Plan your Dog-friendly Travel to the Flinders Ranges with me

Charlie at Arkaba Hill Lookout in the Flinders Ranges

Hey there, friend!

This journal entry is all about our dog-friendly travel to the Flinders Ranges. It was actually my birthday when we went (around the end of September 2023). I thought exploring the central Flinders Ranges would be the perfect way to spend the day. And, I’m glad that I wasn’t wrong!

Now that we’ve seen the mountain ranges in person, I can honestly say they are beyond epic. Oh my goodness, I wish my photos and videos could better convey how massive they really are in real life.

View of Chace Range at the Arkapena 4WD Self-Drive Trail

Dog-friendly travel to the Flinders Ranges

I really wanted our dog, Charlie, to join us for my birthday, so you’ll find all of the fun things we got up to while in the central Flinders Ranges are dog-friendly. You’re welcome, dog pawrents!

Although, even if you’re not traveling with a furry friend, I’m sure you’d still enjoy these recommendations.

I think it’s a common misconception that the whole of the central Flinders Ranges region is part of the Ikara-Flinders National Park. It’s not the case at all; there are pockets in the area that aren’t considered part of the national park. This is where we visited with Charlie.

You are allowed to drive along Flinders Ranges Way, from Hawker to Blinman, through the national park with your dog in your vehicle. The scenic lookouts & sights I have mentioned in this journal entry fall outside of national park grounds.

I visited the Quorn Visitor Information Centre to confirm, if you would like to speak to someone in person, the centre is located within the Railway Station on the main road of town. The folks there are friendly and great to talk to.

Dog-friendly travel to the Flinders Ranges
Dog-friendly travel to the Flinders Ranges; taking photos at Arkaba Hill Lookout

I have no idea if the national park offers better scenery or views of the mountains from the places we ventured. But from our experience, I can say that I was very happy with what we saw. I thoroughly enjoyed the lookouts we visited, the drives we took, and the views they provided of the beautiful Flinders Ranges landscape.

I couldn’t have thought of a better way to celebrate my birthday, and it was great that Charlie was able to be with us! I’m excited to share this journal entry with you—especially if you’re travelling around the country with your puppers! Don’t miss out on the spectacular Flinders Ranges!

About the Flinders Ranges

The Flinders Ranges is the longest mountain range in South Australia, spanning a distance of over a whopping 430 kilometres. This impressive landmark is over 600 million years old and holds historical, geological, and cultural significance.

SA’s Department for Environment and Water states that The Flinders Ranges is the only location with a mostly intact geological record of 350 million years. There’s clear evidence of how the environment transformed over the years, and the evolution of the earliest forms of life. That’s a pretty mind-blowing fact, right? 

View of mountains along Flinders Ranges Way
View of mountains along Flinders Ranges Way

During our visit to the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna, they had a sheet of rock outside with fossil imprints. I thought I took a picture… but I can’t find any, so I must have not. These early life forms had very simple shapes and looked just like leaves or shells. 

From complex multicellular organisms, let’s fast forward to actual humans occupying the land. According to Wikipedia, the Adnyamathanha people (meaning “hill people” or “rock people”) and the Ndajurri people were the first to inhabit the Flinders Ranges. 

Cave paintings, rock engravings, and other artefacts within the region suggest that the Adnyamathanha and the Ndajurri people had been living there for thousands of years. Undeniably, it’s crucial to respect and protect these heritage sites, acknowledging and honouring their cultural value to their people, and Australia’s history.

Interpretive signs at Stokes Hill Lookout
Interpretive signs at Stokes Hill Lookout

Location of the Flinders Ranges and how to get there

The Flinders Ranges is located in the beautiful state of South Australia, and the best way to get there is by car. From the city of Adelaide, it’s approximately a 5-hour drive north, travelling 430 kilometres, to Wilpena Pound. 

Wilpena Pound is roughly central to the area of the Flinders Ranges we explored, and also the heart of Ikara-Flinders National Park. I want to make it clear that we didn’t enter the national park though! Our day trip to this area was all about dog-friendly travel to the Flinders Ranges.

On a side note: Wilpena Pound is one of the more well known attractions in the area as it forms a gigantic natural amphitheatre. We didn’t book any scenic flights this time around but it’s definitely one to fly over if you have the opportunity! The overhead photos I’ve seen look amazing! 

View of Wilpena Pound from Pugilist Hill, Flinders Ranges
View of Wilpena Pound from Pugilist Hill, Flinders Ranges

Do you need a 4WD to visit the Flinders Ranges?

From what we found, all of the major roads around the central Flinders Ranges and those that connect the towns are of good enough quality to be accessible by most vehicles. 

You’ll have no problems driving a loop from Hawker – Blinman – Parachilna – back to Hawker. This would be going through the national park via Flinders Ranges Way, west along Parachilna Gorge Road and then back down along The Outback Highway. 

Flinders Ranges Way is a sealed road from Hawker to Blinman

However, if you want to do some of the scenic drives like the “Glass Gorge Scenic Drive from Blinman to Parachilna”, the roads are unsealed, really rough, and I feel like a 2WD won’t cut it. Some of the lookouts like the one at Pugilist Hill are along unsealed tracks with very steep climbs and deep ruts. I would also be hesitant to do this with a 2WD or while towing a caravan! 

I’ll always try to mention the quality of the roads when it’s relevant.

Because we didn’t enter the Ikara-Flinders National Park, I can’t vouch for the road quality inside it. However, according to this page of the Good Living website, a 2WD car is generally fine to get around within the Ikara-Flinders National Park but be aware that most roads are unsealed with some rough surfaces, it may be unsuitable for vehicles with low clearance. 

Pugilist Hill in the Flinders Ranges
Unsealed road to Pugilist Hill in the Flinders Ranges

The best time of year to visit the Flinders Ranges

The best time to visit the Flinders Ranges area is during the cooler months, especially if you’re planning on bushwalking. Around May to October, daytime temperatures generally stay below 30°C and are milder.

If you like seeing wildflowers, the spring months are the way to go, around September and October. 

While exploring the Flinders Range, we stayed in the sweet historic town of Quorn in the southern Flinders Ranges, staying there from late September to late October.

Throughout our stay, we mostly had pleasant, sunny days with temperatures in the 20s. While we had quite a few days with temperatures over 30°C, there were also a couple of cool, rainy days and a couple of windy days. 

Wildflowers (I hope!) at Warren Gorge in Quorn
Wildflowers (I hope!) at Warren Gorge in Quorn

While in Quorn, we noticed that it heated up quickly during the day and cooled down to low temperatures during the night. We still needed to use our thick doona while sleeping. There were a couple of nights when the temperature dropped close to 1°C, if I remember correctly! 

I would hesitate to visit the Flinders Ranges in the summer months of December right through to February. For the obvious reason of it being unbearably hot, but also you might find some of the walking trails closed or placed under restricted hours. Some of the cafes and restaurants can also close for the summer months.

View from Elder Range Lookout in the Flinders Ranges
View from Elder Range Lookout in the Flinders Ranges

A quick roundup of fun things to do while in the Flinders Ranges

Our dog-friendly travel to the Flinders Ranges was jam-packed with many attractions, eats & drinks! I think you could easily spend a good couple of weeks in the region, with its long expanse that can be broken up into northern, central and southern sections.

Exploring the central Flinders Ranges

From Quorn, we made our way up to Hawker, through to Blinman and then over to Parachilna. I must admit, we clocked up the kilometres that day, and it would probably make more sense staying there or closer, if you’re able to. 

Charlie at Stokes Hill Lookout, Flinders Ranges
Charlie at Stokes Hill Lookout, Flinders Ranges

Our itinerary for the day  

  • Grabbed a scrumptious brunch at Flinders Food Co. in Hawker
  • Visited dog-friendly scenic lookouts & sights along Flinders Ranges Way
  • Attempted a part of Arkapena 4WD Scenic Drive
  • Took the Glass Gorge Scenic Drive from Blinman to Parachilna
  • Fed on the deliciously interesting “Feral Antipasto” platter at Prairie Hotel in Parachilna.

Flinders Ranges Map

  • Orange pins: Central Flinders Ranges
  • Blue pins: Quorn and Surrounds
  • Yellow pins: Lower Flinders Ranges

If you’re planning a trip to the Flinders Ranges, I’ve got a small collection of journal entries, here, that you might like. We visited quite a few attractions, eats & drinks in the region with a lot being dog-friendly!

Fun things to do for next time we’re in the Flinders Ranges

While our day trip was a great taster for the central Flinders Ranges, there are still so many things left on the bucket list for this area, and the rest of the region for that matter! 

  • Stay at one of the farms/stations
  • Do a scenic flight over the Flinders Ranges and view Wilpena Pound from overhead
  • Take part in an aboriginal cultural tour
  • Join a guided tour exploring fossil beds and other geological attractions
  • Visit some of the attractions within the Ikara-Flinders National Park
  • Have a pub meal at the Cradock Hotel
  • Walk a few of the longer bushwalking trails within the central Flinders Ranges
  • Enjoy a sunrise or sunset somewhere picturesque
  • Check out the northern Flinders Ranges, so many people we’ve met on our travels have mentioned how going up to Arkaroola is a must! Apparently, it’s really beautiful and magical.
Charlie at Flinders Food Co. in Hawker
Charlie at Flinders Food Co. in Hawker

Dog-friendly accommodation in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia

We stayed at the local caravan park in the sweet town of Quorn. 

We decided it was the best place for us to base ourselves while exploring the Flinders Ranges because we wanted to visit both north towards the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park and south towards Wilmington and Melrose. 

It seemed like the most central location on the map, and the caravan park in town looked quite peaceful with its natural bush setting. If you’d like to find out more, you can read the journal entry here.

Our site at Quorn Caravan Park
Our site at Quorn Caravan Park

We racked a lot of kilometres doing a day trip from Quorn. I understand this might not suit everyone! I wanted to include some of the dog-friendly accommodation that I was looking at, if we were to stay in the central Flinders Ranges.

Both offer similar experiences with bushwalking trails and 4WD scenic drives. 

  • Rawnsley Park Station: this is located about 34 kilometres north of Hawker, just off Flinders Ranges Way. They also offer scenic flights (plane or helicopter), an on-site Restaurant (Woolshed), a pool, and general store. 
  • Skytrek Willow Springs Stations: this is slightly further up, about 68 kilometres north of Hawker, with a short drive off Flinders Ranges Way. 

Places to eat & drink in the Flinders Ranges

If you’re searching for awesome eats & drinks for your dog-friendly travel to the Flinders Ranges, I’ve got a couple of fantastic ones to put on your list.

Summer Closures

As I write this, it seems that the Flinders Food Co. and Prairie Hotel annually close for the summer months, from around mid December to late February. This is not the best time to visit the region anyway, because it’s scorching hot! 

Flinders Food Co. in Hawker

Dog-friendly cafe with outdoor seating

Wow, The Flinders Food Co. was a surprise find! I wasn’t expecting such a funky eatery in a small remote town, but there it was—a gem in the desert. It’s a place comparable to some of the amazing cafes we’ve brunched at within the inner suburbs of Adelaide.

Flinders Food Co. in Hawker
Flinders Food Co. in Hawker

You’ll find this Flinders Food Co. located along Elder Terrace, opposite the Hawker Tourist Information Bay.

It’s a pretty spacious venue—they’ve got plenty of outdoor seating under large striped umbrellas, and plenty of room and seating inside too. I liked their stone feature wall with an illuminated signage of their name.

Inside Flinders Food Co. in Hawker
Inside Flinders Food Co. in Hawker

The Flinders Food Co. have a fantastic menu with lots of interesting and eclectic choices, again, very on par with any of the popular cafes you might find in the city. I like that they integrate native bush foods from the region into their dishes—things like quandong, bush tomato, and native currants.

Because it was my birthday, I got to choose two dishes that I liked the sounds of to share with the hubby. He’s very sweet. I chose the Tiramisu French Toast and Chicken & Waffles. Both were enjoyable to eat; the sauces of the Chicken & Waffles packed a punch, and the Tiramisu French Toast was great overall, but I did find that it could’ve done with a touch more coffee flavour.

Chicken & Waffles at Flinders Food Co. in Hawker
Chicken & Waffles at Flinders Food Co. in Hawker
Tiramisu French Toast at Flinders Food Co. in Hawker
Tiramisu French Toast at Flinders Food Co. in Hawker

There’s a corner of the cafe where they sell locally made homewares, edible goods, jewellery, plus their line of merchandise. I was tempted to buy a shirt as I really liked their branding… but instead, I bought more food. Hah.

Flinders Food Co. offers a cabinet full of yummy-looking sweet treats, as well as cold pies, sausage rolls, and the like. I bought a couple of chicken and leek pies to heat up for later, a quandong wagon wheel, and a vanilla slice. All were very nice!

They’ve also got a warmer full of pies, sausage rolls, and pasties for those who just want to grab something on the go. If you’re heading towards the central Flinders Ranges region, make sure to pop into the Flinders Food Co!

Merchandise and locally made goodies at Flinders Food Co. in Hawker
Merchandise and locally made goodies at Flinders Food Co. in Hawker

Prairie Hotel in Parachilna

Dog-friendly pub with outdoor seating

Aside from this wonderful country pub, accommodation and some historical landmarks, I’m not sure if there’s much else within the small settlement of Parachilna?

From Hawker, Parachilna is about 90 kilometres north, going up along The Outback Highway. If you’re coming from Blinman, it’s about 32 kilometres on Parachilna Gorge Road heading west. You could also take the scenic drive from Blinman if you were up for some rougher driving; a 4WD is best for this.

Prairie Hotel in Parachilna
Prairie Hotel in Parachilna

Now let’s talk about the food. Before you go thinking The Prairie Hotel is just another rundown country pub serving typical pub fare, I’m here to tell you that it’s not; they do things a little differently!

Their unusual but delicious bar and casual dining menu make the most of the unique ingredients the Flinders Ranges region has to offer. Kudos to the creativity of their chef.

What do I mean by this? Their dishes feature meats from “feral” animals, such as wild boar, emu, kangaroo, and camel (a prevalent problem in these parts of Australia). Yes, they get roadkill jokes all the time! But rest assured, their meats are ethically sourced.

The Prairie Hotel also incorporate local native herbs, spices, and other bush foods into their creations.

We decided to go with the “Feral Antipasto” platter, which included camel mettwurst, kangaroo pastrami, emu pate, goat chevre, bush tomato chilli jam, grilled vegetables, saltbush dukkah, bush tomato balsamic olive oil, and fresh-baked bread.

"Feral" Antipasto Platter at the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna
“Feral Antipasto” platter at the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna

Side note: I don’t know how I’ve fallen behind so much with my journal; as I write this, it’s about 4 months from when we actually went! I’m relying purely on notes at this point because it was so long ago. My note-taking for The Prairie Hotel food fails me; all I wrote was “really nice and interesting to taste the different meats in a variety of styles.” 

Oh man. Moving forward, I either need to write better notes or massively catch up!

I know my hubby and I really enjoyed the different styles of cured meats. I think the fact that the camel and kangaroo are prepared as mettwurst and pastrami is a clever way to serve game meat. It tones down the gaminess, and I remember their blends of spices being very tasty. I also remember a smokiness to either the mettwurst and pastrami, or maybe both.

The emu pate was also an unexpected treat; I remember it being buttery and creamy. It had a meaty taste but nothing overwhelming. The other condiments were tasty with the native herbs and spices. The only minor criticism I have is not being given enough bread or crackers to cover the pate and cheese!

Antipasto with a twist!

Other things to do at the Prairie Hotel

  • Admire indigenous and modern artwork in their gallery restaurant
  • Stay at their Outback Lodge accommodation
  • Take part in a 4WD tour around the Flinders Ranges
  • Go on a Fossil Tour (you can also find a sheet of rock around the corner of the building with imprints of some of the earliest forms of life on Earth)
  • Shop their merch
  • Sip on-site brewed beer!

I really didn’t take as many photos as I should’ve of this iconic place. Like the Flinders Food Co, the Prairie Hotel is a surprisingly trendy venue! The restored hotel dating back to 1876 has been upgraded in a contemporary way, however it still pays tribute to its heritage and location.

Local drinks at the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna
Local drinks at the Prairie Hotel in Parachilna

Parachilna Brew Project 

My hubby and I are low-key doing a brewery tour of Australia so it was great to come across this surprise microbrewery at the Prairie Hotel during our dog-friendly travel to the Flinders Ranges! 

The on-site microbrewery sits at the front bar area of the hotel, and you’re served the freshest craft beers, directly from tank to tap. My hubby liked their easy drinking beers—the perfect way to cool down on a hot afternoon in the outback!

If you’re searching for a remarkable dining experience that truly captures the distinctive flavours of the outback, The Prairie Hotel is a place you’d want to visit.

Where to eat in Quorn

Dog-friendly eating venues

Yes, I’m mentioning it again, but we stayed in the sweet town of Quorn while exploring the Flinders Ranges. If you’d like to find more about eats & drinks in this area, please click here for the full list, or check out the ones I liked below.  

Where to eat in Melrose and Stone Hut

Dog-friendly eating venues

We ventured even further down in the Southern Flinders Ranges and visited a couple of wonderful spots. You can read the full journal entry here or check out the specific food places below.

Gin Tasting at Flinders Gin in Quorn
Gin Tasting at Flinders Gin in Quorn

Scenic Lookouts & Sights in the Flinders Ranges

Dog-friendly scenic lookouts

The scenic lookouts & sights are in the order as you pass them when driving north along Flinders Ranges Way; I’ll refer to this as the main road. Aside from the Arkaba Hill Lookout, Elder Range Lookout and Hucks Lookout, the rest of the viewing points have access roads that are best tackled with a 4WD. 

Since this journal entry is about dog-friendly travel to the Flinders Ranges, all of the lookouts and signs are fine to visit with your furbaby!

Arkaba Hill Lookout

The first lookout we visited was Arkaba Hill, just off Flinders Ranges Way. It was a nice introduction to the region. There was some interpretive signage about the birds of prey in the area, and wooden picnic benches. 

Arkaba Hill Lookout in the Flinders Ranges
Arkaba Hill Lookout in the Flinders Ranges

Elder Range Lookout

Only a short distance from Arkaba Hill Lookout is the Elder Range Lookout. This is also just off the main road with interpretive signage about the hills and ranges of the area, and picnic benches. 

View from Elder Range Lookout in the Flinders Ranges
View from Elder Range Lookout in the Flinders Ranges

Pugilist Hill

Pugilist Hill was my favourite viewing point for the Flinders Ranges. There’s a short 8-kilometre drive on an unsealed road off Flinders Ranges Way to get to the hill. From the top of Pugilist Hill, you get an amazing panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.

The turnoff from the main road is kind of easy to miss because the brown sign for it is extremely small. It’s just slightly past Rawnsley Park Station; look for Martin Wells Road turning off on your right. Although it was unsealed, it didn’t seem extremely rough to drive on.

Pugilist Hill in the Flinders Ranges
Pugilist Hill in the Flinders Ranges (the first hill)
Side of Pugilist Hill, Flinders Ranges
Side of Pugilist Hill, Flinders Ranges

Warning

The thing with Pugilist Hill that’s important to know is that it’s a big ass hill! The drive up is fairly steep, uneven, and rocky. There’s a sign down at the bottom that says, “impassable for towing vehicles”—it’s definitely not recommended for those towing a caravan!

I think with the steepness and quality of the road, I would also say that this lookout is best for those driving with a 4WD.

Once the drive uphill is out of the way, there’s a large flat clearing to park on, and you’re rewarded with a fantastic 360-degree outlook of the Flinders Ranges. This includes wonderful views of Chace Range on one side and Wilpena Pound on the other.

View of Chace Range from Pugilist Hill, Flinders Ranges
View of Chace Range from Pugilist Hill, Flinders Ranges
Gorgeous views of the Flinders Ranges landscape from Pugilist Hill
View of Wilpena Pound from Pugilist Hill, Flinders Ranges
View of Wilpena Pound from Pugilist Hill, Flinders Ranges

Hucks Lookout

This is a lot further up north than the previous three lookouts. I think it’s quite lovely scenery looking back towards Wilpena Pound, and the rolling hills of the area. There’s a short little gravel track to get to the viewing point, plenty of parking and a few interpretive signage about the geological formation of the landscape. 

Hucks Lookout in the Flinders Ranges
Hucks Lookout in the Flinders Ranges

Stokes Hill Lookout

Close to Hucks Lookout is Stokes Hill Lookout, which also has some delightful views looking back towards the main part of the central Flinders Ranges. This lookout has a short 2-kilometre drive along Stokes Hill Lookout Road, off the main road. 

Stokes Hill Lookout Road is unsealed, and we found the surface to be quite rough in parts. The last few metres were uphill, and it seemed steep and rocky. I’m not sure how 2WDs would fare along this road and going up the hill. Maybe with a lower speed and care, it might be okay! 

At the very top, there’s plenty of parking, picnic benches, interpretive signs about the culture of the Adnyamathanha people, and a cool topographic map of the Flinders Ranges region. 

View from Stokes Hill Lookout in the Flinders Ranges
View from Stokes Hill Lookout in the Flinders Ranges
Topographic Map at Stokes Hill Lookout in the Flinders Ranges
Topographic Map at Stokes Hill Lookout in the Flinders Ranges

Great Wall of China

A bit further north is the Great Wall of China, well, the Flinders Ranges version of it! This is a band of rocks perched on top of a hill, resembling its namesake.

To get to the viewing spot, there’s an unsealed turnoff on the right from Flinders Ranges Way. This access road doesn’t seem to have an official name. It’s only about a kilometre or so but we did find that it had some rough surfaces and potholes. It’s probably another road that’s best with a 4WD, however, it’s possibly doable with a 2WD if taken slowly and with care. 

Great Wall of China in the Flinders Ranges
Great Wall of China in the Flinders Ranges
Close-up of Great Wall of China in the Flinders Ranges
Close-up of Great Wall of China in the Flinders Ranges

Scenic Drives in the Flinders Ranges

Arkapena 4WD Self-Drive Trail

Dog-friendly scenic drive

After coming down Pugilist Hill, we went up a track next to it which turned out to be part of the Arkapena 4WD self-drive trail. We had driven all the way up to the gated section before realising. The locked section of the track goes all the way to the Arkapena Lookout, but you do need a key to access this part of the trail and lookout.  

A portion of the Akapena 4WD Track

The Arkapena 4WD self-drive experience is offered by the Rawnsley Park Station. The tracks are located in the nearby Arkapena Station, criss crossing the undulating and rocky terrain of the Flinders Ranges. It’s a beautiful landscape to explore via four wheel driving.

It’s recommended that you do the trails with a 4WD as the tracks are unsealed with uneven, rocky surfaces. We found the track to be narrow and winding at times, where bushes scraped down the sides of the car. There were quite a few steep ascents and descents.

We’re not four wheel driving type people, I feel like the track we drove on starting from near the bottom Pugilist Hill is a good beginner trail for someone who wants to give it a go!

Vehicle Fee & Key

To explore the Arkapena 4WD self-drive trails, there is a 4WD vehicle fee of $60, plus a $10 refundable key deposit. My bad, I hope we’re not the only silly people that’s ever made this mistake!

Visit the reception at Rawnsley Park Station to organise. For more information and to view a map of the trails, visit this page of their website. 

Arkapena 4WD Self-Drive Track
Arkapena 4WD Self-Drive Track

Glass Gorge Scenic Drive from Blinman to Parachilna

Dog-friendly Scenic drive

Another activity to add to your dog-friendly travel to the Flinders Ranges is the Glass Gorge Scenic Drive. After visiting the last attraction of the Great Wall of China, we headed towards Blinman to do the Glass Gorge Scenic Drive to Parachilna.

We didn’t stop at Blinman but just went through. It seemed quite busy though in town with cars lined up near the pub.

Glass Gorge Scenic Drive from Blinman to Parachilna, Flinders Ranges
Glass Gorge Scenic Drive from Blinman to Parachilna, Flinders Ranges

Driving up Flinders Ranges Way towards Blinman, it continues on to become Mine Road, going through the town. Once past the town, you’ll see the turnoff for Glass Gorge Road with the brown tourist sign that says “Scenic Drive to Parachilna via Glass Gorge”. 

Quality of the road

The Glass Gorge Road Scenic Drive from Blinman to Parachilna is along an unsealed gravel road that stretches for about 39 kilometres. I would say the road quality calls for a 4WD and I would probably be cautious of taking anything else. However, I have seen Google reviews of people driving the track with their 2WD vehicles, so it’s not impossible. 

I wouldn’t say the drive was extremely challenging, but it was certainly rough, uneven and bumpy in places. The type of road that makes you do some heavy head bopping! It also had heaps of twists and turns most of the way.

Snippets from the Glass Gorge Scenic Drive
The Scenery

I enjoyed the various scenery throughout the drive. We drove through gorges lined with craggy cliffs and forests of what looked like native pine. We spotted a wild goat climbing up the side of a rocky hill. We noticed lots of dry creek beds filled with jagged fragments of stone. 

There were some desert-like landscapes with low lying vegetation and trees, and massive hills. Driving towards and through the mountain range was pretty epic, videos and photos just don’t show how huge these geological formations are in real life. It feels surreal the closer you get! 

Dry creek beds during the Glass Gorge Scenic Drive, Flinders Ranges
Dry creek beds during the Glass Gorge Scenic Drive, Flinders Ranges
Mountain range views from Glass Gorge Scenic Drive, Flinders Ranges
Mountain range views from Glass Gorge Scenic Drive, Flinders Ranges

We passed by some campgrounds along the way, looking on Google maps, this might have been Boundary Camp. There were a few caravans and camper trailers set up in the area, some on the left near the cliff faces and some on the right, along the lower banks. 

Glass Gorge Road eventually joins up to Parachilna Gorge Road, which I don’t think was sealed either, if my memory serves me. However, it is better quality than the scenic drive, it’s wider and flatter. From there, we headed to the Prairie Hotel for a tasty “Feral Antipasto” platter! Check out the places to eat & drink section, if you haven’t already! 

Epic geological formations along the Glass Gorge Scenic Drive, Flinders Ranges
Epic geological formations along the Glass Gorge Scenic Drive, Flinders Ranges

Getting ready for your Flinders Ranges travel

  • Dog-friendliness: A lot of the Flinders Ranges is national park or protected land. If you’re travelling with your dog, please make sure to do your own research! You can visit the Quorn Visitor Information Centre if you’re unsure or have any questions.
  • Vehicle: Fuel stations are few and far between around this area. Make sure to fill up if you’re planning to do some long drives. You can get fuel at Hawker, Angorichina Tourist Village, and maybe the Rawnsley Park Station (you’ll have to double check that one!). It also pays to check fluid and oil levels are all a-okay, and your car is mechanically sound. If you’re out 4-wheel driving, obviously there’s probably safety and recovery gear that you need for that, but I have no clue! 
  • Communication: Bear in mind that mobile and internet reception is patchy in the region. There’s certain places that seem to have some signal, like around Rawnsley Park Station and Stokes Hill Lookout. It’s recommended that you notify someone beforehand of your whereabouts and plans if you’re going out on a long bushwalk or drive.
  • Water, Food & Gear: If you’re out bushwalking, consider things like insect repellent, sunsmart and protective clothing, sunscreen, plenty of water etc. There’s a few cafes and pubs to eat at, as mentioned earlier, but there’s also a couple of general stores in Hawker and Blinman.
  • Safety & Environmental Impact: It’s best to stick to designated campgrounds, walking and driving tracks for your own safety. This also ensures that you’re not causing any damage to the natural vegetation in the area. 
  • Weather Alerts & Closures: I personally think the summer months are no bueno because of restrictions and closures to walking trails, cafes, restaurants, and other activities in the region. It’s good to check the weather before you set off so you know what to expect. You can also see what fire alerts and warnings there are for the region through the SA Country Fire Service website, plus any warnings for roads via the Department of Infrastructure and Transport website.
Arkapena 4WD Track Views of Chace Range

Dog Sitters and Dog Boarding

If you do want to visit the Ikara-Flinders National Park, I found a local Quorn dog-sitter through the caravan park. You can grab Katie’s details here, it was $25 for the day. She’s an older lady but seemed friendly and capable enough to take care of Charlie for the day.

Another option you could consider is Redgum Vets in Port Augusta. This is where I took Charlie for his vaccination, and they also offer pet boarding as a service.

Explore Quorn and Surrounds

DOG-FRIENDLY TRAVEL (DOG-SITTER USED FOR SOME ATTRACTIONS)

Don’t forget to check out my journal entry on Quorn in the southern Flinders Ranges, you’ll be surprised at the adventures you can have there!

Charlie at one of the Warren Gorge Lookout in Quorn
Charlie at one of the Warren Gorge Lookout in Quorn

Explore Wilmington, Melrose, Wirabarra & Stone Hut

Dog-friendly Travel (dog-sitter used for some attractions)

We travelled south of Quorn a few times during our month, and I’m excited to share about a fabulous country brewery with a boutique touch that we visited.

As well as where to go bush walking and grab a tasty gourmet pie, click here to read the journal entry!

Alligator Gorge in Wilmington, South Australia
Alligator Gorge in Wilmington, South Australia

And that’s a wrap!

If you’re travelling full-time with your dog, hopefully this journal entry has inspired you to visit this beautiful outback region of South Australia with your precious pup. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this complete guide to dog-friendly travel to the Flinders Ranges.

You can find the dog-friendly attractions, eats & drinks mentioned here on my interactive map for dog-friendly destinations.

Have you been to any of these places before? Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments or pop in any questions you might have; I’d love to hear from you. Safe travels and happy exploring! Thanks for joining me, hope to see you again!

Sheryl

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Pinterest Blog Cover Photo: Dog-friendly Travel to the Flinders Ranges

Hey Pawrents,

Planning your dog-friendly Aussie Adventure?

Check out my interactive map full of amazing dog-friendly breweries, cafes, restaurants, pubs, walking trails, beaches and more.

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