Camping in the Flinders Ranges with Kids
A Camping Trip to the Flinders Ranges
Last year we went on a camping trip to Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory with 2 other families. We had such a great time we immediately started planning our next adventure with them.
This year we decided to go to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia and we added another family in the mix so we had a travelling circus of 18. For those of you who are new to my brand, I am actually from Adelaide, but believe it or not, I had never been to the Flinders Ranges before.
The other families we go camping with, grew up camping together so are a very well versed in all of the stuff you need and life skills required to take 18 people into the bush. We had a few planning days where we got together and mapped out and booked camp grounds and divided up the food so we all provided a couple of meals, sealed in cryo-vac from home.
For our family, this was only our second camping adventure so we hired a Trak Trailor from a local Camping place. This has a queen sized bed, stove, sink, running water (120L tank), solar panel powered battery and a tent annex. My boys are 11 and 13 Years old so along with the other 8 kids, they decided to sleep in swags under the stars.
Our first stop from Geelong was Merbein (just outside of Mildura) on the Murray River. We found an awesome Bush Camp right by the River and camped there for one night.
The next day we set off for Hawker in the Flinders Ranges. We stayed at Rawnsley Park Station for 3 nights and hiked Rawnsley Bluff, into Wilpena Pound and had dinner at their great Woolshed restaurant.
After that we took a short drive to Willow Springs Station and camped at one of their large camp sites for 2 nights (this involved 4WD to get to an amazing dry creek bed camp). Here we played cricket, walked and hiked up a very steep hill. This station has the Skytrek 4WD track on it which is a 6 hour 4WD so we decided as the youngest members of our crew might not last that long, that we would relax and enjoy some downtime.
Day 7 took us on a small hike to Sacred Canyon and then through Bunyeroo Gorge and into Brachina Gorge where we stayed the night at another bush camp we had pre booked near a river bed. The drive through those gorges was one of the highlights of the trip for me.
Day 8 took us on a small hike in Bunyeroo Gorge then onto the famous Prairie Hotel in Parachilna for Lunch where we tried the Feral Anti Pasto which included Camel, Goat, Emu and Kangaroo. Such a lovely little oasis in the bush, with cold beer and great hospitality by the owners, even though we arrived without a booking with a group of 18!
After lunch it was the AFL Grand Final so we headed to the Blinman Hotel where the game was being shown. On the way we stopped to help a stranded friend who we had caught up with a few days before. Broken shock absorbers were removed and we were on our way.
After watching a lack lustre grand final we headed to Angorichina Station for 2 nights bush camping. The next day we drove the Glass Gorge 4wd tack on the way to the Nuccaleena Ruins (an old pub and mine in the middle of NOWHERE…I still cant believe people lived that remotely) had a tour of the Blinman Mine and made a few visits to the fabulous Blinman Bakery.
Finally after 9 great nights, I needed some running water and white sheets so we stayed at Bungaree station in the Clare Valley on the way back to Geelong.
Highlights of this trip for me:
The Night stars – I have never seen so many so clearly – truly spectacular
The laughs with 4 awesome families
The drives through Brachina and Bunyeroo Gorges.
I would highly recommend the Flinders Ranges for a camping trip! Great Scenery and outback hospitality.
Ps dont forget to pack your Project Ten Bags when you go camping! They make it easy to find your stuff, just use a different pattern for each camper!