A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about bunyeroo gorge

Flinders Ranges - Kimba

...via Wilpena Pound, Bunyeroo Gorge, Hawker and Port Augusta

sunny 39 °C
View Sam Smart in World War II on SteveJD's travel map.

Had we not overslept, we would have seen that Tuesday dawned fine! Anyway by the time we got going it was heading for another hot day, albeit with a slight breeze. We decided that we would go to Wilpena Pound but first drove to Station Hill Lookout from where we had good views of the ranges around the station.

20180306_P1140523.jpgRwnsley Range

Rwnsley Range

Elder Range in the distance

Elder Range in the distance

The scenery between Rawnsley Park Station and the turn off to Wilpena Pound was again very eye-catching but did not delay further and on arrival at the Visitor Centre, we bought tickets for the shuttle (walking was going to be hot enough without adding extra kms!). This took us to a trailhead and we chose the most direct route towards Hills Homestead. Along the way we saw kangaroos and several birds, some of which we even managed to identify at the time!

On the way to Wilpena Pound

On the way to Wilpena Pound

Western grey kangaroo

Western grey kangaroo

Path leading back towards the trailhead

Path leading back towards the trailhead

The Hills Homestead

The Hills Homestead

The homestead is a reconstruction of the homestead that the Hills lived in from 1899 to 1914 when they were forced out, not by drought but by floods! The Pound itself had been 'discovered' by William Chace in 1850. The following year, it was surveyed by Frederick Sinnett and the lease was taken up by Henry Strong Price who owned the property until his death in 1889. The homestead is in a very attractive area of the Pound, close to the creek so would have been quite a pleasant place to live. From the homestead, we made our way past a Dreamtime sculpture up to the lower of the Wangara Lookouts which gave splendid views over the Pound. I have been unable to find any other information about the sculpture or the derivation or meaning of Wangara (other than as a Perth suburb!).

Dreamtime sculpture

Dreamtime sculpture

View down to Hills Homestead

View down to Hills Homestead

Panoramic view from the lookout

Panoramic view from the lookout

We walked back, with fewer delays than on the way in, caught the shuttle bus and enjoyed a picnic lunch, surrounded by a couple of ravens, a magpie, a yellow-throated miner and nine, very noisy, apostle birds.

The magpie had a beady eye on our food

The magpie had a beady eye on our food

Yellow-throated miner

Yellow-throated miner

One of the apostle birds

One of the apostle birds

Now replete, we drove about 9km to the Bunyeroo Gorge Road. This is another unsealed and quite bumpy road but with magnificent views back over Wilpena Pound and with more amazing geology. The two lookouts, Bunyeroo and Razorback were well worth stopping for.

On Bunyeroo Gorge Road with Wilpena Pound in the distance

On Bunyeroo Gorge Road with Wilpena Pound in the distance

The Beast at Bunyeroo Lookout car park

The Beast at Bunyeroo Lookout car park

View from Bunyeroo Lookout

View from Bunyeroo Lookout

Looking at the road ahead from Razorback Lookout

Looking at the road ahead from Razorback Lookout

27d29020-9f49-11e8-ad3f-add0db351dba.jpgTwo examples of the fascinating geology in views from Razorback Lookout

Two examples of the fascinating geology in views from Razorback Lookout

Once in the gorge itself, it was a case of must stop for the views, the trees, the geology and, to our surprise, more yellow-footed rock wallabies - what a delight!

fe308510-9fc0-11e8-85c9-11350096bd3d.jpgA couple of views inside the gorge

A couple of views inside the gorge

fd4e6270-9fc0-11e8-b7b6-1f2869d2a0c8.jpgYellow-footed rock wallabies are so photogenic

Yellow-footed rock wallabies are so photogenic

Another part of the gorge wall

Another part of the gorge wall

The drive took us through more beautiful scenery and finally joined the Brachina Gorge Road. As time was ticking by we decided that we couldn't make a repeat visit to Brachina Gorge, so headed east backwards the Flinders Ranges Way. Once again, we had to cross the Aroona River and again we stopped to see what wildlife there may be and again we were rewarded with some good sightings, a very productive spot for us.

Red arrow dragonfly

Red arrow dragonfly

White-plumed honeyeater

White-plumed honeyeater

Blue skimmer dragonfly

Blue skimmer dragonfly

Female purple-backed fairy wren, in moult

Female purple-backed fairy wren, in moult

A euro or common wallaroo by the river

A euro or common wallaroo by the river

Sadly, that was the end of our stay in Flinders Ranges and on a hot Wednesday, we made our way south-west. Someone we met in the area had recommended that we stop in Hawker to see the Jeff Morgan Gallery and this we duly did. It is not a large place, as galleries go, but has some truly amazing paintings. Morgan, understandably, specialises in painting in the Flinders Ranges but his hallmark is the production of magnificent panoramic paintings. The first we saw was of Ron's Creek, 15m long x 4.5m high and on the floor are stones and bits of wood etc., which run up to the painting giving a three-dimensional result. Similar effects were achieved with a panorama of Arkaroola Pan, 5.5m x 46m circumference. The first circular painting completed was Wilpena Panorama (3.5m high x 30m circumference), which shows the Pound as viewed from St Mary Peak and has a room to itself with a central raised viewing point. It really is an incredible piece of art. It has been formally recognised by the International Panorama Council which has recognised only about 70 circular paintings around the world, with very few having been completed by one individual (acknowledgements to the Jeff Morgan Gallery for this information). There is also a very good rock, mineral and fossil collection on display. We would certainly recommend this to anyone travelling in the area.

Our cabin at Rawnsley Park Station

Our cabin at Rawnsley Park Station

The Beast at the entrance/exit for Rawnsley Park Station

The Beast at the entrance/exit for Rawnsley Park Station

The Jeff Morgan Gallery in Hawker

The Jeff Morgan Gallery in Hawker

One of Morgan's panoramas

One of Morgan's panoramas

Panoramic view of circular painting (unfortunately, the canopy intrudes into the camera view)

Panoramic view of circular painting (unfortunately, the canopy intrudes into the camera view)

Out of Hawker and on the road south, we again went through some pretty drear country in which we found a few ruins which are all that remain of the settlement of Wilson. In 1865, the Surveyor-General, George Woodroffe Goyder had drawn a line across South Australia showing where it was believed that, due to the likelihood of drought, farming was not safe. There had been god seasons in the 1870s into the early 1880s, defying Goyder's predictions, so settlers came to grow wheat and established the town of Wilson in 1881. There was no natural water supply but in spite of the return to the normal dry seasons, some people stayed on, some switching from wheat to sheep. These brave (or foolhardy?) pioneers struggled on until the last person left in 1954 and the town was left to gradually disintegrate.

20180307_P1140608.jpgTwo of the ruined buildings

Two of the ruined buildings

About half an hour further on, we came across Kanyaka Waterhole which was like a little oasis in the dry plains country. Apart from the well-treed waterhole there were also some interesting rock formations. As we approached the waterhole, we could see many birds but I slipped on some loose stone and everything within cooee vanished, so we have no wildlife photos from this detour!

Steve seeing if anything came back!

Steve seeing if anything came back!

The waterhole

The waterhole

20180307_P1140617.jpgTwo views of the weathered outcrops near the waterhole

Two views of the weathered outcrops near the waterhole

By the time we reached Port Augusta, it was approaching lunch time, so we made for the Australian Arid Land Gardens where we had an excellent lunch in very photogenic surroundings.

Sturt's Desert Pea in flower

Sturt's Desert Pea in flower

The ubiquitous red wattlebird

The ubiquitous red wattlebird

Not far from Port Augusta, as we drove west, we came across some roadworks and were mildly annoyed at the delay until we saw a flock of birds take off. Judith swiftly pulled into a handy layby and we watched the birds swirl around and then come in to land near our vehicle. It was a flock of banded stilts, a new bird for us so a pleasurable delay.

Flock of banded stilts coming to land

Flock of banded stilts coming to land

A little further on we could see a large cloud of dust and came across a very large mob of sheep being herded through the dry bush by the roadside by one bloke on a motorbike with a kelpie, which after some hot dry dashing around, took a ride on the bike!

The mob on the move

The mob on the move

Kelpie hard at work

Kelpie hard at work

All sorted, the kelpie takes a break on the bike

All sorted, the kelpie takes a break on the bike

Near Iron Knob, we saw some distant rain and thought we may be driving into it but it stayed on the range and we arrived in Kimba in the dry, although by then it was cloudy and windy.

Distant rain near Iron Knob

Distant rain near Iron Knob

Other than being half way across Australia, Kimba did not impress itself on our memories, other than its Big Galah! However, it was fine for an overnight stop on our way to Streaky Bay.

The Big Galah

The Big Galah

Posted by SteveJD 07:12 Archived in Australia Tagged mountains wildlife south_australia flinders_ranges wilpena_pound bunyeroo_gorge Comments (2)

(Entries 1 - 1 of 1) Page [1]