Now is the time to start planning that trek to the Flinders Ranges.
It’s a beautiful place, but it’s just too hot in summer. Autumn right through to spring are far better months to visit and enjoy the splendour of the crater-like Wilpena Pound, the intense colours of the forests, the rugged gorges and the abundant yellow-footed rock wallabies that laze under roadside bushes, ready to hop out at any moment. Most of the scenery looks like it came right off an Albert Namatjira canvas.
Winter weather conditions are temperate with very cold nights and some rain, but little chance of frost or black ice.
The three gorge roads – Bunyeroo, Brachina and Moralana Scenic Drive – are easy gravel and unlikely to be affected by frost or light rain, however they can get boggy in heavy rain. To the west of the junction with Bunyeroo Rd, the Brachina track gets difficult in areas with very large rocks and boulders.
Wilpena Rd is tarred and is a swooping hoot of a ride up to the North Blinman Hotel for a steak burger lunch before heading back the way you came. You can stay at Wilpena Pound or Rawnsley Park Station which have resort, motel, cabin and camping options to suit any budget.
Getting there can be boring if you travel on the B82/83 highways, unless you include a stopover in the quaint Clare Valley wine region, a less touristy area than the Barossa. If you want some adventure, head out to Yunta on the Barrier Highway, but be careful to stay under 110km/h, then turn left on the Yunta-Waukaringa Rd. Follow your GPS down any of the abundant station roads to Hawker. These gravel roads run like ribbons over the land’s gnarly contours linking stations where the graziers don’t talk in terms of acreage, but square kilometres. It’s remote and forbidding with lunar landscapes and herds of sheep running aimlessly.