Stretching north from Port Augusta into the sun-seared wilderness of South Australia’s deserts, the Flinders Ranges is one of the country’s most impressive outback locations.

Here, surrounded by the arid wasteland of the great salt lakes, an ancient seabed has been sculpted by millions of years of rain and sun into a fractured, furrowed landscape of deep valleys covered with casuarinas and cypress pines which fall into creeks lined with river red gums. For wildlife watching, bush-walking, photography, Aboriginal rock art or just soaking up the sights and sounds of outback Australia, the Flinders is in a class of its own.

Scientists believe that the Flinders Ranges began forming about 800 million years ago, first as a great depression, then as a massive inland sea and finally the rocks from the seabed were squeezed and folded into a long, high mountain chain that has since eroded to its present form.

The ancient land of the Flinders Ranges offers a magnificent and uncompromising landscape of deep gorges, moonscapes of red rocks, sacred Aboriginal sites, and fresh water springs.  Birdlife is prolific here – look for emus, wedge-tailed eagles, bee eaters, parrots and the large Australian bustard.

For self-drive enthusiasts the Flinders Ranges is a great destination.Only 5 to 6 hours drive from Adelaide it combines well with stops in the wine country of the Barossa and Clare Valley as well as the river country to the west of the Murray River.