FLINDERS RANGES PART 5
RAWNSLEY PARK, BLINMAN, ARKAROOLA (327 km)
Sunday, 3rd Sept.
As mentioned, a tremendous gale blew all day yesterday and continued through the night. Often I would wake to hear the incredible roar of an approaching gust and wonder what it would do to our tents. However, we seemed to be a little sheltered down on the creek bed and were OK, but I hate to think how we would have fared on one of the typical bush camping sites up on the exposed slopes above us.
From Rawnsley Park to Arkaroola
Blinman is where the orange hi lite takes a 90* turn to the right.
We left Rawnsley Park at 8.30 am and arrived at Arkaroola at 2.00 pm. Gosh, what a remote, isolated, empty, desert drive. We went via Blinman. For the first time on this trip I was attracted to a small settlement. Very small, but neat, well-cared for. I felt, hey! It is a place to live in. For the first time in Australia I am reminded of those lovely small towns of Rhodesia which I knew so well and loved.
We went into the friendly bakery and bought homemade tarts for morning tea and huge homemade pasties for dinner. Two lovely women served us, both pleasant and friendly, nicely presented and with fantastic smiles. The younger one also looked lovely and so attractively dressed, with a lovely mauve scarf, a beautiful smile and delightful dimple. Looking totally out of place in the average small town, yet blended in with my perception of Blinman.
And what tarts and pasties they were! Scrumptious. The pasties were huge. We bought them frozen and they were perfectly thawed by the time we had dinner that evening. Best pastry too!
Not far from Blinman we were in an attractive small gorge. We passed an emu with a couple of chicks, and then pulled up beside an attractive , treed, dry creek for morning tea. How I love these places, which are what Australia is all about.
Coming out of this gorge country we came out on a seemingly endless plain of emptiness and nothingness. As we progressed, way away , virtually on the horizon, we noticed some low hills of magical colours and shapes and stopped to take photos. Then we passed a special Aboriginal site: a remarkable bank of sand on a hill on our left. Eventually, with those incredible plains on our right, we noticed ranges on our left and close to the road an attractive dry creek with some shade and stopped for lunch here. As we pulled away after lunch we noticed a number of emus just off the road – always good for a photo! Driving on, we eventually started to enter the Gammon Ranges. When we saw the sign for the HQ of the Ranger station we pulled in to get information, but as at Mambray Creek, it had been vacated – the information centre, the sheds, the houses, all empty and locked. So we drove on, past Arkaroola Station, winding up into the hills and then over a saddle and down the other side to Arkaroola Resort. It lies in a hollow in amongst the most incredible jumble of red rocks and peaks. Breathtaking. Apart from a small shop, a restaurant, they also sell petrol and have a mechanic there for all repairs to vehicles (reassuring) . We were given a key to our room in the Greenwood Lodge which is a sort of backpackers place. . This is a strange , large, rectangular building. In the centre is a huge open, rectangular space with some lounge furniture and some dining tables and chairs, seemingly a sometime gallery, the walls of which are huge removable screens forming a corridor between this living space and the bedrooms. The bedrooms have doors to the outside and into this corridor. Our room had heating/cooling, 2 beds, and an ensuite. There is a kitchen in the communal area. There were only a few others staying in this Lodge when we were there.
This whole complex is quite attractive, in its red, desert setting. The low, red light at early morning and evening was magical, creating not only a red world, but the most fantastic atmosphere of mystery and being on another planet.
Not long after leaving Rawnsley we came across this lookout to the Wilpena Pound ranges.
And so we came to the lovely small settlement of Blinman, which I liked so much I just couldn’t stop taking photos of it. Must have been those tarts and pasties!!
General store and bakery. (when did you last see a BP petrol station?)
There is no doubt that a red, white and blue, uncluttered flag always looks fantastic against a deep blue sky! But isn’t Blinman a lovely looking settlement?
View from the general store and bakery
Also from the general store and bakery
If the bakery is in the heart of the CBD, then next door is suburbia! Note the slab wall of the cottage on the right and the row of plants underneath the end of the roof where any rainwater will fall
Sad to leave Blinman, but those tarts were calling. Not far along the road we came to this attractive dry creek and stopped here for morning tea
Just beyond our morning tea spot we spotted this emu with 2 chicks following her.
Then came those “”endless”plains with their distant ranges. What an incredible view of space and distance
This photo C. Megan M.
Aboriginal Heritage Site What you are looking at is a huge area of sand on this hillside.
Here we will have lunch and stretch our legs. An attractive tree – and – shrub – lined dry creek .
As we drove away from our lunch spot we noticed these emus.
And so we came to Arkaroola resort.