Flinders Ranges Day 2

Flinders Ranges from the air
(Click on the image above to see a feast of images of the Flinders including many from the air)
 
A huge jam packed day today. Jude remembered something about helicopter flights when we fuelled up at the local station, Angorichina Tourist Village. So off we go to inquire about the cost of flights. Jude was really keen on doing it which surprised me given her usual fear of flying in light aircraft and heights. The cost was $235 each for 15 minutes, which I thought quite expensive, but I also know helicopter flights aren’t cheap. At least you can see a lot in 15 minutes. The only problem was that the flights were from Rawnsley Station which about 100km away!

 

Not a problem though, we had enough fuel for the trip and it gave us a chance to see even more of the Flinders Ranges. More about that later.

We arrived for our flight early and took off around 11am. The flight took us along Rawnsley Bluff, across the top of Wilpena Pound and then south to St Mary’s Peak before landing back at Rawnsley Station. It was certainly a memorable trip with the opportunity to see things from the air you just can’t see from the ground.

Although we had Boof in the car, we decided to drive into Wilpena Tourist Park which is part of the National Park. We had already travelled down to Rawnsley Park through the National Park with him in the car anyway. We just drove around without getting out to have a look. Certainly changed since the last time I was there which was for the turn of the century in 1999/2000.

Heading back home we stopped at the Appealina ruins, an old homestead run by the Wills family. There were some very interesting story boards around about their stay there and the problems they had with miners and water. These weren’t the ruins I recall from an earlier trip though and nowhere near as good photographically.

There really is so much to explore in the Flinders Ranges you could easily spend a week based at Rawnsley Station or Wilpena Resort. There are several other working stations that offer camping accommodation and cabins also. Probably at a much lower price too than the two big ones mentioned above. Obviously, you have to do it all without a dog in tow as they are not allowed in National Parks.

By the time we got back to Blinman our stomachs told us that lunch was well overdue so we enjoyed some tucker at the Blinman bakery. Great food but their coffee is terrible. Way too hot and milk scalded. Yesterday’s coffee forgivable as a mistake, but two days in a row is a disaster.

After lunch we visited the historic Blinman cemetery. There are some amazing old graves and headstones. These old cemeteries are always of interest and tell some fascinating stories of the town and area.

From Blinman we headed back to our camp site via Angorichina Tourist Village where we needed to fill up the fuel tank for the trip tomorrow. After doing so we then headed in the direction of our camp and stopped at the Heysen Trail. This point is the northern most point of the track which runs from Cape Jervis in the south all the way through to this point in the Flinders Ranges. (See Wikipedia for more details).

We walked the trail for 1.5km and then returned. It was heavy going in the scoria type dust and it got inside our walking shoes. Still, we have done a part of the great walk.

Some trees that seem to be doing quite well out of the sides of the rocky ground along the Heysen Trail

Finally back to camp at around 4pm I did a few maintenance issues but still couldn’t fix the diesel heater in the van that had malfunctioned this morning. Hopefully we won’t be needing it from here on as we travel north.

We then sat down to an evening campfire with a nice bottle of red. What a way to end a great day.

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