The Ramblings of a Bush Philosopher

Photo gallery: Flinders Ranges

New Flinders Ranges photo gallery

This page is fairly popular so on 2003/04/13 I created a new gallery for anyone to contribute to. If you have exceptional photos of the Flinders Ranges, I'd like to include them. Hopefully this new Internet site will become a collection of all the best photos of the beautiful Flinders Ranges. See Flinders Gallery and pass the word.
Very curious emus, Flinders Ranges, S. Australia This page provides a selection of photographs from South Australia's Flinders Ranges: a unique area that combines interesting and beautiful landforms with fascinating native fauna and flora. The traveler can indulge in walks of up to several day's duration, perhaps climbing peaks that offer wonderful views, or if less energetic can tour by road.

Created about Mid 2002, modified 2018/01/07
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These emus at Rawnsley Park were very curious. If my wife and I sat on the ground for a break from walking the emus would come close for a look.

Click on the pictures that have a bright border to see them full size. Then use the 'back' button to return to this page.

Photographs of other areas or subjects are available via the home page.

The Flinders Ranges

Near Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges, S. Australia The Flinders Ranges are an extension of the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia.

The rocks which make up the greater part of both Flinders and Mount Lofty Ranges date from late Precambrian to early Cambrian. The fossils that can be found are of very primitive life-forms. A paleontologically very significant group of fossil animals is preserved in the Flinders Ranges, called the Ediacaran Fauna. They lived a little before the great explosion of multicellular life at the beginning of the Cambrian Period.

Wilpena Pound, in the background of this photo, is one of the most picturesque parts of the Flinders Ranges.

On the Ulowdna Range
An evening walk along a trail on the Ulowdna Range, near Rawnsley Park.

Cliffs on eastern side of Rawnsley's Bluff, S. Australia A yacka on the northeastern wall of Wilpena pound, 
Flinders Ranges, S. Australia Left
On the southeastern-most extremity of Wilpena Pound is Rawnsley's Bluff.

These cliffs, with their Callitris (native cypress pine) trees, are on the face of Rawnsley's Bluff. There is a well marked walking trail from near Rawnsley Park (about 35km north of Hawker and 20km south of Wilpena) up to the top of Rawnsley Bluff.

A yacka (Xanthorrhoea) close to the trail up St. Mary's Peak.

On top of St Mary's Peak, Wilpena pound, 
Flinders Ranges, S. Australia My family and I once camped on top of St Mary's Peak overnight. It was cold, windy, and there was the occasional thundery shower, but the 270 degree rainbow and the shadow of the mountain climbing into the air as the sun went down made it all very worthwhile.

We had to find crevasses between the rocks and each of us slept in our own little hole.

I've been to the top of St. Mary's Peak at least eight times. The view is stunning, as good as the best in the world, I believe. It's a fairly long and strenuous climb, but if you haven't climbed St. Mary's Peak you haven't seen the Flinders Ranges.

The Rawnsley Park dam, Flinders Ranges, S. Australia
Although the relative aridity of the Flinders Ranges is a part of their attraction, a patch of open water makes a very refreshing change; especially when it comes with water birds.

South from the Ulowdna Range, Flinders Ranges, S. Australia Many camping grounds and caravan parks do not allow dogs; Rawnsley Park, south of Wilpena Pound, does.

This was the view one late afternoon looking south from the top of the Ulowdna Range near Rawnsley Park. There is another well marked walking trail here.

Sunset over the Elder Range, Flinders Ranges, S. Australia
Some Cypress Pines silhouetted against the setting sun, with the impressive Elder Range in the background.

Again, taken from the Ulowdna Range.

Bunyeroo Valley, S. Australia A scenic flight in the Wilpena area can be worthwhile.

Here the northern wall of the Pound is on the left, St. Mary's Peak, the highest mountain in the southern half of South Australia is the high point; Bunyeroo Valley is toward the right.

From the Rawnsley Bluff trail, Wilpena Pound, 
Flinders Ranges, S. Australia
This view looking northwest from the trail up Rawnsley Bluff gives an indication of the bowl-like shape of Wilpena Pound. It also hints that the vegetation within the Pound can be quite dense in places; enough to make hiking off the trails slow.

The highest peak in the distance is Pompey's Pillar; on the opposite side of the Pound to St. Mary's Peak and of not greatly less hight. It is a much harder climb because there is no marked trail and it is further from any camp-ground. The scrub on parts of the climb is quite dense.

I tried to climb it once, but had to turn back because I ran out of time.

Edeowie Gorge, Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges, S. Australia Edeowie Gorge, on the northwestern end of Wilpena Pound is spectacular from the air. It is also a good hiking destination; there is another marked walking trail and usually water is available in ponds somewhere in the upper part of the Gorge.

You will need at least two days if you are to have any significant time at the Gorge. You can camp near one of the ponds. It is possible to walk in through the Pound and out (or vice versa) over Tanderra Saddle near St. Mary's Peak.

Water should be boiled before drinking if it is stagnant. I have never had any problems following drinking flowing water without boiling in the Flinders Ranges.

The Heysen Range from the air, Flinders Ranges, S. Australia
The ranges drop abruptly down to the Lake Torrens plain on the western side. (Lake Torrens is almost always a dry clay and salt pan.)

The Heysen Range, another of the many that make up the Flinders Ranges, is seen in the distance here, the western end of Wilpena Pound is in the foreground.

An unusual sight, Wilpena Pound covered in cloud, 
Flinders Ranges, S. Australia It is unusual for Wilpena Pound to be covered in cloud like this.

The photo was taken during a period of unusually wet and thundery weather.

While Wilpena, being the highest point in the Flinders Ranges, gets more rainfall than the surrounding areas, cloud like this is unusual.

Napperby Reservoir, not often full
Napperby Reservoir is near the southern end of the Flinders Ranges. It is no longer used to supplement the water supplies of the region, but is now used as a nature reserve.

There is often not sufficient winter rain to fill the reservoir.

The Hills of Arkaba, Wilpena Range in the background,
Flinders Ranges, S. Australia The sun was lowering while my wife, dog, and I were driving north past the Hills of Arkaba.

This is an area made famous by South Australian artist Hans Heysen. He was an expert at capturing the dry Australian bush and, in particular, the character of the gum trees.