Flinders Ranges Ride (RR)

This report is for the actual Flinders Ranges ride based on plans Part A and Part B.

Ride Report – 08.10.2018-15.10.2018

flinders ranges hancock lookout

Highlights
  • Iga-Warta Aboriginal Community
  • Deserted Township of Leigh Creek
  • Beltana Historic Township
  • Brachina and Bunyeroo Gorges
  • Stokes Hill Lookout
  • Wilpena Panorama (Hawker)
  • Arden Vale Road and Warren Gorge
  • Hancocks Lookout
  • The Bridal Trail
Video
General Route
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Flinders Ranges GPX 3.42 MB 10 downloads

GPX download of Flinders Ranges tracks from Arkaroola to Melrose via Leigh Creek,...

Instead of the planned route going north from Arkaroola on Umberatana Road, I went through Gammon Ranges to Copley. Umberatana road would have been nice if I’d been with a few other riders but it was so rough it would have been 1st and 2nd gear most of the way and taken too long to get back to Gammon Ranges Road.

Overnight in Copley, Craddock, Warren Gorge, Craddock and Melrose (and then Wilcannia on the way home)

Degree of Difficulty

I classify all the tracks on this ride as 1 and 2. Due to my incident on the Bridal Trail, I may consider this a level 3 track but this is not because of remoteness. There seems to always be plenty of people around.

Number of Riders
solo
incidents
1 – drop on The Bridal Trail
1 – kangaroo strike on Orrerroo Road north of Craddock – busted a lot of the headlight wiring and bent cowling brackets. Took a couple of hours to put back together in Hawker.
Map


Legend:

  • red line as recorded track,
  • orange dots are spotwalla data points (using BubbleGPS) – 10 minute intervals
  • There may picture icons which contain photos and standard message icons for breaks.
  • S & F – start and finish.
Commentary

This was, after all, the Flinders Ranges ride I had planned. Although the scenery was great, the roads were good and mostly gravel which is what I like, I think I got a bit bored. A lot of the same, like seeing churches, seen one, seen’m all – with gorges.

I’m happy I finally went and saw the ranges and I appreciate the geology a lot more now. I also appreciate the weather conditions and how dry the area is. It’s obvious why farming activities have dramatically retreated from the north over the last century.

You have to pay to drive thru the NPs. I didn’t know that. But the stupid thing is that you cannot pay via honor system like the camp grounds, you must pay online before you enter. But of course, there’s no mobile reception at the pay stations. No wonder the pay stations are covered in graffiti exclaiming how stupid it is to require payment online when you know there’s no mobile reception to make the transaction. 

A lot of goats out west. Thank God they nearly always run away from oncoming vehicles unlike our dumb roos.

Cautions

Kangaroos – lots of them, small but they come out of nowhere. Simple mistake on the Bridal Trail – take it easy and unlike me, keep your head up in that last section if you’re going up (east).

Accommodation in the Flinders Ranges

Arkaroola caravan park, Leigh Creek Hotel (Copley), Camping in Warren Gorge, Craddock Hotel – the hotels are not cheap in the Flinders especially if you stay on the main tourist routes.

Arkaroola ‘resort’ is pretty expensive ($10 for a pot of tea?) but the guy at the desk (he’s called ‘large’ for good reason) is very helpful. Gave me pegs, knows the area well and directed me to Iga-Warta and Leigh Creek.

Craddock Hotel was recommended to me by the Hotelier at Leigh Creek (Copley). It’s off the main tourist route so it’s a bit cheaper. It’s funky and has a great restaurant. The Hotel is practically all there is to Craddock – highly recommended.

OSM Map Corrections

I made sure the track at Hancocks Lookout is not routable because the gate is locked. You have to backtrack out.

Latest Edits to Open Street Maps

Next Time in the Flinders Ranges

The Ride Plans A and B for the Flinders Ranges are still possible for a return trip. The run through Yandinna , Illinawortina, Umberatana Rd and Narrina Station would be better done in company.

Stats

Actual 834 kms

Ambient Temp 20-37C
Max Engine Temp (at front rocker cover) 134C
Road Conditions

no rain
all roads dry & dusty
some causeways
very little water
no sand

Costs Fuel: $63
O/N: nil-$15 Camping $60-$95 Hotels (plus meals)
Tyres: $38

Next: The run home from Melrose