Friday, February 5, 2010

Sa- Flinders Ranges

We left Clare, heading west towards the Eyre Peninsula and as the next few days were to be in the low 30’s we decided to visit the Flinders Ranges as we had heard so much about their beauty.
Heading towards our destination, Wilpena Pound, we passed through the lovely old towns of Quorn and Hawker. Between Quorn and Port Augusta the Pichi Richi railway runs steam train journeys on the weekends between April and October. It would be a lovely trip through the many gorges and viewing the spectacular ranges.
The weather, however, did not go according to plan. The day we arrived it was in the mid 30’s so we spent the afternoon by the pool. The next day it was in the 40’s, so rather than the bush walks that we had planned, we drove around the area on some of the many four wheel drive tracks. We traveled over 160klms through gorges, over the hills and around Wilpena Pound which is probably the most well known part of the park. It is shaped like a giant crater, 17 klm x 8 klm which was formed by an ancient mountain eroding away over 600 million years.
There were many ruins throughout the park, made from local rock and stone,which shows how harsh living in this area would have been for the early settlers. Wherever you look, there is something interesting to see.
As well as four wheel drive tracks there are many walking and bicycle trails. One of these is a 200 klm loop around the National park for mountain bike enthusiasts.
The northern town of Parachilna, is known in the area for its’ pub which has a dish called the “feral plate”. This includes camel, kangaroo, emu and local produce. I have been told that it is delicious. The pub was closed the day that we were there so we didn’t have the opportunity to sample. Instead we went to the Blinman pub and had one of their delicious lamb burgers. This particular pubs’ claim to fame is the Camp Oven “cook off”. Competitors from all over the world arrive in October chasing the $5,000.00 prize to create a gourmet meal in the traditional Australian camp oven.
We have been told that the Flinders area is stunning in spring when the wild flowers are in bloom. That would be something to see. We’ll have to put that in diary for another year.

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