Thursday, August 6, 2015

Melbourne to Alice Springs Roadtrip: Day 3 Around Wilpena Pound

This post continues the series on our two week roadtrip from Melbourne to Alice Springs and back during the July school holidays. Be warned ... it's photo heavy.

At 8:30am the kangaroos were out in force ...
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on our drive to Arkaroo Rock, situated 20 min drive in the foothills south of Wilpena Pound.
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We set a cracking pace straight up the hill in an effort to warm up in the frigid 2C air.
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It’s quite a steep winding path through bush to the rocky overhang with Aboriginal paintings
Arkaroo Rock Flinders Ranges


before the path winds back downhill to form a 3km loop.
Arkaroo Rock Walk Flinders Ranges


The estimated time for this walk is hours but at our pace it took 50mins with a short stop to see the paintings.

Returning to the resort we decided to walk into the Pound. The single entrance is fairly narrow and follows Wilpena Creek. Past Hills Homestead,
Hills Homestead Wilpena Pound


we turned uphill to Wangarra Lookout from where you have views of the Pound and get a real feel for the countryside that is not possible from down on the tree covered Pound floor.
Wangarra Lookout Walk Wilpena Pound


It is quite a steep trail up but short. We just caught the free shuttle bus back to the resort on our way out.

After lunch we decided to head back south to the Moralana Scenic Drive. Following the south rim it takes in some beautiful scenery.
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The road is unmade and fairly rough but suitable for conventional vehicles. The 28km took us 50mins so we decided to return through Hawker, a longer drive, but completed in a similar time in a lot more comfort.

Continuing north after the Wilpena turnoff we visited the Sacred Canyon. Down another dirt road, but not too far, the canyon contains weathered rock carvings. The people who did these have been forgotten by the aboriginal inhabitants of the area.
Ancient Carvings Sacred Canyon Flinders Ranges


A short rest at the room and we headed north once again to Stokes Hill Lookout, a popular sunset location, unfortunately the clouds conspired against us, but the views were spectacular.
View from Stokes Hill Lookout Flinders Ranges


It was a little chilly though.
Stokes Hill Lookout Flinders Ranges


The drive home was tense as we kept a close eye out for kangaroos who have a habit of deciding to jump across the road as you drive towards them instead of away. I did glimpse an echidna but it turned tail and scurried for the bushes when we stopped. We could here it rustling but in the gloom could not pick it out amongst the trees.

Total distance travelled: 252km

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