a practical item, designed to keep you warm, dry and comfortable in the bush and warm in areas where there is a risk of being cold.

WHAT CLOTHING SHOULD I PACK FOR COLD CONDITIONS?

Depending on the time of year you are visiting it can get quite cold, especially at night. A warm jumper is a must. The best material these days is polar fleece or equivalents as they are lightweight and dry very quickly if they get wet. Wool, on the other hand, is heavy and takes a long time to dry. Cotton is not appropriate. A warm hat is also desirable. Did you know that you lose 40% of your body heat through your head? So if you’re feeling cold, don a hat and feel the difference.

WHAT CLOTHING SHOULD I PACK FOR WALKING THROUGHOUT THE DAY?

We recommend thin synthetic materials for walking. Cotton can get damp from perspiration.

Shirts should have collars and sleeves to help prevent sunburn. Long sleeves that can be either rolled up or rolled down are a good idea. Light colours will keep you cooler. Specialist shirts have vents to allow for airflow.

 

Shorts are great for hot weather, but remember to use plenty of sunscreen. Long trousers are great for sun protection and also for cooler weather. Trousers that have “zip off” legs are a good compromise.

 

A sun hat is essential. Choose a hat with a brim all the way round as this keeps off more heat and sun than either baseball caps or a soft floppy cotton hats. Good hats also come with some mesh ventilation in the middle and a chinstrap to keep it on when the wind blows. Choose a hat that packs easily into your case and daypack. Sunglasses are also essential.

WHAT FOOTWEAR DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR WALKING?

We strongly recommend wearing proper hiking boots or shoes as they provide added ankle support. One thing is for sure if you buy a new pair of walking boots/shoes make sure you break them in before you come on holiday.

Here are some further considerations:

Boots versus walking shoes – that’s largely an issue of personal preference. Walking shoes don’t provide anywhere near as much ankle support as boots though.

The weight of the footwear is important. You only need something suitable for day hikes on tracks – not to climb Mt Everest in! There’s an old saying that 100 grams on your feet is equivalent to 500 on your back.

The shoes should wrap around the foot with an even, snug hold over all parts of your foot. You should look for comfort across the balls of the feet. Your toes should not press together or touch the end of the boot – this is especially important for downhill walking. Your heel should not move inside the boot when you walk. And a laced up boot should not put pressure on the top of your foot or hurt your ankle.

Leather has been the long-time favourite with many walkers but these days leather is generally only used in heavier boots, which are mostly not necessary for day walks. Most light – medium-weight boots are of good quality and have synthetic uppers. These are durable but do not keep the water out. If you can pay some more, have a look at boots with a waterproof membrane such as Gore-Tex. The membrane is a very clever product built into the boot material so, though it can’t be seen, it lasts for the life of the boot. Dry feet will be more comfortable, smell less, and be less likely to blister if conditions get tough.

The soles of the boots are extremely important. Look for soles that are thick enough to protect your feet against sharp rocks that might press into the sole, and with a chunky pattern that will provide better grip on slippery tracks. A Vibram sole is good quality – look for the yellow brand on the sole of the boots.

Finally, we often see people who are wearing cheap, ill-fitting, loose, sloppy socks, which is an absolute recipe for disaster! Wear socks that fit firmly. Spend that bit extra and buy socks with shaped heels and good cushioning – your feet with thank you at the end of the day! Some people like to wear one pair of socks, others prefer two pair…..it is up to you. Once again, avoid loose socks that are too big.

DO YOU RECOMMEND GAITERS FOR THIS TRIP?

Yes we do. Gaiters are designed to keep rain, grass seeds, sand, mud, leeches and other unwanted items out of the top of your boots. They come in a full range of sizes from huge mountaineering styles through to short, lightweight ones. Most of them wrap over the boot laces, around the tops of boots and upwards over the lower part of your legs.

Sensible, practical gaiters should have some stiffness, so they will sit upright around the lower part of your legs, and not slip down. Also, they should go on and off without needing to remove your boots. Gaiters also provide useful leg & sock protection whenever there are scratchy plants over the track or grasses full of seeds.

DO YOU RECOMMEND WALKING POLES FOR THIS TRIP?

Yes we do. More and more walkers are discovering the benefits of using one or two walking poles. Poles can provide valuable support when walking on uneven ground, or where there is an elevation. They can significantly reduce jarring on knees and ankles when walking downhill.

There are several different styles of handles, so you can find a comfortable grip. Look for a stick with a spring mechanism built into it, which will reduce jarring on wrists and elbows. Your new poles will no doubt travel in your suitcase so make sure it collapses small enough to fit. Everyone can benefit from the use of walking poles, for walking further, exercising/strengthening the upper body,

WILL I HAVE TO CARRY A HEAVY PACK?

All of our holidays are pack free experiences with all the logistics being organised for you. All your luggage will be moved for you so you won’t need to carry a heavy pack. All you will need to carry with you is your day pack.

WHAT IS AN IDEAL DAY PACK FOR WALKING?

The best piece of advice we can give is to make sure it’s big enough! As a minimum, you need to fit in your lunch, water bottle/s, wet weather gear, warm jumper, camera and other personal bits and pieces. A larger pack weighs marginally more and costs very little extra and you’re unlikely to regret it.

Well-padded shoulder straps are a must as your pack is inevitably going to feel heavier as the day goes on. Padded waist/hip belts are also very useful as they help take some of the load off your shoulders. A chest strap is available on most good packs these days and it will stop the pack from sliding around on your back whilst you bend over or walk on uneven terrain.

Several pockets or sections can also be handy, allowing you quick access to things like sunscreen, your water bottle or snacks.

Even though rain is unlikely it is worth considering this for other walks. Most packs are not waterproof, so it’s always a good idea to line the pack with a heavy-duty plastic bag. You can also buy a pack cover, which does an excellent job of keeping most of the rain out.

Some daypacks have a curved back and this allows more air to circulate, a fabulous idea for comfort. Whilst other hikers have wet backs, with one of these daypacks your back will remain dry.

WHAT ITEMS SHOULD I TAKE ON EACH DAY OF THE WALK?

These items are considered essential:

  • Mobile phone
  • First aid kit
  • Day pack
  • Quality waterproof jacket with a hood
  • Polar fleece or jumper
  • Walking shoes or boots, with good ankle support, and soles with good grips
  • Walking socks
  • Sunhat – we recommend one with a wide brim as you are often walking into the sun, particularly in winter
  • Sunscreen (at least 15+) – bring plenty in the warmer months
  • Sunglasses
  • Sufficient water for the entire day. We recommend a minimum of 2 litres for each person when the weather is cool and carry more in hot weather. Generally, you cannot refill water bottles during the walks, but please read the notes in the upcoming day’s itinerary before setting out to assess the likelihood of being able to refill. Many people like CamelBaks – a built-in water sack that sits snugly in your day pack. It has a tube from which you can drink. If using one of these hydration systems, it is a good idea to have a spare bottle of water in your pack, just in case you suck the CamelBak dry!
  • Toilet paper – carry some for emergencies, but please bury everything.
  • Handkerchiefs instead of tissues – they last longer and are much kinder on the environment.

 

These items are considered optional and may depend on the prevailing conditions:

  • Waterproof over trousers
  • Bathing suit
  • Warm hat & gloves
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Fly net during warmer months

WHAT BASIC ITEMS SHOULD I INCLUDE IN MY FIRST AID KIT?

  • Your essential medication (for diabetes, asthma or allergies etc)
  • Safety pins
  • Plasters in various sizes
  • Sting/insect bite relief
  • Blister plasters (Compeed or similar)
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Sterile dressings in various sizes
  • Paracetamol/ibuprofen
  • Triangular bandages
  • Scissors
  • Eye pad

DO YOU RECOMMEND TRAVEL INSURANCE?

Please remember that it is far better to have travel insurance than not, particularly if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to cancel the walk. This way, you are covered.

While our Auswalk and/or service partners do all that we can to ensure that you and your possessions are safe and well-cared-for throughout your holiday, accidents can occasionally happen. It is your responsibility to ensure that any luggage being transported between accommodations along the trail is safely packed and does not contain any valuable and/or fragile items such as laptops, tablets, cameras, mobile phones or glass. Please protect yourself and your luggage and its contents with a suitable holiday insurance policy.

This insurance should also cover non-refundable costs should you have to cancel your trip due to unexpected personal circumstances.

Transport

The Flinders Ranges does not have a regular public transport, so one must either drive there or fly into Hawker or Rawnsley Park.

There is the option to get to Port Augusta and be picked up from there by private transfer, but this is expensive unless you have a number of people.

By far the best way to get to the Northern Flinders is to drive, as it allows you to stop and marvel at the Southern Flinders Ranges on the way and perhaps factor in a stay in the Clare Valley. Clare is one of Australia’s primo wine destinations and well worth a visit.

climate/weather

Please see the Bureau of Meteorology for information about the weather temperatures and rainfall ahead of time to ensure that you have suitable clothing. It can get cold in winter and extremely hot in summer with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius.

Terrain

Some of the tracks we use are rough and rocky. On those hikes we cover a lot less in distance. The tracks are mainly flat and easy to navigate other than when they travel up and over the Pound Wall. The track can be rocky and loose under foot in those circumstances. The climb up to Tanderra Saddle or St Mary’s Peak is steep in parts and requires a good level of fitness.

when to walk

The best time to walk the Flinders is from April to October, outside of that it can be dangerously hot. With temperatures soaring well over 40 degrees Celsius.

walking fitness levels

Because the walks vary we can cater to different levels of fitness. One will need at least an average level of walking fitness, that is be able to walk at least 10kms. Group trips run with 2 guides so an easier walk is available each day. The fitness level for the self-guided trip is higher as you will need to be able to walk at least 20kms in a day.

Overview

OVERVIEW

The lure of Flinders Ranges country runs very deep. The Flinders are often called the bridge to the outback interior as they are fairly easy to access from Adelaide. Once you’ve been bitten by the immensity of this place its is very difficult not to want to keep coming back. The highlights are abundant; however the most famous is the freakish ellipse of peaks that form Wilpena Pound or Ikara as the local indigenous people call it.

It’s the rugged escarpments and ridges that rear up from the surrounding plains in concert with the ancient river red gums, the dried-up waterways and the one of a kind colour palette that pull people in, that entices one to explore this place some more. The cliffs of burnished orange and fiery reds, terracotta-coloured dirt, silver-grey saltbush the swathes of jade-green native pine and the remoteness make you feel like your the first to set foot in this place. Once you get up close to the antiquity of this place, it does seem inescapable.

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History

History

The Flinders Ranges is the largest mountain range in South Australia. The rocks which you see that exposed in the Flinders and in gorges were deposited in a shallow elongate basin known as the Adelaide Geosyncline. The settlements were transported by rivers and at times by glaciers and deposited on the seafloor between 650 and 500 million years ago. The area was flooded by the sea for about 150 million year period during which the sea level rose and fell many times.

About 500 million years ago movements in the earth’s crust caused the pile of sediments now converted to sedimentary rocks to be compressed folded and pushed up into a mountain range much higher then we see today. This mountain building took place over many millions of years, large fold structures such as Wilpena Pound were formed during that time. Weathering and erosion have subsequently reduced the height of the original mountain range by several kilometres leaving the present range and the exposed edges of the folded layers. It was over time, that huge amounts of rock, silt and sand eroded from ancient highlands in the west and north-east found its way into the subsiding geosyncline. The wild storms, surging currents, rampaging glaciers, even meteorites and erupting volcanoes that all played a part in the region’s final genesis.

By walking through Brachina Gorge’s you can witness a sequence of rock formations 9 km thick that span 150 million years in its formation. There’s evidence of the region’s oceanic history scattered through the ranges, in sandstone slabs imprinted with the unmistakable corrugations of a tidal shoreline, much like the dirt road corrugations you drive over.

Mathew Flinders theoretically could have sailed over the place where the ranges now stand and charted a course to the continent’s heart but he was a few 100 million years too late. The first humans to set foot in this area where the Adnyamathanha people some 10000 years ago. Mathew Flinders made the first recorded European sighting of the Flinders Ranges. He didn’t name it after himself but that was left to Governor Gawler a few years later.

Flora & Fauna

Flora & Fauna

FLORA

The plant communities found in the Flinders ranges are generally influenced by soil type, level of exposure to the sun and wind. The ability of plants to penetrate the strata to access deeper moisture reserves is another component. Some plant communities you pass through on the walks we offer include:

Acacia: These species are highly beneficial to the environment as they have nitrogen-fixing bacteria living on their roots. Acacias improve soil condition by taking nitrogen from the air and converting it so other plants can use it. This feature allows acacias to grow in very poor soil where other plants cannot.

Cypress pine: These are usually found with grasses and herbs growing like a carpet under them. There are a few young pine trees in the Flinders Ranges area and some bigger ones close in to Wilpena Pound Resort. They were very popular building resources for settlers as they are resistant to white ants. So they used them for fence posts and building huts and almost wiped out all the population of cypresses. They grow in deep red-brown clay loams (type of soil). This is one example of a Gondwana plant species that still survive today. It is the only Pinetree native to South Australia.

Eucalypts: There are many eucalypt species and each one has specific conditions that they prefer. Eucalypt trees that have multi-stem trunks are known as Mallees. The word Mallee comes from the aboriginal word Mali which means water, as some Mallee roots provide fresh drinkable water when cut. The red river gum has some interesting characteristics. They’re predominantly found in creek beds. The roots of the red river gum grow very deep to tap into underground water storages. Seedlings of river red gum’s have very long roots that enable it to survive drought and survive from a young age. This is why it is thought that some of the river red gums are thousands of years old, as they can lie dormant for tens of years when there is no rain. When stressed from lack of water the river red gum will drop whole limbs without warning, making them very dangerous to camp under. They also drop a percentage of their leaves during summer and periods of drought to reduce the amount of water they need it to survive. The leaves are spearhead shaped and their hard waxy surface reduces water loss by transpiration. The tree even rotates its leaves during hot days so there is minimal amount of surface area facing the sun.

Grassland: This can consist of Hammock and Tussock grasses e.g. spear grass that tend to grow on wide open plains in the region. Both types of grasses are found on poor quality soil and stony hills. These communities are particularly useful as a habitat for a diverse range of rare and common insects, reptiles and birds. Porcupine grasses commonly known as Spinifex is very prickly. This type of grass grows well in bad soil and on stony hills where it forms dense communities. Spinifex grasses grow from the centre outward and when the middle dies it creates a ring like a structure. Kangaroos often lie in these rings for protection from the wind. Spinifex contains highly flammable compounds that burn intensely in a fire. Many natural fires in the Flinders Ranges are caused by spinifex thanks to lightning strikes.

Yakka: Found on skeletal soils on ridge tops. Yakka grows well in poor soils. They are very slow-growing, respond well to fire and are endemic to Australia. Endemic floras are species of plants that can only be found in a particular region state or country. The Yakka is a highly evolved member of the sclerophyll community, thriving on poor soils and being highly adaptable to fire. A very hardy plant and unique plant. The Yakka has many uses, the resin extract can be used as adhesive, the fleshy heart shape bulb inside the trunk can be eaten and external parts of the trunk can be burnt and inhaled to improve the sinuses.

Other plants of the region:

Mallee saltbush is a grey bush was very insignificant flowers and you can see any time. Salvation Jane which you are likely to see whole swathes of across hillsides. It has blue flowers in spring which is also called Patterson’s curse as it is a weed. It is killing a lot of the native plants because it takes a stranglehold once it gets going.

Mallee grey box and peppermint box trees also dot this landscape. White box which occurs occasionally is confined to this district of the Flinders Ranges and is more widely distributed in Victoria New South Wales and Queensland.  Inter-disbursed are thickets of the golden wattle which appeared as dense undergrowth since the bushfire in 1988.

South Australian blue gum and sugar gum also frequent this area. Silvertails has a whitish leave herb with spherical pink fluffy flower heads which bloom in spring. Silver wattle is a small rounded shrub and grows up to 3 m which has yellow balls flowers in late spring.

Drooping Sheoks is a tree that grows to 9 m high has dark branchlet’s, often pendulous with leaves in whorls.

Kangaroo grass grows and flowers throughout the year when conditions permit as does Lemon-scented grass.

 

FAUNA

Kangaroos: There are three species of kangaroos found in the Flinders Ranges. The grey kangaroo also called a scrubber, is mainly found amongst dense Mallee scrub. The euro or hills kangaroo is another common species. The small females have long grey fur while the heavier males range through to dark brown and often have a rusty covering, especially about the neck and shoulders. The red kangaroos name aptly describes most of the mature males while the females also known as blues flyers have blue-grey fur. Red kangaroos prefer wide-open spaces and are the most abundant of the kangaroo species.

Wallabies: The Flinders and Gammon ranges are home to the yellow-footed rock wallaby. These animals are beautifully marked with white cheek and flank stripes. Their bodies are a soft grey while their arms and feet are rusted yellow and the long cylindrical tails of the same yellow are barred or ringed with brown. The populations within the Flinders Ranges are found on very steep rocky slopes and are mostly associated with permanent water. A good time to observe wallabies is in the early morning during summer. Yellow-footed rock-wallabies are generally more active at dawn and dusk, otherwise they are very difficult to observe, as they are well camouflaged and hidden high up on the rocky escarpments, often hiding and crevices and caves.

Birds of prey: The black-shouldered kite is commonly seen between Hawker and Wilpena. The small birds of prey spend a great deal of time hovering over open grasslands and saltbush. Black kites are commonly seen in the far north. They are soaring birds and may not flap their wings for a considerable period, but correct their flight continuously. They are carrion feeders and spend most of their time looking for food. There are also several species of falcon in the far north. The most commonly seen are brown falcon’s which are very swift hunters.

Usually wedge-tailed eagles hunt by themselves, but they can be seen to hunt in pairs for larger game. They have a massive wingspan making them easy to distinguish from afar. They make very large nests, preferring to establish them in large trees although they have been recorded nesting on rock ledges in the Flinders Ranges

Snakes: The western brown snake, mulga or king brown snake, death adders and the inland taipan or fierce snake are all found in the far north. Although the snakes are not common and generally try to avoid contact with humans, they are still dangerous and venomous. They are quiet stalkers of prey and are well camouflaged. The death adder is probably an exception being mostly nocturnal, lying in wait for its food with the tip of his towel twitching to attract prey.

South Australian Bats: Bats are insectivorous and consume large volumes of food some up to their own body weight in at six tonight. They use large amounts of energy for flying to keep warm. Most species of bats live in colonies.

Rodents:  There are many species of rodents including long-haired rats, stick nest rats and hopping mice. Some species are able to live without water obtaining sufficient amount from their food. That’s why you can find them in the Flinders Ranges. You are more likely to see these species at night.

Spiders:  Spiders can be divided into two groups, hunting spiders and the web-building spiders. The huntsman spider shelters under bark and often has its white messy web hidden under a bark sheet. It is not dangerous but will rear up and threaten if provoked.

The Simpson Desert trapdoor spider is also a hunter, buts burrows in sand. Unlike other trapdoor, it lives in shifting sand and has to use sticky woven silk web to hold the sand in place. Often found amongst the elegant wattle in the Flinders Ranges, is the Golden Orbweaver and its spectacular web. They will shake the web with threatening and this seems to keep large birds away, while small birds are sometimes caught in the web. In some cases, the birds become the meal but this is rare, flying insects are the main diet.

DragonsThese are long-legged lizards with long tapering towels and skin that feels like coarse sandpaper. The bearded Dragons will often be spotted sitting atop a tree stump or a fence post or some even bask in the middle of the road. They are not fussy in their taste eating insects, flowers and soft herbage. The male Tawny Dragon is a small colourful Lizard showing bright blue orange and yellow colourings. The female is grey or brown. They are found amongst rocks in the mountainous country only as far north as the northern Flinders Ranges. The painted dragon is as brightly coloured as the Tawny Dragon but prefers to live and forage in sandy hills amongst the low vegetation and ground litter.

Skinks: The sleepy or shingle back lizard is a regular site in almost all the Flinders Ranges. Hundreds of them could be seen near roads, crossing them or having perished as they are often run over. They move very slowly so can be hunted by feral animals. Amongst the Rocky outcrop‘s and the final small piles of black pellets with white ends can be found.  These pellets denote the home of the Gidgee skink. It is a moderately large skink up to 25 cm long and with a spiny tail, which uses had a great effect to resist being dragged from its rocky retreat.

FAQ

FAQ

WHERE IS THE FLINDERS RANGES?

The Flinders Ranges is approximately 500 kms north of CBD Adelaide. It will take around 5 hours by vehicle to reach Rawnsley Park Station (where this adventure starts and finishes).

Did you know that the formation of the Flinders Ranges began about 800 million years ago? How ancient is that!!

WHAT IS A SELF-GUIDED WALK?

A self-guided walk is designed for walkers who prefer to be independent. Travelling self-guided allows you to walk from place to place progressing from one accommodation to the next at your own pace with who you want when you want. You can Enjoy Worry-Free Navigation. Our detailed maps and route notes ensure that you’ll easily find your way, whether you’re a beginner or veteran explorer—no compass or GPS needed. The paths are signposted irregularly. However, it’s a reasonably well-defined trail, so with the comprehensive notes, no technical expertise is required. Our self-guided trips offer the freedom to enjoy the splendid isolation of the trail, without the heavy weight of a pack on your back.

WHAT LEVEL OF FITNESS DO YOU RECOMMEND?

We expect people to have a reasonable to good level of fitness. Regular physical exercise in the lead up to the trip is recommended. This can be from walking, cycling, going to the gym or a combination of these. You will walk an average of 19kms, but most of the walking is reasonably flat and undulating with a few hills. Expect some long stretches through valleys on the first part of the walk and uphill climbs on just 2 days. If you exercise regularly, have a moderate to good walking fitness level and feel capable of walking up to 6 to 8 hours a day, this walk is for you.

HOW CHALLENGING IS THE WALK?

The Flinders Ranges walks are moderate to challenging with some rough tracks, where you’ll cover shorter distances. Full day walks average about 19 km and 5-7.5 hours walking each day. The walking is over mostly flat, well-walked paths and bush tracks with some rocky sections. There are two days with steep sections. This is a great opportunity for fit walkers to challenge themselves; however, easier options are available on some days. This is a reasonably long and tough walk and we highly recommend that you incorporate a rest day.

DO YOU HAVE AN INCENTIVE PROGRAM?

 

Walking with Auswalk gives you exclusive access to our incentive program. We love our Auswalkers and want to make it easy for you to return for another holiday. Here’s what we offer:

  1. Frequent Walker Points: Just by going on a holiday with us, you will earn 100 Frequent Walker Points which you can redeem for a $100 discount (per person) off your next Auswalk trip. These points are valid for 2 years. If you use your points on a new booking of a value greater than $2300 per person, and within 2 months of completing your previous holiday, we will double the points for you. This means that you will have 200 Frequent Walker Points to redeem as a $200 discount (per person) off your new booking. Please note: You can only use a maximum of 1 set of double points ($200) per new booking and points can’t be used in conjunction with any other offer.
  2. Save if your group is 5 or more with a 5% discount for all walkers. Full payment will be invoiced when booking. At the time of final payment the discount will be applied when the numbers are confirmed. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS FOR PRIVATE GROUPS?

If you have a group and you wish to undertake one of our many walking holidays we can apply a discount for the following group sizes:

Groups of 5-14:          5% credit

Groups of 15+:              7.5% credit

In both instances the group organiser receives a discount twice that of the rest of the group.

The group discount is taken off each walkers’ final bill according to how many group members actually register before final payment. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

CAN YOU CUSTOMISE THIS WALK FOR MYSELF OR FOR MY GROUP?

We specialise in customised trips. Whether it’s just for yourself, or a group of 30 walkers, we are here to help you with the logistics to ensure a stress free experience. Please feel free to contact us to find out more.

 

CAN I COMPLETE THIS SELF-GUIDED TRIP ALONE?

Due to the remoteness of the Flinders Ranges we do not offer this walk to solo walkers. The safety of our hikers is paramount.

WHO SHOULD I CONTACT IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY SITUATION?

It is essential that you carry a mobile phone (or satellite phone) on this holiday. If you have any serious problems, please contact Australia’s emergency services directly on phone number 000. Please contact our support people on the ground if you need assistance that doesn’t require emergency services intervention. These numbers will be provided in your walk notes.

IF REQUIRED WILL THERE BE SUPPORT ON THE GROUND?

We know that you need 24/7 support and safety. You definitely won’t be on your own during this self-guided walking adventure. Our local partners are the best people to contact if you have an issue on the walk. They are just a call away to help out if needed, no matter where you are or what the hour is. Auswalk is also there to assist; we will monitor your progress and can be contacted. We have carefully planned every aspect of your journey, from the best walking to seamless luggage transfers that whisk your bags from accommodation to accommodation while you’re out walking so that you can walk hassle and stress-free.

HOW DO I GET TO AND FROM THE START OF THE WALK?

By private car:

You will start and finish your walk at Rawnsley Park Station.

For the duration of this trip your vehicle will remain in the compound.

We also recommend that if you have time, why not explore the stunning Clare Valley. This region offers an epicurean experience; food, wine, arts, boutique B&Bs’ and walking, cycling and driving trails. You may also like to visit Lake Bumbunga – The Pink Lake at Lochiel. A wonderful photo opportunity.

Please note: Travelling by public transport is very complex and not always possible.

CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY PRE/POST WALK ACCOMMODATIONS IN ADELAIDE

There are numerous accommodations in Adelaide. The options are vast and will depend entirely on your budget.

We suggest that you visit the TripAdvisor to search for options to best suit your wallet and lifestyle.

WHAT LEVEL OF ACCOMMODATION DO YOU PROVIDE?

All the accommodations have been chosen to reflect the character of the region. Accommodations can range from cabins, chalets, holiday units, “glamping” safari tents and eco villas (upgrade 6 day walk). You can be assured that wherever you stay, you will be warmly welcomed. Most importantly, accommodations are in great locations and have all the necessary facilities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

CAN YOU CATER FOR SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?

On our walks, we can cater for specific dietary requirements. Please kindly provide this information when completing your booking form and only provide us with a list of your allergies or those food items that you absolutely cannot eat.

WILL I HAVE WI-FI ACCESS?

Please be aware that limited or no Wi-Fi access will be available at accommodations along the track.

HOW DO I GET ON AND OFF THE TRACK?

Some days you will walk directly out of your accommodation and or into your evening’s accommodation. On the days where this isn’t possible, we will provide the appropriate transfers for you on and off the track. Our transfer providers are locals and know the area you’re walking in intimately. In many cases, they offer a wealth of knowledge on your destination having lived there for many years (sometimes all their life).

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE?

The best time to go is April through to September as it is 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 as it way to hot with temperatures in the high 40’s.

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

WHAT WILDLIFE MAY I ENCOUNTER IN THIS REGION?

As you would expect there is an abundance of birds and animals to be found in the Flinders Ranges.

You will encounter red and western grey kangaroos, rock wallabies and short beaked echidnas. A variety of birds including quite a few species of parrots, red-capped robins, galahs, emus, wedge tailed eagles (Australia’s largest bird of prey), barking owls, and southern boobooks.

The rocky environment is also perfect for spotting reptiles such as bearded, tawny and red-barred dragons, sand goannas, shingleback lizards and a variety of geckos.

Snakes are also most likely to be around in the warmer months. They will usually move away from the sound and vibration of human activity. We recommend that you wear gaiters, stay on the walking tracks and not venture in the bush. Species that you might spot include king brown, eastern brown, and little whip snakes.

WHAT WILL BE INCLUDED IN MY PRE-DEPARTURE PACK?

You will receive an information pack before departure, including:

  • Map, Map case, luggage tag and pen
  • Insulated lunch bag, expandable lunch box, reusable cutlery and other useful bits and pieces
  • Comprehensive track notes developed by and authored by Auswalk with all the detail that will be needed to walk the Flinders Ranges Walk

Your pre-departure pack will be mailed around 6 weeks prior to departure after full payment has been made.

WHAT ARE YOUR LUGGAGE REQUIREMENTS?

You are allowed up to 23kgs of luggage, please no heavier as it may cause problems. Please also be aware that you may have to move your luggage to and from your room on some occasions, however your luggage is transferred while you walk.

WILL I NEED WATERPROOF CLOTHING?

A waterproof jacket is ideal. It serves two functions – to keep you dry and to keep the wind out. Cheaper plastic or nylon raincoats are good for keeping the rain out, but unfortunately, they do not breathe meaning that you’ll still get wet from condensation and not really suitable for any walk.

By far the best jackets are made from waterproof and breathable fabrics such as Gore-Tex. These wick your body moisture through the Gore-Tex material to the outside of the jacket through one-way pores. Goretex and other similar jackets aren’t cheap, but most of the quality outdoor equipment stores have sales where prices can often be reduced by substantial amounts. And they last a lifetime! Your waterproof jacket is a practical item, designed to keep you warm, dry and comfortable in the bush and warm in areas where there is a risk of being cold.

WHAT CLOTHING SHOULD I PACK FOR COLD CONDITIONS?

Depending on the time of year you are visiting it can get quite cold, especially at night. A warm jumper is a must. The best material these days is polar fleece or equivalents as they are lightweight and dry very quickly if they get wet. Wool, on the other hand, is heavy and takes a long time to dry. Cotton is not appropriate. A warm hat is also desirable. Did you know that you lose 40% of your body heat through your head? So if you’re feeling cold, don a hat and feel the difference.

WHAT CLOTHING SHOULD I PACK FOR WALKING THROUGHOUT THE DAY?

We recommend thin synthetic materials for walking. Cotton can get damp from perspiration.

Shirts should have collars and sleeves to help prevent sunburn. Long sleeves that can be either rolled up or rolled down are a good idea. Light colours will keep you cooler. Specialist shirts have vents to allow for airflow.

 

Shorts are great for hot weather, but remember to use plenty of sunscreen. Long trousers are great for sun protection and also for cooler weather. Trousers that have “zip off” legs are a good compromise.

 

A sun hat is essential. Choose a hat with a brim all the way round as this keeps off more heat and sun than either baseball caps or a soft floppy cotton hats. Good hats also come with some mesh ventilation in the middle and a chinstrap to keep it on when the wind blows. Choose a hat that packs easily into your case and daypack. Sunglasses are also essential.

WHAT FOOTWEAR DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR WALKING?

We strongly recommend wearing proper hiking boots or shoes as they provide added ankle support. One thing is for sure if you buy a new pair of walking boots/shoes make sure you break them in before you come on holiday.

Here are some further considerations:

Boots versus walking shoes – that’s largely an issue of personal preference. Walking shoes don’t provide anywhere near as much ankle support as boots though.

The weight of the footwear is important. You only need something suitable for day hikes on tracks – not to climb Mt Everest in! There’s an old saying that 100 grams on your feet is equivalent to 500 on your back.

The shoes should wrap around the foot with an even, snug hold over all parts of your foot. You should look for comfort across the balls of the feet. Your toes should not press together or touch the end of the boot – this is especially important for downhill walking. Your heel should not move inside the boot when you walk. And a laced up boot should not put pressure on the top of your foot or hurt your ankle.

Leather has been the long-time favourite with many walkers but these days leather is generally only used in heavier boots, which are mostly not necessary for day walks. Most light – medium-weight boots are of good quality and have synthetic uppers. These are durable but do not keep the water out. If you can pay some more, have a look at boots with a waterproof membrane such as Gore-Tex. The membrane is a very clever product built into the boot material so, though it can’t be seen, it lasts for the life of the boot. Dry feet will be more comfortable, smell less, and be less likely to blister if conditions get tough.

The soles of the boots are extremely important. Look for soles that are thick enough to protect your feet against sharp rocks that might press into the sole, and with a chunky pattern that will provide better grip on slippery tracks. A Vibram sole is good quality – look for the yellow brand on the sole of the boots.

Finally, we often see people who are wearing cheap, ill-fitting, loose, sloppy socks, which is an absolute recipe for disaster! Wear socks that fit firmly. Spend that bit extra and buy socks with shaped heels and good cushioning – your feet with thank you at the end of the day! Some people like to wear one pair of socks, others prefer two pair…..it is up to you. Once again, avoid loose socks that are too big.

DO YOU RECOMMEND GAITERS FOR THIS TRIP?

Yes we do. Gaiters are designed to keep rain, grass seeds, sand, mud, leeches and other unwanted items out of the top of your boots. They come in a full range of sizes from huge mountaineering styles through to short, lightweight ones. Most of them wrap over the boot laces, around the tops of boots and upwards over the lower part of your legs.

Sensible, practical gaiters should have some stiffness, so they will sit upright around the lower part of your legs, and not slip down. Also, they should go on and off without needing to remove your boots. Gaiters also provide useful leg & sock protection whenever there are scratchy plants over the track or grasses full of seeds.

DO YOU RECOMMEND WALKING POLES FOR THIS TRIP?

Yes we do. More and more walkers are discovering the benefits of using one or two walking poles. Poles can provide valuable support when walking on uneven ground, or where there is an elevation. They can significantly reduce jarring on knees and ankles when walking downhill.

There are several different styles of handles, so you can find a comfortable grip. Look for a stick with a spring mechanism built into it, which will reduce jarring on wrists and elbows. Your new poles will no doubt travel in your suitcase so make sure it collapses small enough to fit. Everyone can benefit from the use of walking poles, for walking further, exercising/strengthening the upper body,

WILL I HAVE TO CARRY A HEAVY PACK?

All of our holidays are pack free experiences with all the logistics being organised for you. All your luggage will be moved for you so you won’t need to carry a heavy pack. All you will need to carry with you is your day pack.

WHAT IS AN IDEAL DAY PACK FOR WALKING?

The best piece of advice we can give is to make sure it’s big enough! As a minimum, you need to fit in your lunch, water bottle/s, wet weather gear, warm jumper, camera and other personal bits and pieces. A larger pack weighs marginally more and costs very little extra and you’re unlikely to regret it.

Well-padded shoulder straps are a must as your pack is inevitably going to feel heavier as the day goes on. Padded waist/hip belts are also very useful as they help take some of the load off your shoulders. A chest strap is available on most good packs these days and it will stop the pack from sliding around on your back whilst you bend over or walk on uneven terrain.

Several pockets or sections can also be handy, allowing you quick access to things like sunscreen, your water bottle or snacks.

Even though rain is unlikely it is worth considering this for other walks. Most packs are not waterproof, so it’s always a good idea to line the pack with a heavy-duty plastic bag. You can also buy a pack cover, which does an excellent job of keeping most of the rain out.

Some daypacks have a curved back and this allows more air to circulate, a fabulous idea for comfort. Whilst other hikers have wet backs, with one of these daypacks your back will remain dry.

WHAT ITEMS SHOULD I TAKE ON EACH DAY OF THE WALK?

These items are considered essential:

  • Mobile phone
  • First aid kit
  • Day pack
  • Quality waterproof jacket with a hood
  • Polar fleece or jumper
  • Walking shoes or boots, with good ankle support, and soles with good grips
  • Walking socks
  • Sunhat – we recommend one with a wide brim as you are often walking into the sun, particularly in winter
  • Sunscreen (at least 15+) – bring plenty in the warmer months
  • Sunglasses
  • Sufficient water for the entire day. We recommend a minimum of 2 litres for each person when the weather is cool and carry more in hot weather. Generally, you cannot refill water bottles during the walks, but please read the notes in the upcoming day’s itinerary before setting out to assess the likelihood of being able to refill. Many people like CamelBaks – a built-in water sack that sits snugly in your day pack. It has a tube from which you can drink. If using one of these hydration systems, it is a good idea to have a spare bottle of water in your pack, just in case you suck the CamelBak dry!
  • Toilet paper – carry some for emergencies, but please bury everything.
  • Handkerchiefs instead of tissues – they last longer and are much kinder on the environment.

 

These items are considered optional and may depend on the prevailing conditions:

  • Waterproof over trousers
  • Bathing suit
  • Warm hat & gloves
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Fly net during warmer months

WHAT BASIC ITEMS SHOULD I INCLUDE IN MY FIRST AID KIT?

  • Your essential medication (for diabetes, asthma or allergies etc)
  • Safety pins
  • Plasters in various sizes
  • Sting/insect bite relief
  • Blister plasters (Compeed or similar)
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Sterile dressings in various sizes
  • Paracetamol/ibuprofen
  • Triangular bandages
  • Scissors
  • Eye pad

DO YOU RECOMMEND TRAVEL INSURANCE?

Please remember that it is far better to have travel insurance than not, particularly if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to cancel the walk. This way, you are covered.

While our Auswalk and/or service partners do all that we can to ensure that you and your possessions are safe and well-cared-for throughout your holiday, accidents can occasionally happen. It is your responsibility to ensure that any luggage being transported between accommodations along the trail is safely packed and does not contain any valuable and/or fragile items such as laptops, tablets, cameras, mobile phones or glass. Please protect yourself and your luggage and its contents with a suitable holiday insurance policy.

This insurance should also cover non-refundable costs should you have to cancel your trip due to unexpected personal circumstances.

Transport

Transport

The Flinders Ranges does not have a regular public transport, so one must either drive there or fly into Hawker or Rawnsley Park.

There is the option to get to Port Augusta and be picked up from there by private transfer, but this is expensive unless you have a number of people.

By far the best way to get to the Northern Flinders is to drive, as it allows you to stop and marvel at the Southern Flinders Ranges on the way and perhaps factor in a stay in the Clare Valley. Clare is one of Australia’s primo wine destinations and well worth a visit.

climate/weather

climate/weather

Please see the Bureau of Meteorology for information about the weather temperatures and rainfall ahead of time to ensure that you have suitable clothing. It can get cold in winter and extremely hot in summer with temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius.

Terrain

Terrain

Some of the tracks we use are rough and rocky. On those hikes we cover a lot less in distance. The tracks are mainly flat and easy to navigate other than when they travel up and over the Pound Wall. The track can be rocky and loose under foot in those circumstances. The climb up to Tanderra Saddle or St Mary’s Peak is steep in parts and requires a good level of fitness.

when to walk

when to walk

The best time to walk the Flinders is from April to October, outside of that it can be dangerously hot. With temperatures soaring well over 40 degrees Celsius.

walking fitness levels

walking fitness levels

Because the walks vary we can cater to different levels of fitness. One will need at least an average level of walking fitness, that is be able to walk at least 10kms. Group trips run with 2 guides so an easier walk is available each day. The fitness level for the self-guided trip is higher as you will need to be able to walk at least 20kms in a day.

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ENQUIRE NOW

If you’re looking for further information on any of our walking holidays please fill out the enquiry form and we’ll be in touch.

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