The Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park covers 95, 000 hectares of the Central Flinders Ranges region. The Flinders is located 4 and half hours from Adelaide and is a perfect get away from the city into the outback of South Australia. In this Blog I will give you a detailed Itinerary for a 7 day road trip mainly in the central part of the flinders. The Flinders ranges is broken into 3 sections the Northern Flinders which is more remote, The southern Flinders which is located near Quorn and the Central Flinders which is located in Wilpena.
National Park Entrance
When visiting the National park you will need a SA Parks Pass for the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. There are multiple options available including day passes from $12 per vehicle to $48 for two months covering multiple national parks in South Australia. Find out more and get your pass online here. Being a national park, there are no dogs allowed in the park including at Wilpena Pound Resort. If you have a dog with you, you can stay at Rawnsley Park Station or one of the other stations.
The Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is easily accessible from Adelaide. Adelaide to Quorn: 337km or a 4-hour drive, It is about an hour drive to Wilpena Pound Resort. The mountain ranges of the Flinders really begin stretching north from Port Augusta, however, the official national park boundary begins just after Rawnsley Park Station on the Flinders Ranges Way. The central hub of the national park is Wilpena Pound, where you’ll find a resort, campground, fuel, small supermarket, information center, restaurant and a tour desk. Wilpena is accessed by a sealed road, but there are some parts of the national park that can only be accessed by dirt roads, with varying conditions.
Getting To The National Park
Pick whichever self-drive route from Adelaide which appeals to you the most. If you pick to take one of the sightseeing routes this wont count in your 7 days in the Flinders Ranges so make sure to add a couple of days either side of your road trip so you can take your time in each of the places you visit.
- Route 1 – Food and Wine trail via Clare: drive 143 km (89 miles) to Clare. You could easily add one night in Clare if time allows, then drive 219 km (136 miles) to Quorn via Laura, Wirrabara, Wilmington, and Alligator Gorge . Click Here for the Top places to visit for in Melrose. (Add Blog)
- Route 2 – Coastal Drive via Port Augusta: drive 306 km (190 miles) to Port Augusta via Port Wakefield, Port Pirie and Port Germein (add a few extra km for detours into the ports), then 41 km (25.5 miles)to Quorn. If time allows and you would like to extend your road trip head down the Yorke Peninsula. Click Here for a detailed 10 day Itinerary.
Days 1 and 2: Quorn and Southern Flinders Range
Things to do in Quorn and Hiking Trails:
Pichi Richi Railway – Half-day Steam Train tours leave from Quorn every weekend, so plan your trip accordingly and book ahead
Dutchman’s Stern – Hike the 10.5 km loop to the Dutchman’s Stern summit for spectacular views over the ranges and Gulf and fantastic Southern Flinders scenery.
Warren Gorge-There’s a nice 5.2km circuit walk that goes up the mountain to two lookouts and back through the camping area along the way you get nice views back into the valley.
Devils Peak – It climbs 275m in 1.4km but the view gets better as you climb up the mountain. There are red arrows to follow until you get to the rocky peak. Once up the top, you will be faced with steep rock faces.
Click Here to book a 3 day eco safari adventure from Adelaide.
Day 3– Wilpena Pound and Flinders Ranges National Park
Drive 1 hour and 20 minutes to Wilpena Pound Resort. This will be your base campground for the next 4 nights. Wilpena Pound Resort is the only accommodation within the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. The resort includes 15 glamping tents, 60 resort-style rooms and a large campground with 40 powered and 300 unpowered sites.
Facilities include: Camp kitchen, WIFI in Communal areas, Mountain Bike hire $65 per day, Amenities block, pool, a dump point and drinking water. There is also laundry Unpowered campsites are $30 per night and Powered sites from $35 per night. The resort also have hotel rooms from $270 and they also have Safari tents from $292 per night. Click Here to make a booking.
On the way to Wilpena make sure to stop past Kanyaka Homestead and a stop in the town of Hawker.
Places to see in Hawker:
-Walk out to castle rock or Police hill and get beautiful views over the town.
–Jeff Morgan Gallery which has painted panoramas, rock collections, model cars and memorabilia. Entry into the front part of the Gallery is free and out to the Panorama room is $15 per adult and a small fee of $2-$5 for children under 18, as of October 2022.
Day 3- In the afternoon
In the afternoon head out to Wangarra Lookout. The hike is 7km 3-3.5 hour return hike from Hills Homestead. The walk begins from the trailhead at the Wilpena Visitor Centre. The start of the walk is through the Pound Gap, following Wilpena Creek through tall river red gums and pines. After crossing Wilpena Creek and passing the water hole, the trail road ends next to an info shelter. At this point you can choose to continue along the walking trail, which is easier, or along the dirt road which climbs above Sliding Rock. The walk continues past Hills Homestead. From the homestead, the trail continues past an Adnyamathanha sculpture, climbing up the pound edge. The first lookout is 150 meters up the trail, with the second upper lookout a further climb and another 450 meters up the trail. Both lookouts have viewing platforms.
Day 4- Rawnsley Bluff
Wake up early and head out to Rawnsley Bluff Trail Carpark. From the carpark you have a few options.
– Hike up to Rawnsley Bluff which is 11.3km 5 hour return. The hike climbs the Wilpena Pound escarpment, providing views into the Pound from the Wilpena Pound Lookout and Rawnsley Bluff Summit.
– Ferntree Falls which is 4.7km 2 hour return. It is a easy trail to follow and is well marked. the terrain is quite rocky and there is a few hills. It is a moderate hike to the falls which flows after heavy rainfall.
-Twiddle Top which is 2km 45 minute return hike. a short hike up the rocky hill to the top. giving you beautiful views out to Rawnsley Bluff and the carpark.
For more walks at the park Click Here.
In the Afternoon as you head back to Wilpena Pound Resort. Stop past Arkaroo Rock. The hike is 3.1km 2 hour return. Arkaroo Rock is a significant cultural site for the Adnyamathanha people of the Flinders Ranges. This hike goes to a rock shelter with their rock paintings featuring ochre and charcoal images. It is quite a steady up hill and along rocks to the rock but is quite a short walk and has beautiful scenery of the surrounding mountains including Rawnsley Bluff.
Day 5- Bunyeroo Gorge
In the Morning head out to Bunyeroo Gorge. There are 2 options you can take the Bunyeroo road into the gorge, I would only recommend this road for cars with good clearance or Awd as the road is over the gorge and is quite a rough road. If you take the Bunyeroo Road stop past Bunyeroo gorge lookout, Razorback lookout, and welsh’s lookout on the way out to the gorge. The other option is to take the other dirt road past Trezona campground. This is still an unsealed road but if you don’t go up to Razorback Lookout and you just go to the Bunyeroo Gorge the road isn’t too bad for a 2wd just take the road slowly.
Head along the Bunyeroo Gorge trail. Although it says allow 5 hours we took it slow and did it in 2 hours return. The trail is 7.5km 3.5 hours return hike. Wander through Bunyeroo Gorge, a wide, peaceful gum-lined gorge framed by rugged rock formations. The trail is mostly in the broad creek bed, and is less of a walking trail and more of a wander down the creek .The hike begins from the Bunyeroo car park.
Day 6- Ohlssen Bagge
The hike 5.6km 4 hour return. The hike begins at Wilpena Visitor Center follow the main trail a short distance along Wilpena Creek into the Pound Gap, before branching off to begin the climb up Mount Ohlssen Bagge. The hike is a steep rocky climb to the summit of Mount Ohlssen Bagge, with rewarding views both inside and outside the Pound. The peak is 941 meters above sea level.
In the Afternoon
From Wilpena you can take the Heysen/Mawson trail to Bunyeroo Gorge. It’s about 15km one way. It is shared trail for cyclists and walkers. The trail to Willocola Campground is a beautiful single trail with great mountain views. The trail then turns quite rocky and turns into a old 4wd track. I would recommend taking a Mountain bike or walking along the trail. You can hire mountain bikes from the information center for $65 per day. If your lucky you may spot a yellow footed rock wallaby.
Day 7- Quorn
Today leave Wilpena resort, You have two options to get back to Quorn.
The first option is to head up to Blinman and out along Parachilna Gorge Road. I would only recommend this road if you have good clearance or an Awd. Don’t take any large vehicles or large caravans down here. Take the alternative route. This road is quite rough in areas and has a few dry bed creek crossings which would fill up after rainfall. It is a beautiful drive and has some awesome free campgrounds. The other way out is heading back down to Hawker and out to Quorn.