National Park of the Month – Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park- July 2019
Nature Play SA and National Parks SA have joined together to provide a range of fun & free events to be held at various National Parks around South Australia. Each month will feature a new park to discover, and the Park of the Month for July is… Ikara-Flinders Ranges.
*Cover image by Department of Environment & Water
So tell me more….
This park is home to the iconic Wilpena Pound, rugged mountain landscapes and peaceful tree lined gorges. The park is rich with wildlife and is a photographers dream with breathtaking views around every corner. There is so much to see and do with Aboriginal cultural experiences, walking and cycling trails, camping, four-wheel driving, and birdwatching on offer. You’ll likely need a few days to explore this special place.
There are a variety of facilities available in the park, including: toilets, disabled toilet, an information office, showers, accommodation, picnic areas, kiosk,
campfire areas, caravan sites, BBQ areas, guided tours and campsites.
Old Wilpena Woolshed is available to hire for a fee.
Getting there …
Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is situated approximately 450 kilometres north of Adelaide, in the central Flinders Ranges.
From Adelaide, take one of several routes to Hawker, then follow the signs to Wilpena.
If travelling from Leigh Creek in the north, head south to Parachilna, and enter the park from either the north or the west. You can also head east from Leigh Creek towards Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park, then follow the signs south to the park.
If approaching from Broken Hill, turn north at Yunta on the Arkaroola Road and follow signs to Blinman.
The main road through the park and into Wilpena Pound is sealed. Unsealed roads with changing surfaces occur throughout the park and may be affected by weather conditions. All public roads are accessible by two-wheel drive vehicles, caravans and trailers.
The park is located 45km north of Port Pirie. Access is from National Highway One via Mambray Creek.
Alligator Gorge can be reached via a picturesque – but sometimes challenging – drive commencing 1km south of Wilmington on Main North Road. This road is very steep and is unsuitable for caravans, camper trailers and buses.
You can walk into the park from the adjacent town of Melrose, which lies at the foot of Mount Remarkable.
Please note: There are no public roads that pass through Mount Remarkable National Park. Horrocks Pass and Port Germein Gorge are the nearest public roads to the park where you can pass over the Flinders Ranges in an east-west direction.
What can I do at Ikara-Flinders Ranges ?
Scenic mountain views, kangaroos browsing on grasslands, cries of cockatoos and shaded woodland sites are some of the features on offer at the 10 campgrounds in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park… yes that is right 10 campgrounds!!!
Several campgrounds provide a base from which you can explore the park and take in the landscape. Many sites cater for vehicle-based camping, while others can only be accessed by foot. Campsites need to be booked prior to arrival
If camping is not your thing…there is alternate accomodation from resorts to working sheep stations, you’ll be sure to find an accommodation experience to suit you where you can enjoy the rugged outback. Your accommodation provides you with an ideal base to explore the network of bush walking trails that wind through the park’s rolling hills.
Mountain Bike Riding
Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park has fantastic mountain biking opportunities for visitors. The Mawson Trail and several roads provide access to some of the most stunning scenery in the park.
For a great cycling experience, the long distance cycling trail, the Mawson Trail, traverses the park uses many fire access trails that offer spectacular views. The Mawson Trail is accessible from Wilpena, Yanyanna and Trezona.
The park also contains sections of the Flinders Ranges by Bike loop. Contact the Visitor Centre for information on the cycle loop. Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park partners with neighbouring land holders to promote the Flinders Ranges by Bike loop.
These trails cater for all ages and levels of fitness, varying in length and difficulty from challenging overnight treks and the long distance Heysen Trail to the easier and shorter walks at Alligator Gorge and Mambray Creek.
There are several spectacular scenic drives on offer in the park. Highlights include the Brachina Gorge Geological Trail, a 20km self-guided trail that passes through 130 million years of earth history. Trail signage provides an insight into past climates, the formation of the ranges and the evolution of early forms of life.
Another popular scenic drive is the Bunyeroo-Brachina-Aroona Scenic Drive. This route combines the best the park has to offer – spectacular scenery, great opportunities for observing wildlife, interpreted geological history and European heritage.
There are four walks and 14 hikes within the park. Check out the map here The maps on the website are a guide only. Please collect further maps, brochures and information on the walking trails from the Wilpena Visitor Centre.
With so many options you may be wondering where to start?
- Select a walk or hike to suit your ability.
- Allow enough time to comfortably complete your hike before dark.
- Be prepared, and carry relevant maps, a compass, whistle, jacket and plenty of water (at least four litres of water per person for walks of more than two hours).
- Enter your details into the Bushwalkers Register at the Wilpena bushwalking trailhead if you are planning a walk of three or more hours.
- Inform a responsible person of your planned route and expected time of return. Searches will only be initiated if staff are informed that walkers are overdue.
- Study the trailhead signs and familiarise yourself with the checkpoints and landmarks. Hint: take a photo of the map and refer to it while hiking.
- Follow the markers, keep to the trail and enjoy!
What do the Ranger’s recommend?
- Admiring Adnyamathana rock paintings or etchings at Arkaroo Rock or Perawurtina cultural heritage sites. 2.
- Setting up camp at Aroona or Koolamon Campgrounds and viewing early morning light on the Heysen Range
- Taking a scenic drive through Bunyeroo Gorge to include Razorback Lookout for panoramic views of Wilpena Pound Experience the park by mountain bike and ride the long distance Mawson Trail which traverses the park using many fire access trails that offer spectacular views.
- Strolling along Wilpena Creek to Hill Homestead and then taking the hike up to Wangara lookouts for a unique view of the inside of Wilpena Pound.
- Visiting Brachina Gorge in the late afternoon to view a colony of yellow-footed rock-wallabies at Scree Slope
Do Not Forget Your…
- Marshmallows for roasting by the campfire
- Gumboots for all the flowing creeks and secret paths you might discover
- Camera to capture the beauty in winter and any wildlife friends you might make!
- Torch for fun camping games
- Pack a picnic for a great outing
- Board Games for camping fun
Know before you go …
Every national park is different, each has its own unique environment, it is important to be responsible while enjoying all the park has to offer.
Please ensure that you:
1. Leave your pets at home
2. Do not feed birds or other animals, it promotes aggressive behaviour and an unbalanced ecology
3. Do not bring generators (except where permitted), chainsaws or firearms into the park
4. Leave the park as you found it – there are no bins in national parks, please come prepared to take your rubbish with you.
5. Abide by the road rules (maintain the speed limit) respect geological and heritage sites
6. Do not remove native plants
7. Are considerate of other park users.
Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Dead wood plays a vital role in providing shelter for animals and adding nutrients to the soil.
Be sure to check our What’s On Page for great events happening this July in the park !