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:
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Triangular bandages
- 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.