(South Coast Departure)
Four Days: 22nd — 25th September 2020
Twin Share: $1175 per person. Sole Use: $1295 per person.
Included in the tour:
- Home pick-ups & set downs (most metro areas – please contact us for details)
- Picnic-style morning teas & all meals as per the itinerary
- All accommodation & admissions to all attractions
- Experienced & informative tour driver/guide.
The central Flinders Ranges is one of the oldest landscapes on Earth, a land that legend says was shaped by the ancient serpents and giants of the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Its focal point is Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre of awesome proportions. There is so much to explore here and we take in many of the natural wonders of this spectacular landscape.
Day One – TUESDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 2020
(includes light lunch and two course dinner)
We depart this morning at approximately 8am after home pick ups*. While settling in and becoming acquainted with those around us we quickly leave the coast behind. After a comfort stop, we take the Southern Expressway and make our way through Adelaide. After our morning tea stop at Two Wells, we travel through Port Wakefield, following Highway One as we venture north.
The morning’s travel brings us to our light lunch at Port Pirie. In the afternoon we travel through the southern section of the Flinders Ranges via the Pichi Richi Pass to Quorn.
After a short break in Quorn, we continue north before leaving the highway to visit the Kanyaka ruins. This station, founded by Hugh Proby, has survived better than its neighbours and restoration work has now halted the crumbling of the stone buildings which harbour a long and impressive history. There is time to wander around the remains of the 16 room homestead and outbuildings before we continue on to Hawker and the Outback Chapmanton Motor Inn (Ph 08 8648 4100) where we are based for the next three nights.
Day Two – WEDNESDAY 23 SEPTEMBER 2020
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)
After a hearty cooked breakfast at the Motel we are ready to begin our day of exploration.
From Hawker, we travel north towards Wilpena and into the Flinders Ranges National Park. Proclaimed in 1945, this 94,908 hectare park is recognised as one of Australia’s finest, with rugged mountain scenery, peaceful tree-lined gorges and a range of wildlife and flora. We enjoy the views and changing scenery as we travel through the park, stopping at the Puglist Hill lookout and then we journey onto the Wilpena Visitor Centre where we stop for morning tea. We enjoy the views and changing scenery as we travel through the park, stopping at the Cazneaux Tree near Wilpena and Hucks Lookout (subject to road conditions) with its expansive views.
As we make our way north, the road winds an undulating course between ancient hills, many deeply scarred by outcropping in horizontal layers. We pass the Great Wall of China and Oraparinna Station before our lunch stop at Blinman.
In 1859 Robert Blinman discovered copper here and the mine that was operated became the largest in the Flinders Ranges. Today we join a guided tour of the mine to discover what it was like mining copper in the 1860s, and learn about the lives of the miners and their families. This is more than just a tour: there’s an innovative sound and lights system that includes storytelling, light boxes, music, and a mix of theatre and mining history. Due to group size limits we divide into separate groups, with some taking the tour while others enjoy lunch, and then swapping over.
After our time in Blinman we turn west and travel through the beautiful Parachilna Gorge with its layers of steeply tilted limestone rising at an acute angle from the broad creek bed. This is a delightfully scenic drive and brings us to the town of Parachilna. After a short comfort stop at the historic Prairie Hotel we begin our journey back to Hawker along the western side of the ranges. Enjoy the changing views of the ranges and the Pound wall with the afternoon sun brightening up the country side as we return to the Outback Chapmanton Motor Inn for a relaxing evening.
Day Three – THURSDAY 24 SEPTEMBER 2020
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)
Today we explore the areas around Wilpena Pound a little closer. During the morning we once again travel to the National Park, past Rawnsley Bluff before making our way to the famous Wilpena Pound. The Pound has a circumference of 35 km, is 11 km long and nearly 5 km wide. This is a wonderful area and we have plenty of time here to explore.
Those who are more energetic may like to go for a walk into the Pound, others may like to take the opportunity for a scenic flight (own cost). Otherwise, relax and enjoy the surroundings, visit the information centre or perhaps enjoy some refreshments at the visitors centre.
After lunch we travel along the Brachina Gorge Geological Trail. Along the course of this fascinating trail we see over a dozen geological formations that give us an idea of the story of the earth’s development in this area.
We make our way back to Hawker via the delightful Moralana Scenic Drive (subject to road conditions). This picturesque drive takes us through the historic Arkaba Station and Merna Mora. We travel between the Elder Range and the south-Western wall of Wilpena Pound, stopping at Black Gap lookout for a view of the Pound’s rugged rim.
(Please note: Today’s itinerary is subject to road conditions which can be adversely affected by weather. However, alternative activities will be planned should our intended itinerary not be possible).
Day Four – FRIDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2020
(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)
Today we farewell our hosts at Hawker and the central Flinders Ranges. We join the RM Williams Way, travelling south through Cradock and Orroroo to Jamestown. After our picnic morning tea we continue south through cropping country to Clare. We make our way through the vineyards of the Clare Valley before heading across to Marrabel and to Kapunda where we stop for a delicious two course lunch.
This afternoon we avoid the suburbs of Adelaide, instead travelling through the pretty countryside of the Adelaide Hills. We take a comfort stop along the way before we travel back onto the Fleurieu Peninsula and home again, bringing with us wonderful memories of the remarkable landscapes of Wilpena Pound and the Flinders Ranges.