The mornings are a little bit chilly here in the Flinders Ranges. My campsite looks up to the peaks of the southern rim of Wilpena Pound which area spectacular site of a morning and in the evening when the sun is setting. Wilpena Pound is a rock basin formed by a rim of mountain ranges. The Pound is 17km long and 8km wide and its highest point is St Marys Peak at nearly 1200m high which I hope to climb up to tomorrow.
First thing this morning I drove up to Wilpena Pound which is about 25km's from Rawnsley Park Station. The views from the road leading into Wilpena Pound are something special as they are framed by the ramparts of the Pound and the unusual red coloring in its rock formations. At the Pound I checked out the visitor center and the trail head for walks into the Pound which I plan on doing tomorrow then drove north occasionally dodging a emu or two as they scampered across the road at times with chicks in tow.
I headed for Stokes Hill Lookout where the van struggled to get up the very steep rocky access road however, it was worth the effort as the lookout provided spectacular panoramas of Wilpena Pound, Mt Patawarta, and the Druid, Chace, Elder, Heysen and Bunker Ranges. To the north the hills fade away and the vast plains of the outback become evident. Wild flowers, various colored grasses and the red rock of the hills and ranges made the view even more scenic.
From Stokes Hill Lookout I headed south back to Hawker before traveling north again via roads that disappeared into the horizon without a single bend to them. Away from these paved roads the Moralana Scenic Drive took me over 28km of heavily corrugated dirt track along the Moralana Valley floor between the south western wall of Wilpena Pound and the Elder Range. The road is entirely through private property and also forms part of the Mawson Trail. A worthwhile detour and one that absolutely lived up to its scenic name.
The Moralana Scenic Drive ends just south of Rawnsley Park so it was just a short drive back to the campsite to get ready for a day of hiking tomorrow inside the Pound.