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Flinders Ranges named in international travel publication's best destinations

The Flinders Ranges, including the new Nilpena Ediacara National Park, has been named one of the world’s top places to visit by a leading travel publication.

Flinders Ranges named in international travel publication's best destinations

The region is home to some of the world’s oldest examples of life and has featured in Explore Travel’s list of the world’s best places to visit in 2024, alongside locations in Hawaii, New Zealand, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Explore Travel has a monthly reach of up to 4.6 million people through its online and print publications.

Nilpena Ediacara is about 500km north of Adelaide and is home to the world’s most comprehensive records of Ediacaran fossils.

The park has gained significant international attention from researchers, palaeontologists, and conservationists, including NASA and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

It is also an important part of the World Heritage listing bid for the Flinders Ranges.

Experiences at the national park range from guided fossil exploration tours to an innovative audio-visual experience, created by leading design studio Sandpit, taking visitors on a journey back in time to the earliest evidence of intelligent life on our planet.

The audio-visual display includes photo-realistic 3D animation reconstructs the Ediacaran lifeforms found in the area and was designed with world-renowned palaeontologist Professor Mary Droser.

Located in the refurbished Blacksmith’s Shop, the digitally immersive experience sees animations projected directly onto a 550-million-year-old fossil bed.

Ranger-in-Charge of Nilpena Ediacara National Park Kym Geue said it was an honour to be included in the list.

"Witnessing the first signs of life on Earth through the guided tours and the amazing audio-visual experience is something you will never forget," he said.

"Since the park opened in April 2023, the new attraction has proved popular with visitors and we look forward to welcoming more people to this incredible place in 2024."

"This is a place where visitors can have the unique experience of witnessing the first evidence of animal life on Earth, which is truly amazing

"This recognition is just another shining example of the wonder of the Flinders Ranges and adds further legitimacy for the World Heritage listing."

Sandpit Co-Founder and Creative Director Sam Haren said it had been a privilege to work on such a significant discovery into the origins of life on our planet.

“Ensuring that we accurately translate this amazing science into a compelling immersive story is pivotal to the success of the visitor centre and a tribute to Professor Mary Droser’s ongoing research at the site," he said.

"The passion and commitment from SA's Department for Environment and Water to preserve, protect and educate was contagious.

“Bringing natural history to life and creating a unique world-first learning space cements the importance of this extraordinary fossil rich area and will benefit generations to come.”

For more information visit Nilpena Ediacara National Park.