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 $3195 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 $2695 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 $2395 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 $2295 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 $2395 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 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

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.

READ MORE

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.

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.

READ MORE
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.

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.

blog

December 17, 2019

12 OF THE BEST AUSTRALIAN DAY WALKS

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December 17, 2019

The Evolution of Walking Holidays

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November 18, 2019

The Great Ocean Walk & A Great Australian Story

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November 18, 2019

The Tour Du Mont Blanc – Seven valleys, three countries, and a sense of the divine

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October 2, 2019

The Cotswolds | England’s Living History

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August 16, 2019

Walk the walk, for Biodiversity

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August 13, 2019

Slow Travel – lessons from a man with a whip

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July 2, 2019

How to Become a Dual Pilgrim, and More Importantly, Why…?

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June 14, 2019

Amazing Places to See Aboriginal Rock Art in Australia

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June 3, 2019

Wild Animals of the Larapinta Trail

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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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