They may not be easy to reach, lying 430 kilometres (six hours’ drive) north of Adelaide, but the few intrepid travellers that head here find themselves enchanted by this ancient, unmistakeably Australian landscape.
Make sure your camera batteries are charged: The Flinders Ranges are endlessly photogenic, with sheer escarpments and narrow gorges, lilac-tinged sunrises and blazing sunsets, and adorable residents. You’ll likely spot rock wallabies hopping amid the boulders; you’ll almost definitely see emus racing alongside the road.
The centrepiece of this dramatic landscape is Wilpena Pound, an extraordinary 800 million-year-old natural amphitheatre that is part of the homeland of the Adnyamathanha, or Yura, people. Wilpena Pound Resort, the only accommodation within the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, is owned and operated by the Adnyamathanha people, which makes it a great place to explore Aboriginal culture.
Activities range from fossil hunting in the area’s canyons to visiting ancient rock art sites. All fitness levels are catered for, although you will need to be comfortable walking on uneven ground. During local school holidays, the resort runs a special children’s program. You can choose from a range of accommodation options, from hotel rooms and safari-style tents to no-frills powered or unpowered campsites.