Flinders Ranges Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Flinders Ranges

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    LOOKOUT ON THE LEIGH CREEK ROAD

    by balhannah Written Jun 6, 2012

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    Coming out of the Moralana scenic drive, we turn left onto the Leigh Creek road. Just a little way down the road, was a Brown tourist sign with a camera on it, this means a good viewpoint, so in we pulled to the parking area on the RH side of the road.
    Well what a wonderful view we had of the Flinders Ranges, it was fantastic!
    There were information boards, showing and naming which Mountains we were seeing.
    A stone cairn commemorating the Overland Telegraph line is also at the lookout point.

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    MORALANA SCENIC DRIVE

    by balhannah Written Jun 6, 2012

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    Quoted as being one of the most scenic drives in the Flinders Ranges....I totally agree!

    The dirt road leads through private property, coming out on the Leigh creek road. It is suitable most of the year for 2WD cars.
    At the start, we crossed over a Cattle grid, this keeps the Cattle in the property, and we don't have to open and shut a gate. Cattle along the way are grazing freely, so be careful if you come across some on the road.
    The scenery along this road is stunning! If I was driving, I would have been stopping a lot more for photos! We drove along this road, often following a river with many river red gums on the LH side, and following the southern wall of Wilpena Pound, seeing Red Range, Elder Range and more on the RH Side.

    The drive is a must for all those who visit the Flinders and is best east to west in the morning and west to east in the afternoon if you can possibly do this.

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    SAD STORY OF THE TOWN OF "WILSON"

    by balhannah Updated Jun 5, 2012

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    Wilson was once a town of around 100 people who had come here after a decade of excellent rains and many good seasons during the 1870s.
    These farmers ignored Goyder's Line, believing the good seasons would continue. The influx of people caused the government to resume pastoral leases and re-survey and subdivide them for agricultural blocks and new towns to service them.

    The new town of Wilson was surveyed in 1880, on land which had previously been part of the Kanyaka pastoral run. It was considered "a waterless spot,' with 174 blocks with a railway through the centre.

    With an average rainfall of 30 centimetres a year, and hopes of more, more farmers flocked to Wilson and its surrounds to buy properties of 500 or 1,000 acres, at one pound per acre. Most ignored an important fact, there was no natural water supply.
    Two-roomed stone or weatherboard cottages were built, wheat crops sown as soon as possible. Unfortunately for the young Wilson farmers and their families, the unusual wet seasons had ended.

    Even though this setback happened, a Hotel, general store, butcher and a Wesleyan chapel were opened during 1882. A school was also conducted in the chapel with as many as 15 students attending.

    By June 1883, the railway siding was very busy moving about 3,000 tons of wheat from Wilson by rail. A number of offices, a goodshed, station master's house and additional offices and sheep yards sprang up.
    Good or poor harvests, rain, hail or earthquakes, Mouse plagues, the people of Wilson made the best of it and carried on.

    By 1933 the town population had declined to only 56 and kept on declining, with the last wheat crop being sown in 1947. The last farmer left in 1952, followed by the last resident in 1954.

    After almost 75 years, the land had beaten these poor souls who worked so hard to make a living.
    Now, all that is left, is the Station Master's house and another ruins.

    What a sad true story, one of many in this part of Australia.

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    WILPENA POUND

    by balhannah Updated Jun 5, 2012
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    At last we reached our most northerly point of what we were seeing in the Flinders, and that was Wilpena Pound.
    As we had been here before, we didn't do any of the walks, we just enjoyed some time here. The Wilpena Pound Visitor Information Centre was new, this is where you can collect plenty of information about the National Park.

    There are many walking trails in the area ranging from easy to challenging, lots of flora and fauna, we saw Emus grazing by the Info Centre. Really, all you can do here is either walk or relax. Walks take you to geological formations, ancient gorges and Aboriginal rock art.
    4WD tours and scenic flights operate daily.

    You can camp or stay in luxury, your choice, and don't forget to pay your fees at the Centre.
    The "Pound" is a natural ampitheatre, 17km long and 8 km wide, with the highest point, St Mary's Peak which is 1188 metres above sea level. It is a huge flat plain covered in scrub and trees and totally surrounded by jagged hills which form a rim.

    It is a bushwalkers dream!

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    RAWNSLEY BLUFF - STATION HILL LOOK-OUT

    by balhannah Written Jun 5, 2012

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    Another detour, this time into Rawnsley station and to the Station Hill look-out for great views of Rawnsley Bluff and Wilpena Pound. It was afternoon, and the clouds started to build up over the Bluff making it quite dull for photos.
    The Station is located at the base of the Bluff, you can stay in accommodation at the Station.

    There is a trail for people who can walk classified {hard track} of 12.6 kms, taking approx 5 hours. From Rawnsley Bluff, you will see a spectacular view of the South and West of Wilpena Pound.

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    ELDER RANGE LOOKOUT

    by balhannah Written Jun 5, 2012
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    A little further along the road from the Arkaba Hills lookout, is another roadside parking area named the "Elder Range lookout."

    What I read in the tourist brochure.....
    "The Elder Range is an iconic symbol of what outback South Australia means. The magnificent mountains are overwhelming from every angle and show the natural formation of the land for over a billion years."

    I think that sums it up well.
    Stop and enjoy the wonderful view!

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    ARKABA HILLS LOOKOUT

    by balhannah Updated Jun 5, 2012

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    View from Arkaba Hills lookout
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    We leave Hawker behind and head north towards Wilpena Pound, when at the 22km mark, we came across the Arkaba Hills Lookout. These were the Hills that inspired a wonderful South Australia artist - Sir Hans Heysen, he loved painted the Flinders Ranges and the beautiful gum trees. His paintings of these hills brought him world wide recognition.
    Pull in, as it is much safer to take photo's from here, than parked on the side of the road.

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    YOURAMBULLA CAVES -ABORIGINAL ARTWORK

    by balhannah Updated Jun 5, 2012

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    If you see a Brown tourist sign with Yourambulla Caves, then head here, as it's an Aboriginal art site in a cave.
    There is a parking area [full sun] and more than one walking trail here, I have always walked the trail to the left of the entrance gate which takes me to Yourambulla Cave. There are a number of paintings and etchings in rock shelters or caves in this part of the Yappala Hills, the other trails would lead to these.

    The cave contains many paintings, all in excellent condition as they are behind wire. OK, the wire does spoil the photo if you want one of the whole cave, but it does allow for individual photos of the paintings, I was happy! On the upside, it has preserved the paintings.
    There is also an interpretive sign showing the meaning of the painted symbols used. The age and purpose of the paintings are not known but they are thought to relate to the dreaming or ceremonies associated with this site.

    The site is FREE TO VISIT.
    Allow approx 1.5hours for the walk

    ## Check my warnings tip for the walk.

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    YOURAMBULLA CAVES - THE VIEWS

    by balhannah Written Jun 5, 2012

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    This was my second visit to these caves, and I'm happy to say, there is now a good stairway to the Caves where Aboriginal paintings are.

    The name Yourambulla is derived from the Adnyamathanha phrase "yura pilla", meaning two men, and is related to the two peaks (to the east of the painting sites).

    QUOTE.....
    " In Adnyamathanha legend, two men of different kinship, "arraru" and "mathari", camped where the two peaks now stand, to eat part of a man they were carrying. It is thought that the smaller peak is the "mathari" man and that the larger the "arraru" man"
    Once you have entered the cave, take time to also look out and view the far reaching plains which nestle below Yourambulla Peak, it's impressive! Cars in the car-park could be seen and they looked like Ants, we really were quite high up!

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    KANYAKA CEMETERY

    by balhannah Written Jun 5, 2012

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    I really enjoy old cemeteries and I nearly missed this one. I don't know if it is signposted or not, if not, look for it across the creek from the homestead ruins.

    It is fenced off and rather over-run. Wandering around, I found an old grave, with a photo of the deceased person.
    Worth having a browse around.

    Interesting, Hugh Proby wasn't buried here.

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    KANYAKA HOMESTEAD RUINS

    by balhannah Written Jun 5, 2012

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    The Kanyaka ruins cover quite an area. No wonder, as leases at Kanyaka Station in 1856, totalled 365 square miles or 240000 acres (945 square km or 94500 hectares). This was one huge holding!

    In February 1852, the ill fated Hugh Proby established this huge cattle station, in the same year as he lost his life.

    In the following years, the station grew in size until it was one of the largest in the district with 70 families living and working there. Transport was difficult, so the Station was mostly self-sufficient. Kanyaka station grew to include a large homestead, cottages for workers, workshops, huts and sheds, mostly built from local stone. The main building is the homestead, consisting of 16 rooms with 18 inch (46 cm) thick walls of stone and mortar construction. This housed the manager, his family and servants.

    Later, the station switched from cattle to sheep, but had cows, pigs, and vegetable gardens to supply food for the residents. The woolshed was one of the largest in the state and provided room for 24 blade shearers who sheared thousands of sheep on fairly confined shearing floors.
    The Great Northern Railway also ran parallel to Kanyaka Station, we could see where the old narrow gauge railway would have run.

    The name "Kanyaka" [big rock], maybe referring to the nearby "Death Rock" at Kanyaka Waterhole).

    It is FREE to visit and walk around. The ruins are in quite good condition, all signposted so you can reflect on what was happening in these rooms so many years ago.
    As you drive down the hill, you may want to stop for a photo, as from here, there is a good view of the whole homestead area.

    There is plenty of parking, picnic areas and walking trails.

    Don't miss these ruins!

    They have a Brown tourist signpost on the main Quorn to Hawker road. The road in was dirt, in good condition at the time.

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    PROBYS GRAVE

    by balhannah Updated Jun 5, 2012

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    Very close to Buckaringa Gorge is Proby's Grave.

    Hugh Proby was a young man who came out with a large sum of money from Scotland, hoping to purchase land to run Sheep and Cattle north of Quorn. He took out a lease on the station " Kanyaka" which are in ruins now as we saw later in the Flinders Ranges.

    Thunderstorms during the night had caused a mob of Cattle to stampede, so he and an Aborignal stockman went to find them, only to find the creek swollen on the return journey. He tried to cross it, and lost his life doing so. He was 24 yrs old.

    Six years after his death, his brothers and sisters had a granite slab shipped out from Scotland for his grave. It arrived at Port Augusta, from where a Bullocky team brought it to where it is today.
    It was estimated to weigh 1.5 tonnes.

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    OLD LIME KILN

    by balhannah Written Jun 5, 2012

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    At the beginning of the track to Death rock, is some old lime burning pits. These were connected with Kanyaka homestead, as they were used in the construction of the buildings. Lime made good building mortar and was used as a stabilizer in mud renders and floors.

    Check out the nearby rock formations, some interesting ones here!

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    DEATH ROCK

    by balhannah Written Jun 5, 2012

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    Death Rock
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    Death Rock, the name intrigued!

    Parking the car, we walked to where it was located next to the Kanyaka Waterhole. I could see the huge 7 metre high rock perched above the beautiful waterhole.

    This rock was important to the Aboriginal people for several reasons. Firstly, beside the rock was a permanent source of water and therefore an important campsite.
    Secondly, the rock gave good solid shade, therefore the Aboriginal people would bring those near death to lie in its shadow until they finally passed away.

    Be prepared to clamber over the big, water worn boulders to reach the Rock. The view of the waterhole is pretty good from here!

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    KANYAKA WATERHOLE

    by balhannah Written Jun 5, 2012

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    As we travelled towards Hawker, we saw a sign to Death Rock & KANYAKA WATERHOLE.

    DON'T DRIVE STRAIGHT PAST, but stop and go for the short walk and you will love what you see!

    It was WOW!.....

    The prettiness of the waterhole took my breath away, it was so beautiful and so calm with many nice reflections.
    It's known as Kanyaka waterhole, and was the water supply for the nearby Kanyaka homestead. Spring fed, it hardly ever runs dry.
    Apart from the waterhole, the rest of the River was dry, with magnificent Redgums growing along it. There was water trapped in amongst the giant, water worn boulders, be careful with children here, as they could easily fall and drown.
    I could hear birds and see Kangaroo tracks, at dusk you would see plenty of wildlife here.

    Plenty of sand surrounding the waterhole, this certainly is an "oasis" in the Flinders Ranges, one I imagine would be very popular in the hot, Summer months.

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