Located 430 kilometres north of Adelaide in South Australia, the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is a destination primed for nature lovers and culture buffs alike. Home to the Adnyamathanha people, the national park is steeped in millions of years of history; a diverse and intriguing past that’s literally etched into the region’s natural landscape. The best of the Flinders Ranges attractions, Aboriginal tours, heritage sites and more are just waiting to be discovered, and we’ve got just the list to help you explore them all.
Our “Things to Do in the Flinders Ranges” list begins with a stay at Wilpena Pound Resort, the only accommodation located within the national park. This outback oasis features 60 hotel rooms, 15 glamping safari tents, an outback campground, bar and bistro and the park’s visitor centre, making it a one-stop-shop for your entire outback getaway. The resort is owned and operated by the local Adnyamathanha community to deliver visitors a personalised experience of the regionin this truly one-of-a-kind outback setting.
What’s next? Plan your trip to the region and add these 11 incredible things to do in the Flinders Ranges to your itinerary:
1. Connect with Adnyamathanha culture on a Sacred Canyon Yura Malka Cultural Walk
Sacred Canyon is a culturally significant site to the Adnyamathanha people, and can only be accessed when escorted by an Adnyamathanha tour guide. The gorge, which is reached via a red gum-lined creek, features smooth sandstone walls bearing marks and engravings that tell tales of the landscape and its inhabitants. Join a Yura guide on a two-hour Aboriginal Cultural Walk through the canyon to view these etchings and to learn about the area’s deep ancient history.
2. Learn about Aboriginal and early settler history through the Yura Udnyu – Our Culture, Your Culture cultural experience
This two-hour tour of Old Wilpena Station provides a unique insight into one of South Australia’s oldest pastoral settlements from the perspective of the Adnyamathanha people. This heritage-listed site is incredibly well preserved; it is home to the most complete group of early station buildings still standing in South Australia. Discover its cultural significance for both the Yura and the Udnyu (white) during this informative tour, which also offers stunning views of Wilpena Pound.
3. Gain a birds-eye-view of the Flinders with a scenic flight
The magnitude of the Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound is, arguably, best appreciated from the sky. Jump on board one of Wrights Air’s planes and gain unparalleled views of this ancient landscape, which is more than 800 million years old. Choose from eight scenic flight tours, ranging from 20 minutes through to four hours (with stops in between), or go all out and spend the whole day flying in the air and venturing through the land on a combined scenic flight and 4WD tour.
4. Head off-road on one of these 4WD tours
Access some of the most remote parts of Wilpena Pound and the Flinders Ranges on one of Wilpena Pound’s 4WD tours. Head off-road through the park’s rocky terrain and on to some of the most beautiful sights in the area as your tour guide tells you about the area’s history and geography. Do bring your camera.
5. Create your own Flinders Ranges itinerary with these scenic drives
Like to travel at your own pace? Then you’ll love our collection of Flinders Ranges scenic drives – jam-packed self-drive routes that will take you through rolling mountain ranges, by rocky gorges, past historic mining towns, and back to the Wilpena Pound Resort just in time for Happy Hour.
6. Go bushwalking in and around the Flinders Ranges
It’s easy to explore some of the region’s natural attractions with your very own two feet, thanks to a number of Flinders Ranges walks and hiking trails that meander past popular sites including the highest point in the Flinders – St. Mary Peak – Edeowie Gorge, Glenora Falls and Wilpena Creek.
7. Embark on a mountain biking adventure
Did you know you can hire mountain bikes from Wilpena Pound Resort? Mountain biking around the Flinders is a great way to experience the many sights and breathtaking scenery found in the area, while ticking off your exercise quota for the day (or week, depending on how far you decide to ride). Not sure where to cycle? Try the famous Mawson Trail, which passes behind the Wilpena Pound Campground; or ride to Old Wilpena Station and go on a self-guided walking tour past the station’s collection of old buildings.
8. Stargaze the night away
Star gazing in the Flinders Ranges is a definite must-do. Whether you’re sleeping in your swag, taking photos during one of the resorts photography workshop weekends, or simply have a spare moment to look up at the sky – light pollution is almost non-existent at Wilpena Pound Resort, making it the perfect base for some of the best outback stargazing in all of Australia. Winter nights are particularly spectacular, thanks to mostly cloud-free skies.
9. Glamp in the outback
Once you see Wilpena Pound Resort’s safari tents, you’ll want to add Flinders Ranges glamping to your itinerary. These glamping tents let you embrace the bush while enjoying all the creature comforts of a comfy bed and a hot shower. Each tent features a large outdoor deck and fire area – the perfect vantage point for stargazing or lazing around with a cuppa and your favourite book.
10. Listen to dreamtime stories around a traditional campfire
Join the Adnyamathanha people for an evening around a campfire, where you’ll hear stories of the land, listen to traditional music and feast on fire-cooked damper. This experience is a great way to connect with Adnyamathanha land, Yura and a beautiful culture.
11. Feast on local bush tucker
Emu, kangaroo and camel sausage with quandong jam, wattle seed kangaroo fillet and emu and saltbush pie. Feast on some of the region’s best bush tucker at Wilpena Pound Resort’s Ikara Lounge, which serves up genuine outback meals featuring local and Indigenous seasonal produce.