When we started planning our visit to Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, there was always a clear choice for us when deciding where we wanted to stay. At the stunning Wilpena Pound Resort.
Located right in the middle of the incredible Wilpena Pound, this resort is pretty much it’s own little town, and the only one in fact, within the grounds of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. With it’s own Visitors Centre, convenience store, petrol station, and all different accommodation options to choose from, it’s is without a doubt the best place to stay for the full Flinders Ranges experience.
There are several different types of accommodation on offer at Wilpena Pound. With a bush camping ground, resort style rooms and even their own luxury glamping experience in safari tents, you are definitely going to find something here you’ll love, giving you the perfect location to explore the epic pound.
During our stay we checked onto a powered site in the bush campground, but we also spent one night checking out their luxurious Ikara Safari Camp, for the ultimate Flinders Ranges experience.
Wilpena Pound Bush Camp
Immerse yourself in nature and experience the very best of Wilpena Pound in their bush campground. With 40 powered sites, as well as more than 300 unpowered sites, there’s always room for everyone here. The campsites are large and spacious, surrounded by the natural bush land.
One of our favourite things about stay in the Wilpena Pound bush campground was the resident kangaroos that live here. There are heaps of kangaroos living in the campground, who are not shy to introduce themselves, coming to say hi to you, and even steal your food if they can!
During our stay it really felt like we had some new adopted pet kangaroos in our family, with one little cutie in particular hanging around us the whole time we were staying. He would come to see us when we got back from exploring, and was even sometimes found sitting under the shade of our awning while we were out! If you were watching our Instagram stories during our stay last week you would have seen him featured so much!
The bush camp at Wilpena Pound also offers three amenities block and two laundry facilities, so you have absolutely everything you need during your stay. It’s also within easy walking distance of the Visitors Centre and IGA convenience store. While you’re staying in the bush camp you still have full access to the whole resort, including the bistro, bar and even the pool, which is so great when you’re visiting in the height of summer.
Ikara Safari Camp
For one of the nights during our stay we decided to have a sneaky upgrade, leave our caravan behind and check into Wilpena Pound’s luxury Ikara Safari Camp.
These beautiful safari tents overlook the mighty mountains of the Flinders Ranges, with changing colours across the pound as the sun changes positions throughout the day. They have a lovely deck out the front, the perfect place to watch the sun sink behind the mountains, with your own fire pit as well, to give you even more of a glamping experience.
Each safari tent offers a huge, very comfortable king size bed, as well as it’s own very modern bathroom, with a huge shower. Not going to lie, showering here without thongs for the first time this year was really a luxury experience. It was so nice to be able to have a normal shower and really take advantage of everything the safari tents had to offer.
One of the things we LOVED about the safari tents was the fact that you can roll up the canvas on all of the windows inside the tent, giving you views of the ranges on all sides. It created such a lovely breeze, as well as beautiful views every which way you looked. The tents also all have their own air-conditioning, so you don’t have to worry about being hot during your stay.
We had the best sleep in that safari tent. That huge comfortable king bed was just so relaxing, and we were out like a light as soon as we lay down. It was the perfect place to have a night away from the van, and really adds to your Flinders Ranges experience.
Start your stay with Welcome to Country
The best way to start your stay at Wilpena Pound Resort, is by attending the Welcome to Country chat that is held daily at around 6pm. Each night, one of the local Adnyamathanha people will welcome you to the resort in Yura Ngawarla, the local Aboriginal language here. This little ceremony only goes for about 20 minutes, where you will hear traditional stories, learn a little about the Adnyamathanha flag and history, and find out more about how the Ikara-Flinders Ranges came to be.
During our stay Vinny was doing the Welcome to Country, and he shared some of the dream time stories about how the pound came to be. He also shared with us the history of the flag of the Adnyamathanha region, that flies proudly around the resort and campgrounds. It’s a fantastic introduction to the resort and the whole Ikara-Flinders Ranges area, as well as the Adnyamathanha people and their culture.
Explore more with Wilpena Pound
While you’re staying at Wilpena Pound be sure to take advantage of their rich knowledge of the region by jumping on one of their cultural tours. Run daily by some of the local Yura guides, there is no better way to find out about the Flinders Ranges, and the history of the Aboriginal people from this area.
4×4 cultural tours
They run a few different 4×4 tours, that will show you some of the most beautiful places around the Flinders Ranges, while also sharing their stories, knowledge and insight with you. With sunset tours, short 4 hour tours or full day 8 hour tours, there’s an option that includes anywhere in the park you might want to see.
We were lucky enough to spend a morning driving around with local guides Jimmy and Jacquie, and they shared so much of the history of the pound with us, as well as stories from their childhood and their families, and what some of these sacred sites meant to them. It really offers you a whole new insight into the meaning of the landscapes you’re looking at, and we’re so thankful they took the time to show us around.
Check out all of the 4×4 cultural tours on offer from Wilpena Pound.
Wilpena Pound also has it’s own airstrip, and they can organise a scenic flight for you with the local airline Wrights Air. The scenic flights go for 20 minutes and flies you all around the pound, offering you panoramic views of the whole area. It’s a great way to gain some perspective on just how tall and rugged the pound is.
The resort has a great deal on scenic flights at the moment, with a 20 minute flight only costing $99 per person (normally $177). Book with the Visitors Centre or the reception staff at the resort, and book yourself onto the earliest flight possible to see the pound reflecting all the different colours of the sunrise. Such a beautiful way to start the day.
Hiking & bush walking
Lots of the hiking trails and bush walks leave from Wilpena Pound including Hill’s Homestead, Wangarra Lookouts, Mount Ohlssen Bagge, Drought Busters Hike and the favourite, St Mary Peak. They vary in levels of difficulty, and range from about 2 kilometres to more than 20 kilometres in length. Most of the hikes don’t have mobile phone reception, so they ask that you let the Visitors Centre know when you’re heading off and what trail you’re taking, and then check back in when you return, just as a safety measure.
To give you a helping hand, the Visitors Centre runs a shuttle bus service into the pound, which reduces each of the walking trails by about 4 kilometres. The shuttle by departs from the Visitors Centre at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm each day, and then makes the return trip 15 minutes later. A return trip costs just $5 per person or $12 for a family.
If you’re planning a trip to the Flinders Ranges, definitely make sure you check out Wilpena Pound. It is without a doubt the best place to stay in the region.
A big thank you to all of the team at Wilpena Pound Resort for hosting our stay and making it such an incredible experience. All opinions, as always, are our own.