The natural delights of the Flinders Ranges and the Outback
You’ll understand exactly why poet Dorothea Mackellar described Australia as the ‘wide brown land’ once you’ve visited Flinders Ranges and Outback South Australia.
With uninterrupted vistas of endless arid plains, plus cliffs and craters and the occasional waterhole and wetland, you might wonder if you’ve somehow travelled back to the beginning of time.
The palette of this extraordinary landscape encompasses more than brown, however, with golden oranges, reds and pinks dominating sunsets and the many ancient geological wonders this land contains.
With some of the Southern Hemisphere’s darkest and clearest skies, at night you will be blanketed by an infinite galaxy of stars so you can enjoy some quality time with the Milky Way.
With plenty of hiking, guided tours, scenic flights, wildlife encounters and unforgettable experiences to have along the way, a drive through the Flinders Ranges and Outback is the road trip of a lifetime – with something for everyone.
Australian Aboriginals are the world’s oldest continuous culture with a history that dates back at least 60,000 years.
Warratyi in the Flinders Ranges is home to the oldest known site of their activity. This rock shelter contained artefacts and fossils that prove the Adnyamathanha people were living in the area around 49,000 years ago.
The region is rich with Indigenous history and spiritual significance, including cave paintings and rock engravings at Arkaroo Rock and Sacred Canyon. RACV Members can learn more about this incredible culture on tours here.
One of South Australia’s most popular and iconic tourist destinations is Ikara Flinders Ranges National Park. A five and a half hour drive north from Adelaide and you’ll be in 95,000 hectares of semi-arid spectacular scenery, including soaring mountain peaks, tree-lined gorges and show-stopping centrepiece, Ikara/Wilpena Pound.
Holding its own against other similarly red, rocky natural wonders, millions of years of erosion has formed this ‘amphitheatre’ which has ramparts measuring 8km by 17km, making it eight times larger than Uluru.
While there is no vehicle access into Wilpena Pound, which holds spiritual significance for the Aboriginal community given it was an ancient meeting place, you can bushwalk and hike there.
At the visitor information centre, you can also book guided cultural walks, 4WD tours or perhaps the best way to appreciate the vast scale, scenic flights.