Flinders Ranges guided walking tour

Enjoy a fantastic selection of guided walks amongst South Australia’s longest, oldest and most fascinating mountain range. $2,580 – 7 days ex Adelaide, moderate terrain, 75 km

On this 7-day Flinders Ranges walking tour you’ll enjoy a fantastic selection of walks in South Australia’s longest, oldest and most fascinating mountain range.

In a series of day walks, carrying only a day-pack, you’ll discover a variety of areas within the Flinders Ranges, like Mt. Remarkable National Park, Dutchman’s Stern, Wilpena Pound and the northern sections of the Flinders Ranges National Park. Walk through stands of northern cypress-pine, open woodlands, hilltop heath and amazing gorges, all the while enjoying vistas of sweeping plains and endless mountain ranges. Nature is truly at its best in the Flinders Ranges.

There are some medium-hard sections on rocky terrain, but people with a moderate level of fitness can complete the walks. Preparation will make the experience all the more enjoyable. A mix of excellent home-made food, two restaurant meals, comfortable cabin style accommodation and knowledgeable guides will complement your trip.

Join us on our Flinders Ranges highlights tour and tick this amazing and diverse region off your bucket list.

Tour Length:
7 days (start and finish in Adelaide)
Distance walked:
75 km
Difficulty:
Moderate; See FAQ
Dates:
7 – 13. May 2017
4 – 10. Aug 2017
13 – 19. Aug 2017

Highlights of this walk

Discover one of Australia’s greatest mountain range regions with this seven-day guided highlights tour. The Flinders Ranges stretch north-south for about 430km – from about 200 km north of Adelaide up to Mt Hopeless. Our tour focuses on walks within the most spectacular 200 km section of the Flinders Ranges. This tour offers a variety of different walks to showcase all aspects of the Flinders Ranges.

Walking Tour Itinerary

A guide will accompany you each day as you walk in different parts of the Flinders Ranges. On some of the more more challenging walks two guides will accompany the group, to offer mores options.

Some of the walks include steep, rocky and challenging sections; but, with a moderate level of fitness, each walk is enjoyable! We highly recommend that you do some training beforehand.

Each day we will drive to different parts of the Flinders Ranges to start our walk. Some walks are circuit walks and others are in one direction. You are always welcome to take a day off walking. We will try to help you find suitable alternative activities if you desire.

The itinerary may alter depending on local conditions and weather.

Day 1: Adelaide to Melrose + Alligator Gorge walk

Day 1: Adelaide to Melrose + Alligator Gorge walk

2 km

With an 8am pick up in central Adelaide, we’ll head north to the very start of the Flinders Ranges.

Our first stop is Crystal Brook for morning tea then on to Mt. Remarkable National Park via Melrose, where we’ll enjoy a picnic lunch. After lunch we’ll head out to the beautiful Alligator Gorge for a short easy walk through the vivid red sandstone gorge.

Our accommodation is back in Melrose for the night and we’ll enjoy dinner at the North Star Hotel.

Note, as we walk on the first afternoon, please wear your hiking clothes on the bus and bring your day pack ready to go.

Day 2: Dutchman's Stern + Arkaroo Rock walks

Day 2: Dutchman's Stern + Arkaroo Rock walks

10.5 km + 3 km

After breakfast we make our way north to our walk at Dutchman’s Stern, near Quorn.

The walk today is a steep but steady incline through sugar gum forest to the top, where you will be rewarded with 360° views over the sweeping plains, Quorn and Lake Torrens in the distance. The path then makes its way through drooping she-oak woodlands back down towards the start of the walk. Along the way we cross paths with the famous long-distance Heysen Trail.

After a well-deserved picnic lunch and a drive to the central Flinders Ranges, we’ll enjoy a short 3 km walk to see Aboriginal Rock Art at Arkaroo Rock.

Tonight we will be able to really make ourselves feel at home at our accommodation, Rawnsley Park Station, as we will be staying for 4 nights.

Day 3: Black Gap to Wilpena Pound

Day 3: Black Gap to Wilpena Pound

12 km

This morning we will drive to Black Gap to commence our walk towards Bridle Gap and the natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound, following a part of the Heysen Trail.

The walk up to Bridle Gap can be quite steep and rocky in sections, but the views at the top are worth it. From Bridle Gap it’s a gentle walk down in to the valley floor of Wilpena Pound through a variety of mallee, native pine and heath. These habitats provide excellent opportunities for keen naturalists to observe interesting local birds, including wrens, robins, parrots and raptors.

After the walk you may opt to visit Old Wilpena Station Precinct.

Day 4: Bunyeroo-Wilcolo Circuit and Bunyeroo Gorge

Day 4: Bunyeroo-Wilcolo Circuit and Bunyeroo Gorge

14 km

Enjoy the views along the Bunyeroo Valley Scenic Drive as we make our way toward today’s walks. Our first walk is the Bunyeroo Wilcolo Circuit walk. It’s a fairly easy walk with more gentle hills than other parts of the Flinders Ranges, offering a nice contrast to the steep and rocky terrain of yesterday.

We’ll enjoy unbeatable views of the ABC Range and the Wilpena Pound Range from the halfway point lookout and some nice spots to rest along Bunyeroo Creek.

After a picnic lunch we will have some time to explore the geological wonders of Bunyeroo Gorge.

Day 5: Tanderra Saddle (St Mary’s Peak)

Day 5: Tanderra Saddle (St Mary’s Peak)

15 km

It’s a short drive to Wilpena Pound and the start of our walk today where we will commence one of the more challenging walks of the week.

St. Mary’s Peak stands proudly above the Pound below and is central to the Adnyamathanha creation story. Aboriginal people of the Flinders Ranges ask visitors not to climb to the summit of the peak and thus we will climb as far as Tanderra Saddle with stunning views of the surrounding ranges and plains.

We will have both guides on today’s walk to ensure the enjoyment and safety of everyone.

In the afternoon you may opt to do a scenic flight over the majestic ranges that we’ve been discovering on foot these last few days.

Day 6: Aroona to Parachilna Gorge

Day 6: Aroona to Parachilna Gorge

18 km

After packing up we will make our way to the northern parts of the Flinders Ranges National Park.

The walk today will once again follow part of the Heysen Trail. We’ll pass through a variety of terrain as we make our way through cypress pine forests and mulga country. As we follow the ABC and Heysen Range we leave the National Park behind us and make our way to Parachilna Gorge, where the famous Heysen Trail also comes to an end.

After the walk we’ll make our way to the Blinman Hotel for our final night’s stay and a hearty hotel dinner.

Day 7: Return to Adelaide via the Clare Valley

Day 7: Return to Adelaide via the Clare Valley

Today we will make our way back to Adelaide via the picturesque Clare Valley where we’ll pick up some lunch (own expense) before heading out to one of the local wineries. Here you can taste some wine or discover some of the vineyard by foot.

We expect to arrive back in Adelaide at around 4.30pm.

Details about accommodation, what to bring, transportation, food, etc.
Details about accommodation, what to bring, transportation, food, etc.

Accommodation

Accommodation is allocated on a double or twin share basis. If you are a solo traveller we will room you with another solo traveller of the same sex. Limited single supplements are available at an additional charge. Please ask for details and availability if interested.

We stay in three locations for the duration of the tour – Melrose, Rawnsley Park Station and Blinman.

In Melrose we stay one night at the Melrose Holiday Units. Each self contained unit has two bedrooms and a bathroom and sleeps three or four people. We will come together in one of the units for breakfast.

For four nights we will base ourselves at the Rawnsley Park Station in two or three bedroom self contained cabins. Each cabin has a kitchenette and bathroom. We will come together in one of the cabins for breakfasts and evening meals.

Our final evening will be spent at the Blinman Hotel where we will stay in a number of hotel rooms. Each room has an ensuite bathroom. We will share meals in the hotel restaurant downstairs.

What to bring

We will send you a list of recommended clothing and equipment when you book, as well as some tips on how best to prepare. Please note you do not need to bring bath towels or linen. There is plenty of time to pick up extra supplies and alcohol during the week.

Food

All meals are included, with the exception of lunch on the last day, when you can pick up something in the Clare Valley on the way home.

Breakfast comprises cereals, fruit, yoghurt, toast, juice, tea and freshly brewed coffee.

Each day your guide will carry tea, coffee and home-made morning tea. Fruit is also available.

On some days lunch is self-made from fresh breads, salads and meats. On other days, where there is vehicle access to the track, the bus will bring you a tasty and nutritious picnic lunch.

On the first and last evening of the tour we will go out to a local hotel for dinner. On the four evenings at Rawnsley Park Station you can enjoy pre-dinner nibbles with fellow guests each evening while your guides prepare a delicious two course meal for dinner.

Feel free to bring alcohol and additional snacks e.g. muesli bars, nuts, chocolate etc. There will be some limited opportunities for you to purchase additional alcohol and supplies during the week.

Please let us know of any dietary requirements before you book. We can happily adapt our menu to accommodate most dietary needs. Assistance is appreciated with clearing away and washing up.

Transport

An air-conditioned mini bus will take us from Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges and back; and to and from the walks each day.

This walk includes

icon-meals
All meals, including morning tea and snacks

We pride ourselves on providing you with fresh, wholesome food. Enjoy healthy breakfasts, delicious morning teas, fresh picnic and packed lunches, fruit and hearty two-course dinners each day.

All transport, departing and returning to Adelaide

Watch the scenery glide by from the comfort of our air conditioned vehicle.

icon-accommadation
Comfortable cabin and hotel accommodation

We stay in three locations on this tour. See the ‘Accommodation’ section for more details.

Emergency support

Wilderness first aid trained guides carry radios, satellite phones and a full first aid kit so you can walk without worry.

icon-tour-guide
Two fun and professional Inspiration Outdoors guides

We’ll feed you, tell you stories, help you achieve the walks safely and make sure everything goes to plan so that you don’t have to worry about a thing

About Walking Tours In General

How hard are the walks?

The difficulty of the walks ranges from tour to tour, from easy to challenging. We design all of our walking tours to be achievable for those with a moderate level of fitness. We do recommend doing some training before most tours, because physical activity is always more enjoyable if you are physically prepared. We will send you information about how to train when you book.

When on tour we find that a positive mental attitude is most important and that if you focus on the scenery, the company and the moment, and not on the kilometres, then you find yourself reaching your destination with little problem. You can always have a day or sometimes an afternoon off to relax if you feel like it. If you have any concerns about your fitness or ability to complete a walk, give us a call on (08) 6219 5164 and we can talk you through it.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Do I have to twin-share accommodation?

Our tour prices are based on rooms being twin share (two single beds in one room) or double (one double/queen bed in a room, shared by a couple). If you are travelling alone, we will give you a room with someone of the same sex. Sometimes, depending on the accommodation, it is possible to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have a room to yourself – please ask us if this option is available when you book.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Will I hold up the group if I’m a slow walker?

We find a lot of people who haven’t been on a walking tour before worry about this, but it’s rarely an issue. We keep a comfortable steady pace with plenty of opportunities to rest and take in the scenery along the way. Usually the group will spread out over a couple of hundred metres as we walk.

Normal walking pace on a formed surface like a road or footpath is around 4.5 – 6 km per hour and we tend to average just over 3 km per hour on bush tracks. It’s not a stroll but it’s not a brisk walk either. If you feel you may be slower than this, try some longer training walks to increase your walking fitness.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

What is the average age of Inspiration Outdoors’ guests?

About 80% of our walkers are aged between 45 – 75. Our youngest guest has been about 35 and our oldest was 82. We get a roughly 60/40 female to male split.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General, Day Walk FAQs

What’s the food like? Can you cater for my dietary needs?

We serve simple, nutritious and delicious food on tour, using fresh and local ingredients as much as possible. Of course, if you like, you can indulge in some less nutritious treats as well – you’re on holiday after all and Emily bakes a mean cake. Breakfast, home-made morning tea, lunch, fresh fruit, pre-dinner nibbles and a two course evening meal are all included. We are happy to adapt our menu to suit many dietary needs including gluten free, vegetarian and vegan diets – please ask when you book.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Are your walking tours just for “bushwalkers”?

Our walks are for anyone who enjoys walking and nature – bushwalkers or not. Our walks are conducted in safe, supportive and fun environments and you don’t need specialised equipment or experience to undertake them. We give you information about what you will need to bring and how you should prepare for each tour and we’re always here to answer any questions or concerns.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General, Day Walk FAQs

Do I have to walk every day on tour?

Of course not – it’s your holiday and you should do what you feel! Relax at the accommodation, come for a drive, get dropped off in town or go for a stroll of your own. On some days there is also the opportunity to walk for part of the day. This last option depends on whether there is vehicle access to the track.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

What do I have to carry when I walk?

Very little. A water bladder or bottles, a rain jacket, some personal first aid supplies and, on some days, lunch. You will probably want a camera as well. We return to accommodation each evening so there is no need to carry a large backpack.

Posted in: About Walking Tours In General

Beautiful walks in the daytime, relax with fellow walkers each evening

As much as this walk is a fantastic outdoor experience, it’s also a social experience, giving you a chance to enjoy the companionship and support of like-minded people.

Enjoy a cuppa with a slice of home-made cake for morning tea and a fresh healthy lunch, surrounded by nature. Every day is finished off by a delicious and nutritious dinner together with the group.

What people have said

I have been on many Inspiration Outdoors tours and I keep coming back. There is so much effort put in to make the trip enjoyable. Love the walks, love the food, love the guides. Can’t recommend highly enough.

Judy, Northcliffe to Walpole

On the South Coast Explorer trip we hiked in some of the most beautiful National Parks in Australia with simply stunning coastline and beach views. This is a must for your bucket list. And there are no crowds there either!

Anne – South Coast Explorer

Pricing

AUD $2580 per person (single supplement available for $300)

Secure your place with a $350 deposit

Money-Back Guarantee

Our number one priority at Inspiration Outdoors is to ensure our guests have a great experience on EVERY tour.

We can't guarantee the weather, bush fires or events beyond our control, but we do guarantee that:
– your guides are professional, friendly and hard working.
– your itinerary is well organised and thought out.
– the particulars of your tour (accommodation, transport, food etc) are as described on the website and in the tour notes.

We stand behind our guarantees. If you come on a tour with Inspiration Outdoors and we do not fulfil these promises, we will give you your money back.

Ask about this tour:

If you would like to book this tour, or just want to learn a bit more about it, please fill in the enquiry form below and we will get back to you to confirm availability or to answer your questions.

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Other ways to get in touch

What happens after I book?

After you have paid a deposit and filled in a registration form, we will send you any extra information you may need, including a list of what to bring and how best to prepare for the tour.

Payment in full is required at least six weeks prior to the tour (bookings can still be made within six weeks of tour start date if there are places available). We will email or call you to remind you when this is due.

Finally, we will contact you prior to your tour to confirm pick-up times and locations. If you have any questions or concerns at all before or after you have booked, please don’t hesitate to get in touch so we can go through them with you.

What are my payment options?

Payment can be made by:

  • Direct deposit
  • Cheque
  • Credit card

Can I cancel my booking?

We hope that you do not need to cancel your booking. However, if you do, our cancellation fee, based on the notice given prior to the departure date, is:

  • More than 12 weeks: $50 administration fee
  • 6 to 12 weeks: loss of deposit
  • 4 to 6 weeks: 25% of full tour cost
  • 2 to 4 weeks: 50% of full tour cost
  • less than 2 weeks: 100% of full tour cost, no refund

If you have any concerns about cancelling, please take out travel insurance covering this contingency. This policy will be adhered to despite the most compelling and compassionate circumstances.