Located in South Australia, the Flinders Ranges are one of Australia’s most majestic ribbons of mountain ranges. The mountains are one of the state’s greatest tourist attractions, spanning 400 km of the outback from Crystal Brook to Lake Callabonna. The towering range is home to a rich geological and archaeological history, containing ancient Aboriginal rock art and amazing fossil sites, all remnants of distant times.
The natural scenery is spectacular — an absolute kaleidoscope of earthly hues. Days begin with dusty mauve dawns, bold browns greet the day, and ocher reds and burnt orange shades paint the horizon at sunset. Stars stud the limitless night sky in the stunning Australian outback. This is the ideal location for any getaway.
Flinders Ranges National Park is a standout attraction on the jagged range. It is home to a wealth of wildlife, including the rare yellow-footed rock-wallaby, koalas, and echidnas. Australia’s largest bird of prey, the wedge-tailed eagle, can also be found circling above the peaks monitoring the skies.
Take a road trip from Adelaide via the South Australian Loop, go hiking on the Heysen Trail, or take a 4WD to the Simpson Desert and Lake Eyre. Camping is a popular choice among those who want to experience the natural beauty of the mountain range and connect with this ancient natural treasure.
The centerpiece of the National Park is the iconic natural amphitheater, Wilpena Pound. Viewed from above, the crater shaped valley appears like a lost ancient world hidden among the impressive mountain scenery. The huge ring-shaped valley was formed by red quartzite and fuchsia slate, and is the remnant valley of an ancient mountain range thought once to have been as high as the Himalayas, but slowly eroded over millions of years. It is accessible from various well-trodden hiking trails.
You can take a circuit hike to the summit of St Mary’s peak, the highest mountain in the range at 1200 metres. The seven-hour hike culminates in a rewarding panoramic view of the spectacular 80 square kilometre concave valley, the extensive ribbon of mountain ranges, and the salt plains to the west.
Stories from the national park
The Adnyamathanha people were the original inhabitants of the land. Various sites in the National Park and throughout Flinders are imbued with the rich history and culture of its original inhabitants. Step into the past by exploring incredible rock art and engravings. Arkaroo Rock is a significant art site that features charcoal and ochre images telling the creation story of Wilpena Pound. Visit the 5,000-year-old cave site in the morning light for the best views.
In the Sacred Canyon, many of the sandstone walls feature rock engravings representing animal tracks, waterholes, people, and many other symbols and images. You can view the engravings in the morning or afternoon light, stepping into the distant past when man and nature lived together in harmony.