Explore South Australia
Wilpena Pound’s two main walks are the Hill’s Homestead Walk (6.6km, 2hr) from the visitor centre, and the Wangara Lookout Walk (7.8km, 3hr). Consult the visitor centre before attempting the less publicized full-day hikes to St Mary’s Peak on the rim, and Edowie Gorge inside the pound, or any overnight trips. The walk to Hill’s Homestead across the pound’s flat, grassy bowl takes you to the remains of evidence of the region’s unsuitability for farming. From here you can follow the track northwest to Cooinda Camp, about four hours from Wilpena. Assuming you left early, there should be time to pitch a tent and spend the rest of the day following the creek upstream past Malloga Falls to Glenora Falls (generally flowing May–Sept) and views into Edowie Gorge before returning to Cooinda. Next morning, you could do the steep climb to Tanderra Saddle below the peak, followed by the last burst up to the summit of St Mary’s Peak itself. The effort is rewarded by unequalled views west to Lake Torrens and north along the length of the ABC Ranges towards Parachilna; on exceptional mornings the peak stands proud of low cloud inside the pound. The direct descent from the saddle back to Wilpena is initially steep, but shouldn’t take more than four hours. Shorter routes from Wilpena lead up Mount Ohlssen Bagge (4hr) and Wangara Lookout (3hr) for lower vistas of the pound floor, and southwest across the pound to Bridle Gap (6hr) following the Heysen Trail’s red markers. Things to look out for are wallabies, emus and parrots inside the pound, and cauliflower-shaped fossil stromatolites – algal corals – on the Mount Ohlssen Bagge route, similar to those still living at Hamelin Pool in Western Australia.