We’ve all ventured on a cheeky wine weekend to Barossa Valley, maybe had a picnic on Henley beach, dug for opals in Coober Pedy. Now is the time to visit the Flinders Ranges and experience the gem of Rawnsley Park Station.
“About five hours from Adelaide and five hours from Coober Pedy is where you’ll find the treasure of South Australia,” says Tony Smith. “Usually where you’ll find the best is always smack bang in the middle.”
With wife, Julieanne, Tony runs the immaculate Rawnsley Park Station, one of South Australia’s leading regional tourism destinations. It is here that travellers can really get into the thick of the Australian outback and experience an abundance of native flora and fauna, a rich geological history and the fascinating pioneering heritage that this region has to offer.
Rawnsley Park Station is a multi-Tourism Award winning property, having won numerous South Australian awards over the past eight years, including those for New Tourism Development, Ecotourism and Unique Accommodation. Earlier this year, Rawnsley Park Station won two Silver medals at the Australian Tourism Awards.
The sight contains eight, one to two bedroom, luxury eco villas that are set on a secluded, elevated site with stunning views of the surrounding ranges.
Close to energy-neutral (featuring solar power, recycled timber, passive heating and cooling), the villas are designed to reflect the early Australian homesteads that dot the Flinders Ranges.
Rawnsley Park Station also contains a beautifully renovated 1950s stone homestead, complete with private swimming pool and outdoor shower, offering self-contained accommodation for two couples or a family.
For those a little more adventurous, the sight offers 28, 3.5-star holiday cabins, a caravan park and bush camping sites, a licensed store and swimming pool.
Dine at the The Woolshed Restaurant – An on-site venue that serves delicious, country-style cuisine. The head chef, who joined Rawnsley Park Station in January this year, has worked with Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey in London.
Take a scenic tour – There’s nothing like seeing Wilpena Pound and the Ranges from the air, and many guests choose to take a 30 or 60-minute scenic flight with Chinta Air, direct from Rawnsley Park Station.
Flinders by Foot – The more adventurous could engage in a Flinders by Foot guided bush walk. These two, three and five-day guided bushwalks are escorted by experienced bushwalking author, Kym Tilbrook and Tony Smith and Include accommodation and meals, along with a celebratory bush breakfast on the last day.
Daybreak Walk – Guests will discover the unique flora and fauna of the region, how different soil types influence vegetation and how ecosystems adapt to the arid environment. Participants travel by 4WD to the start of a three-kilometre circuit walk, ending with a bush breakfast.
4WD and cycling trails – Or you have the chance to get on the back of a bike or a 4 WD and explore the breadth and depth of this breath-taking region yourself.
How to get there
Outback air safari specialists Chinta Air Tours has set up base at Rawnsley Park Station in the Flinders Ranges.
The South Australian company will operate private charter flights in and out of the Station year-round, as well as all-inclusive tours to the Gawler Ranges, Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island. Chinta will also operate Rawnsley’s daily scenic flights.
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