Quorn – Hawker – Wilpena Pound Resort

Up early to return to Hawker and catch up on phone calls.  I went to the Wilpena Panorama – what a magical treat this is – an amazing 360 degree panorama of the Wilpena Pound from St Mary’s Peak, and that’s only the start.  The experience is enhanced by the large paintings in the back of the gallery. This amazing artist, Jeff Morgan’s landscapes cover full walls.  One loses themselves in the 50ft “Ron’s Creek” panorama – my personal favourite.  The background bush music adds to the ambiance.  You feel as if you are part of the landscape before you. The pelicans on the Cooper on one wall are also superb. Very enjoyable!!

Hawker was once a thriving railway town and has retained much of its 1880’s charm. The visitor’s parking and information bays are well used so tourism is thriving. There are several lookouts around town as well.

After a quick lunch I headed off to Wilpena Pound Resort, 52 kilometres from Hawker. On my way, I call into the designated lookouts to photograph the magnificent Flinders Ranges, The Arkaba Hills, The Elder Range, Red Range and Mt Aleck – the amazing vista blows me away and it takes quite a while to get to Wilpena with all the stops.

I book into the resort and set off to Wangara Lookout for a view of Wilpena Pound.   The walk follows Wilpena Creek along a track which has the most majestic towering River Red Gums – huge specimens and pines dot the landscape too.  I saw Kangaroos feeding near the creek and beautiful parrots.  The first 3.2 kilometres along the creek are reasonably flat and easy walking, then, after reaching Hills Homestead, the real fun begins – 400 metres climbing to the first lookout, then another 400 metres to the next lookout – climbing on rocks and quite steep, but the view is stunning and very worth the effort.

The vista of the Pound spreads out before you and I have never experienced any view like this before – I guess that’s why we are fascinated by it. Magical!!  The bushwalking guide sums up the area in this way “Ancient and dramatic mountain landscapes, peaceful tree-lined gorges, a seasonal wealth of wildlife and the sense of space unique to the semi-arid zone combine to make the Flinders Ranges National Park one of Australia’s best bushwalking destinations”.  I couldn’t agree more.

The Hills Homestead reminds me of the pioneers who used to live in this homestead – what a hard life they must have had – but in such an enchanted setting. The  homestead was built sometime in the early  1900’s to replace a pug and pine shepherds’ hut, built in 1888,  which the family had lived in whilst clearing land in the pound.  On my way back to the campsite, I meet a couple from Sydney who are camping at the resort as well so chatted to them and exchanged travel stories – Dinner, washing and shower before catching up on diary.  I’m so very tired so will sleep well tonight.

Hawker Country

Hawker Country

Hawker Sculpture

Hawker Sculpture

Heading North to Wilpena

Heading North to Wilpena

Heading North

Heading North

Elder Range - The Hills of Arkaba

Elder Range – The Hills of Arkaba

Elder Range

Elder Range

Rawnsley Park Station Sign

Rawnsley Park Station Sign

Arkaroo Rock

Arkaroo Rock

Wilpena Campsite

Wilpena Campsite

Wilpena Hiking Map

Wilpena Hiking Map

Wilpena Creek

Wilpena Creek

Kangaroo Feeding

Kangaroo Feeding

Wangara Hike Bridge

Wangara Hike Bridge

Creek Crossing on way to Wilpena

Creek Crossing on way to Wilpena

Red Banks of Price Creek

Red Banks of Price Creek

Blue Hills in Distance

Blue Hills in Distance

Paula on Wangara Hike

Paula on Wangara Hike

Pink Car Mailbox

Pink Car Mailbox

Hills Homestead Information

Hills Homestead Information

Hills Homestead

Hills Homestead

Aboriginal Sculpture

Aboriginal Sculpture

Rock Formations

Rock Formations

Wangara Lookout Hike

Wangara Lookout Hike

View of Wilpena Airstrip in distance

View of Wilpena Airstrip in distance

Going Down

Going Down

 

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