Flinders Ranges

We were in this area 10yrs ago on a very quick xmas trip and we loved it then so had to return. We were here in Jan at the hottest time of year and still, back then it looked greener than now and there was still water to be found in some of the creeks beds. The farmers we meet now tell us it was good 10 yrs ago and it is all about whether the winter rains come or not. They have not had much going into a 3rd year now. The next farm we stayed at was Willow Springs Station- a sheep station. They also had bush camping and we even got our own “long drop”. Long drop I hear you say-big deal? Well having your private “dunny” with toilet paper supplied is a big thing out here! We used this farm as a base to do some trips/walks around the area near Wilpena Pound.

our personal bushcamp long drop
OK it doesn’t look like much, but it WAS impressive. Made out of recycled materials-an old water tank and an old hut door cut down to size, old brass handle and some old pipes. Toilet paper kept in a plastic container-it’s dusty out here. It was also a loo with a view and often the view had a roo! Best of all no smell. With long drops now mainly handled naturally these days the smelly toilets of old are mostly gone. Horray!

Things have changed out here in the last 10 yrs with farms adopting different forms of tourism to keep themselves going as well as farming in a de stocked( 1/4 normal amounts of grazing animals) way at least. Some farms offer accom in the form of old huts or homesteads for rent. Some with caravan parks on the property and some bush camping, which is what we use. Almost all have 4 wheel drive tracks you can pay to drive on. These you can pay $10-100 to drive on depending on the road. Some are 80km or longer all on the same property. These are essentially farm roads that happen to go over some interesting terrain and ridge tops and have good views of the surrounding area. We chose to do PARs instead. Public Assess roads which go through farmland that are scenic drives. We did a few of these as well as some walks in Gorges. M

The old Wilpena Homestead is one of the oldest (1853) and best preserved old homesteads in the area and is not far from Wilpena Pound which was used by the farm in it’s day, as animal grazing inclosure. It was a working station for 135 yrs and is now managed by SA National Parks. M

wilpena homestead sign

old winlpena homestead
Old Wilpena Homestead today- now used as a National Park office

Above is the store house today (left) and look how green it was in 2009!

hanging(vermin proof) shelves in the store
Inside the store house with hanging vermin proof shelves.
stonework and old wheel rims
Old wagon or dray wheels rims
gorgeous vents
A beautiful house vent circa 1850’s
pug and pine hut 2
Pine and pug hut wired together to hold it up. There were dead kangaroos everywhere trying to find a bit of shade to die in. OHHHH the stench!
the old harvester
Store house and old plow
blacksmiths shop
The blacksmith was very important. He made everything and was a read artist with metal!
old wilpena cemetary
In the cemetery. The Overseer only lived to 38yrs!
very lange old river red gums along the creek bed
Huge trees line the creek bed
mt Ohlessen bagge
Mt Ohlssen Bagge seen from Old Wilpena Station

Nearby is the “Cazneaux Tree”. Harold Cazneaux (1878-1953) like the more well known Max Dupain, was an early Australian photographer. He was moved by the grandeur and beauty of the Australian landscape (like us!) and in a bid to share this, took this photo of this gnarled old red gum tree in the Flinders in 1937. He called it the “spirit of endurance”. It is now known as the Cazneaux Tree. It is a beauty and has changed little since 1937. Mcazneaux sign

cazneaux tree 2

cazneaux tree
Cazneaux tree with Wilpena Pound behind

cazneaux tree

cazneaux tree 2008
We took this photo of the tree in 2009 when the sign had seen better days and it was much greener. The tree is not so different. It really is the spirit of endurance!

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