9.00am Adelaide pick up O’Connell Inn, Nth Adelaide
We head North towards Crystal Brook, then across to Laura, home of CJ Dennis and Golden North Icecream. Next Melrose, the oldest town in the North we cross Goyders line, demarcating the 10” rainfall line where we see the rich farming country fall away rapidly to dry land pastoral country and the remnants of communities brave enough to farm the arid lands of South Australia.
Continue north via the railhead town via the railhead town of Quorn Kanyaka Ruins and to Rawnsley Park via Hawker. (D)
We enter Flinders Ranges National Park, with time to explore Wilpena Pound, – Old Wilpena Station – South Australia’s oldest and the best-preserved pastoral settlement –
After lunch, we continue north- past the Cazneaux Tree, photographed by Harold Cazneaux. “The passing of the years has left it scarred and marked by the elements, storm, fire water – unconquered it speaks to us of a ‘Spirit of Endurance’ ”
We continue north to Stokes Lookout then backtrack past Wilpena Pound to Moralana Scenic Drive. Enjoy spectacular views of the ranges as you approach the Western Plains. Travel between the Elder Range & the SW face of Wilpena Pound. Travel north towards Parachilna
En route back to Parachilna, the Flinders Ranges provide a stunning backdrop with views of the Heysen Range to the east & the endless horizon to the west.
Artist Hans Heysen was enamoured by the Flinders, first visiting in 1926, Heysen Ranges and the Heysen trail named in his honour, to quote Heysen ”for here like no other place on earth, you will find the bones of earth laid bare”
Tonight we arrive in time to watch the sunset at the Prairie Hotel before Dinner in the renowned Prairie restaurant. Your stay at the Prairie is a dual experience … of desert landscapes to the west & the ancient mountain range to the east. (B,L,D)
Depart for a tour out west,today we go out west to Nilpena Station.
National Heritage Ediacara Fossil Site; Nominated for world Hertitage Status
Ross Fargher, your local host today is a fourth generation pastoralist & will share his passion for the land and place he calls home , Nilpena Station. A working cattle station situated 39km northwest of Parachilna, Nilpena is on the edge of the shimmering salts of Lake Torrens.
The original station buildings, amazing diversity of desert landscapes and panoramas of the Flinders Ranges have made Nilpena a favourite location for Outback films and television commercials. While running the cattle station Ross has spent much of his time within the Film Industry & is well known as a location Scout. A tour of the station buildings will highlight those used in Rabbit Proof Fence & many other productions including Australia’s Next Top Model & Home & Away.
Tracing the footsteps of the pioneers. Ross will share with you the story of the people, wildlife and geological history that makes Nilpena so unique. Nilpena is home to the world-renowned Ediacaran Fossils dating back 550 million years. Today you have the very rare privilege to visit the excavated fossil workings of a 550 million year old ancient sea floor believed to be the start of marine animal life on Earth, filmed in 2010 by Sir David Attenborough in his series First Life, BBC Television. As the history of the earliest animal fossils doesn’t get any older it is a surreal experience to see where it all began.
Lunch will be taken in the Historic Nilpena Stone Woolshed , dining on a 550 million year old slate floor. Sense a taste of the outback with a tour to the Red Sand Dunes .Travel home to Parachilna with spectacular panoramas of the ancient landscape, the Flinders Ranges in the foreground. Back in time for another sunset to the prairie Hotel (B,L,D)
The Corridor Through Time; Parachilna to Brachina Gorge, Brachina Gorge is known as a corridor of time, wandering through 300 million years of exposed sedmentary layers the Cryogenian, Ediacaran and Cambrian Geological Periods, finding the Golden Spike, or GSSP, (Global Stratotype Section and Point) marking the beginning of the Ediacaran Period world-wide — the first new Geological Period to be defined in 120 years. Of the nearly 50 GSSPs in the world, the Golden Spike is the only one in the Southern Hemisphere.
We’ll see drop rocks from the icebergs and glaciers that floated in the Adelaidian Sea, now the Flinders. We might find evidence of a bar-code-like band in the Flinders Ranges National Park — the result of a 4 km diameter meteorite that blasted a crater in the Gawler Ranges. This distinctive seafloor layer can be traced throughout the Flinders Ranges .
We’ll have time for bushwalking, stroll through Aroona ruins, search for the elusive rare Yellow footed rock wallaby, keep an eye open for Emus, Kangaroos, Wedge Tail eagles, feral goats.
Leaving Brachina we head north to Blinman, passing the Great Wall of China, then east to Angorichina Station an historic 150,000 acre working sheep station. Owned by the Fargher family, tourism has ensured the preservation of some of the regions early heritage buildings. The Angorichina Woolshed is possibly the only Native Pine Woolshed still in use in Australia. The original shearer’s quarters date back to the 1850’s. Your hosts ‘The Fargher Family’ are sixth generation pastoralists in the area – so enjoy the local knowledge. Lunch in the Woolshed is followed by optional activities, a Flight over Wilpena Pound by Flinders Outback Air Charter or a tour of Blinman Mine .
Stroll around the historic copper mining town of BLINMAN – enjoy a beer @ the North Blinman Hotel. Return to the Prairie Hotel via the Parachilna Gorge for a stunning sunset.(B,L,D)
We say farewell to Jane & Ross leaving Parachilna behind as we head South to Morgans Gallery in Hawker. A stunning 360 degree 30 x 3M Wilpena Panorama adorns the wall of this purpose built gallery. You might meet the artist, Geoff Morgan, he will talk to you about his work and he is currently painting a 46 x 5.5 M Arkaroola Panorama
Continuing onto Clare through the Willochra Plains, dry land cleared for farming against the advice of Goyder, down to Carrieton, then via Orroroo recrossing Goyders line north of Jamestown, and Clare staying at Bungaree Station. (B,L,D)
A day of indulgence after so much travelling, we start with a visit to Sevenhill Cellars, the first winery in the Clare Valley, steeped in history, started by the Jesuits in 1851 to make altar wine. Still producing altar wine as well as table wines, we’ll have a private tasting and a tour of the Church, Crypt & Grounds. Winery lunch in the Clare Valley, we’ll visit the Edwinian Mansion, Martindale Hall and Horrocks Hut. (B,L,)
Roundabout trip back to Adelaide, we head of to the historic mining town of Burra. Once a population of 5,000 many of them living in dwellings called dugoutsdug into the banks of the creek. A short tour of Burra before heading east over Goyders line again, across the bluebush plains to Morgan. Once the second busiest port in South Australia with numerous paddleboats and barges delivering wool and produce, six trains a day departed for Adelaide. We board the MV Barrangul for a nice wind down from the trip. A 2-hour lunch Cruise on the Murray River, then returning to Adelaide. (B,L)
Things to bring
Personal effects, Sturdy Backpack, good walking shoes, warm waterproof jacket, hat and sunscreen, microfiber towel, sunglasses, camera and batteries, mints, good water bottle
Special dietary needs are catered for. Please advise.