A trip to the Flinders Rangers was not originally on our To Do list for our Big Lap of Australia. Not because it isn’t stunning (it is!), or packed full of history (there is evidence everywhere), or amazing to explore (there is SO much to explore). We simply couldn’t find a way to fit the area into our plan, at the right time of year. You see, the best time of year to visit the Flinders Rangers is April – October, when the temperature drops. Outside of these months it can be very hot, and many restaurants and places of interest actually close over these months.
Armed with all of this knowledge, however, it was just too tempting
to not pop up for a visit. We kept a close eye on the weather forecast, and
managed to lock in a few days of cooler temperatures (by cooler, I mean not sweltering). This was our chance to
see the Flinders Rangers!
The Flinders Rangers area begins in Port Augusta. A visit to
the visitor’s center is absolutely essential. Entry to the onsite museum is by
ticket ($41 for a family), and worth every cent. The cultural and geographical
history of the area is presented in an exceptionally engaging, clear and interactive
way, that is both equally appealing to and easily understood by both adults and
children. Allow a couple of hours to visit, as there is something new around
every corner. We learnt Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories, read about the explorers,
watched a video of the geology of the area, cycled our way to a School of the
Air Lesson, and practiced the art of receiving a telegraph. Just out of Port
Augusta is a base of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. It is best to book in for
With a new appreciation and fascination for the area, we headed
up to Rawnsley Park Station, at the base of the rangers. A great stop on the
way is the township of Quorn, that has a classic ‘old time’ feel about it, as
well as a very modern playground (great for all ages). Step back in time at the
bistro/bakery and treat yourself to the pies and pasties. I guarantee they will
be among the best you have ever eaten.
Rawnsley Park Station has a range of accommodation options,
from Eco Hut to the caravan park. We opted for a powered site, and made good
use of the huge camp kitchen and swimming pool. Keen to explore, we set off on
the onsite 4WD track, which is a good 4-5 hour day out. The track was heaps of
fun, and both the kids and us thoroughly enjoyed driving across the station,
through countless dry river beds and discovering the history. We were
captivated by the number of explorers and settlers who decided to call this
area home and use the land for grazing and farming. They lived a very tough
Also onsite is an air strip, and we were very lucky to have
a private scenic flight with Chinta Air. Seeing the area on the road and off
road on the 4WD track is one thing. It
is quite another from above! Taking in the grandeur of the land and learning of
the geographical formation was absolutely amazing. The kids were enthralled,
and learnt so much about our earth. The knowledge that this land was underwater
over 500 million years ago, and that geologists are still finding fosilised
jellyfish will stay with us.
Rawnsley Park Station neighbors Wilpena Pound. It has an
onsite tourist center which is the beginning of a number of walks through the
pound. Upon checkin at Rawnsley Park, we were provided with a suggested
itinerary for a day trip. It was a great way to see a little further abroad
into the Flinders Rangers.
Was our stay long enough? Absolutely not! Will we be back? Without a doubt. We have had a taste test, and will return to explore this beautiful area and the friendly people who can it home.
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