Four Days: 2 – 5 September 2021
Twin Share: $1375 per person. Sole Use: $1495 per person.
- 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, shaped by the ancient serpents and giants of the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Its focal point is Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre of awesome proportions. Basing ourselves in Hawker, there is so much to discover, and we take in many of the natural wonders of this spectacular landscape, as well as visiting the historic Blinman Mine. Join us as we make the most of the spring weather, exploring this stunning region of South Australia.
Day One – THURSDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 2021
(includes light lunch and two course dinner)
We depart this morning after home pick ups (limited areas*), leaving the suburbs of Adelaide behind. Our first stop will be in Two Wells where we enjoy our morning tea before travelling on through Port Wakefield.
Following Highway One, we venture north through Lochiel and Snowtown, nearing the Spencer Gulf city of Port Pirie where we will stop to enjoy a light lunch.
In the afternoon we travel through the southern section of the Flinders Ranges via the Pichi Richi Pass to Quorn. Proclaimed in 1878 and growing to be an important railway town, much of the old world character and charm of Quorn still remains today. After a short break and look around the town, we continue further north a short distance, before leaving the highway to visit the Kanyaka ruins.
Founded by Hugh Proby, Kanyaka 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. For the next three nights we are based at the Outback Chapmanton Motor Inn (Ph 08 8648 4100).
Day Two – FRIDAY 3 SEPTEMBER 2021
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)
After a hearty cooked breakfast we begin our day of exploration by travelling 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, stopping at the Puglist Hill Lookout to take in the beauty of our surrounds.
We will head into Wilpena where we can stretch our legs and enjoy morning tea before continuing our journey through the park. From here we make our way north through the national park, stopping at various lookouts to take in the expansive views. The road winds an undulating course between ancient hills, many deeply scarred by outcropping in horizontal layers and we will pass the Great Wall of China and Oraparinna Station before arriving at Blinman.
In 1859 Robert Blinman discovered copper here and the mine that grew from this discovery, became the largest in the Flinders Ranges. Today we join a guided tour of the Blinman Mine to learn what it was like mining copper in the 1860s, and hear 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 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. As the afternoon sun brightens the country side, we witness the changing views and colours of the ranges.
Day Three – SATURDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2021
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)
This morning we will take some time to look around Hawker and visit the Jeff Morgan Gallery. An internationally acclaimed artist, Jeff has lived his entire life in the Flinders region and is inspired by the landscapes that surround him. His gallery features the Wilpena Panorama, a 30 metre, 360 degree painting of the magnificent landscape as seen from St Mary’s Peak, the highest point of the Wilpena Pound. The most recent addition to the gallery is the Arkaroola Panorama, a huge 5.5 metre high, 46 metre long mural that is displayed in a 360° circle. We have time to soak up the beauty of these and other paintings, as we listen to special sound effects of birds of the area.
From here we travel into the National Park again, past Rawnsley Bluff, before making our way to the famous Wilpena Pound to explore the area a little closer. This is the ideal opportunity for those wishing to do a scenic flight over this over this spectacular natural phenomenon (at passengers own expense). The more energetic, may like to take a walk around the area or otherwise there is time to relax and ‘soak-in’ our surroundings, visit the information centre or perhaps enjoy some refreshments.
Not far from Wilpena is the Cazneaux Tree, made famous in 1937 when photographed by Australian photographer Harold Cazneaux as a testament to life in such an unforgiving environment.
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. 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 to view 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 – SUNDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2021
(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 to Orroroo, where we stop to enjoy our picnic morning tea.
We continue to Jamestown where we pause to visit the RM Williams memorial. Born Reginald Murray Williams, this famous Australian grew up on a farm near Jamestown and a carved wooden bust and collection of story boards have been erected by the Jamestown community to honour this outback legend.
Travelling south through cropping country, we arrive in Clare in time for lunch.
This afternoon we make our way through the vineyards of the Clare Valley and as we continue south, we near the outer suburbs of Adelaide. It won’t be long before we arrive home, with wonderful memories of the remarkable landscapes of Wilpena Pound and the Flinders Ranges.