As one of South Australia’s great road trips, the Flinders Ranges & Outback is an incredible travel destination offering desert landscapes, ancient ranges, Aboriginal culture and plenty of outdoor adventure.
It’s no wonder that many people regard the Flinders Ranges & Outback as the ultimate travel destination in Australia. The combination of pioneering history, wide-open spaces, rich Aboriginal heritage and an excellent range of accommodation – everything from farmstays to luxury eco villas – make this region a truly unforgettable experience, for couples and families alike.
The iconic Flinders Ranges and the vast desert country beyond have always attracted people looking for adventure, and this tradition continues. Mountain biking, long distance hiking, birdwatching, scenic flights and off-road driving are just some of the many activities available when you come to stay.
Every day is different. Delve into the rich Aboriginal culture on a tour with the traditional owners, soak in Outback thermal springs, take a scenic flight over the vast salt lake Kati Thanda–Lake Eyre, go four-wheel driving, cycle across a desert landscape or just sit and have a cold beer with the locals at an Outback pub.
With some of the oldest geological formations on the planet and abundant native wildlife such as emus, kangaroos and wedge-tail eagles, there’s always something new to see. Some of the most famous landmarks are the Painted Desert, Painted Hills, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park and Wilpena Pound.
Other great regional attractions include the opal town of Coober Pedy, the Heysen Trail, the breathtaking Brachina Gorge and the historic Pichi Richi Railway, always a hit with the kids. To learn more about the evolution of this ancient landscape, visit Wadlata Outback Centre’s ‘Tunnel of Time’, go stargazing at Arkaroola, learn about local flora at the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden or test your off-road skills on the Ridgetop Tour.
Despite its sparse population and low rainfall, the Flinders Ranges & Outback produces a huge range of bush foods, while its feral game meats like kangaroo and emu are also enormously popular. Other gourmet delights include quandong ice cream and Southern Flinders’ wines. The region also offers a vibrant calendar of country races, rodeos and other community events – and supports a thriving artistic community. You’ll find plenty of galleries and private workshops.
Drive further south and you can visit towns where the Outback meets the ocean. Port Augusta, Port Germein, Port Pirie and the Flinders Ranges all provide a refreshing sea change where canoeing, sailing, fishing and other water sports are on the agenda. You’ll need at least a week to scratch the surface in the Flinders Ranges & Outback, a place where the roads are still largely traffic free and every day is a new life-enhancing adventure.