Monday, 30 August 2010

Flinders Ranges

Part 1
We travelled from the caravan park at Port Augusta on to the Flinders Ranges through Hawker where we stopped for a coffee (very nice too!) at the local store. Ian enquired as to where the best camping spots were in the Flinders and after some initial reluctance “I’m not supposed to recommend …….” The suggestion was if we wanted some quiet place to go to that Willow Springs would suit us.
Willow Springs is a Station which has operated as a cattle and sheep station since the 1860’s by the Reynolds Family. The pastoral lease is 70,000 acres and has a maximum carrying of 4,500 sheep and up to 40 breeding cows. The Reynolds family have now opened up this magnificent country for visitors to enjoy and we are certainly doing that, having already extended our original booking of four nights to five. We are camped on a site called Grass Wren. All the sites are large and have their own bush toilet, picnic table, fire place and magnificent slate boulders in a semi circle to act as tables. We are beside a presently empty creek which is also beautiful and full of beautiful slate pieces from pebbles to coffee table size and in a myriad of colours. It is just perfect.
The station hosts are very helpful and suggested a number of walks and drives to showcase the Flinders but their gem is called ‘Skytrek ‘ and is a 61km drive through the property which took us through parts of the original homestead before we went right up along the ranges to Mt. Caernarvon giving a spectacular view of the surrounds. The drive is strictly four wheel drive and no surprise about that, parts were quite challenging. I’m pleased to report that I was able to keep my eyes open the whole way and thoroughly enjoyed the day as of course did Ian and he was able to make use of all the four wheel features our normally suburban “Toorak tractor” has to offer.
We were able to see some Aboriginal Engravings believed to be carved by a race of aboriginals who inhabited the region before the more recent Adnyamathanha people. It is incredible to think that these engravings were carved with only stone hitting stone.
Early on our trek we stopped for a break at Old Moxans’ Hut which was built around the turn of the century. This hut was occupied permanently by a station employee until the early 1960’s (bet he didn’t have a wife to share his salubrious “home” with). The hut was restored with the help of the Nissan Patrol Club in 1993. The chimney collapsed and was restored after a seven inch downpour in February 1997. The photos with this blog show the hut complete with the sign declaring it to be “Another AV Jennings Home!” I hope not!
We’ve also included a photo of our piece of paradise campsite.

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