Wilpena Pound – What is it, where is it, and why do I need to visit?
19 June 2020
The most commonly asked questions about Wilpena Pound has to be “where is it?”, followed by “are we looking at it?”
Wilpena Pound is a rock basin in an elliptical shape (the same outline as an AFL football) in the heart of South Australia’s Flinders Ranges. About 8000 hectares in size, Wilpena Pound is 15 kilometres long, and 8 kilometres wide. The North Eastern wall of the Pound includes St Mary’s Peak, which at 1168 metres or 3832 feet above sea level, is the highest peak in the Flinders Ranges. Edeowie Gorge is a deep gorge on the North Western side of the Pound. After heavy rains, visitors may catch the rare sight of the Malloga Falls, caused by water draining from the Pound through Edeowie Gorge.
The Flinders Ranges are a folded mountain range, formed when two continental plates collided, and pushed the metamorphic rocks up from below.
Where is Wilpena Pound?
Wilpena Pound is located:
450 kilometres North of Adelaide (South Australia’s capital city).
140 kilometres North East of Port Augusta.
650 kilometres South East of Coober Pedy (the Opal Capital of the World).
450 kilometres West of Broken Hill.
How to see it:
The only way to truly appreciate the size and the scale of Wilpena Pound is from the air.
Chinta Air (that’s us) operate scenic flights from Rawnsley Park Station (which is located on the South side of the Pound). Rawnsley Park Station offers a range of accommodation options, from unpowered bush campsites to award winning luxury eco villas. Please see for yourself –
Rawnsley Park Station
Wilpena Pound scenic flights depart with a minimum of two passengers. We recommend that you book ahead, to ensure there are seats available. Scenic flights are from 20 minutes to 60 minutes long. All include Wilpena Pound.
Longer flights to Lake Eyre / Kati Thanda National Park and to Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary in the Northern Flinders Ranges are available. Please click here:
Chinta Air – Wilpena Pound & Flinders Ranges
What else is there to do?
There are a variety of tracks to suit your driving skill. The Bunyeroo Valley Drive and Brachina Gorge both offer unsealed drives, with a range of lookouts offering panoramic view of the surrounding ranges. Sacred Canyon is less visited but equally picturesque.
Maps are available from your accommodation, or from any Visitor Information Centre in the Flinders Ranges.
Watching the colours change on the South wall of Wilpena Pound at sunset – whether its from your campsite or from the verandah of your award winning eco-villa at Rawnsley Park Station. If you wish to self-cater, the top of Pugilist Hill provides a fabulous view of the South wall of the Pound and the silhouette of the Elder Ranges.
If you prefer others to do the work, Rawnsley Park Station offer a guided tour known as Sunset on the Chace –canapes and drinks on the top of the Ulowdna Range to watch the setting sun, with a local guide to take care of driving and catering.
The Flinders Ranges has a variety of self-guided hiking trails, from an easy stroll of a few kilometres to a fairly strenuous nine hour effort.
We recommend, strongly, getting a map, carrying sufficient water, and letting someone know where you are going.
For the dedicated hiker, multi-day guided hikes are available from Rawnsley Park Station, and from Arkaba Conservancy. Bookings are essential for all guided hikes.
For something different:
In Blinman, you can tour the historic copper mine with a guide to learn the history of this historic mine, industry, and town. To find out more about the mine tours (including night tours and ghost tours of the mine) please click here:
Blinman Heritage Mine Tour
Camel Treks Australia operate camel treks throughout the Flinders Ranges and the North Eastern corner of South Austalia. They are multi-day treks, which must be booked in advance.
Camel Treks Australia
we recommend you book in advance for all accommodation and activities.