Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

  • Information Office
  • Showers
  • Accomm
  • Picnic Areas
  • Kiosk
  • Campfires Permitted
  • Caravan Sites
  • BBQ Facilities
  • Toilets
  • Guided Tours
  • Camping
  • Disabled Toilets
  • 4WD
  • Rock Climbing
  • Walking Trails
  • Bird Watching
  • Cycling
PDF Park Brochure
Alerts 3

Full park closure

The whole of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park will be closed from Monday, 20 March 2017 until Thursday, 23 March 2017 with the following exceptions.
Details >

Partial park closure

The following tracks and walking trails within Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park will be closed every night between Thursday, 3 November 2016 and Saturday, 30 September 2017.
Details >

Parts of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park will be closed from 6pm on Wednesday 30 November 2016 until 6am on Wednesday 1 March 2017.
Details >

Photo by Bridgette Doudy
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Photo by Bridgette Doudy
Photo by Bridgette Doudy
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Ikara Flinders Ranges SA map

Rugged mountain ranges, dramatic gorges, peaceful creeks lined with river red gums and abundant wildlife is just the beginning of what awaits you at one of South Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. 

Experience the park’s spectacular scenery along an excellent network of walking trails. This park is renowned for its Aboriginal rock art sites, geological history, impressive fossils and well-preserved cultural heritage.

Tag your Instagram pics with #ikaraflindersrangesnationalpark to see them displayed on this page.

Ikara Flinders Ranges SA map

Rugged mountain ranges, dramatic gorges, peaceful creeks lined with river red gums and abundant wildlife is just the beginning of what awaits you at one of South Australia’s most popular tourist destinations. 

Experience the park’s spectacular scenery along an excellent network of walking trails. This park is renowned for its Aboriginal rock art sites, geological history, impressive fossils and well-preserved cultural heritage.

Tag your Instagram pics with #ikaraflindersrangesnationalpark to see them displayed on this page.

About

Ancient and rugged mountain landscapes, peaceful tree-lined gorges and a seasonal wealth of wildlife. The sense of space unique to the semi-arid zone combine to make Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park one of South Australia’s iconic destinations.

The park comprises approximately 95,000 hectares. It includes the Heysen Range, Brachina and Bunyeroo gorges and the vast amphitheatre of mountains that is Wilpena Pound. Experience the native wildlife, rich cultural heritage, impressive geological features, camping opportunities and a range of activities including bushwalking, four-wheel driving, birdwatching, photography and cycling.

Opening hours

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Wilpena Pound Visitor Information Centre is open 8am-5pm daily.

Please note that seasonal closures may occur during summer months, please refer to the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park (Wilpena Pound) summer closures map for more information.

Old Wilpena Station is open 8am-5pm daily, with the 'Living with Land' walk only open during daylight hours.

On days of Catastrophic Fire Danger all walking trails are closed for safety purposes.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Contact details

Wilpena Visitor Centre

Phone: (+61 8) 8648 0048
Email: VisitorsCentre@wilpenapound.com

When to visit

Mild temperatures from April to October make this period the most comfortable for bushwalking and cycling. During the summer months, maximum temperatures range from 30ºC to 45ºC. 

Getting there

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is situated approximately 450 kilometres north of Adelaide, in the central Flinders Ranges. 

From Adelaide, take one of several routes to Hawker, then follow the signs to Wilpena. 

If travelling from Leigh Creek in the north, head south to Parachilna, and enter the park from either the north or the west. You can also head east from Leigh Creek towards Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park, then follow the signs south to the park. 

If approaching from Broken Hill, turn north at Yunta on the Arkaroola Road and follow signs to Blinman.

The main road through the park and into Wilpena Pound is sealed. Unsealed roads with changing surfaces occur throughout the park and may be affected by weather conditions. All public roads are accessible by two-wheel drive vehicles, caravans and trailers.

Please drive slowly and respect other road users.

Up to date information on road conditions can be found on the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) website.

Pets in parks

Pets are not permitted within this park. There are however, a number of South Australian National Parks where you can take your dog on a lead. 

Facilities

There are a variety of facilities available in the park, including: toilets, disabled toilet, an information office, showers, accommodation, picnic areas, kiosk, campfire areas, caravan sites, BBQ areas, guided tours, camping and campsites.

Old Wilpena Woolshed is available to hire for a fee.

Wilpena Pound Resort

Facilities include toilets, showers, fuel, a visitor information centre, public phone, ATM, internet access, picnic tables and shelters, laundry facilities and a general store. You can also access a swimming pool, bar and restaurant at the nearby Wilpena Pound Resort. 

Bookings are taken for powered sites and permanent tents at Wilpena Pound Resort or the Wilpena Pound Visitor Information Centre.

Useful information

  • Mobile phone coverage can be patchy and unreliable in this park, especially if you are in low-lying areas.

Outback Road Report

1300 361 033 (24-hour automated service)
Northern and Western South Australian Outback Roads Temporary Closures, Restrictions and Warnings Report

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.

Take a virtual tour

Take a virtual tour of this park, see what the Flinders Ranges have to offer you with views of Wilpena Pound, the Aroona and Pug, Pine Hut, Parachilna Gorge and more.

Pests and diseases

Phytophthora (fy-TOFF-thora), otherwise known as root-rot fungus, is killing our native plants and threatens the survival of animals depending on plants for food and shelter.

This introduced fungus can be found in plant roots, soil and water. Help stop the spread by using hygiene stations, staying on tracks and trails and by complying with all Phytophthora management signs.

Traditional owners

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park has a rich and complex cultural heritage combining Aboriginal and pastoral history. The park is co-managed by a board consisting of Adnyamathanha and Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources representatives. The Adnyamathanha people (meaning hills or rock people) are the traditional custodians of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. Their connection with the land stretches back many thousands of years. Ancient rock paintings and engravings can be seen at Arkaroo Rock, Sacred Canyon and Perawurtina Cultural Heritage Site.

Words from the Adnyamathanha people

As the traditional owners of this amazing part of the country, we have a cultural responsibility to ensure your physical and spiritual wellbeing is well-looked-after during your stay. There are many cultural treasures to be found whilst you visit our Yarta. We invite you to learn about our culture and social history; however, we ask that you exercise your role as a respectful and responsible traveller to assist us in protecting them for future generations. Take your time, walk in our footprints, and share our story. Familiarise yourself with the richness of our Yarta and appreciate the wildlife, landscape, cultural richness and more. We will do our best to highlight areas of strong cultural importance and we ask that you treat them with the respect and reverence they deserve.

Aboriginal South Australians are the first peoples of our State and have occupied, enjoyed and managed these lands and waters since the creation. For SA's First Peoples, creation ancestors laid down the laws of the Country and bestowed a range of customary rights and obligations to the many Aboriginal Nations across our state. 

Aboriginal peoples' oral histories and creation stories traverse the length and breadth of Australia’s lands and waters, including South Australian Parks. These stories interconnect land and waters with complex meaning and values and hold great cultural significance. We recognise and respect Aboriginal people's ownership of their stories and that they hold rights and obligations to care for Country. It is through these rights and cultural obligations and a shared goal to protect the environment for generations to come that DEWNR is committed to meaningful collaboration and involvement with Aboriginal peoples in the management of our shared parks.

History

Early settler heritage

When European settlers moved into the Flinders Ranges in the 1840s their arrival was not welcomed by the Adnyamathanha people. However, the settlers discovered that the land was rich enough to fatten their stock, and so colonisation of the northern Flinders Ranges began.

The settlers established themselves in the areas of Wilpena, Arkaba and Aroona. These were the choice areas with easy access to water. Conflicts soon arose between the settlers and local people who were now denied the water that had always been available to them. In retaliation, the Adnyamathanha people stole the settlers' sheep which resulted in murders and reprisal killings. However, despite these clashes Aboriginal stockmen and housekeepers later became an integral part of station life.

Today many Adnyamathanha people live and work in the area. Nepabunna in the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges, Leigh Creek and Port Augusta are central settlements for the Adnyamathanha people. Rock art, stone arrangements, occupation sites, graves and ochre quarries are reminders of the area's cultural heritage and are of significance to the Adnyamathanha peoples' connection to country.

By 1863, European settlement had spread far beyond the ranges. Copper mining was booming and the track from Port Augusta was busy with bullock teams heading north with mining equipment and stores, and south with copper and wool.

From 1864 to 1866 no rain fell over the ranges causing the widespread saltbush plains to be stripped bare. Huge stock losses were recorded and several species of native animals became extinct. Many runs were deserted and mining came to a standstill.

When the rain returned, grasses replaced the saltbush, deserted runs were reoccupied and fences and boundary riders replaced shepherds.

Today, the pastoral industry continues with greatly improved practices and sustainable quantities of stock. Fluctuating commodity prices have forced pastoralists to diversify in recent years, with many local pastoralist families developing tourism operations on their own properties.

Old Wilpena Station

There are many historical remains from pastoral and mining activities, dating back to 1851 at the restored Old Wilpena Station. The award-winning interpretive trail tells the stories of early pastoral life.

Old Wilpena Station is one of the most scenically spectacular pastoral settlements in South Australia. A working station for 135 years, Old Wilpena Station slipped into retirement in 1985. The settlement is now a tranquil archive of pastoral history.

Old Wilpena Station is also an important Aboriginal heritage site. Wilpena Pound and the Wilpena Station lands have enduring cultural significance for the Adnyamathanha people of the Flinders Ranges.

See and do

Rangers recommend

We have picked the brains of our park rangers to find out what they would recommend you see and do whilst visiting this park.

  • Admiring Adnyamathana rock paintings or etchings at Arkaroo Rock or Perawurtina cultural heritage sites.
  • Setting up camp at Aroona or Koolamon Campgrounds and viewing early morning light on the Heysen Range
  • Taking a scenic drive through Bunyeroo Gorge to include Razorback Lookout for panoramic views of Wilpena Pound
  • Strolling along Wilpena Creek to Hill Homestead and then taking the hike up to Wangara lookouts for a unique view of the inside of Wilpena Pound.
  • Visiting Brachina Gorge in the late afternoon to view a colony of yellow-footed rock-wallabies at Scree Slope.

Bushwalking

There are four walks and 14 hikes within the park. The maps on this website are a guide only. Please collect further maps, brochures and information on the walking trails from the Wilpena Visitor Centre.

Please note: On days of Catastrophic Fire Danger all walking trails are closed for safety purposes.

Where to start?

  1. Select a walk or hike to suit your ability.
  2. Allow enough time to comfortably complete your hike before dark.
  3. Be prepared, and carry relevant maps, a compass, whistle, jacket and plenty of water (at least four litres of water per person for walks of more than two hours).
  4. Enter your details into the Bushwalkers Register at the Wilpena bushwalking trailhead if you are planning a walk of three or more hours.
  5. Inform a responsible person of your planned route and expected time of return. Searches will only be initiated if staff are informed that walkers are overdue.
  6. Study the trailhead signs and familiarise yourself with the checkpoints and landmarks. Hint: take a photo of the map and refer to it while hiking.
  7. Follow the markers, keep to the trail and enjoy!

Easy walks

  • Hills Homestead Walk (2 hrs return, 6.6km)

    Pioneering heritage inside Wilpena Pound.

  • Living with Land Walk (2 hrs return, 1km)

    Aboriginal people, European settlers and their descendents share the pastoral heritage of the Flinders Ranges. This self-guided walk discovers the themes of self-sufficiency, improvisation and survival in the remote and isolated pastoral settlements of the Flinders Ranges.

    Access: Old Wilpena Station. Fee applies.

  • Sacred Canyon Walk (30 mins return, 500m)

    A short walk along a gum-lined creek leads to the site where ancient Aboriginal rock engravings are found in smooth sandstone walls. The images representing animal tracks, people and waterholes, have been pecked into the sheer rock faces with stone tools. Some images are very weathered and are best seen in the soft light of morning or afternoon. Out of respect for the Adnyamathanha culture please do not touch the engravings.

    Access: begins from the Sacred Canyon car park, located 19 kilometres south-east of Wilpena off the Hawker - Blinman Road.

  • Wilpena Solar Power Station Walk (30 mins return, 500m)

    Discover the large Solar Power Station which supplies Wilpena with energy. A short walk to the lookout will give you a view of the set up.

    Access: begins from the Solar Power Station car park, one kilometre from Wilpena on the main road.

Moderate hikes

  • Trezona Hike (4 hrs return, 8km)

    Magnificent views of the open grassland country of Heysen Range. Discover some of the earliest life forms on earth in the Trezona geological formation. This area was heavily grazed when the park was a pastoral property.

    Access: begins from Trezona Campground, 40 kilometres north of Wilpena along the Brachina Gorge Road.

    Map and trail brochure

  • Boom and Bust Hike (1 hr 30 mins, 2km)

    This loop trail contains a wide array of flora with a colourful display of wildflowers present in spring months.

    Access: begins from the bushwalking trailhead at the Wilpena Visitor Centre complex.

  • Arkaroo Rock Hike (2 hrs return, 3km)

    Admire Adnyamathanha rock paintings featuring ochre and charcoal images that tell the creation story of Wilpena Pound. Enjoy spectacular views of the Chace Range at sunset. The rock paintings are best seen in morning light.

    Access: begins from the Arkaroo Rock car park, 17 kilometres south of Wilpena on the Hawker-Blinman Road.

  • Bunyeroo Gorge Hike (3 hrs 30 mins return, 7.5km)

    This peaceful gum-lined gorge is framed by rugged rock formations. The gorge provides great opportunities for observing the native wildlife. Bullock teams and coaches transporting copper, mail and produce used the gorge in the 19th century to access the western plains.

    Access: begins from the Bunyeroo car park, 18 kilometres north of Wilpena along the Bunyeroo Gorge Road.

  • Bunyeroo and Wilcolo Creek Hike (2 hrs 30 mins return, 7.5km)

    "Enjoy views of Wilpena Pound, escape the heat under the shade of native pine groves along the hilltops of the ABC range.

    Access: begins from the Bunyeroo car park, 18 kilometres north of Wilpena along the Bunyeroo Gorge Road.

    Map and trail brochure

  • Bridle Gap Hike (6 hrs, 18.8km)

    The trail, which forms part of the famous Heysen Trail, bisects the floor of Wilpena Pound. A variety of mallee, native pine and heath habitats provide excellent opportunities for keen naturalists to observe local birds including wrens, robins, parrots and raptors.

    Access: begins from the bushwalking trailhead at the Wilpena Visitor Centre complex.

Hard hikes

  • Aroona to Youngoona Hike (7 hrs one way, 15.4km)

    This day walk tells the story of pastoral heritage with beautiful views and contrasting rock formations. You will follow the footsteps of early shepherds and discover the ruins of old pastoral runs. Pass through contrasting rock formations and plant communities while enjoying views of the ABC, Heysen and Trezona ranges.

    Access: begins from the Aroona car park, 50 kilometres north of Wilpena.

    Map and trail brochure

  • Malloga Falls Hike (9 hrs, 23.2km)

    A long flat trail that traverses the floor of Wilpena Pound to the spectacular rock faces of Edeowie Gorge and the stunning Malloga Falls. Beyond Cooinda Camp, bushwalkers need to be experienced and possess navigational skills.

    Prior to commencing this hike, bushwalkers must discuss their route with the Wilpena Visitor Centre staff. Please note, this trail is closed during summer months of December, January and February.

    Access: begins from the bushwalking trailhead at the Wilpena Visitor Centre complex.

  • Mount Ohlssen Bagge Hike (4 hrs, 6.4km)

    Steep rocky inclines followed by rewarding views of Wilpena Pound and the surrounding area. Spot the diverse reptiles which frequent this area whilst being surrounded by the magnificent view.

    Access: begins from the bushwalking trailhead at the Wilpena Visitor Centre complex.

    Please note, this trail is closed during summer months od December, January and February

  • Red Hill Lookout Hike (4 hrs return, 9km)

    Take in the view of Aroona Valley and beyond.

    Access: begins from the Aroona car park, 50 kilometres north of Wilpena. Quite steep in sections.

  • St Mary Peak Hike – Ngarri Mudlanha (Direct route: 6 hrs return, 14.6km. Loop route: 9 hrs, 21.5km)

    St Mary Peak (1171m above sea level) is central to the Adnyamathanha creation story. For this reason the Adnyamathanha people of the Flinders Ranges would prefer that visitors do not climb to the summit of the peak. The shorter option to Tanderra Saddle also affords spectacular views.

    Cooinda Camp is an overnight walkers camp site within Wilpena Pound. Gas or liquid fuel stoves only. No water or toilet facilities are available.

    Access: begins from the bushwalking trailhead at the Wilpena Visitor Centre complex. Rangers recommend you leave on this hike no later than 9 am (or 10 am during Daylight Saving hours).

    Please note, this trail is closed during summer months od December, January and February

  • Wangara Lookout Hike, including Hills Homestead Walk (Lower Lookout Hike: 3 hrs return, 7.2km. Upper Lookout Hike: 3 hrs 30 mins return, 7.8km)

    Follow Wilpena Creek through towering River Red Gums, native pines, scented acacias and a seasonal array of wildflowers for spectacular panoramic views of Wilpena Pound. ‘Ikara’, the local Adnyamathanha peoples’ name for Wilpena Pound, is a natural rock formation resulting from millions of years of erosion. The lower lookout is 300m on from Hills Homestead. Continue on another 300m to the upper lookout.

  • Wilkawillina Gorge Hike (6 hrs one way, 11.4km)

    This gorge is the habitat of the native Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby. Spot the wallabies on the unique geological features of this gorge. The permanent water source is in contrast to its drier surrounds.

    Access: begins at the Wilkawillina car park. 45 kilometres north-east of Wilpena off the Oraparinna – Wirrealpa Road.

  • Yuluna Hike (4 hrs return, 8km)

    From the historic Aroona homestead and the restored pug and pine hut experience the landscape which inspired the famous artist Hans Heysen.

    Access: begins from the Aroona car park, 50 kilometres north of Wilpena.

    Map and trail brochure

Treks

  • The Heysen Trail

    This is a long distance walking trail, which traverses the state’s principal mountain ranges between Cape Jervis, on the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula in the south, to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges in the north. This trail passes through some of the most diverse areas in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park.

    Many of the walking trails within the park utilise parts of this long-distance trail. Walkers may choose to undertake whole sections of the Heysen Trail. It is important that walkers purchase the relevant 1:50 000 topographic maps before commencing the following hikes: - Wilpena to Yanyanna Hike (Hard) - Yayanna to Trezona Hike (Moderate) - Tezona to Aroona Hike (Moderate)

Mountain biking

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park has fantastic mountain biking opportunities for visitors. The Mawson Trail and several roads provide access to some of the most stunning scenery in the park.

For a great cycling experience, the long distance cycling trail, the Mawson Trail, traverses the park uses many fire access trails that offer spectacular views. The Mawson Trail is accessible from Wilpena, Yanyanna and Trezona. 

The park also contains sections of the Flinders Ranges by Bike loop. Contact the Visitor Centre for information on the cycle loop. Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park partners with neighbouring land holders to promote the Flinders Ranges by Bike loop.

Information on water availability en route is available at the Wilpena Visitor Centre. Please carry appropriate equipment including a puncture repair and first aid kit.

Learn more about cycling in SA's parks, including other parks offering cycle tracks, trail classification and read the trail user code of practice for important points to remember when planning your bike ride.

Stay in the park

Camping

Scenic mountain views, kangaroos browsing on grasslands, cries of cockatoos and shaded woodland sites are some of the features on offer at the 10 campgrounds in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park.

Several campgrounds provide a base from which you can explore the park and take in the landscape. Many sites cater for vehicle-based camping, while others can only be accessed by foot.

Unpowered camp sites are available on a first come, first served basis, with the exception of the powered campsites and permanent tent sites at Wilpena Pound campground, which must be booked through Wilpena Pound Resort or Wilpena Pound Visitor Information Centre.

Fees for all other campgrounds in the park are payable at self-registration stations or the park visitor centre.

Wilpena Pound (46 powered sites and numerous unpowered sites)

Located in the heart of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, the privately run Wilpena Pound campground offers designated powered and unpowered sites nestled among the native pines.

Facilities include toilets, showers, fuel, a visitor information centre, public phone, ATM, internet access, picnic tables and shelters, laundry facilities and a general store. Access to a swimming pool, bar and restaurant at the nearby Wilpena Pound Resort is also available. Bookings are taken for powered sites and permanent tents at Wilpena Pound Resort or the Wilpena Pound Visitor Information Centre.

Acraman (4 sites)

Nestled between the Heysen and ABC Ranges, this small campground surrounded by native pine trees is a short walk from Bunyeroo Gorge. Toilet facilities are located on site and a self-registration station is located at the entrance. 

Aroona (13 sites)

Located at the northern-most point of the park, this campground is the starting point for several loop walks. Situated on the Aroona Creek between the ABC Range and Heysen Range, the Heysen Trail runs close to the area. Toilet facilities and a self-registration station are located on site.

Brachina East (6 2WD sites, 7 4WD sites)

This campground offers two different camping experiences on the banks of Brachina Creek and Aroona Creek. The 2WD section is located high on the southern bank while the 4WD section is reached by a rugged track across the creek. Toilet facilities and a self-registration station are located on site.

Cambrian (13 sites)

Between the Heysen and ABC Ranges at the northern end of the Bunyeroo Road, this campground is surrounded by native pine trees interspersed with river red gums along the creek line. Toilet facilities and a self-registration station are located on site.

Cooinda (limited walk-in sites)

Please note that this campground is closed during the summer months of December, January and February. 

Located within Wilpena Pound at the base of the inside track to St Mary Peak (Ngarri Mudlanha) this site is only accessible by hikers. There are no facilities on site.

Dingley Dell (8 sites)

Set into the curve of the Oraparinna Creek with a dramatic cliff-face on the opposite side of the river red gum-lined creek. The nearby Perawurtina Cultural Heritage site is popular for its Adnyamathanha rock carvings. Toilet facilities and a self-registration station are located on site.

Koolamon (6 2WD sites, 8 4WD sites)

Situated on the Aroona Creek at the base of the ABC Range this campground offers stunning views of the landscape that inspired artist Sir Hans Heysen. The 4WD section is surrounded by river red gums and acacias. There is a small area for 2WD vehicles. Toilet facilities and a self-registration station are located on site.

Teamsters (5 sites, 2 suitable for buses)

This campground sits high on the cliffs of the Brachina Creek, near to where it flows onto the plains, on its way to Lake Torrens. Examples of fossil worm burrows and Wilkawillina limestone fossils can be found nearby. Toilet facilities and a self-registration station are located on site.

Trezona (15 sites)

This peaceful campground along Brachina Gorge Road is ideally located for several loop walks. The campground is a short walk from the internationally-significant geological Ediacaran Golden Spike. Toilet facilities and a self-registration station are located on site.

Youngoona (4 sites)

This campground is located at the Eastern end of the Brachina Gorge Road, where Oraparinna Creek joins the Enorama Creek. Toilet facilities and a self-registration station are located on site.

Accommodation

From resorts to working sheep stations, you’ll be sure to find an accommodation experience to suit you where you can enjoy the rugged outback. Your accommodation provides you with an ideal base to explore the network of bush walking trails that wind through the park’s rolling hills. 

The Wilpena Pound Resort

Offers motel, chalet and self-contained units within the park. Facilities include a bar, restaurant, swimming pool, BBQs and a general store. The resort also offers 4WD tours and scenic flights.

Phone: 1800 805 802
Wilpena Pound website

Rawnsley Park Station

Accommodation offered includes self-contained holiday units, park cabins and on-site vans on its neighbouring property. Facilities include a restaurant, swimming pool, BBQs and a local store. Rawnsley Park offers scenic flights, horse riding and 4WD tours. Mountain bikes are available for hire. Rawnsley Park Station has its own network of walking trails.

Rawnsley Park Station website

Willow Springs Station

Located on the eastern boundary of the park Willow Springs offers cottages and shearers quarters for hire. This working sheep station offers true bush hospitality in a quiet secluded setting. Willow Springs Station is home to Skytrek, a self-guided 4WD tour boasting great views of the region’s landscape.

Sky Trek Willow Springs website

Gum Creek Station

Gum Creek Station adjoins Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park along its northern boundary and provides accommodation including Shearer's Quarters and Rose Cottage, a restored native pine cottage located in Blinman. There is also Ridge Top Lodge overlooking the incredible Heysen Range.

Phone: (+61 8) 8648 4883
Gum Creek Station website

Scenic drives

There are several spectacular scenic drives on offer in the park. Highlights include the Brachina Gorge Geological Trail, a 20km self-guided trail that passes through 130 million years of earth history. Trail signage provides an insight into past climates, the formation of the ranges and the evolution of early forms of life.

Another popular scenic drive is the Bunyeroo-Brachina-Aroona Scenic Drive. This route combines the best the park has to offer - spectacular scenery, great opportunities for observing wildlife, interpreted geological history and European heritage.

Events

The Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park events program occurs in the autumn and spring school holidays each year. The program incorporates activities such guided walking tours, outback slide nights, stargazing tours and fun junior ranger activities for the kids.

For enquiries about next season's activities visit the Friends of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park website.

Sites of interest

Wilpena Pound

Come and discover the natural rock formation of Wilpena Pound. This spectacular landform is a must see when visiting the central Flinders Ranges and can be appreciated along one of the many well-established bushwalking trails.

The landmark of Wilpena Pound is a remnant valley floor from an ancient range of mountains that have been eroding away over millions of years. The higher walls of the pound are quartzite, a rock which is very resistant to weathering. Wilpena Pound, including the ranges, is approximately 17km long by 8km wide and covers an area of some 100km. The level floor of the Wilpena Pound is approximately 8km long and 4km wide.

'Pound' is an old English word that means 'an enclosure for animals', which was how the pound was in fact used by early pastoralists. Today, the Adnyamathanha people translate the word Wilpena as Ikara meaning 'meeting place'.

Extend your stay by spending a night at the Wilpena Pound Resort. Enjoy the comforts of self-contained accommodation and the Resort's restaurant bar and swimming pool or make the most of the outdoors by setting up camp at one of the designated campgrounds on offer. For added comfort, permanent tents with beds and electricity are available for holiday rental.

Wilpena Pound Resort website 

Arkaroo Rock

Arkaroo Rock is an important Aboriginal art site in the Flinders Ranges featuring ochre and charcoal images depicting the creation of Wilpena Pound.

Sacred Canyon

Sacred Canyon is a small chasm where ancient Aboriginal rock engravings representing animal tracks, people, waterholes and other symbols are found on sandstone walls. Located 19km from Wilpena off the main Hawker-Blinman Road, the rock engravings are best seen in soft morning or afternoon light.

Old Wilpena Station

An important pioneering pastoral run, Wilpena Station was established in 1851 and had a working life of 135 years, before slipping into retirement. Today the Old Wilpena Station Historic Precinct is one of South Australia's most significant pastoral settlement sites due to its well-preserved condition, wealth of heritage and spectacular natural setting. Visitors can enjoy self-guided tours of the Old Wilpena Station.

Aroona Valley and ruins

Framed by the Heysen and ABC ranges, the Aroona Valley is one of the most scenic locations in the park. Aroona was settled on a permanent spring. Above the spring are the remains of Haywards head station for the Aroona run of the 1850s. The site has strong links to the renowned Australian landscape painter Sir Hans Heysen.

Wilpena Eating House and the Cazneaux Tree

A mound of stone is all that remains of the Wilpena Eating House. Built in 1862 of native pine slabs with a thatched grass roof, it served the passing trade until it dwindled in the 1880s and the eating house was abandoned. The river red gum nearby was photographed by a legendary Sydney photographer Harold Cazneaux in 1937. The photograph, titled 'Spirit of Endurance', gained international recognition.

Blinman

In the second half of the 19th century, the historic township of Blinman, 50km north of Wilpena, was a thriving copper mining centre home to some 1,000 residents. Some of the pug and pine huts and stone buildings erected close to the old mines remain today.

Appealinna ruins

The Appealinna ruins are reached by a track about 1km north of the Wirrealpa turn-off on the Blinman Road. Joseph Wills, a local pastoralist in the 1850s, built the homestead and stockyards on the southern side of the creek, while the ruins on the north side were once a busy mining settlement. The flat stone quarried on-site was used in the construction of these buildings remains a unique feature of Appealinna.

Bunyeroo Valley

The scenic Bunyeroo Valley road with its impressive razorback ridge and lookouts starts 4km north of the Wilpena junction on the main Hawker-Blinman Road. Visit the Yanyanna Hut and stockyards before entering Bunyeroo Gorge where you follow the creek bed to pass through the gorge.

Brachina Gorge

Brachina Gorge is one of the park's most popular and spectacular tourist attractions. The gorge is an important refuge for the yellow-footed rock-wallaby as well as many species of birds and reptiles. Drive along the Brachina Gorge Geological Trail to learn about the area's fascinating geological history.

Flora

An abundance of plants and animals can be found throughout the park, including many rare species. Spring brings a carnival of colour, with wildflowers carpeting the plains and foothills.

Fauna

Thanks to conservation programs such as Bounceback, the rare yellow-footed rock-wallaby can be seen in Brachina and Wilkawillina gorges.

Bounceback is a major ecological restoration program operating in the semi-arid Flinders and Olary bioregion of South Australia. This program established a series of targets including evidence of signs of recovery of yellow-footed rock-wallabies. It also has quantifiable targets such as reductions in pest species to certain levels or increases in the extent of treatment areas.

Volunteering

Become a Campground Host

Combine your love of camping with doing a good deed by becoming a volunteer campground host in this park.

A campground host is a volunteer who stays at the park either for a specific peak period, like the Easter break or a long weekend, or an extended period of time (up to a few months) to support park rangers. 

If you are passionate about the environment, a keen camper, like to meet people from all around the world, and are a happy to help, then hosting could be right up your alley. 

Friends of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

The Friends of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park volunteer group assists in many practical ways with the preservation and restoration of the natural and cultural heritage of the park. Some of their work includes care of the garden and restoration of Old Wilpena Station outbuildings, revegetation, seed collection and weed control.

Safety

Bushwalking

The international Trail Users Code of Conduct is to show respect and courtesy towards other trail users at all times.

Ensure that you:

  • when hiking, wear sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen
  • be aware of weather conditions and avoid walking during the hottest part of the day
  • make sure you have appropriate weather proof clothing
  • carry enough water to be self-sufficient
  • please be respectful of other users at all times
  • stay on the designated trails and connector tracks for your own safety, and prevent the spread of declared weeds to other areas in the park
  • ensure someone knows your approximate location and expected time of return
  • take appropriate maps.
  • Walk, hike or trek - what's the difference?

Please note: On days of Catastrophic Fire Danger all walking trails are closed for safety purposes.

Camping

When camping in a National Park, it's important to remember the following:

  • Always let someone responsible know your travel plans, especially when travelling in remote areas. It's a good idea to let them know when you expect to return.
  • Check the weather forecast before you leave, including overnight temperatures on the Bureau of Meteorology. Even during very mild weather, the nights can get very cold. 
  • The quality and quantity of water cannot be guaranteed within parks. Please bring plenty of water and food to be self-sufficient.
  • Always camp in designated sites (where applicable) - do not camp beneath trees with overhanging branches, as they can drop without warning. It's also a good idea to check that there no insect nests nearby.
  • Check to make sure you're not camping in a natural waterway, flash floods can happen anytime.
  • If camp fires are permitted, you must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited. Extinguish your camp fire with water (not sand or dirt) until the hissing sound stops.
  • Ensure that you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

Fire

On days of Catastrophic Fire Danger all walking trails are closed for safety purposes.

Listen to the local area radio station for the latest updates and information on fire safety. 

Fire restrictions

  • Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited between 1 November 2016 to 15 April 2017.
  • Wilpena Pound: wood fires, solid fuel and gas fires are prohibited throughout the year other than at Cooinda Camp where gas fires only are permitted other than on days of total fire ban.
  • You must bring your own firewood, as the collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.
  • Gas fires are permitted through the year, other than on days of total fire ban.
  • Ensure you are familiar with the fire restrictions for this park.

4WD

When 4WDriving in the park, it is important to be aware of the following:

  • Standard road rules apply when driving anywhere in the park, including the laws for speed limits, drink driving, vehicle registration and seat belts.
  • Take extreme care when driving in the park – be aware of blind corners, crests and narrow two-way tracks.
  • Observe all track and safety signs, especially 'No public access' signs.
  • Do not take your vehicle off the designated tracks. Wildlife can be threatened and precious habitat and indigenous sites can be damaged by off track driving.
  • Make sure you know what to do in the event of getting bogged and always carry a shovel.
  • When driving on sand, deflate your tyres as appropriate for your vehicle. Don’t forget to reinflate your tyres to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure before leaving the park. Take care when lowering tyre pressure as there is risk you could roll the tyre off its rim. Also, remember that lower tyre pressure can mean a change in how the vehicle handles.

Know before you go

Every national park is different, each has its own unique environment, it is important to be responsible while enjoying all the park has to offer.

Please ensure that you:

  • leave your pets at home
  • do not feed birds or other animals, it promotes aggressive behaviour and an unbalanced ecology
  • do not bring generators (except where permitted), chainsaws or firearms into the park
  • leave the park as you found it - place rubbish in the bins provided or take it with you
  • abide by the road rules (maintain the speed limit)
  • respect geological and heritage sites
  • do not remove native plants
  • are considerate of other park users.

  • Important: Collection of firewood within National Parks is prohibited.

Maps

Park maps

The maps on this website are a guide only. Please collect further maps, brochures and information on the walking trails from the Wilpena Visitor Centre.

Maps on your mobile

If you have a smartphone or tablet you can download the free Avenza PDF Map app and have interactive national park maps on hand when you need them.

The app uses your device's built-in GPS to plot your real-time location within the park onto a map. The app can be used without a network connection and without roaming charges. You can also measure area and distance, plot photos and drop placemark pins. 

How to get it working on your device:

1. Download the Avenza PDF maps app from the app store whilst you are still in range (its free!).
2. Open up the app and click the shopping cart icon.
3. Click ‘Find’ and type the name of the national park or reserve you are looking for.
4. Click on the map you are after and install it (all our maps are free).
5. You will now find a list of your installed maps on the home page of the Avenza app.
6. Use our maps through the Avenza PDF map app while in the park and never take a wrong turn again.

Fees

Entry fees

Fees can be paid at the self-registration stations in the park. Please bring the correct money as change is not available.

See the park map for facility and self-registration station locations.

Vehicle entry fees

Vehicle entry: $10.00
Vehicle entry (concession): $8.00

Fees collected are used for conservation and to maintain and improve park facilities.

Old Wilpena Station entry and tour fees

Adult: $7.00
Concession: $6.00
Child: $5.00
Family (2 adults and 2 children OR 1 adult and 3 children): $19.00

Park pass

If you intend to visit often, you may like to purchase one of the below park passes.

Single Park Pass

Is this your favourite park? If you visit this park a lot, it's more economical to purchase a Single Park Pass giving you vehicle entry for this park for 12 months. 

There are 12 parks that are part of the Single Park Pass system.  

Holiday Park Pass and Multi Park Pass

Want to explore SA’s parks all year round? Purchase a Multi Park Pass (12 months), or a Holiday Park Pass (for 2 months) which entitles you to vehicle entry not just for this park, but up to an additional 10 parks as well!

Camping and accommodation

Fees can be paid at the self-registration stations in the park. Please bring the correct money as change is not available.

See the park map for facility and self-registration station locations.

Wilpena Pound campground

The powered campsites and permanent tent sites at Wilpena Pound campground are privately run and must be booked through Wilpena Pound Resort or Wilpena Pound Visitor Information Centre.

Cooinda campground

This is a free campground accessible only to hikers

All other campgrounds

  • Fees can be paid at the self-registration stations throughout the park or the Wilpena Pound Visitor Information Centre.
  • Unpowered camp sites are available on a first come, first served basis.

Campsite fees (per night)

Vehicle (max 8 people) - $15
Hikers/cyclists/additional vehicle occupant (per person) - $9
Group camping (20+ people - per person) - $6

If you are planning a trip for a school group or other large group, please ensure you let the park know of your intentions.

Fees collected are used for conservation and to maintain and improve park facilities.

Other fees and permits

Facilities hire fees

Old Wilpena Woolshed

First day or part thereof: $128.00
Subsequent days or part thereof: $77.00
Portable toilet hire, day or part thereof: $50.00

Wilpena Visitor Centre

Phone: (+61 8) 8648 0048
Email: VisitorsCentre@wilpenapound.com