Flinders and Gammon Ranges (SA) Pub Trail
Flinders Ranges and Gammon Ranges, located an easy day's drive from Adelaide, is a magnificent introduction to the central and outback region that lays farther north. The gorges, escarpments and rugged hills and ranges throughout the area provide a colorful array of natural attractions quite unique to the Australian Landscape. Unlike the red centre or lush green rainforest attractions in other parts of Austalia, the region from Hawker in the South through to Lyndhurst in the north has a set of colors like no other. And of course, out here, away from the suburbs and city lifestyles of our capital cities, you get to start to enjoy some of the real Aussie outback pub experiences that Pub Trail readers seek. This trail is predominantly on bitumen, as is the case with all our Pub Trails.
Reaching this region from the southern end, typically starts around Port Augusta if coming over the Nullarbor or up from suburban Adelaide areas. For those travelling over from Victoria of course you could come into Wilmington and North Stirling area via the winery Pub Trail that takes in Coonawarra, Barossa and Clare. NSW travellers can slip across via Broken Hill and Peterborough to reach the same starting point.
This Pub Trail assumes a circular route, that includes most of the above mentioned areas, so depending on whether your interests include, to name but a few:
- historic railways (Peterborough, Quorn and Marree areas)
- hiking and camping in Wilpena Pound
- exploring gorges and ranges (Wilochra, Wilpena, Blinman, Brachina)
- fossicking the many interesting ruins (Farina, Simonston, Nuccaleena Mine)
- interesting historical landmarks (ie: Cazneaux Tree east of Wilpena, the former Ghan railway line )
- mining and agriculture historical items (like: Bucyrus Erie drag line at Leigh Creek open mine)
- and of course, visiting some really great historical Aussie Pubs like: Blinman Hotel (Blinman) or Prairie Hotel (Parachilna)
The trail up to Quorn, splits out to Wilpena and up to Blinman. At that point, the more adventurous offroaders can consider going up to Arkaroola in the Gammon Ranges. Otherwise, we suggest heading over to Parachilna and then up through Leigh Creek to Copley. Copley is also a point where you can head out to Nepabunna to cut across to Arkaroola too. Otherwise, our trail pushes north along what was once the Ghan railway line up through Lyndhurst as far as Marree. This latter section could be a day's run up from Copley for those wanting to at least set foot in Marree which has historic significance in terms of railways.
The run up to Lyndhurst shows you the start of the Strzelecki Track north-east and some interesting characters in the area! Marree is another pivot point for those intending heading either up the Oodnadatta Track to the north west, or straight on up the Birdsville Track through Mungarannie to Birdsville. So checking out those towns is worthwhile, and you're assured of refreshments and meals at the pubs at Lyndhurst and Marree - so consider the run up from Copley when visiting this area.
For those just travelling into the Flinders Ranges area, the return trip down from Marree/Lyndhurst/Copley can be via Parachilna again, but then straight south to Hawker, and then try slipping down through Cradock to Orroroo to Peterborough. At that point, that is the end of this trail, but you can consider a run south to Burra and over to Renmark, or pick up the start of this trail back at Wilmington/Stirling North to complete the loop.
Enjoy this great area of South Australia, and give some thought to the courage and optimism that early settlers had when attempting to establish a livelihood in these rugged and unforgiving areas. The many ruins and deserted towns provide but a small memory of what must have been hard times. But today, with the comfort of airconditioned vehicles and the passion of the publicans who continue to service the many travellers of this interesting area, you can be assured of a great experience visiting theses parts.
Flinders and Gammon Ranges (SA) Pub Trail Location Map
Criterion Hotel Motel
Grand Junction Hotel