top of page

return loop 110km

PARACHILNA GORGE - BLINMAN - BRACHINA GORGE

Follow spectacular gorges through rugged steep peaks, watch for fauna inhabitants, enjoy showy native flora, visit Wadna, representing local Adnyamathanha culture, art and stories, and explore the historical copper mining town of Blinman.

Clockwise route is recommended to fully appreciate the grandeur and geological time corridor of Brachina Gorge, and sighting of yellow footed rock wallabies towards the western end of the Gorge. Prairie packed picnics available to enjoy enroute.

Parachilna Gorge -Blinman (31kms)

Alternative - turn off in Para Gorge via Glass Gorge to Blinman (40kms)

The narrow Parachilna Gorge was from 1881 the route of drays transporting copper from the Blinman mine to the Parachilna railhead. Walks to Blinman Pools on Alpana Station, and the trailhead of the Heysen Trail can be accessed from this road. Visit ‘Wadna’ and learn about Adnyamathanha culture on the way into historic copper mining town Blinman, also SA’s highest town. Take a ‘must do' Blinman Mine Tour a credit to the tiny local community! The historic cemetery a link to its history and continuing generations. Coffee and pastries at the Miners Crib recommended, the local pub for a beer or lunch.

 

Blinman-Brachina Gorge turn off (27kms)

Driving south from Blinman, enjoy sensational views from the ‘Great Wall of China’ (13kms) before turning right into Brachina Gorge, a corridor in time.

Brachina Gorge (21kms) arguably the most spectacular drive in the Flinders Ranges this self-guided trail passes through 130 million years of earth history. The grand ABC and Heysen ranges are carved by deep gorges, constantly transformed by, weather, light, cycle of flora and fauna. Trail signage provides an insight into past climates, the formation of the ranges and the evolution of early life forms Towards the western end of the gorge, watch for the growing colony of yellow footed rock wallabies. Ikara -Flinders National Park permit required. Can generally be explored with 2WD, however roads are unsealed, and can be rough, a concern for vehicles with low clearance.At times, after rain, roads can be suitable for 4WDs only, or might be temporarily closed. Check online for local road conditions.

Practical considerations: fuel only available at Angorichina Tourist Village, phone coverage only at Blinman, Ikara -Flinders National Park permit required for travel through Brachina Gorge.

Brachina Gorge Road - photograph by John Montesi

Photograph courtesy of  John Montesi

Bunyeroo - Photography Credit Emile Ristevski

Photography courtesy of Emile Ristevski

return loop 185km

BRACHINA &
BUNYEROO GORGES

WILPENA POUND - MORALANA

Brachina Gorge (short section) one of the most spectacular drive in the Flinders Ranges this self-guided trail passes through 130 million years of earth history. The grand ABC and Heysen ranges are carved by deep gorges, constantly transformed by, weather, light, cycle of flora and fauna. Trail signage provides an insight into past climates, the formation of the ranges and the evolution of early life forms. As you enter the gorge, watch for the colony of yellow footed rock wallabies.

Bunyeroo Gorge (31km long) another of the most spectacular drives in the Flinders Ranges, running between the dramatic Heysen and ABC ranges. The view to Razorback Ridge is a standout on the northern edge of Wilpena Pound.

Bunyeroo Gorge Walk (4km linear, 8km return) winds through the gorge creekbed lined with river redgums, passing varied rock formations withinformative signs detailing geological features. Watch for wildlife, including echidnas.

  • Start/Finish: Bunyeroo Gorge car park, allow 2.5-4hrs.

  • Track: Easy - moderate creek bed walking.
     

Wilcolo Walk (9km circuit). Wander through native cypress-pine woodland along Wilcolo Creek, a small gorge through the ABC Range, gentle rolling country of siltstones, vegetated with Silver Wattle. Great views of the peaks, and return along Bunyeroo Creek.
 

  • Start/Finish: Bunyeroo Gorge car park, allow 2.5-4hrs.

  • Track: Easy - on formed walking trail. Some sections of service track and creek bed

Wilpena Pound From the Visitor Centre catch the shuttle bus for the two-hour return walk to Wangara Lookout, an opportunity to see inside Wilpena Pound, visit Hill’s Homestead and learn the story of farming here. Contact the Visitor Information Centre for flight and walk options in and around the Pound.

Moralana Drive (28km) unsealed scenic drive through some of the most stunning landscapes in and around Merna Mora Station, Arkaba Station, Wilpena Pound and Elder Range Turn right on to the Outback Highway for 46 km return to Parachilna.

Heysen Trail: Moralana Drive to Wilpena Pound (13.5 kms)              A creek walk through Black Gap before climbing the Pound Range to Bridle Gap with spectacular views of the Elder Range. From the top of the Pound wall, pleasant stroll across Wilpena Pound.

Ikara Flinders National Park permit required

  • Start: Black Gap car park
    Finish: Wilpena Pound allow 3.5 hrs

  • Track: Moderately challenging

return loop 90km

BELTANA & BEYOND

Beltana remains significant in the cultural heritage of Aboriginal, Afghan and European descendants. A State heritage listed town, it is the home of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, was influential in establishment of the Overland Telegraph, the ‘Great Northern’ Railway Line (later called the Ghan), has connection to early explorers, pastoralists, and the copper mining boom.

In 1881 there were 70 occupied dwellings and a population of almost 400.

 

The next 25 years saw Beltana at its busiest. During these years mining activity was at its height. The town supported a brewery, two hotels, post and telegraph office, school, police station, doctor, court-house, church, baker, butcher, blacksmith, hospital, railway station, cricket team, race meetings, a saddle maker, carriage maker, mining exchange, several shops and, at times, as many as 500 people.

Accessible by bitumen (or 4WD track) from Parachilna.

Beltana Flinders Ranges

Photography courtesy of Beltana Life

Sliding Rock

Photography courtesy of Stephen L (Clare, SA)

return loop 150km

SLIDING ROCK

Sliding Rock copper deposit was discovered in 1869 and at the height of copper production was home to 500 people. A court house dispensed justice, Hotel catered for workers, 4 general stores supplied goods and food, horse races and cricket matches were held.

 

In 1877 the mine was inundated by massive flows of water, with even a steam powered pump unable to stop the water entering the shafts. Later that year the mine was abandoned, with many moving to Beltana. Water flow was so strong that it was piped to supply the coal mines at Leigh Creek in the 1940s, before the Aroona Dam was built.

 

Two cemeteries, stone mine chimneys, remains of an engine house a smelter and ruins of the township dominate the landscape, now part of Waraweena Station, the privately held ‘Wetlands & Wildlife’ Conservation Park.

  • 4WD/AWD dry weather only, a 30 km gravel road from Beltana.

  • Closest fuel Leigh Creek, phone coverage only at Beltana.

return loop 160km

WARRAWEENA - MOOLOOLOO COPPER TRACK - BLINMAN

Explore the historic township of Beltana then take the Copper Track – the old coach road linking 3 historic copper mining ventures in the mid 1800’s Sliding Rock, Nucaleena Blinman.

 

Disused for decades reopened by the privately held stations it runs through. Prairie will advise property owners, provide details of route, payment and locked gate arrangement.

This is a 4WD only day trip. Copper Track is $50 per vehicle, per day.

 

Return via Glass or Parachilna Gorge.

Explore Blinman (return via Parachilna Gorge)

Practical Considerations 

  • Closest fuel Leigh Creek or Angorichina Tourist Village

  • Phone coverage only at Beltana & Blinman

  • Copper Track remote

  • If going as solo vehicle MUST have UHF (CH10) or a satellite phone.

  • Please check with the Prairie who can confirm if track is open, this can change depending on the weather

Moolooloo Station Flinders Ranges

Photograph courtesy of  Flinders Ranges and Outback

Leigh Creek Flinders Ranges

Photograph courtesy of  South Australian Tourism Commission

Photography courtesy of Emile Ristevski

return loop 133km

PUTTAPA GAP / OLD BELTANA ROAD - LEIGH CREEK - COPLEY- AROONA DAM

Explore State heritage listed Beltana, take the spectacular 4WD Old Beltana Road route behind the Mt Bayley Range to Leigh Creek, then to Copley super famous for their pies.

 

Return down the highway taking a side detour to Aroona Dam, a massive 5000 megaliter dam, the largest of its type outside of Adelaide, once the key water source for coal mining town Leigh Creek.

 

  • Old Beltana Road is seriously a 4WD track and highly weather dependant

  • Fuel & phone coverage available at Leigh Creek & Copley

  • Garage at Copley

bottom of page