Wilpena Pound was the furthest into the Outback that we ventured on our holiday in Australia. The pound itself is a large crater-like enclosure surrounded by the hills of the North Flinders. The pound is a green oasis in the parched landscape of central Australia, and has been a popular holiday destination for many years. The Wilpena Pound Resort provides a range of accommodation from camping through to fully featured hotel rooms.
On our first full day (new years eve) we climbed St Mary’s Peak, the highest top in the North Flinders. The summit gives stunning views in all directions, as in this image looking south into the Pound.
The view northwest into the heart of Australia: on the horizon can be seen the salt beds of Lake Torrens around 100 miles distant.
We were lucky that the temperatures were a moderate mid-30’s, and made for a comfortable climb to the summit a little under 4000ft.
The summit walk from the resort is excellent – but another few degrees-C and the climb would have been impossible!
After the walk we got back to the resort, showered, and got ready for the New Year celebrations.
Biting insects were a problem, hence the disguise!
We did several nocturnal walks, and were rewarded by seeing echidna…
And some BIG creepy-crawlies!
And, of course, we did see lots of the more recognisable critters…
On our second full day, New Year’s Day, we explored Sacred Canyon…
Sacred Canyon is the location of Adnjamathanha Engravings…
The engravings are a total mystery: the local native population have no oral history relating to them…
For our last full day at Wilpena Pound we walked through the pound itself. The 19th century farmstead, inside the pound, has been restored, and informative panels describe the hard life of the farming family that lived there.
We were not alone in the pound; a large population of grey kangaroo live within the pound.
The walk through the pound takes you past trees and shrubs thriving on the natural water supply.
And yet more interesting beasties!
Including our only view of emu!
There are a lot of lizards in Australia – many of them, like this chap, very happy to pose for the camera.
On 3 January we headed south for 7-hours to visit McLaren Vale to fulfil a long held ambition: to visit the d’Arenberg vineyard.