8 Incredible Flinders Ranges and Outback Experiences To Have On Your Big Lap

by Tracey Adams

1. Hot artesian springs

Who would have thought being in a desert area that there would be so many spots to take a swim in hot artesian water? Whether you are on the Oodnadatta Track (Coward Springs or Muloorina Station) or the Birdsville Track (Clayton Homestead) you will find somewhere to take a dip. If you want to venture a little further, 185kms north of Oonadatta, you’ll come across the Dalhousie Springs, in Witjira National Park. This is Australia’s largest complex of artisanal springs and definitely worth the trip.

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2. Explore the area by 4WD

There are so many tracks that will suit novice right up to experienced 4 wheel drivers. Explore one of the many exhilarating 4WD tracks including The Sky Trek 4WD track at Willow Springs Station and Billy Goat Ridge in The Bendleby Ranges. For something a little special, The Caernarvon Track is the Flinders Ranges’ highest track and you can also explore the working sheep station, Mt Ive Station for a unique look at the Gawler Ranges. For the more experienced tourer, a Simpson Desert crossing might be more your thing.

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3. Take To The Skies

Exploring the area from the sky is one of the most incredible ways to see this unique part of the world. Take a scenic flight over Lake Eyre and see the Marree Man or get a bird’s eye view of Wilpena Pound or the incredible Anna Creek Painted Hills. Heli Camping has also become really popular over the past few years, so if you’re looking to splurge, this one is for you!

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4. Simpson Desert

There are over 1,100 sand dunes that cross 3 state borders. Visit the Lone Gum Tree or stay a night at Poeppel Corner. Make sure you buy your Desert Parks Pass in advance.

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5. Farina Ruins

This old town full of ruins is currently being restored by a group of volunteers. Explore the historical ruins of the township and if you happen to visit between May and July be sure to stop off at the underground bakery for a pie, some bread or a cake.

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6. Unique Outback Pubs

The Prairie Hotel in Parachilna offers a unique menu including a feral mixed grill which consists of kangaroo fillet, emu mignon and camel sausage. Maybe pin your business card to the wall of the William Creek Hotel, hang your hat in the Mungerannie front bar or book a scenic flight from the Marree Hotel.

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7. Get On The Produce Trail

Aside from the awesome pubs in this area, there are a number of local producers who you should absolutely pick up some local grub from. The Orroroo Kangaroo Delicatessen, Taralee Orchards and O’Reilly’s Orchards all offer yummy produce. In the Southern Flinders Ranges, you’ll be able to hop on one of two produce trails which will take you past cellar doors, delicatessens, fruit and veg producers, ice-cream shops and more.

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8. Experience Outback Life

This region offers an unforgettable glimpse into life in the Outback. One of the best ways to enjoy it is to visit a station or opt for a farmstay. There are over 25 properties who have opened their doors to travellers.

But you don’t have to stay at a station to experience the Outback. Take a walk into any National Park and you’ll come across jaw-dropping Outback scenery, ancient landscapes, Indigenous culture, rare flora and fauna and an array of gorges, including the must-see Alligator Gorge in Mount Remarkable NP.

A word of warning though, make sure you’re prepared for the harsh conditions of this region. Make sure you and your vehicle are well-prepared, well-provisioned and well-equipped. It’s also vital that you respect the land and people while here.

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Want access to the best free camps, top walks, events, local secrets (and more) in the Flinders Ranges and Outback region? Click here to get your Big Lap Bible now.

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