Heysen Trail and the Flinders Ranges, 6 Days
What you get...
- 6 day tour departing Adelaide.
- 5 nights accommodation as per itinerary.
- 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners.
- Snacks and hot drinks.
- All entrance and national park fees.
- Emergency communications and group first aid kit.
- Services of a professional wilderness guide and support staff.
- Transport during the trip.
Adelaide - Willow Springs - Trek Black Gap - Wilpena Pound - Climb St Mary Peak - Trek Aroona Hut - Parachilna Gorge - Alligator Gorge Circuit Walk - Melrose - Mount Remarkable Summit - Adelaide
Day 1 Adelaide to Willow Springs.
We pick you up from your accommodation in Adelaide between 7-7:30am and drive north though South Australia's agricultural districts to the small township of Quorn. If staying in Quorn, after lunch we visit Warren Conservation Park for a circuit walk exploring the diverse scenery and vegetation of Warren Gorge - a gentle introduction to walking in the region. If staying at the historic Willow Springs Station we have lunch in Quorn then travel closer to the Flinders Ranges National Park via a short walk to an Aboriginal gallery at Arkaroo Rock. We enjoy a scrumptious dinner prepared by our guides, and hear a briefing about the exciting adventures on the itinerary for tomorrow. Walking Distances: Warren Gorge Loop Walk 5.2km; Arkaroo Rock 3km | Driving Time: 4-5.5 hours.
Day 2 Trek Black Gap to Wilpena Pound.
Today we walk section 57 of the famous, 1200km Heysen Trail. Beginning at scenic Black Gap Lookout, the trail takes us north-east to Bridle Gap. From here we have views across the expansive Wilpena Pound, and back towards the Elder Range. We descend into the Pound itself and follow the trail straight through the middle - an unforgettable walking experience. A variety of mallee, native pine and heath habitats within the Pound provide excellent opportunities to observe interesting local birds including wrens, robins, parrots and raptors. We meet our bus at the Wilpena Visitors Centre and transfer to Willow Springs accommodation. Walking Distance: 14km | Walking Time: 5-6 hours.
Day 3 Climb St Mary Peak.
The rewarding challenge for us today is St Mary Peak - the tallest mountain in the Flinders Ranges. Starting from Wilpena, we trek along the 'Outside Trail' which skirts around the foothills of Wilpena Pound's northern edge. We then slowly ascend to 1170m, where our reward awaits us: utterly unbeatable views in all directions of the Central Flinders Ranges, Aroona Valley, and the salt plains to the west. A picnic lunch on the peak gives us time to kick back and take it all in before we begin the descent, retracing our steps to Wilpena. We return to our accommodation at the Willow Springs Sheep Station and celebrate our walk with another scrumptious evening meal together. Walking Distance: 14.6km | Walking Time: 6 hours.
Day 4 Trek Aroona Hut to Parachilna Gorge.
Today we walk the official final leg of the Heysen Trail - section 61. After breakfast we leave Willow Springs and transfer north through Brachina Gorge to the Aroona Valley. The bus drops us off in the middle of the wilderness at Aroona Hut and we set off for a full day on the trail, walking along the valley between ABC Range and Heysen Range. The day's walk is gently undulating, taking us through bird life filled vegetation and past numerous abandoned mine sites. Reaching the trail head at Parachilna Gorge, we board the bus for a short transfer to our Outback accommodation at the Prairie Hotel. Walking Distance: 17km | Walking Time: 6-7 hours | Driving Time: 2 hours.
Day 5 Alligator Gorge Circuit Walk to Melrose.
We drive south through Hawker and Quorn entering Mount Remarkable National Park from the north. Our walk today is the Alligator Gorge Ring Route, one of the Flinders' regions best kept secrets and part of the Heysen Trail. This walk takes us along the full length of Alligator Gorge and through The Narrows - a peaceful gorge only a few metres wide that stretches for a couple of hundred metres. We can see ancient ripple fossils in the rocks of The Terraces, then have the option for a side trip to The Battery for views over Spenser Gulf. Tonight's accommodation is at the delightful town of Melrose. Walking Distance: 9km | Walking Time: 4 hours | Driving Time: 3 hours.
Day 6 Mount Remarkable Summit to Adelaide.
This morning we start our walk from the door of our accommodation. An early start allows us to trek the first part of section 43 of The Heysen Trail and summit Mount Remarkable. Heading out of town we quickly reach the National Park and begin a gradual ascent to the 961m peak. This is a wonderful opportunity to see some of the plethora of wildlife that resides in this park: the beautiful yellow-footed rock wallaby, emus, euros and wedge-tailed eagles to name just a few From the top we gaze across the entire National Park out to Spenser Gulf - a magnificent finale to the last 6 days of Flinders walking. Our journey concludes when we drop you at your Adelaide accommodation between 5-6pm. Walking Distance: 14km | Walking Time: 5 hours | Driving Time: 3 hours.
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Guides to help you along
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