As harsh as the outback conditions may be, there's just something irresistible about the Flinders Ranges that makes it so appealing to avid adventurers.
Find out what it is that draws visitors from across the country to this magical, breathtaking region.
1. Stay at Willow Springs Station
Home to the famous Skytrek 4WD track, and offering a wide range of accommodation options and activities (including horse riding and mountain bike riding), is the warm and welcoming Willow Springs Station.
Long-time owners Brendan and Carmel Reynolds have worked tirelessly to turn Willow Springs Station into a destination in itself, developing the existing shearers’ quarters into visitor accommodation, as well as establishing a number of private campsites on the station. Amazingly, it also continues to run as a working sheep station.
If there’s one place to set up base when you’re visiting the Flinders Ranges – this is it.
2. Skytrek 4WD track
A must-do, premier 4WD track for any outdoor enthusiast, the Skytrek has steadily become a major attraction of the region since its opening in 1995. The 60-odd kilometres of 4WD track winds its way around Willow Springs Station and up and over Mt Caernarvon, providing magnificent views of the Flinders Ranges.
The Skytrek track is accessible to vehicles with low range 4WD and is for experienced 4WDers only. The journey takes about six hours so you must start before 10.30am. Guided tours of the track are available, courtesy of the team at Willow Springs Station.
3. View Aboriginal rock art
There are numerous locations in the Flinders Ranges region where you can admire ancient aboriginal rock art. Recent upgrades to the more popular historic sites have seen informative signs erected close by the artworks, further adding to what is an already incredible experience.
Importantly, they ensure you can’t miss certain ancient engravings carved here many thousands of years ago, which are rather isolated in their location.
4. Visit Blinman
While the revitalised general store is a great place to refuel and grab a coffee, when visiting Blinman, you must embark on an underground tour of the nearby historic mine.
Once the richest copper mine in the Flinders, Blinman mine was developed soon after the discovery of copper in 1859 and produced more than 10,000 tonnes of copper. Some of the buildings in town even date back to those mining heydays. South of the town, the cemetery contains headstones enscribed with poignant testimonies to the harshness of the area and the dangers of working underground during that era.
6. Head to St Mary's Peak
Hit the tracks and make for the highest mountain in the Flinders Ranges.
From up top, the 4WD route winds along the high ridges to Upalinna Lookout, where stunning views of Wilpena Pound and its rugged eastern face await visitors. It then descends quickly to Willow Springs Homestead and back to the finish point of the track.
There’s also a tough 9 hour hike to the summit, however a good option is to make the journey over two days, as the weather often makes conditions more challenging.