Behold Millions of Years' Worth of Beauty at Flinders Ranges National Park

If you’re looking to explore Australia’s rugged Outback, yet simultaneously steer clear of tourists, head to one of Australia’s premier national landscapes- Flinders Ranges National Park. Flinders Ranges National Park is located in South Australia and is home to the state’s largest mountain range. Flinders Ranges National Park holds special importance due to its geological, natural and cultural significance.

The best way to get to Flinders Ranges National Park is by way of Adelaide. Consider making plans with Budget car hire, so you have a reliable form of transportation to make the 450 km trek north of Adelaide, to the park. The 912 square kilometer park is situated between the townships of Hawker and Blinman. Once you arrive, you can begin to learn more about the geological history, Aboriginal rock art sites, and begin to experience the stunning environment the same way the Adnyamathanha people did.

During the Cambrian period, about 540 million years ago, the area underwent a geological change that folded and faulted the earth, resulting in the mountain range you see today, albeit a bit less elevated due to millennia of erosion. Due to the area’s age and unique geological characteristics, the park hosts an amazing array of rock types and formations. However the local Aboriginal people, the Adnyamathanha, didn’t find meaning to this land in geology. They created meaning with their Yura Muda which endowed the physical features of the ranges with spiritual meaning. The center of this spiritual meaning is symbolized in the area’s iconic natural landmark, Wilpena Pound. 

Wilpena Pound, known as Ikara to the Adnyamathanha people, is a naturally formed amphitheater covering 80 square kilometers. The high walls of the sickle shaped amphitheater are formed by bunches of the ubiquitous Pound Quartzite in synclinal structure. Native people refer to Wipena Pound as “the meeting place.” You can start your adventure here at the Wilpena Pound Visitor Information Center, as you decide how you want to take advantage of this wondrous land. 

The national park allows camping and has numerous trails to offer for hiking. The Heysen Trail and Mawson Trail are both popular trails that pass through the park. For those in peak physical condition, consider hiking the trail up St. Mary’s Peak, which is the highest peak in the range (1,170 meters). There are plenty of other sights and places to explore at Flinders Ranges: Wangarra Lookout & Hills Homestead, Old Wilpena Station, Stokes Hill Lookout, Brachina Gorge Geological Trail and Bunyeroo Valley, the Moralana Scenic Drive, the Sacred Canyon and finally, the Cazneaux Tree. With all of this to see and do, there’s no doubt you will leave Flinders Ranges National Park with a newfound appreciation for the land, and in awe of it, much like the Adnyamathanha people still are, to this day.


Posted By jasonhall

Updated : 25th October 2021 | Words : 463 | Views : 23897

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