Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA Park of the Month for July 2019.
We’ve outlined the 18 walking trails in the park, and included the nearby Rawnsley Bluff Hike and Wilpena Pound Lookout Hikes.
Discover quiet gorges with ancient Aboriginal rock engravings, wander through the Pound Gap to spot wildlife and discover the struggles early Europeans encountered with the harsh Australian conditions. Or for something more adventurous, explore the trails out to Malloga Falls, Wilkawillina Gorge or St Mary Peak/Ngarri Mudlanha.
19 Walking Trails in Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park
Hills Homestead Walk
6.6km, 2 hours return, Easy walk
Walk through the tranquil Pound Gap into Wilpena Pound. The walk begins from the trailhead at the Wilpena Visitor Centre. The start of the walk is through the Pound Gap, following Wilpena Creek through tall river red gums and pines. Choose to continue along the walking trail, which is easier, or along the dirt road which climbs above Sliding Rock – watch out for kangaroos and echidnas. The walk continues to Hills Homestead, where you can read about the original inhabitants of the cottage and their struggles with the harsh Australian conditions. There are toilets and picnic tables here
Living with Land Walk, Old Wilpena Pound Station
3.2km, 2 hour loop, Easy walk
Aboriginal people, European settlers and their descendants share the pastoral heritage of the Flinders Ranges. Undertake the self-guided walk and discover the themes of self-sufficiency, improvisation and survival in the remote and isolated pastoral settlements of the Flinders Ranges. Option to walk from a shorter 1km loop or a longer 3.2km loop.
Sacred Canyon Walk
800m, 30 mins, Easy walk
A short walk along a gum-lined creek leads to the site where ancient Aboriginal rock engravings are found in smooth sandstone walls. Walk through the gorge to view the images representing animal tracks, people and waterholes, have been pecked into the sheer rock faces with stone tools. Some images are very weathered and are best seen in the soft light of morning or afternoon.
Wilpena Solar Power Station Walk
1.2km, 30 mins, Easy walk
Discover the large Solar Power Station which supplies Wilpena with energy. A short walk to the lookout will give you a view of the set up.
8km, 4 hours, Moderate hike
Experience some of the Heysen Trail on this loop walk through open grassland country of Heysen Range whilst enjoying views. Discover some of the earliest life forms on earth in the Trezona geological formation.
Boom and Bust Hike
3km, 2 hours return, Moderate hike
Take the short loop trail near the main Visitor Centre that contains a wide array of flora with a colourful display of wildflowers present in spring months. There are plenty of interpretive signs along the way outlining the wildlife and habitat. The start of the Boom and Bust Hike follows main trail through the Pound Gap then turns off onto the Mount Ohlssen Bagge Hike before looping back to the Pound Gap.
Arkaroo Rock Hike
3.1km, 2 hours, Moderate hike
Walk to the rock shelter that has Adnyamathanha people rock paintings. Enjoy spectacular views of the Chace Range at sunset. Interpretive signage at the carpark trailhead.
Bunyeroo Gorge Hike
7.5km, 3 hours 30 mins return, Moderate hike
Wander through Bunyeroo Gorge, a wide, peaceful gum-lined gorge framed by rugged rock formations. The gorge provides great opportunities for observing the native wildlife. Bullock teams and coaches transporting copper, mail and produce used the gorge in the 19th century to access the western plains.
Bunyeroo and Wilcolo Creeks Hike
9.2km, 2 hours 30 mins return, Moderate hike
Beginning in the open cypress pine woodland of the Bunyeroo Formation and Wilcolo Creek, following a small creek through the ABC Range to the gentle rolling country vegetated with silver wattle.
Bridle Gap Hike
18.6km, 6 hours return
Experience some of the iconic 1,200km Heysen Trail by walking out to Bridle Gap, on the south-western escarpment edge of Wilpena Pound. The trail passes through the Pound Gap and past Hills Homestead, contining across the Pound floor. A variety of mallee, native pine and heath habitats provide excellent opportunities for keen naturalists to observe local birds including wrens, robins, parrots and raptors.
Aroona to Youngoona Hike
13.4km 7 hours one-way, Hard hike
Experience some of the 1,200km Heysen Trail on this hike from Aroona Campground to Youngoona Campground. This day walk tells the story of pastoral heritage with beautiful views and contrasting rock formations. You will follow the footsteps of early shepherds and discover the ruins of old pastoral runs. Pass through contrasting rock formations and plant communities while enjoying views of the ABC, Heysen and Trezona ranges.
Malloga Falls Hike
23.2km, 9 hours return, Moderate hike
Explore the more remote trail out to Malloga Falls and Edeowie Gorge by traversing the floor of the Pound and walking out to the deep Edeowie Gorge on the north western edge. The Malloga Falls are a set of adjacent twin falls, but are usually dry. The trail is 23.2km and 9 hours return and is recommended for walkers with some experience as the trail can be hard to follow in some spots.
Mount Ohlssen Bagge Hike
5.6km 4 hours return, Hard hike
A steep rocky climb to the summit of Mount Ohlssen Bagge, with rewarding views both inside and outside the Pound. Look for reptiles along the way.
Red Hill Lookout Hike
8.4km, 4 hours return, Hard hike
Hike up to the top of Red Hill for views of the Aroona Valley and and south to the peaks of Wilpena Pound. The hike includes some steep fire track sections.
St Mary Peak Hike, Ngarri Mudlanha, Wilpena Pound
19km, 9 hours return, Hard hike
Challenging hike to the summit of St Mary Peak, the highest mountain in the Flinders Ranges. Rewarding panoramic views. Can be done as a two day hike.
Wangara Lookout Hike
Upper lookout: 7 km 3 hours return;
Lower lookout: 6.2km 3 hour 30 mins return
Walk through the Pound Gap into Wilpena Pound, and up to one of the Wangara Lookouts for panoramic views into the inside of Wilpena Pound.
Wilkawillina Gorge Hike
12.7km, 12 hours return (7 hour return option), Hard hike
Follow Ten Mile Creek through Wilkawillina Gorge to explore the habitat of the native Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby. The permanent water source is in contrast to its drier surrounds. Starting from the Mt Billy Creek Trailhead is recommended. The hike is 12.7km and 6 hours one-way. A more manageable option would be to start from Mt Billy Creek Trailhead and hike to the eastern end of Wilkawillina Gorge where the trail leaves the gorge and turns south. This would be 7.3km one-way, so would make a 14.6km and 7 hour return hike from the Mt Billy Creek Trailhead.
8km, 4 hours, Hard hike
Experience some of the 1,200km Heysen Trail on this circuit walk, which has views of Heysen Range and the distant peaks of Wilpena Pound. This is the rugged Flinders landscape that inspired the famous artist Hans Heysen in the 1920s.
Rawnsley Bluff Hike and Wilpena Pound Lookout
11.3km, 5 hours return, Hard hike
This spectacular hike in Rawnsley Park Station climbs the Wilpena Pound escarpment, providing views into the Pound from the Wilpena Pound Lookout, and views south and east to Chace Range.