The procession of glowing red mountains at Flinders Ranges National Park (vehicle entry fee $8.50), folded and crumpled with age, produces some of the Outback’s most spectacular and timeless scenery, rising from flat scrub to form abrupt escarpments, gorges and the famous elevated basin of Wilpena Pound, a colossal crater rim rising from the plains. The contrast between sky and ranges is softened by native cypresses and river red gums, and in spring the land is burnished by wild flowers of all colours and there are more kangaroos than you can count. Bushwalkers, photographers and painters flock here in their hundreds, but with a system of graded walking tracks ranging in length from a few minutes to several days – not to mention roads of varying quality – the park is busy without being crowded. Most tracks lead into Wilpena Pound, though you can also pick up the Heysen Trail and follow it north from Wilpena for a couple of days around the ABC Range to Aroona Ruins on the northern edge of the park. Nestling up against the edge of Wilpena Pound, WILPENA is a good place to orient yourself for a range of accommodation, fuel and food.
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