25 August 2009

Wilpena Pound Circuit, Flinders Ranges, SA

Continued on from Elder Range Daypack, 24th August (see blog archive)

Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th:  St Mary Peak – Wilpena Pound circuit (18km) ; the classic Flinders Ranges walk, taking in its highest point (1170m), with stunning views across Wilpena Pound and north to the ABC and Heysen Ranges. 

Location map for Wipena Pound

En route to Wilpena Campground

Chapman's "Bushwalking in Australia", p.136-141
The 5 km walk from Wilpena to Cooinda Camp via Wilpena Pound was easy and flat and we were provided with a pleasant experience of stands of native vegetation including native flowers, native pines, and many river red gums.  

The first two kilometres of the track was on an old forest road and a homestead could be seen at the end of the road.  The walking track started from here and it continued on for about half of km to a junction.  Here, we ignored the Heysen Trail turn off to the left.

Red gums
We arrived at the campsite before noon.  We pitched tents up, ate lunch and went collecting water from a rockhole which is located near Edeowie Track and about 600m away.

Cooinda Camp

After we had returned from the rockhole, we set off again and this time was for tackling St Mary Peak, the highest point in the Flinders Ranges, that was about  260m climb and took about two hours.

Rockhole, our water supply for two days
St Mary Peak from the track
Flowering wattle on the climb
 Sunset St Mary Peak on the return trip
Second day: Side trip to Edeowie Gorge (see Wilpena Pound Circuit continued)