Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

Top choice national park

in Flinders Ranges
Image by Russell Mountford / Getty Images
Image by Russell Mountford / Getty Images

One of SA's most treasured parks, Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is laced with craggy gorges, saw-toothed ranges, abandoned homesteads, Adnyamathanha Aboriginal sites, native wildlife and, after it rains, carpets of wild flowers. The park's big-ticket drawcard is the 80-sq-km natural basin Ikara (Wilpena Pound) − a sunken elliptical valley ringed by gnarled ridges (don't let anyone tell you it's a meteorite crater!). Bushwalking and camping (free to $18) experiences here are memorable.

The only vehicular access to Ikara is via the Wilpena Pound Resort's shuttle bus, which drops you about 1km from the old Hills Homestead, from where you can walk to Wangarra Lookout (another steep 500m). The shuttle runs at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Otherwise it's a three-hour, 8km return walk between the resort and lookout.

The 20km Brachina Gorge Geological Trail features an amazing layering of exposed sedimentary rock, covering 120 million years of the Earth's history. Grab a brochure from the visitor centre.

The Bunyeroo–Brachina–Aroona Scenic Drive is a 110km round trip, passing by Bunyeroo Valley, Brachina Gorge, Aroona Valley and Stokes Hill Lookout. The drive starts north of Wilpena off the road to Blinman.

Wilpena Pound Resort itself is owned and managed by a local Adnyamathanha business group.